In the season of the flu…the sick guitar player gets nothing done. So…no posts lately. I’ve been a bit under the weather the last week, and haven’t been feeling up to recording much of anything. Good news is, I’m feeling mostly better.
Even better news is (and another reason for lagging behind on posts):
I have a new song just about ready to post. In a departure from the more spontaneously inspired music found in previous posts…I’m hoping to have a new song up sometime in the next day or so that is completely through composed. I’ve been spending alot of time trying to get it finished rather than recording other new pieces. It is a solo acoustic guitar piece I have been working on for months. Putting pieces together, arranging, re-arranging, battling some serious creative blocks, throwing ideas out the window, coming up with new ideas, throwing those ideas out the window, and re-arranging them all again. And I believe that, finally, I am happy with the ideas that remain.
So until then,
A new one I recorded in one take earlier today. Open D-tuning. Lap steel resonator guitar.
This piece has 4 steel string acoustic guitar parts layered on top of each other. The guitar is tuned down a whole step to DGCFAD. The entire piece is made up of chords rapidly fingerpicked in four note groupings. I was definitely inspired by composer Gustavo Santaolalla’s album Ronroco, as well as by the way that Steve Reich achieves a beautiful shift of colors and sound from chord to chord or motif to motif in his piece Music for 18 Musicians. (Both are amazing works, and very deserving of attentive, frequent, and detailed listening.) Additionally, I generally like the idea of having two conflicting concepts co-exist. Here you have a rapid, almost frantic, repetitive and percussive flurry of notes that persist throughout, but at the same time there exists a slow, gradual shifting of colors. While I was improvising the layered parts, another idea that kept entering my head was call and answer. As I was playing the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th guitar parts, if I heard a rhythmic or melodic idea in one of the other parts, I would attempt to mimic it in the part I was currently playing. What results is a wall of saturated sound, that, if listened to closely, reveals little melodies and rhythmic motifs. All of this, interestingly enough, despite the rapidly/frantically repeated notes, results in a very calming sound (at least to me). It is very much like being in a large crowd in a public place where many, many different conversations are occurring all at once, yet you are still able to make sense of words and phrases here and there, independently of the sound as a whole.
The picture in the original post is from a trip I took to Alaska 2 years ago. I was in Seward, and I set my camera out on the balcony of the hotel room one night for a time exposure shot. I like the image, and it seemed fitting…so I decided to post it as well…to hopefully add some visual appeal to my blog.
I would love to hear what anyone who cares to share took from this piece. Sonically, visually, emotionally, musically, anything at all. So if you feel so inclined, leave a comment or send me an email. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks for listening.
P.S. If you haven’t already, check out my link to the site inBflat.net for one of the most beautiful and moving uses of the internet I have seen/heard in a long, long time.
This is a solo steel string acoustic piece I recorded last night entitled “Been Hoping.” In the spirit of presenting a musical stream of consciousness, this piece is entirely improvised.
Comments/thoughts/constructive criticism welcome.
You might be wondering what this is all about. Here is an attempt to answer that question:
This is an experiment.
A place for wandering and wondering.
Searching and (sometimes) finding and searching some more.
An admittedly self-indulgent odyssey.
But it is also…
A place for music to be heard.
Occasionally a place for thoughts to be read.
And sights to be seen.
But mostly a musical place.
A story told in a musical stream of consciousness.
Make yourself at home.