Originality and Critical Dialogue will be encouraged


It’s not life threatening!
Every one wants to have a play, that’s what jam sessions are about. How to get the best out of the circumstances is in everyone’s favour
The common aim is to make original and/or experimental music and performances. Unless a cover/version has a unique angle, the 82a Sunday Sessions is not the place. There are numerous other places where you can play the blues, standards and covers

Have your say in
the comment section at the bottom of the page


Sunday 4th December 2016:
Not a very cohesive day
A lot of paths crossing each other
coming & going nowhere much
few meeting

Not everyone has to play in every piece, sometimes it’s better not to play at all

Where players find themselves unable to quickly pick up and fit in with an idea. Stop, take your head off the chopping block :-) write the sequence down. Allow the flow to happen between those who are on top of it. Come back in when or if it’s appropriate

The set up: Please advise in advance ANY gear you’re going to bring so it can be accommodated in advance
Otherwise please use the gear provided. The set up takes about 5 hours for one person, if you want to add and make changes, please arrive before 2:30pm … Thx


Sunday 24th April 2016:
unrelated pic from 25th Jan 2015 “The Big Picture” (or a fun way to paint the studio floor)
phil painting body outlines
click for the video clip

Over loud snare drum. It’s not a problem with every drummer, however when a lot of snare drum leaks into all the other mics and is especially loud in the house mics, it’s a sure sign that the snare is out of balance with the rest of the kit and other instruments. Could be years of whacking a snare drum has had a detrimental effect on the ears. Worth a hearing check maybe?
Personally I’ve lost some of the ability to hear frequencies above 9Khz in my left ear thru just one blast of a stupid plastic bugle by a @#$% idiot who thought it would be funny. F#$%ing HA HA! I now have to make sure I listen for high frequencies with my right ear otherwise I tend to over compensate
Odd habit of some bass players hitting the strings after playing a note, not as part of any ‘slapping’ technique. It’s not the sort of thing that can be compressed or EQ’d out. Each one has to be snipped out in the mix down, a hugely time consuming and annoying task. Old school players simply didn’t/don’t do it. Maybe because there was no way in analogue recording to get rid of it and an audio engineer would have gone ballistic at anyone doing it.
Best not to play tambourines, maracas, claves etc close to a microphone. They tend to overload a mic like crazy, distorting the higher frequencies. Their sounds are unique (and extremely ‘hard’). A metre away is usually close enough
Reiterated – Still a lot of over playing … with not much to say
Reiterated – Can’t emphasize this enough. If there’s something you want to do, write a simple chord chart!

Sunday 17th April 2016:
unrelated pic :-)
04 03 2016 Cameron
Some really interesting ideas emerged at the session, unfortunately a lot was swamped out by too many players trying to take the lead instead of biding their time and/or leaving space for others, which led to the volume spiraling ever upward resulting in uncontrollable leakage into all the mics, making it almost impossible to mix down some tracks.

There really is a time when people need to back off for a while, leave space to allow things to develop instead of trying to force something to happen!
Reiterated – If there’s something you want to do, write a simple chord chart!
It’s not a good idea to leave a vocal microphone pointing at a foldback speaker.

It’s also not a good idea to move a vocal mic over next to a mirror. A mirror will reflect sound from other sources into the mic, cluttering the sound (bleed) and it can induce feedback. The stands at the studio have been heavily weighted ’cause A) they’re positioned for optimum performance and loudness to your advantage and it’s best they not be moved and; B) so they can’t be accidentally knocked over.

Sunday 10th April 2016:
04 19 2016 group
You don’t have to play it all when there are other players:
Often guitarists, especially, will strum full chords through a song as if they have to carry the whole load even though there’s a band backing them. Likely it comes from playing by oneself where you do have to fill things out. However, when there are other instruments the rhythm section can hold the tempo and define the structure. Other chordal instruments can fill out the chords. Rather than strumming throughout, put your instrument to more effective use by playing smart, sparce, leave space to create dynamics and tension. Sometimes an arpeggio is more than enough and dampened strings can really drive things along without filling up the sonic space
Reiterated – A simple chord chart:
If there’s something you’d like the other players to be involved in … go figure
Reiterated – Volume wars:
82a is not a stadium!

Sunday 3rd April 2016:
04 03 2016 kitchen

Originality: The 82a Sunday Sessions provide the equipment and an opportunity for experienced performers to experiment, improvise/jam and extend their boundaries, try new work, get honest appraisal etc. It’s not the place for simply doing or learning covers or standards. However, it doesn’t prevent people from exchanging knowledge

There are numerous open mic events and other places that cater for covers
Got an idea? If there’s something you’d like the other players to be involved in? Do the hard yards! A little preparation goes a long way, especially when players are unfamiliar with each other and at different levels of competence

Unless it is a standard formula like a blues or a relatively simple chord structure and arrangement, it takes an exceptional musician to be able to follow and improvise by ear over tunes/songs they don’t know. Most will stand back and wait until they’ve heard it thru at least once before they even attempt

It it is far simpler, more cohesive and it takes far less time to write out a rough chord chart, have it photographed and projected onto a big screen than it does to;
A) try to teach other players a chord pattern and structure without it having been written down and;
B) for them to try to learn it and then;
C) try to remember it while attempting to improvise

There’s facility for Ipod, computer, CD, Band in a Box, marker pens, paper, big screen, everything needed to write out charts, photograph them and put them on a big screen within a minute so everyone can be on the same page
Charts for your particular repertoire: Even if they’re standard songs or tunes, the best singers/players usually have a set of simple charts for occasions when they’re playing with unfamiliar musicians. Charts are like carrying a form of insurance
Microphone technique: There was a comment Sunday last about a vocal mic not being very loud. It was demonstrated to be in fact the loudest mic in the room and it that the PA was really loud, rich, warm and clear as a bell. What was missing was microphone technique. It is as essential to a performer as knowing the words. Knowing when to back off, when to come in close and when to ‘make love’ to it

Like John Farnham or not, he’s a master. Even with the best concert equipment and operators, he adds the final, inimitable touches to his performances

@ 01:02 In order to hit the right note, he really has to belt out the word “ends”. He turns his head completely away to where his mouth is no where near the microphone just for that one word
@ 02:32 pulls the mic away and way down, again for one word
@ 03:06 again, pulls the mic away and way down
and so on throughout the performance

@ 04:46 he deliberately places the mic in the mic clip, then spins the mic stand way above his head, apparently with the mic on it. At almost 3 seconds in the air, it must be at least 4 – 5 metres in the air
@ 04:50 you can see he hasn’t actually risked the mic and subsequently the rest of the performance by leaving it on the stand. He’s slipped it to his right hand before spinning the stand so he can catch the stand with his left hand
Furthermore, he catches the stand as it passes his shoulder height with his hand facing down. IOW, his hand is moving faster than a spinning mic stand can fall!
That’s class … and practice to perfection

Volume wars: It’s not a recording studio and it’s not a pub full of rowdy patrons, there are no baffles or separate booths. So a lot of effort has gone into mic choices and placement in order give everyone the best live sound possible in the space without a lot of cross leakage into mics used for recording. Of course there’ll be minor adjustments. If you’re asked to play quieter, try it. If you can’t be heard you’ll be asked to play louder or an alternative solution will need to be found to prevent your problem becoming everyone else’s problem

Acoustic instruments like ukulele, violin, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass etc can only be turned up to the point where they start to feed back without compromising the unique qualities of their sound. If you can’t hear them, something is too loud. You can make sure it isn’t you
Listening and leaving space: After having given 100%+ providing the facilities, great sound and the opportunity, it’s disappointing to see and hear people not listening to what’s going on around them, plugging away with nothing particularly inspiring or interesting and not stepping back to allow ample space for other players to feature. All it takes is to look around, a nod of the head or to point in someone’s direction for them to feature. Then let them feature!
Ending a piece: Orissa Anthony did the final turn around SIX TIMES on one a song! Completely oblivious to the fact that she had expertly led to the logical end, everyone else played on for another 3 or 4 uninspiring minutes

About 82A Sunday Sessions

The 82a Sunday Sessions are every Sunday 3:00pm to 7:00pm in a private studio/rehearsal space in Alexandria Sydney Australia The sessions are open to experienced musicians/performers/artists who're interested in collaborating, experimenting, pushing their envelope and critical dialogue in a cross section of performance arts. Music, spoken word, movement etc. The facilities and equipment are provided free to participants. Originality and critical dialogue are encouraged!
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1 Response to Originality and Critical Dialogue will be encouraged

  1. Craig says:

    Good shit, Benni! Appreciate the thought and effort you’ve put into this.

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