Shortly after I moved here last year, I wandered into the Boise Creative and Improvised Music Festival on a whim and caught one of the most moving performances I've ever seen from someone I'd never heard of: experimental percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani.
It was a strange and thrilling performance involving bowed cymbals, broken drums and sounds drums aren't supposed to make unless they're in some sort of pain. His music went places one rarely experiences outside of a horror film, with long foreboding passages of atmosphere twisting and pounding and building to screeching climaxes that made the darkened venue seem like a prison none of the audience would escape alive.
And he was just one of the acts on the bill. There were two days of music just as bold and challenging to be enjoyed, all of it improvised on site.
This weekend will be the sixth rendition of the annual event. It would be a bald-faced lie to say its for everyone. But as festival organizer Kris Hartung put it, "If you want to be challenged intellectually and emotionally, this is the place you need to go."
The B-CIMF will be May 6-7, at the Art Source Gallery. Admission is free and a complete schedule of performers can be found here.