Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vienna Teng (again) at Ann Arbor's Water Hill Music Festival, May 5, 2013

This will be a short one, I promise.

After all, I spent way too much time talking about Vienna Teng's extraordinary and intimate performance at the University of Michigan's Erb Student Space last month. That show was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

That said, I really enjoyed this singer/songwriter's performance at Ann Arbor's Water Hill Music Fest this afternoon.

One day after she graduated with a dual degree from U-M's business and natural resources schools, Teng participated in one of the most unusual musical events in Tree Town – if not the country.

All over one of Ann Arbor's oldest and most residential neighborhoods, musicians of all genres, persuasions and ages performed on porches and in backyards to hundreds of people who drifted from house to house for several hours.

There was not much drifting going on while Teng performed her 10-song, 45-minute set, which had seemingly hundreds of people rapt (see left).  Unexpectedly, perhaps the highlights were two covers: An improved version of the "Ain't No Sunshine"/"Lose Yourself" mash-up she debuted last month and Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which she performed for her fellow graduates the day before.

Dressed in the cap and gown she wore Saturday (see above), Teng was her usual ebullient and gracious self. Perhaps because of time constraints, there wasn't much in the way of her usual storytelling. Still, she did get lots of laughs for her line about Michigan's four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Construction.

Really, this post is about sharing something with Teng fans not lucky enough to find themselves on her lawn Sunday. I brought my professional Zoom H2 digital recorder to the performance and was situated right between the speakers. So even without "mixing"or doing anything vaguely professional (OK, I did separate the tracks, using Audacity), I got a pretty fair version of what happened on a sunny Sunday afternoon in southeast Michigan.

I've created a RAR file, which you can download and extract with a program like the RAR Expander.

Download here.

For those who prefer uncompressed/lossless WAV files, I have uploaded the recording to the Internet Archive at here. (You can also – if you prefer – download the individual songs at this site)

Finally, here's the video of Teng performing "Boy At the Piano," a song she wrote during her high school days. The video comes from a point and shoot camera and the audio from the Zoom H2. Hopefully, I synced them right.