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Meyer, Asencio blend into Crescendo

by: COURTESY OF AARON MEYER, Portland violinist Aaron Meyer struck up a friendship with painter Henry Asencio and owns six of his paintings.

Synchronizing music with painting can be tricky, but violinist Aaron Meyer says he felt an immediate connection with Henry Asencio on the duo's first collaboration two years ago in Portland.

'I didn't know Henry and he didn't know me, but we had an instantaneous connection,' says Meyer, a Portland resident since the mid-1990s. 'It's centered around his work, where he paints to my music, and it's very organized, natural and live.'

Meyer and Asencio will team up again for 'Crescendo,' Nov. 14 and 15 at Shaffer Fine Art Gallery, 308 S.W. First Ave. The shows, scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 14 and noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 15, are free to the public.

Meyer, 37, has played with Pink Martini, Smokey Robinson, Aaron Neville, The Temptations and Everclear. He and Asencio, an artist known for his painting of the female form, have collaborated three times - once here, twice in California.

'But this is going to be a really great show,' Meyer says. 'Before, it was more background music at his showing. It has developed.'

Meyer will do much of his own, original music, a combination of world, contemporary progressive and classical. 'Very eclectic, high energy, and I'll play with a six- or seven-piece band,' he says. 'Like a rock band without a vocal, and violin as lead.'

Shaffer Fine Art will have a large collection of Asencio's work and 'a lot of great collectors come to these events,' Meyer says.

The show will include 15-minute stages of painting with the model, all done to Meyer's music. 'He'll get 65 to 70 percent of it done, and finish it off later. He's painting fast, and he likes it when the music is upbeat and energetic,' Meyer says. 'The music enhances his work, he's flying off music, and I'm playing off what he's doing.'

Meyer's wife, Renee, will be one of the subjects on Nov. 15. The couple owns six Asencio pieces and, Meyer jokes, it might end up with a seventh, 'if we can afford it.'

Meyer hopes to continue the relationship with Asencio.

'He couldn't be a nicer guy; really down to Earth,' he says.