Pilc-Moutin-Hoenig Trio: Washington, D.C. May 17, 2011
Hoenig describes the band's dynamic by articulating what happens when playing with a more typical jazz band that follows the standard format: head, solo, trade eights, conclusion. "So, in a band like that, there is something that happens after you play the head out right at the end. What happens is that when you get to that point in a song everyone kind of looks up. They come out of their own little world and they start thinking and listening to each other. And what happens to the music is very strong at that point because everyone starts paying attention. That's the feeling that we are going for all the time. Anything can happen at any time. It doesn't have to be solos, or it can be one solo, or different orders. We can change tempos drastically. We can change from one song to anothertotally out of the blue. There is [never] a situation where we know what is going to happen. That's really what keeps it fun and keeps it engaged."
If it were possible to distill the Pilc-Moutin-Hoenig Trio experience to one word, it might well be "engagement." Total, concentrated engagement between the band members coupled with a demand for audience engagement. In fact, the band should come with a warning label: keep your eyes peeled, your ears attuned, and your mind open because the musical ideas come so fast, are so unpredictable, and flow so freely that unless you are willing to participate actively through close attention, you are liable never to catch-up. Those willing to buy the ticket and take the ride, however, are bound to experience an exciting and unique sonic journey.
Of course, Pilc would probably say all that is nonsense. That the story of the music exists only in the moment of its coming into being, each incarnation distinct and unrepeatable. Or, more likely, he'd reject even that. He might just repeat what he said after the show: "Sometimes people ask me how do I approach the music. I say 'well, I don't.' How do I approach the sun? Well, I don't. It's too hot. So I stay away from it. To me [music]'s exactly the same thing. I feel the warmth, but I don't approach it. Otherwise I destroy it or destroy myself. Which I don't want to doI'm not crazy."