I have been long overdue for a blog post. As of my last post I had a successful show playing the Masada songbook with three different bands at Dazzle in Denver, CO. The audio from the show can be heard HERE. There are also some youtube videos up of a few of the tunes from the show.
Since then I also did a transcription/arrangement project trying to work out John Zorn’s game piece “Lacrosse” from studying the liner notes, both from the original vinyl and the Parachute boxed CD set, reading various interviews, watching some interviews online, and watching the Dither guitar quartet performing it on youtube HERE .
After working with John Zorn’s COBRA and trying to arrange Archery in a similar way that I arranged Lacrosse, I’m really enjoying the different ways these pieces manipulate improvisation. The basic structure of Lacrosse is an intro and outro of specific improvisational material/techniques, with structured solo sections for each member of the quartet performing the piece. There is some notated material, some of which is optional, but most of the music is made of specific improvisational guides and ideas. Again these are only my own ideas of the piece from trying to study it, and take them for what they are worth!
In the Parachute recording of Lacrosse from the early 1980s they perform the quartet piece with an extra 5th musician, who doubles up with another musicians part. When I had a rehearsal with some friends, we had five musicians and tried this idea out, with one of the doubled up musicians doing the cueing, while the other played when the piece dictated it, and followed the cueing. That audio is also on my site which you can hear HERE. The incomplete takes are all rehearsal takes of small sections of the piece, and take 5 was interrupted halfway through by a fire that started in a house on the same block, and so we had a neighborhood full of police and fire vehicles.
I would like to rehearse this piece, or at least my approximation of it, with a band for awhile before putting on some performances. There is a concert series late on Tuesday nights in Fort Collins for experimental and noise music that this could be a good space for. The piece also lends itself well for doubling on instruments, or as we did, switching instrumentation around as we got more comfortable with the score and the cueing.
That’s all for now, I hope to update more regularly in the future, and fill in more past/future gigs/projects that are going on. I have an idea for an Ornette quartet maybe in the spring to play some shows, since I’ve been doing the Masada quartet for awhile now. I have some other projects I am getting involved with locally as a sideman in Northern Colorado that I will be updating about in the near future.
Also, while writing the post I have started listening to CACAW’s new record “Stellar Power” on the Skirl Label. I'm loving the electronics and the grooves, and can't wait to spin this a lot more! I try and buy all of the SKIRL records I can after seeing a CD release party in Philadelphia years ago, since everyone one of these seems so unique and specially crafted, with beautiful packing, a spacious mix, and there is only a handful of releases a year, which is incredibly affordable! There are some vinyl to pick up as well, which I hope they release more of! You can get Cacaw’s new record HERE, which I just bought the mp3 of, but eventually will probably purchase the physical CD. Support new music, buy it!!