Avant-garde bassist Michael Bisio spotlights the cultural jewel of Atlantic Center for the Arts' master artist residency program


  • Peter Gannushkin
  • Michael Bisio
Michael Bisio, Timucua White House, Oct. 30

Simply because not enough people know about this cultural jewel and the public fruit it gives, it bears repeating how fortunate Central Florida is to have the Atlantic Center for the Arts’ quarterly Master Artist-in-Residence Program. Of course, it’s great for the participating artists, who get to be immersed in an interdisciplinary womb of pure cultivation and creativity. But in free outreach events across the area like performances, readings and talks, the inspired energy of this cross-pollination is put on public display.

Musically, the ACA’s residency program brings in some of the preeminent minds today in contemporary art music, figures like recent masters Zeena Parkins (harpist collaborator to John Zorn, Yoko Ono, Björk, Thurston Moore, etc.) and pianist Myra Melford. And luckily for us, because of the Timucua White House (and the Civic Minded 5), the landing spot for the program’s musical performance component is here in Orlando. But, look, you don’t absolutely have to be au courant in the musical fine arts to reap the deep benefit here. Just know that the ACA has an accomplished track record – so if their name’s on it, it’ll be noteworthy.

The latest musical master artist-in-residence was vanguard American bassist-composer Michael Bisio, known for his collaborations with jazz titans Matthew Shipp and Joe McPhee.
Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House
  • Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House
Like any card-carrying avant-gardist, he’s out there. But even out on the fringe beyond standard constructs and formulas, Bisio plays his double bass with palpable soul and mystery, employing both bow and finger work that ranged from intricate to free.
Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House
  • Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House
Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House
  • Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House
Amid all the nervy jazz fits and displacing lingers, he frequently gives you something intuitive to grasp – a relief passage that breathes naturally or is classically beautiful even – before free-diving back into the bowels again. In sum, it was a trek of over 30 straight, uninterrupted minutes that didn’t take a single step twice.
Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House
  • Michael Bisio at the Timucua White House


This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

Follow Bao on Twitter: @baolehuu
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.