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Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Karen Axelrod’s “In the Moment” Series

The Beginning

Karen, along with Anna Patton and Daron Douglas, was scheduled to play the Set for Spring English Country Dance weekend in Houston in March of 2020. Due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, SFS was cancelled nine days before it was to start.

On the evening of March 21, 2020, which would have been the Saturday evening ball, Karen live-streamed a set of tunes in honor of and in place of Set for Spring.

Inspired by the response from her Set for Spring live stream, and hating to play solo, Karen started the “In the Moment” series on March 31, 2020.

What were these not concerts?

Karen received recordings of tunes from fellow ECD musicians such as Anna Patton, Daron Douglas, Eric Martin, Jeff Spero, Rachel Bell, and several more. Although Karen knew what the tunes were in advance, she usually didn’t listen to the recordings ahead of time and had no idea what the other musician was going to do with the tune.

Playing either piano or accordion, she played along with each recording while streaming on Facebook.

Not only was it musically spontaneous, but anything could and did happen. That only added to the fun and the in-the-moment and not-a-concert aspects. Power went out, a smoke alarm went off, extra and totally unexpected musicians turned up on recordings and in person outside her window, and there was the occasional technical glitch. Karen had to react to each of these and her reactions were often priceless.