Two New Recordings On Soundcloud

I’ve got loads I need to blog about, sorry for the silence here. First up, here are two new recordings.

Firstly, here’s a rough mix of one of the pieces from my improv gig with Corey Mwamba last week in Derby. Corey’s a remarkable musician, and we had a wonderful gig. The whole show should be up on Bandcamp at some point (projects are backing up and I need to start releasing some of them!)

This is the 2nd thing we played on the night – I missed all but the last 15 seconds of the first thing with the recording. Corey starts out on recorder, then switches to vibes. His restraint through the first half is a great lesson in the parameters of improv. Too often, improvisors play all over everything, particularly melody players, rather than ‘arranging on the fly’ and creating space, colour and texture. Throughout the gig, Corey’s choice of when to play and when not to, as well as what to play when he did, was brilliant. A truly remarkable musician.

Please check out the other gigs Corey’s putting on at Deda in Derby. It’s a lovely place to play, and he’s doing good things there. Here’s the tune:

Also recently added to Soundcloud, this is a thing I was playing around with a couple of weeks ago, that I LOVE the feel of. Sadly, I don’t have the recording of how I came up with it, just these two loops that were there at the end. It’s going to be really tough to match the gentle flow of this, and it may be that I end up leaving this as is for the next record. we’ll see…

Please feel free to share both of those with your friends, to click the ‘like’ button, tweet the link to it… all that kind of help sharing the recordings around is SO important to us as musicians who can’t afford promo budgets and magazine adverts to let people know what we’re up to!

4 Replies to “Two New Recordings On Soundcloud”

  1. Steve –
    Thanks for sharing these (and for your great thinking about music and the internets and the new ways of doing business).
    I had a sort of internal debate with myself about posting works-in-progress. I decided it can be a good thing, giving one’s “creative hive” the opportunity to provide input while there’s time to shift direction. But this presumes a willingness to alter one’s creative course based upon feedback from others.
    I wonder if you have more to say about the idea of sharing work before completion as well.

    1. Jacque, Those are good questions – I’ve certainly no intention of ever altering my creative course based on generic feedback from internet-people. I have a number of people who have, over the years, earned the right to comment on my stuff such that I listen to them meaningfully, by demonstrating in a number of ways that they know what it is I’m trying to do, and what the various metrics of ‘success’ on that journey are insofar as they’re audible 🙂 Some of them are fellow musicians, so are just long-time listeners whose feedback over the years has been useful.

      I get way fewer ‘you should do this…’ type comments that I used to. I used to get emails all the time from people saying ‘you should do a really funky record’ or ‘you should do an album with a drummer’… to which I had two standard responses: “why, because there aren’t enough funky, bass ‘n’ drums records out there already??’ and ‘no YOU should – it’s you that wants to hear it, not me!”

      For me, the works in progress thing is about benchmarks – signposts of what I’m up to, storytelling – it’s a huge mistake to think that all that’s interesting about music making is the finished product. The journey is at least as interesting, if not moreso. It used to be that we got a spun, exaggerated, media-ized version of a person’s story, because in general the minutiae of the day to day lives of musicians was too specific and underwhelming to make good magazine fodder. However, online, in a more conversational space, that kind of stuff provides a great context for the rest of the music to exist within.

      The idea that music is all about a definitive finished product is a construct that has only existed since the birth of mass production of recorded media. Before that, for thousands and thousands of years, musical performances were fleeting moments, shared and enjoyed only by those who were there, described but never repeated, built on, aggregate, personal… If we learn to combine the two – the personal narrative of a lifetime of musical experiences, with the potential for recordings of any kind to be distributed far and wide but also to be built on, to be developed, to be a progressive, changing entity, I think we’re onto something. 🙂

      1. Hey Steve, thanks for a thoughtful response. My question had to do with the idea of mitigating the danger of failure at a creative enterprise by sharing nascent ideas with a trusted group — Jonathan Fields’ “hive.” From your response, I gather that you do have a creative hive, but probably a smaller, more intimate and trusted group than Fields suggests. I believe there is a spectrum–not too wide, not too narrow–of what constitutes such a hive. Yours is smaller, perhaps signalling an inverse relation to either the length of your career and your popularity or to the strength of your internal vision. I feel like for myself, I would like to have a larger hive from which to gather the feedback that hasn’t yet accumulated from “traditional” sources (performing, sales, teaching,…).
        It’s a fun ride, this cusp of the completely new model for creation and distribution (cringing a little to use that word, but it’s apt) of music.
        I absolutely love the ideas you are conveying in your last two paragraphs: that we can now share the journey of making music in a way that is at once traditional and also internet-amplified. But let me ask this: what do you think about exposing parts of the journey that are rougher and unfinished? For instance, while you have shared these two (and more) clips that represent incomplete works, your playing is still very accomplished and skilled. With my group, I might be posting a raw recording that is much less polished–each player may be fine, but the ensemble hasn’t developed. Or a composition may be unfinished. How much should be revealed… what’s the downside… what’s the balance between the negative and positive outcomes? I’m inclined to hope that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, but I may be naive about the willingness of a potential audience to come back for a second try if the first isn’t tasty enough.

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