Sunday Session 3rd Feb 2013
This was the fourth Sunday Session. The dishes were still in the sink and the studio wasn’t completely set up for recording … when people started to arrive … I guess someone had to ‘not have it together’ :-)
As usual I couldn’t predict who’d attend.
Andrew – Guitar & Joe – Drums: Seeking appraisal/advice, maybe to find a singer and/or bass player. Although there was no one else here to jam with at the beginning of the session they went thru their stuff (recorded sans O/H cymbal mics). They’re young, keen and their material has odd time signatures. It was immediately obvious why they might have difficulty in getting a bass player.
Andrew’s guitar phrases aren’t composed TO a time signature, they ARE the time signature. 7 11 13 17 23, however long the riff is for each section. Andrew’s freedom in composing this way is fantastic …. until it has to be related to another player. If it isn’t written down, a new player has to learn the riff without bothering about the time signature or learn a count pattern and the notes. It’s the type of thing that, if you get it wrong it can be difficult to get back into sync. Even experienced players sometimes need to grind this kind of thing onto their brain and muscle memory.
Having had a couple of days to think about it … considering their age and where their music is heading, I’m inclined to think they should concentrate on their music courses, improving their skills and keep composing in the same vein, while they still have the luxury of their parents support. Youthful eagerness to have ‘a band’ is understandable, but might just become a long, frustrating and perhaps fragmenting journey. A less impatient and different approach to the band thing might be the way to go. Courses are a great place to meet like minded people and importantly, facilities and resources they’d otherwise have to pay for. If they plan well and use the resources and facilities of their own courses and people/resources from audio/photography/film/video/art courses to their advantage, they could end the year way out in front of trying to get a ‘band’ together by their current MO. Campuses, student unions etc have gigs they could play at, develop a following. ‘We met at art school’ is really common to a lot of groups.
Andrew & Joe have some rough demos on soundcloud
Zizhi – Keyboards – Bass – Drums: Is a Chinese student looking for a improvising/jammimng band or something far away from the norm. Zizhi arrived just as Andrew & Joe were about to leave. Maybe there was potential walking in the door as they walked out the door. At my insistence they stayed and played together. Just improvising on a riff with Zizhi on bass they sounded as though they could fit together well. However, when it came to learning complex time signatures, even though Zizhi was obviously capable, it didn’t have the freedom he was looking for and being on a student visa, it could only last the time of his tenure.
Matias – Guitar: Arrived as Andrew & Joe were leaving. Matias is from Chile. He is looking for a companion lyricist for his compositions. In 2011 he won 3rd place in the Internacional Song Writing Competition in the Latin Category. Matias is a very nice, talented and gentle player.
Phil – Spoken word / voice: Phil has been before. Has some interesting concepts in the use of spoken word. We’d improvised with a few different people in two other sessions, so I’m getting the hang of where he’s coming from. Phil is just getting into recording. One Session dedicated time to helping him install software. The difficulty arose thru having software on an American region DVD and localt regional settings on his laptop. We transferred it from my laptop to a USB thumb drive then onto his hard disk. Advice: do not set the regional settings for DVD’s on your computer and it will read DVD’s for any region.
Zizhi, Matias and I improvised to two of Phil’s spoken word pieces: There was an immediate spark. Although Matias was looking for something far different, his guitar, the combination of Phil’s voice and word, Zizhi on keyboard, my guitar with FX, swapping during the piece with Zizhi, for bass and/or drums or whatever was appropriate
The combination worked well enough for us all to agree to collaborate on recording a demo for Phil to present to possible gigs. Locked in for Saturday 9th.
Spent the rest of the night setting up for recording! Oh .. and finished the dishes!
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