Last weekend I had the pleasure of getting together with a couple of old friends, band-mates from my high school days that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. We set up some time in the studio along with my current band-mate and guitar counterpart Mo, and had planned on a good long jam. At the last minute, Mo’s son’s band got a call to fill in at a gig and needed to take most of the drum kit with them, but they brought in a few replacements from an old kit, leaving us with just enough hardware to scrabble together a minimalistic rig. My drummer friend Chris, always an easy-going fellow, adapted easily enough and between the four of us – Me, Mo, Chris and Lyle we put together a solid hour of improv.
This was my favourite jam of the night – a bit of everything – some melodic soul, a bit of power, a few vocal musings by Lyle, and some interesting beats and rhythm changes.
On New Year’s Eve, 2012, I was playing with my new iPad mini and exploring Twitter, when I saw a tweet from well known Canadian author Douglas Coupland, stating that he was going to nickname 2013 “Tammy”. I was at the time beginning to play around with the capability of the mini as a recording device using the GarageBand app, so spent the remainder of the evening and much of the first few hours of 2013 writing and recording a fun little tune, that ended up being somewhat “soundtrack-esque”
A great experiment, fully created, recorded, mixed, and posted on a little tablet one night!
This tune started out as just the bass line that transitions from the first to the second section of the tune. I built all the rest around that, varying from 4/4, 11/8, 6/4, back to 4/4, then 6/4, and finally 4/4 again, with three changes in tempo. All of this came together on March 20 and 21, 2009, right around the vernal equinox, and I thought the change of seasons theme really fit the style of the piece.
Come on in, the water’s fine
The first new piece I wrote in the fall of 2007 after a few months of stifled creativity, brought on by life change and uncertainty. I likened the experience to standing on top of a cliff looking at the water below, knowing you want to make the leap but lacking the courage to do so. After finally mustering up the gusto and enjoying the freefall, calling up to those still waiting at the top. It’s free form improv over an interesting altered chord progression with three different (tonally) guitar parts sharing the melody. We’ve had a few great Tuesday jams to the progression.
I started this out with a randomly generated series of drum and bass notes and improvised a chromatic series of notes on top. The run begins with half steps, goes to whole steps, then to minor thirds in the sequence, all starting from the same note.