Saturday, December 21, 2013

33.) Kamu December 20, 2013


Kamu features a couple of modes.  The upper staff is composed of the fifth mode of limited transposition.  This is the one I find most difficult to use.  But I enjoy this line.  Every 4 measure, I raised the line a diatonic step (diatonic for that mode).  Because this scale is made of half steps, and major thirds, raising the line results in drastically different intervals.  The lower staff chords are created out of a transposition of the 3rd mode, and each 4 bar section is a non-retrogradable rhythm.
Kamu is Japanese for "To Chew."

This will likely be the final post of 2013.  Thanks for checking out the project.  Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

31.) Immaculate 7-11 December 13, 2013


Well, this is something different.  This piece uses two transpositions of Messiaen's fourth mode.  The chords really do not make full use of the mode at all.  Rather, I found a more conventional couple of chords, and got stuck on them.  I decided to go with them.  The sound is not at all what I imagined to be happening in this project, but I feel somewhat refreshed by it.  While recording it I realized how much it sounds like some of the extended vamps from the Keith Jarrett Trio Blue Note box set, which I listened to extensively years ago.  Life is circular I guess.

It takes some courage to post this because it's a different side of me, one that I don't show so often, and haven't shown at all in this project.  But it is a part of me.  Just because I've spent years now avoiding presenting this sort of thing, doesn't mean it's not there somewhere inside wanting to be let out from time to time.

The title really has nothing to do with the music this time.  Rather, it's just a phrase that my friend and colleague Kirk Knuffke coined the other day when referring to the new 7-11 that opened in the neighborhood.  There was a time in my life when the opening of a 7-11 would have excited the hell out of me.  When I played in the Disney College Band, I used to get a 44 ounce cherry slurpee every day.  My poor liver.  I can't believe I'm still alive.  Now I find the new 7-11 to be a bit of a drag.  Something much cooler could have opened there.  I would be happier with a local business of some kind.  But, hey, you can't win them all....

Saturday, December 7, 2013

30.) Reach December 6, 2013


This is the second edition of this piece.  At first the line was played slowly, and there was an additional line which utilized several Messiaen techniques superimposed underneath it.  It was a lot of work, but in the end I wasn't feeling it.  So I began to mess around with the top line alone, and realized that it was a lot of fun to play as a medium/up tempo blues.  The line is composed of three transpositions of Messiaen's sixth mode.  The tritone interval is blatantly over used, which is fun.  For my solo, I attempted to use the scales, but didn't hold myself to them rigidly.

The title refers to our perception as performing musicians.  We want to play for people, and it can be discouraging when you have light attendance at a concert.  But perhaps the energy we are putting out goes beyond the people in the room with us.  Perhaps it is only our limited viewpoint that says one must be in the room to experience art.