Played my WaveForms set in St John’s Church last night. This has been a long-cherished dream, playing this kind of music in an appropriate venue. The organisers had lit the place beautifully with what must have been hundreds of candles. I played three pieces, each around 15-20m, trusting myself to start from an unknown note and take it from there. The first was the most successful, building up a nice repeating wave in D / D maj 7 (which always sounds restful and pretty) then disturbing it with a solo in Dm before resolving it with a separate loop in D maj on the Giga Delay, while fading out the original loop. The second piece started in Am, with a dark and doomy sound, which I then stirred up by building chords and then a solo in a whole-tone scale, which provided a lot of clash and tension. After that, a fadeout in a simple minor seemed like relief! The final piece didn’t work at all, to my mind, an attempt to build over a simple two-chord sequence.
What did I learn? (1) that I love playing this kind of music and will take any opportunity to do it (2) there isn’t a huge audience for this kind of music (3) you can take it through a series of moods, it doesn’t have to be a simple sculpture (4) it’s very very hard to stop and play nothing when it’s appropriate.
… pausing, or allowing oneself time, in front of an audience is very hard: the audience is a wall of dense energy that the performer and music have to negotiate with, and many audients resent change & movement. so, there is always a liminal period of approaching & transiting & negotiating the space. if we listen to recordings of the event, the music may appear to be unsatisfactory in this period of negotiation.
(5) It takes presence of mind to switch the recording machine to the correct input before you start. I recorded 20m of silence for the first one, before noticing and capturing the second one until the memory card ran out!
At home today, Pestilence awaiting Higher exam results. The postman always comes to our street late in the morning so the morning was taken up with lots of phone calls ‘How did you do? Oh My Gawd’?’. In the end she was pleasantly surprised – 4 As and a B. She’s a bright cookie.
Tonight, the Left Bank Cabaret, a new venue with a new team. This will be solo, although Lynsey may join me. 9pm.
Free to download - Stories My Killer Told Me: Five surreal story-songs from my Edinburgh Fringe show.
- I Am Not The One For You
- The Ever Open Door
- New Eyes
- A Forest Trail in Autumn
- The Portobello Slam
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