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.

Advertisements

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

Another album…

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 🙂

Image

 

The “J” word…

Before i continue with my discussion of solo and group improv methodologies, i wanted to mention that i’m giving some serious thought to abandoning the “J” word. The term “Jazz” appears to do the opposite of what language is supposed to do.

As much as the word is a part of my identity – both personal and cultural – i question very seriously its ability to communicate anything remedial about the subject to which it’s applied.

Image

Letting it go…

Maybe it’s all about meditation. A wise woman once told me that Music is the highest form of meditation.

Maybe.

There certainly is a lot in meditation technique that mirrors proper instrumental performance methodology. Meditation has taught me a lot about playing bass. Playing bass has taught me a lot about meditation. Improvisation relies very heavily on many of the fundamental principals of meditation, specifically, the concepts of Focus and Detatchment are central to the task of the improvisor. To improvise dynamically, the musician must be in the moment – devotedly focused on what is, rather than what has passed or what is to follow. Likewise, the improvising musician must also be free from assumptions about that which they are a part of creating and refrain from indulging in the need to command and control.

Bassing