It is cold.
Let me be grim for a moment.
For the moment I can only imagine that this band – The Security Project – has taken on the burden of redeeming some kind of cosmic frozenness. We seem to always be touring in the depths of winter and in the most northerly regions. During our last two winter rehearsals periods (twice!) all the oil in the heating tank where we were staying ran out. Middle of the night New York temperatures plummeting in our rooms. We've encountered snow storms across the North East and Mid West of the US on nearly every tour we've done. Now here we are in Liverpool (the Wirral to be more specific) and it is foochking cold. Sure, your Minnesota numbers are lower than ours here. But you get to go inside and warmup. Or take a warm shower and shake it off. Here there is no shaking and no warm shower. Inside our rehearsal space it was close to 40 F. 40, you say? Not so bad. Yeah, sure, it isn't 20. But we are talking about playing our instruments for 7 hours in this stuff. Cold enough that yesterday my fingers just said “Fuck it. We can't give one shit about trying to play the right notes. Good luck to you.”
Thirteen compositions from Trey's catalog, plus a bonus transcriptions of his parts from the King Crimson piece "The ConstruKction of Light." Beautifully spiral bound in a 12"x9" text.
I have just launched an Indiegogo campaign to get funds together to produce a score book of my compositions. Full scores with tabs in both 4ths and 5ths versions of the tuning. Including a very special version of King Crimson's "The ConstruKction of Light."
This has been in the back of my mind for many, many years; and now, it is finally coming to birth."
Go here to see the video and read all about it.
Markus Reuter and I will be hosting another tapping workshop Sept 30-Oct 5, 2014.
Space is limited. so register now.
Six full days of tapping gloriousness.
For more info Go Here
A new preforming group that I am honored to be a part of has just begun announcing shows for our fall tour.
Michael Manring, Trey Gunn, Alonso Arreola
Three Below is a collective evolution in sound, style and substance surrounding the electric bass. Anyone familiar with the name Trey Gunn knows his innovation in touch instrument technology. Throughout his twenty-year collaborations with guitar legend Robert Fripp and King Crimson, Gunn has become an uncompromising, relentless risk taker pushing the touch instruments to new heights. Michael Manring, a student of the late bass legend Jaco Pastorius and creator of the Hyperbass – with its unique altered tuning system – is another unparalleled pioneer of the electric bass. Rounding out this masterful trio is Mexican bass virtuoso Alonso Arreola, whose advanced percussive sensibilities solidify this perfect musical trifecta.
Second show added: Portland, OR -- Alberta Rose Theater -- October 8, 2014 PORTLAND TICKETS
My friend Sonya Lea and I regularly get together to tear apart our creative lives and compare notes. She recently recorded a conversation/interview with me about identity and I ended up delving into the particulars of my musical life. Much deeper than I thought. Which is what happens with Sonya. This is part of the work she is pursuing for her book about identity shifts.
From a letter I sent out to my coaching clients 2.15.2014
This post references a recommendation I made about a composer's workshop in NYC led by trumpeter Dave Douglas.
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Great freed back from Alec who made it to the second day of Dave Douglas' workshop in NYC. I had a hunch that Dave's vibe would resonate with some of us here. Dave's sense, and practice, of putting intention into a single, simple line goes well beyond his genre and beyond most musicians I know.
I have probably mentioned this before, but I will again.
Dave's article on ear training>
Security Project Tour 2014 Venues and Dates!
*Most venues already have tickets on sale, the rest should be available shortly!
2/26 Woodstock, NY -- Bearsville Theater
2/27 Wilmington, DE -- World Cafe Live
2/28 Sellersville, PA -- Sellersville Theater
3/1 Millville, NJ -- Levoy Theater
3/2 private function
3/3 Buffalo, NY -- The Tralf
3/4 Syracuse, NY -- Westcott Theater
A bit more about the aikido practice.
As I mentioned before, our aikido work was mostly with weapons and led by Andrea. I say ‘mostly’, because it was often hard to say when we were doing aikido and when we weren't. Many of the games and bodywork bridged across the music<>aikido spectrum.
Though once we had weapons in our hands we were definitely practicing aikido. One of the interesting things for me was that Andrea and Nik’s weapon work was different from what I was used to. It wasn’t far away, but it seemed to come from a different line.
July 30-August 5 Nik Bärtsch workshop -- Val Mesocco, Switzerland
I had been thinking about coming to this workshop for over two years, ever since Henry Kaiser first told me Nik was doing this kind of thing. Aikido + Music + Meditation. Perfect for me. Thankfully, I was able to be in the vicinity (Europe) close enough to the dates so that I could extend my trip and come here.
Zurich, Switzerland July 29, 2013 -- performance with Nik Bärtsch & Mihai Balabaș at Club Exil.
I ended up blowing off my flight from Munich to Zurich and taking the train directly from Innsbruck. It was a much, much nicer way to travel through the Alps. Tobias went with me, which was great. We got to debrief the tapping workshop and do a fair bit of gear-geek talk.
I arrived in Zurich very weak and immediately went to sleep for another 18 hours. Nik (Bärtsch) had asked me to join him in his weekly performance at Club Exil the next day (Monday, August 29). Nik’s band Ronin has been playing a weekly Monday night gig in Zurich for years. If you want to know how to get good as a band, look no further than this: play a weekly gig, year after year after year. When I met David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet he told me that they rehearsed 5 days a week. Why is Kronos so damn good and how do they learn so much material so quickly? They rehearse regularly and have been doing so for decades.
This is a ridiculously beautiful place. Sadly, I am missing my son’s 16th birthday, but he and I did get to spend nearly two weeks traveling through Navajo land last month. (High points: Canyon de Chelly, Grand Canyon, and Chaco Canyon in midnight moonlight).
This was our second annual tapping workshop and a huge leap beyond last year’s course. A leap in terms of what we were able to tackle, but also in the level of improvement in peoples' playing. And in only 5 days. We even had two people come who had never played a touch guitar before. By the end of the week they were playing music along with the rest of us. Quite amazing, actually.
This year’s course was held in a different location and with no kitchen staff. Our quarters were much closer and we cooked for ourselves. Both these things could appear to be a drag. But, in fact, they were huge bonuses. This is something proved again and again in the world of Guitar Craft: work well together in the kitchen and you can clearly work better together onstage. Work on either one and both improve.
July 18, 2013 Mexico City -- Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral Theater
with Michael Manring and Allonso Arreola
I haven’t been in a reflective, or reporting, frame of mind for a while now (as you will notice from the small amount of blog posts over the last two years). However, there is so much to share from the last three weeks that I shall now show my hand.