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Showing posts from March, 2016

Crossing Boundaries: Music as an Interdisciplinary Art Form

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Music is ubiquitous and universal to our lives. But most often live music is still confined to the clubs and concert halls. In the past 15 or so years, I have been making a conscious effort to move out into different spaces and make what I do available to more and different people. Besides the usual performance spaces, I've played at stores, churches, conventions, libraries, schools, community centers, sculpture gardens, a wine cellar, and just about any place where I can interact with people.


Chilling in the wine cellar…

Photo Credit: MONA/Rémi Chauvin. Image Courtesy Mona, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Recently, I've been making an effort to perform more at museums, art galleries, and similar spaces. Along with this, I've been actively working with artists in other disciplines, like dancers, poets, painters, writers, etc. I really feel that percussion, perhaps more than any other instruments, lends itself well to merging with other art forms. 


The m…

There Are Things I Purposely Don't Do

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There are things I purposely don't do, because others, like Lê Quan Ninh, Tatsuya Nakatani, Michael Zerang, or Eddie Pévost do: rubbing cymbals across the drum head, blowing through the cymbal mounting hole, bowing small, hand held cymbals, etc. While I admire them all greatly, these are their ideas. I have tried to come up with my own. And that's something important to me. As I have said before, we all start out by copying others, but then at some point, we need to come up with our own ideas, either modifying things we have stolen, or devising new ones. 


Ninh scraping cymbals…

I won't say that I haven't copied an idea from someone else. I have, lots of them. But I've always come up with my own variation on whatever I take from someone else. 


Tatsuya blowing…

There are things I do that I have later found others doing. I've had people ask me, “Did you get that idea from X?,” where X was someone I was not at all familiar with. There are only so many ideas and techniq…

Happy 5th Anniversary!

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I started this blog back on march 10, 2011. Little did I realize that I'd still be writing it 5 years later. I've covered a lot of territory in those 5 years. I hope to cover much more in the next 5 years.



Thanks to all you readers out there. You made it possible!

~ MB

Improvisation, Part 10 - Bettine/Schoenecker Duo

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While having seen Jim Schoenecker play many times, I had never had the opportunity to play with him before this. Because I was familiar with what he does, I had ideas in mind for our duo. I wanted to create electronic sounding acoustic sounds, trying to match his sounds, so that someone listening to the audio would think it was all electronically produced. This is one of my favorite things, creating electronic sounding music. I have had people ask me, “What electronics or synths did you use on your album?” The looked surprised when I tell them it was all acoustic percussion, with no effects or electronics added. I think it's much more interesting to create new and different acoustic sounds. 

I love electronic music and have performed and recorded a lot of it, but at this point, I'm very much into pure, acoustic percussion. I think my background in synths and electronics is a great benefit to my percussion sound modeling. Back in the 1970s, I worked extensively with analog synth…