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.
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.
Here’s an album that i’m featured on. It’s by the German saxophonist Biggi Vinkeloe. There is some really amazing music by some of the most inspired improvisors around. The entire album is available as a free download. Check it out 🙂
Yes, yes, yes. Linux is my operating system of choice – with emphasis on operating.
Everything, simply works exactly as i want it to and if it doesn’t i can fix it.
Every possible tool that i could ever need for composition, arrangement, production, entertainment or anything else is available and if it isn’t on my system, my system provides me with the tools to build anything i might need.
The world is a beautiful place and life is a wonderful thing. Still, a big part of living in this world is the phenomenon we know as pain. This does not negate any of the joy that is living. Nor is it the opposite of a good life. Pain is a part of life. Accept this fact and get on with it. Now, suffering, on the other hand, is optional. No one is exempt from pain. There will be plenty of that in everyone’s life. There isn’t anything that you or I or anyone else can do about it. To suffer is a choice. Suffering is one of many possible responses to pain.
So what does this have to do with Improvised Music? Well, it has everything to do with my music. Or I should say: the point of my music.
One day I woke up and realized that there was a lot of suffering in the world. There are a lot of people hopelessly suffering in this world and they don’t know that that they have a choice to feel otherwise. There is so much suffering in the world, I concluded, that I could spend the rest of my life dedicating each gig i do to the healing of someone’s suffering and never run out of unique causes to champion. That was the idea behind my project “Peace Themes” and will be the idea behind every presentation of my music.
Music is the healing force of the Universe. That’s why it has taken center stage in every ritual and rite throughout the history of humankind. To use it for anything else is an abuse of one of the greatest gifts we have.
I live in Thailand. I love it. Thing is: there’s no Improvised Music scene here or anywhere else in southeast Asia. At least no evidence of anything that I would recognize as Improvised Music as we define it in the west. Why is this? Well, i’m no authority on the culture of this region so I don’t have a qualified answer to that question.
I do have an opinion about Improvisation here.
One thing that I can say is that art is a reflection of a culture. Free Jazz (and all of the improvised music forms that evolved from it) has the Black American experience of the mid-twentieth century at it’s root. The birth of Free Jazz was a political statement more than anything else. Given the nature of the people and their socio-economic circumstances, Free Jazz could only have happened where and when it did.
Thailand is a beautiful country. Politically, it is non-aligned making it a “third world country”. (The designation “third world country” doesn’t mean “impoverished” it means that the country politically is neither aligned with the “1st world” – the capitalist NATO countries nor the “2nd world” communist countries and the Soviet Union. It’s an old Cold War term.) People live very freely here. There’s no government in everyone’s business telling them how to live. There’s tons of music. Thailand is historically a very music rich country. Most Thais are proficient in some musical instrument and nearly everyone sings and dances.
kSo why no Free Jazz? Why no Improvised Music?
Probably because the people don’t feel repressed. The conditions that inspired and motivated the progenitors of Improvised Music in America just don’t exist here. Looking at this society objectively, one sees an impressively laid-back scene. No one appears to be highly concerned about anything. For good reason. Thailand is blessed with a wonderful climate and is very fertile. The population isn’t beyond the means of the land and the economy is comfortably stable and has been for a long time.
Ok, I didn’t grow up poor and Black in Chicago and I play Free Jazz. I do so because I hold the values that originally fueled the music sacred. I believe that the propagation of this music is the propagation of a belief system and its ideals. I believe these mores to be vital to surviving in the industrial west. These resources are not at all necessary in southeast Asia.