Category Archives: Music

I’m Back

A few months ago I thought I had lost my laptop’s audio interface, and there was a gig in 4 days. So I hastily ordered a new one and had it fedexed. It arrived the day of the gig (whew). About a day later, I found my old one hiding (essentially in plain sight).

I have not sold either. So I am out $350 or so. But the side effect is that I can keep my old one set up in my room by the piano, so I can just plop my laptop on top of the piano, plug in the card, and start recording. Therefore, I’ll be resuming my daily improvs. Excellent.

I notice that whenever I try a jazzy improv, it comes out clumsy, loud, soulless. So I’ll be doing two improvs per day: one in a jazz style and one in a classical style, in order to improve my jazz skillz.

Without further ado, here are the two for today.

Crumbs of Mind

Here is the Strange New Worlds session from October 18th.

  • 01 – an idea that I want to come back to at shows: Evan and I play solid chords at random every two bars, and Eric does his thing. (And then, as usual, we see where it goes from there). It turned out very jazzy.
  • 02 – all over the place, a “suite” more than a song, and it has some really incredible passages but has trouble holding together as a cohesive whole. In particular, I’m proud of myself for stepping outside my usual box and assigning more things for my hands to do than they are comfortable with.
  • 03 – a song template we’ve been working on
  • 04 – another suite, fools around in a bluesy theme for a while. Starting at about 9 minutes in, it gets moving on a really steady trance, which is quite cool. It also features a good amount of that classical tone that we get sometimes.
  • 05 – short and sweet
  • 06 – Evan the madman
  • 07 – one of our typical sounding songs, pretty funky though.
  • 08 – Crumbs of Mind – my favorite of the session, named after George Crumb whose piece “Black Angels” I quoted during the song. This one is very, very creepy, in a good way. Best with headphones.
  • 09 – Nonstandard Soul – cool and soulful
  • 10 – another funky one
  • 11 – 3 and a half minutes of noodling (that’s what I get for not editing), followed by an interesting but not great slow, trippy jazzish thing.
  • 12 – we were searching for a direction to take the last song. Evan said “one last freakout?”, and I said “something elegant”… the result was a little bit of both.

I was pushing various sorts of experimentation this session, since I had been growing a little tired of our “usual sound” (not that I think it’s bad, of course, but I hear it for three hours twice a week!). It turned out really well. I like all the tracks, and most of them are pretty unique, both in terms of what this band does and what music is like in general.