I have a show today at Columbia University’s Postcrypt Coffeehouse! I’m actually pretty excited about it because it’s acoustic only: there are no monitors which mean no loop pedal AND the house limit is 35 bodies: so it will be really intimate. Tonight at 9:30 pm: Postcrypt Coffehouse: 1160 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.
This is the improvisation Lorne Watson and I did from a few days ago… day 108. In listening to this away from the moment, there are actually some really cool things in this…
I’ve been working on a few songs recently that I’m hoping to complete and post in the next few days. The one I started to day I will try to finish when I get home from the gig tonight and post for tomorrow.
Hope you are well! Thank you for being so supportive and always offering such kind words of advice and kindness! Happy Saturday.
Cello and Percussion: Lorne Watson & EHP Improvisation
Last night I met with a friend of mine named Lorne Watson of the percussion duo Loop 2.4.3. Loop 2.4.3 and I are performing on May 11 together, collaborating and doing sets of our own in Brooklyn at Zebulon…I’ve seen these two guys live, and frankly, they’re incredibly kick ass…. totally worth seeing if you’re in the area. Amazing musicians and great performers.
Writing: At 8:30, I drove to Brooklyn and met Lorne in front of a loft building. We walk up 5 flights of stairs to enter into a shared living/rehearsal space filled with drums and percussion instruments. We talked a little, jabbing about music education, and his music-filled past and present. While chatting, he sets up his steel drum. There was no plan, which was good. We improvised for a few minutes (which I think I will post a bit later).
Lorne teaches several students. At one point he tells me of a 12-year-old student he teaches named Eduardo who came up with a three chord riff which they improvised with in a lesson. As Lorne played this progression, the first thing that came to me was the verse sections of Emilyn Brodsky‘s song My Friend Has A Problem (which you can hear and buy on iTunes). I took her verses and sang them over this progression. The second change you can hear, Lorne and I came up with as a bridge… (so, I guess, in a sense, this is a collaboration between 4 people.)
Recording: We assembled this fairly quickly and recorded it four times, two with vocals. It was recorded live. We chose chord progressions but other than that, the form and everything around it (minus the lyrics) are all improvised. In listening retrospect, I got a little raucous with the cello parts in the bridge… we’re all here to learn, indeed, yes? The 365 is a learning tool: listening back, critiquing, making changes.
This is very simple, and I love the steel drum. It’s been tough recently to feel inspired and not be really critical of myself and my playing which is where collaborations can really help in getting through sagging times. I think it’s what comes with feeling up and down and motivated in general. (And Netflix just instant played all the X-Files Seasons. Gross. Awesome. Distracting.)
*Note on the lyrics: I accidentally put the last two verses in the wrong order, and I did a bit of internal editing (Emilyn, you know what I mean) to the lyrics, omitting one word. I did this mainly because me saying it would sound totally dumb, and I think you might have just laughed at me… if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t miss it… unless you do know it was supposed to be there, then you might have a chuckle anyway.
**Both Emilyn Brodsky and Loop 2.4.3‘s CDs are available on iTunes as well. Take a gander, why don’t you?
My Friend & Eduardo
I’ve always heard that you can’t change a man, well, she can
She can’t make them happy and can’t make them cool
But she can make them come and she can make them cruel
She can make them come and she can make them cruel
She knew a boy once and she was his audience
He was a preacher on speed
He said,”We are the wild ones, twos, threes and prodigal sons,
Eaters and weepers, sleepers and killers, lovers and dancers
And seat fillers”
She lives on the east coast
The weather is lousy
But she loves the Jews and the food
Her mother says, “Darling don’t burn through your body”