I was at the most wonderful performance last night. The Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson. The group consisted of piano, electronics and string quartet. As far as pure, rich musical sound goes, a string quartet is unsurpassable. And these folks played very, very well. Perfectly in tune, and with dynamics that leave most all music that hits our ears in the dust bin of flatness.
For some unknown reason the music was quite moving to me. Unknown because even after 4 decades of being directly involved in the life of music, I still have no idea why some things move and some things don't. Last night moved. And not just me -- I could feel lot's of empathy with the music in the room.
Two things made for a unique night for me. And the first one made it extraoardinary.
My sometime musical collaborator Inna Zhelannaya has begun a remix contest with a track off her new cd "Cocoon." I played on this track as well as several other interesting Russian musicians.
"Cocoon" will be released in the US on my label, 7d Media, early this fall.
For the Russian speakers, here is the original remix link:
Inna remix track
For the non-Russian speakers, here is a translated version of the info page (have fun with the translation!):
Inna track info in English (if this link doesn't work see the translation below)
Inna and I will be two of the judges in the contest. We look forward to checking out your entries!
Just a quick note to let everyone know that the Modulator section is beginning to grow. I just added the first sample track and plan on adding some "before and after" tracks, including some pieces showing the process quite a bit along the way.
This should get more and more interesting as I add stuff of my own, in addition to new stuff from the other collaborators. Alex Machacek's version "24 Tales" is coming out the same day as Modulator: May 18. Mike Keneally's is on his way, as well as John Czaikovski's and Marco Minnemann's.
This is what can come when you are looking for something -- a real search -- and music is your telescope.
This tiny little piece, just two short pages of notation, is wonderfully rich. I have been playing through it over and over again this last week. It is absolutely strange how much subtlety is contained in it.
Some photos and video tidbits from the performance last weekend at the Kirkland Performance Center. We're still searching around for more pictures and are itching to get our ears on the audio recordings.
This was a very rewarding show. Everyone I spoke to said they were taken by the diversity of the material, and yet it all held together quite well. For myself, the show was an 8 of 10 - which is damn high, and possibly one of the best TU shows ever.
I had the wonderful pleasure of advocating for Music week ago. It caught me by surprise how direct it was, and how clear my role was.
It was over the course of three different coaching sessions with three different people. I could hear what the music was demanding, and I voiced that. These folks were, each, working on completely different kinds of things.
I have been experimenting with a new kind of listening over the last year.
For reasons partially, but not completely, clear to me I am finding that my ear has developed a kind of threshold. This threshold is not just volume oriented, it is also information oriented. Once I cross this threshold my ears shut down -- both internally and externally. Meaning that not only does my inner ear shut down and I cannot bear to listen anymore, but my physical ears don't want any more sound either. They kind of stuff themselves up.
I couldn't pass up sending this one on. Before you size up the builder as a "pure-bred loony" -- and he may very well be, I never met him -- have a look around his site for all the incredible instruments he has built. Nice guitars, mandolins and mandocellos for John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and others.
I recently received a very thoughtful email asking more specifics about how I define 'music coaching' as distinct from 'music instruction'. Here was my reply.
Basically, there is a kind of spectrum with Instruction on one end and Coaching on the other end. Only two people I am currently working with fall completely on the "coaching end".
I think I can explain it like this.
The instruction end of the spectrum is where one needs to work on facility and there may not be a burning drive to realize some clear vision. The coaching end is where there IS a very clear aim/vision but there is either uncertainty about how to realize it or the spiral of the process is putting blocks in the way.