3 questions with Evelyn Davis
Evelyn Davis is a piano-based singer-songwriter performing at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St.
Q: It's been almost a decade since you've played a show in Des Moines (with the band Frankenixon/Sword of Exactly), what have you been up to musically since then?
I moved to Chicago and started teaching and playing with some great improvisers there. I got a degree in classical composition and started writing orchestral music. I started playing solo shows, improvising using the inside of the piano. Then I went to Mills College in Indiana and studied improvisation, as well as playing a lot of classical music and chamber stuff.
Q: Will you be playing new songs this week, or revisiting any of your older material?
I'll just be playing solo piano stuff. I don't even remember that music at the moment, so I would be a little nervous of playing a Frankenixon song. I don't know any of them, sorry. While you can definitely hear they were written by the same person, it's a totally different experience writing for a solo performance than a band. But I'm still a nerdy prog rock person. There's at least one song in 4/4.
Q: What are your thoughts on Des Moines music after being gone so long?
I've been to a few shows, but not to any of the festivals. There's not really a venue for the kind of improv I do; it just doesn't exist here. I've been trying to talk to local venues about it or trying to come up with a venue for improv that isn't jazz-based. I'm really into doing multi-media performances, with dancers and electronic musicians and people making video. I'm finding a little bit of resistance, but I think it's just a lack of appropriate spaces.