The musical duo Tin|Bag will search for musical gold in a concert of original compositions and cover tunes at the final Dukes Memorial Concert Series at First Congregational Church on Sunday.
Tin|Bag is Bakersfield-based trumpeter and composer Kris Tiner and New York City-based guitarist and composer Mike Baggetta, who have been collaborating after both had participated in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Tiner said the duo's musical collaboration initially was largely experimental, with both composers writing before they even really started working together, using modern compositional techniques and relying heavily on improvisation.
"The music just kind of became more focused," Tiner said about their work over the next several years. "We found this lyricism in there that we always liked."
Listening to Tin|Bag, one can hear a relationship between the two performers that sounds conversational in nature. Both working from a basic plan of musical elements, Tiner and Baggetta play off of each other's ideas -- one performer settling into a musical idea until the other drops in a new melodic, harmonic or rhythmic event.
"There's a lot of listening and responsiveness," Tiner said. "We try not to overplay -- we try to get the most meaning: a kind of minimalism with the most lyricism."
That search for lyricism has led Tiner and Baggetta to look at existing compositions, actually vocal songs, as source material, since music written for singing is inherently lyrical. Sunday's concert will include work derived from music by the Rolling Stones ("No Expectations"), Hank Williams ("Ramblin' Man"), Kitty Wells ("All the Time") and Willie Nelson ("Crazy"). Tiner said the duo "deconstruct" songs like this to get at their musical core.
"These are very simple melodies and simple chord progressions," he said, adding that their very simplicity provides the musicians with the best opportunities.
"We try to really mine those melodies for the really deep musical substances there," Tiner said.
The Dukes concert is part of an intense weekend of performing and teaching for Tin|Bag. Tiner and Baggetta will deliver a workshop for CSUB jazz students on Friday, and then perform a long set at the Art Share LA gallery on Saturday. On Monday, the duo will perform and deliver a workshop for music students at UC Irvine for its ICIT New Ears Series.
Tiner said the Dukes concert is really the main event for the duo, as they will be recording the concert, a program of all new work.
"We've done two tours of this material so it's time to do the definitive version of this," Tiner said.
Tiner said he plans to release the records on his Epigraph Records label.