Ecasound…

It’s the twenty-first century. We have the technology and the intellectual capability to not only conceptualize alternatives to the technologies of the last two hundred years (knobs and buttons) we can also implement those alternatives. Why are you working in a digital audio workstation that forces you into interfacing with it via photo-realistic psudo-representations of ancient technology?

In order to record and mix audio, it is not necessary to see how far to the left, right, up or down a virtual representation of a fader is. It’s audio. You’re supposed to be working with sound – not images. Likewise, if something is too loud (or not loud enough) you will only, properly, make corrections using your ears.

In the time that it takes the average DAW to open, i can record and mix a track in Ecasound. Not only that, the result sounds an awful lot better than what i’ve heard from many of the “industry standard” DAWs – all without the cost, clutter and distraction.

A three track mix with effects playing back in Ecasound.

A three track mix with effects playing back in Ecasound.

Modelling…

I’m surprisingly satisfied with the sound of the Zoom B3. Digital modelling has arrived. I actually made the decision this week NOT to invest in any more sexy analog gear because on listening back to recordings from my last gigs, i’m not only impressed with but also surprised at how good it sounds. My current insights fly in the face of even my own prior principals.

Life can be like that…

 

The Zoom B3 with continuous control pedal.

The Zoom B3 with continuous control pedal.

“June Blue”

As promised in response to the comment by jazztraveler, here’s a recording of my tune “June Blue” from the cruise ship last month. This piece is characterized by a long, near-ambient improvisation followed by a brief improvisation on the chord changes of the theme, an open one chord improv section and ending with the “A” section of the actual theme. The order of these sections changed every night. Sometimes the theme would be sandwiched between two long improvisations. Sometimes the theme would only be stated once at the end of a long improvisation and so on. The combinations of theme/improvisation are endless.

Terra firma…

Wow, it’s done. I’m back on land and preparing for the next phase. I spent the last two months on a cruise ship playing improvised music and popular songs from the mid-twentieth century with pianist Doru Apreotesei and vocalist Deborah Herbert. It was a fantastic time of growth and exploration. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, there will be sound clips from those gigs posted here from time to time in relation to various topics.

Now the work turns to preparing for a concert series that i’ll produce that focuses mostly on my presentation of solo works for bass. Some of the pieces i’ll perform have been composed for me. Some will be by composers i admire and have been greatly influenced by (e.g., Cage, Braxton, Sun Ra, Ayler). Stay tuned here for the where and when.

List of Sun Ra charts

Partial list of Sun Ra charts

Some music…

I’ll be starting to post some new music here now. By “new”, i mean clips from gigs that i’m doing currently. Most recently, i’ve been playing in duo with the pianist Doru Apreotesei. As i mentioned in my post “The Audience Gets It“, we’ve been playing – mostly – improvised music in an environment that is generally reserved for the squarest of square: a cruise ship piano bar. The track here is “Blue In Green” co-written by Miles Davis and Bill Evans.The playing on this clip is pretty “inside”. There will be others that aren’t ;-)

The Manhattan Lounge on MS Color Magic where i'm working right now.

The Manhattan Lounge on MS Color Magic where i’m working right now.

Dynamics…

As with all Music, dynamics play a very important role in improvised music. Dynamics can (and should) be used very effectively as a structural/organizational device. We’re not just talking about volume here.  Getting back to an earlier post on this blog, eleven aspects of improvisation are delineated. Each of these parameters can be dynamically modulated. In other words, one can vary the amount of any of the defined parameters one utilizes in a phrase, note or statement. This is to apply Braxton‘s eleventh (of the twelve types) “Gradient Formings” – the serialization of dynamics.

One very, very good illustration of this is the “Pulse Track” of Braxton’s Composition #108B. This graphic score may be freely applied to volume and/or pitch.

Braxton describes #108B as “a series of possible curve line sounds or curve line dynamic changes” (311), implying that the lines can indicate pitch and/or volume… – Graham Lock

 

Composition 108B Pulse Track