Saturday, November 15, 2008

My trip to Chicago was utterly fantastic in every way. I had been worried that I would not have enough time to take it all in since I really only had three days there but I can honestly say it could not have worked more perfectly. Seeing John Chicai and Hamid Drake was so incredible. I feel I grasped something major about improvised music that I had never thought about. My realization was that improvisation is about being absorbed in the present moment, completly. It is about listening to everything happening right now and at the same time being a part of it. This ability to be completly aware of everything and at the same time act through the creation of sound was what I percieved while watching John and Hamid play. At one point Hamid described John as having a radiance about him that is so unique. It seemed to me that someone who can embrace the present so fully and who has done so for so long could only produce a person with that kind of radience. For me, really listening to everything and letting my environment affect me deeply whether hearing music or sounds of nature or sounds of people has produced the most amazing experiences. The show at the Hideout definitely clicked something in me with regard to the unique power of improvised music.
The next night Jeremy and I recorded some music that was by far the most free I have ever played. It was one of the most incredible musical experiences I've had. Jeremy is a creative force unlike anyone else I've ever known. Wow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Last Night at the Hideout

Last night Adam and I went to night 4 of the Umbrella Music Festival, which has brought in a wonderful group of improvisational acts from all over the country and Europe. Perhaps the most significant highlight of the night for me was the duo set with John Tchicai ( and Hamid Drake. I don't want to name drop, because it seems to say that past achievements may trump what happened last night, but John did play on "Ascension" and Hamid list of collaborators is much too long to even begin. Last night, though... There was a whole host of things I'm not going to endeavor to articulate, but I can say that as a musician that often has more of an abstract concept for what I would like to be playing than concrete experience in hearing it or playing it, Hamid and John played the sounds that I only have only experienced in the foggiest most non-descript way in my head. And they killed it! It was like having the concept of rich chocolate after only having Snicker's bars and then being given a gourmet hand-made artisan dark chocolate truffle. Is that I sensical analogy? Additionally, the way they worked the audience and laid bare personality and humor. Shiiit! It was fucking exciting, that's all I'm going to say about that...

The last set was also a very unique and wonderful experience. Douglas Ewart & Inventions played what was certainly the closest I've come to seeing the sensibility and style of groups like Sun Ra's Arkestra, Pharoah Sanders, and some of the later Roland Kirk stuff. They didn't come on until almost midnight if not after midnight and I was dead tired. Adam and I finally got some stools to sit on (it was pretty packed) and throughout the show I would have moments of almost dozing off and going to these very bizarre places in my head before being snapped back into a music venue with a hundred or so other people. It was totally surreal. The whole group was perfect, but Dee Alexander's vocals were probably my favorite part. I've not heard much "free jazz" vocal music, but she was mind boggling. Mmm!

Just thought I'd share that...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hello Earthlings. This is my first post which I am really excited about. I just arrived in Chicago and Jeremy just showed me hosw to log on to Spiralsonic andis currently in the kitchen making tea. pate amazing indian food this evening. The cats name is Indie. I saw a girl with headphones on a few weeks ago walking down the street dancing her ass off and thought "wow what an amazing thing music is."