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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



New Improv Video With Lobelia and Tiger Darrow

August 16th, 2011 · Comments Off on New Improv Video With Lobelia and Tiger Darrow

Here’s something lovely that has just been posted to Vimeo – it’s from a house concert that Lobelia and I played in Plano, TX earlier in the year. Brian, who expertly hosts the gig for us and filmed it so beautifully, had seen Tiger Darrow play a few weeks earlier opening for Zoe Keating, so asked her to come and open the show. She did, was brilliant, and thus we had to play together at the end. Here it is: [Read more →]

Tags: Music News

“Happy” – Our New Single!

July 5th, 2010 · Comments Off on “Happy” – Our New Single!

I’ve just added a new track to the ‘Live So Far’ album (because, in the future, you can do things like that) – It’s a version of Happy, recorded at our house concert in Plano, TX.

Here it is: [Read more →]

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Video From Wednesday's gig with Michael Manring

October 9th, 2009 · 1 Comment

The first bit of video from me, and a lovely little trailer for the gig (and therefor future gigs!) from BenjaminEllis of BassGuitarBlog.com:

Here’s The trailer:

And here’s the first of the duo improvs that Michael and I played, with my introduction to it (about 2 minutes of talking – I’ll probably put the music-only version of this on youtube!) More audio and video coming soon:

Steve Lawson and Michael Manring, live improv in London. from Steve Lawson on Vimeo.

Tags: looping · Music News

Two More Contrasting Solo Bass Experiment Videos.

June 1st, 2009 · Comments Off on Two More Contrasting Solo Bass Experiment Videos.

Since Saturday’s upload, I’ve put 2 more videos on Vimeo for your delectation and delight, which contrast the different ways that the Looperlative can be used to either simply provide a loop for a piece of music, or be integral to the way it’s created, and the sound that emerges.

I’m fascinated by the relationship between technology and end result, and by the methods that we as musicians can use to keep our own technical thoughts and experiments subservient to the greater artistic and communicative aims… [Read more →]

Tags: bass ideas · looping · Music News

New Ambient Music Video

May 31st, 2009 · Comments Off on New Ambient Music Video

Having had the aforementioned week away from playing, I sat down yesterday to do some bass-things. I started out on my fretted 6 string bass, and couldn’t really find anything that was particularly interesting to me (though that may feel very different when I go back to watch the video!), but once I switched to the fretless, things got a lot more fun.
This first video is actually the second one I recorded yesterday, and starts out pretty spacey and mellow. There a big healthy dose of fretless melody stuff in the middle – just exploring the emotional landscape of the underlying loops (which are three overlapping loops of different lengths, so the texture keeps shifting, along with the subtle changes in the harmony as the different parts of the three loops coincide to form new chords). [Read more →]

Tags: looping · Music News

More Music Video – New Public Beta experiments + Duo with Theo Travis

May 12th, 2009 · Comments Off on More Music Video – New Public Beta experiments + Duo with Theo Travis

picture of some old book, by Steve LawsonHere are the latest couple of videos I’ve put up. The first is another of the experimental ideas I’m working on for the new album – this time I wanted to try something a little more solidly rhythmic, just to see how the replace functions interact with a percussive track. (the part is played by muting all the strings, and then using a ‘double thumb’ technique, more readily associated with slap bass, to get the percussive pattern).

[Read more →]

Tags: looping · Music News · Musing on Music

Two Contrasting New Musical Experiments (Video)

May 9th, 2009 · Comments Off on Two Contrasting New Musical Experiments (Video)

photo of a painting from the Urban Scrawl exhibition in London, April 09Here’s the two latest bits of ‘public beta test music’ that I’ve put up online.

They contrast a couple of different possible uses of the functions I’ve been exploring on the Looperlative of late – the first being using the replace functions as an ancillary bleepy effect in an otherwise mellow ballad, and the second being a full-on rhythmic bleep-fest, that veers much closer to glitch-core (though the fact that my rhythmic reference point is just a fairly slow ‘four on the floor’ kick-drum style pattern is a little less interesting than you’d expect from something more obviously IDM…) [Read more →]

Tags: looping · Music News

More New Music: Video of a Looperlative Glitchy Bluesy Electronica Experiment

May 6th, 2009 · Comments Off on More New Music: Video of a Looperlative Glitchy Bluesy Electronica Experiment

screen grab of the Vimeo page for the video embedded in this blog post at stevelawson.netHere’s another new ‘public beta’ video – this time, I’m experimenting with some new functions that’ve just been added to the Looperlative LP1. (that’s the looping device I use…)

The new tricks are around the idea of ‘replacing‘ bits of a loop, with other audio, giving it a chopped up, glitchy feel. The main effect I’m using is a ‘quantise replace‘ function, that replaces bits, but switches on on and off on the beat, so when I hit the button it waits for the next exact subdivision of the loop (in this case, 1/96th of the whole loop time) before doing anything, and again to switch off again. [Read more →]

Tags: looping · Music News

In Defense Of Twitter… The video!

March 17th, 2009 · Comments Off on In Defense Of Twitter… The video!

screen grab from newmusicstrategies.comThanks to the wonders of Twitter, I found out at about 12 o’clock today that Andrew Dubber, author of New Music Strategies, was in London for a conference. Andrew and I met at BrumTwestival, a Twitter-organised charity event, got on great, and so I tweeted him to see what he was up to. 30 mins later, we were having lunch together at the British Library. Such is the immediacy and flexibility of the twittering life 🙂
[Read more →]

Tags: Geek · New Music Strategies · tips for musicians

New solo tune on video – Don't Stop Believin'

September 28th, 2008 · Comments Off on New solo tune on video – Don't Stop Believin'

For last week’s Freedom Of Expression gig in Gipsy Hill, I took a mini-set-up. I couldn’t really face packing up my whole rack to take on the bus, so I took my Line 6 DL4 (thanks Mike!) and my Akai Headrush – both loop pedals, but the DL4 also has a load of Delay sounds on it. I’ve only used them in conjunction with one another a few times, so it was a chance to experiment a little.

And experiment I did – the video below starts out as ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ ‘ by Journey, then goes all spacey and ambient.. for 13 minutes. It was pretty creatively inspiring to be a) limited by what those two pedals are capable of and b) not have any kind of ‘routine’ worked out, so to be throwing sounds out there and reacting to what came back… I’m happy with the results, hence the video post!


Steve Lawson – solo bass. Don’t Stop Believin’ from Steve Lawson on Vimeo.

Given the choice, I’d still use my Looperlative/Lexicon set-up at any gig, thanks very much – but it’s great to be reminded once in a while that improv can extend to form and structure as much as to notes…

The inspiration to try this tune in the first place was two-fold – firstly, I LOVE the Petra Haden version of this tune that’s on her MySpace page – she’s a genius. And secondly, one of my students, Dan, arrived at his lesson last week playing pretty much the chordal loop that I use for the main body of the tune – same progression, slightly different rhythm and fingering, I think… anyway, we were playing around with an arrangement of this tune in his lesson, and the challenge was we’d both go away and work on it… so I did, only I did it on stage 🙂

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed playing i!

Tags: Uncategorized