Looking at Percussion through a radical eye, while shaking off the cliches of our instruments, and seeking the danger within all things…
"No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Working With Gongs: Part 5 - Gongs as Hand Drums
Here it is, Part 5 of my Gong video series. This time I look at using Gongs as Hand Drums. Pretty cool stuff.
Much as we speak, each of us has our own musical language. In this second part on Improvisation, I'm going to look at what makes up my musical language. These are the ideas that I use to create what is a very personal view of music. You may use some of the same, or you may use completely different ideas. But this is what works for me.
The 3 Point Method In art, color can be broken down into 3s: Additive Color uses red, yellow, and blue (the primary colors) to create all other colors. Subtractive Color (like your home printer) uses yellow, magenta, and cyan to create all other colors. Then there are the 3 attributes of lightness, saturation, and hue that further affect color.
In Euclidean Geometry we have the point, line, and plane. In real life, we have the point where we are, and then also up & down, left & right, in & out, etc. So too in music, many ideas can be broken down into 3s. While this is all a simplistic explanation, it serves the purpose of denoting that we o…
Today is all about the duo. I was scheduled to play twice today, at 3pm with trumpeter Scott Tinkler, and at 5:15 possibly with another artist from the fest. But as things went, on Saturday, I ran into Taiko drummer Yyan Ng in the green room. He was excited to meet and we had a great time chatting. He was scheduled to play a short performance Sunday morning and asked if I'd be interested in playing with him. Of course I said, “Yes.” So a call was put out to Shelley to see if we could do it. It was heartily approved and we both went off to our Saturday performances excited about the duo performance tomorrow.
Sunday's schedule showing the amazing variety of performances going on. Not shown
are some of the pop up performances and changes, like the Taiko/Gong duo. Yyan and I talked a little, but not really about what we would do. We talked more about who we were and what our backgrounds were. We had both started out as drum set players, before expanding into our …
As drummers/musicians, we spend years and years practicing in our basements/bedrooms/practice rooms. In fact, we spend the majority of our careers practicing somewhere. Our actual time performing live, on stage, is but a small percentage of what we do. So often when we finally do get to perform on a stage, many of us just want to cut loose, and play with total abandon and/or volume, because, we are like like a pent up race horse finally let out on the track.
But when playing live, this is the time we should, no, must have the most discipline! It's all fine and dandy to play whatever you want, however you want, in the privacy of your own rehearsal syudio. And that's good. That is a time to experiment, try out new ideas, and just let it rip sometimes. But being on stage is another beast entirely.
Performing live requires a modicum of self discipline and editing. If every musician comes up on stage, especially in an improvising setting, with the idea that “I'm just going to let i…