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Tilted Axes: Detroit (313), Music For Mobile Electric Guitars

The Detroit Historical Society presents
TILTED AXES: DETROIT (313) Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

Saturday, July 19, 2014 
This event is FREE and open to the general public

Tilted Axes: Detroit (313) is made possible with project sponsors and supporters:

Peppergreen Media (ASCAP), Midtown Detroit Inc., The Detroit Institute of Arts, WDET -FM 101.9 Detroit, The Metro Times, Showtime Detroit, The Detroit Artists Market, GAMA - Discover Guitar, Pignose Amps, GHS - The String Experts, Korg USA, & Vox Amps 

Detroit, MI - June 25, 2014

In 2011 Patrick Grant, a New York City-based composer/performer and Detroit native, created Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Guitars for the Make Music New York celebration of the first day of winter. The title of the project refers to the axial tilt of the Earth that brings about seasonal change as well as playing upon the word “axes” which is slang for one’s guitar or other musical instrument. Since then Tilted Axes has had a number of manifestations in NYC, one in Detroit in 2013 for the first day of spring, and now looks forward to European versions beginning in September.

What is Tilted Axes? It is a body of musical works that are performed as a procession by approximately 30 guitarists with portable mini-amps worn by each performer. They are accompanied by drums and percussion and are led by standard-bearers holding a banner. The ensemble, whether in NYC, Detroit, or Europe, is made up of local musicians, in this case, musicians from the greater Detroit area, who receive the music and improvisational structures that Grant creates in advance via MP3s and PDF files. They workshop and rehearse days prior to the event, customizing it and adapting it to the nature of the ensemble and to the requirements of the event and its featured performers. 

Tilted Axes has always been event specific, whether it was to celebrate the first days of winter or spring, the mayoral inauguration in NYC, or the opening of the performing season in Europe. 

For this year, the Detroit Historical Society (DHS) has asked Grant to bring the project back to Detroit to celebrate the city’s 313th anniversary on July 19th. Dubbed “Tilted Axes: Detroit (313),” the event is in three parts; the first starts at the Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI at 1:00pm. It consists of a procession through Midtown Detroit with stops at various locations (the DIA, the Science Museum, etc.). A detailed procession route is forthcoming via the project web page.

The second part begins when the procession returns to the Detroit Historical Museum. The players will perform outside in a circle within the museum’s Legends Plaza.

The third part consists of a procession within the museum and culminates in its auditorium. The events presented by the DHS will conclude at approximately 5:00pm.

As an added bonus to the day, beginning at 6:00pm, the musicians will be performing another procession at the entrance to Comerica Park before the Detroit Tigers game.  


The Music: For this event, Grant will add to the current Tilted repertoire by introducing new variations on the Tilted Axes themes that reflect the musical history of Detroit. The stylistic slant of these pieces would follow this plan: 

1950s - Jazz/Blues
1960s - R&B/Motown
1970s - Rock/Proto-Punk
1980s - New Wave/Techno
1990s - Hip Hop/Hardcore
2000s - 21st Century ~ Synthesis
Each one of these styles represents a distinct contribution that Detroit has made to music in the last 60 years. The 21st century is left “open” because, musically speaking, the city is going through a period where all of these styles are being combined to create new genres. This is the present.

TILTED AXES: DETROIT (313) - Music for Mobile Electric Guitars
Performance Schedule, July 19th, 2014

Presented by the Detroit Historical Society (DHS) 5401 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 
1:00 pm - Gather @ DHS Legends Plaza
1:30 pm - Procession through upper Midtown - the DIA, Science Museum, et al.
3:00 pm - Reconvene & announcements @ DHS Legends Plaza
3:13 pm - Performance @ DHS Legends Plaza
3:45 pm - Procession in DHS Museum - 3 stops: Old Detroit, Engine Drop, Kid Rock Lab
4:30 pm - DHS Museum finale in auditorium
5:00 pm - Completion of DHS event - break - move to Comerica Park
6:00 pm - Procession @ Comerica Park before Detroit Tigers' game *
6:45 pm - END (w/ possible performances at local venues in the evening) *

* These events are in addition to the DHS presentation

Complete info at the project web page: