Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jamming Advice to Myself.

Jamming is an informal music session. A number of musical enthusiasts will gather and play together without a score. This leads to chord progressions repeating beyond the length of a traditional song (IE: for hours) as people repeat and mutate riffs(sometimes by accident) and stretch their ability to use their instrument to produce something fresh and (occassionally) interesting.

Some people think that this is what jamming is about; that it is on par with talented, educated and disciplined musicians gathering to improvise. I don't think this is always the case.

A lot of people who jam are amateur/self-taught, and I have no problem with this. However, people need to have ideas. Enthusiasm to play doesn't always equal the ability to listen and react to what a person hears.

I know a few people who can think of nothing better than sitting about in a cirle with their buddies and whipping themselves into a collective fury with their djembes and bongos. I am not against this, but I can't get behind such a thing without feeling a little odd.

This may be something to do with feeling I'm getting lost in music, maybe I actualy want to know where I am when I listen to a piece. Maybe I want to know when the solo will end.

I think if you're participating in a jam session, you need to have a good quality warm up conversation of some kind. Signals, themes, a key, somethings to help guide everyone, like taking turns to lead others (like birds flocking). It should be agreed if the group you're jamming with want to use these things or avoid them, and maybe why/not...I think the idea of building a working framework that appeals to all involved is very important.

I do enjoy a bit of drone and krautrock style repeating, but this should be by choice, not because someone can only play three chords (loop making/playing machines are quite affordable these days) Three chords are fine for a pop song, jamming can/should be more than that (maybe finding the other parts to accompany the chords to make the pop song stand out from the crowd).

Here's hoping my time spent in jams will be more productive if I can just remember to bear my own points in mind.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Live Music - Video Clips

I was looking through some old clips and decided to put some on youtube.

I have already stated how much I enjoyed Tujiko Noriko's show. Here is a Lo-Rez clip of her performance. It doesn't look like much and the sound doesn't tell all the story, but I still like watching back, and I hope you do too. As we can see from her myspace presence, I am not alone in being keen on the sounds she makes.

Noisey Slovak electronic duo JAMKA play (with) their individual sounding compositions for our viewing and listening pleasure at the NewNew Festival.

Post-rockers Fridge play an instrumental track (aren't they all instrumental?) from their joy-filled album 'Happines' at the Village, Dublin. I put another short clip from this show online in the summer when they played; this file was too long and I had to shrink it to fit on youtube (I used Prism freeware: this has affected both picture and sound quality).

My friend Petri played saxophone for these funky types. I'm not sure if there is a good reason why they are all wearing road workers vests; but then again, why not? They were having fun and so were the crowd. Moloko's 'The Time Is Now' weaves it's foot-tapping spell once again...

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I went to Fleda for a dose of electronic media on Saturday night. Good times were had with good sounds and great company.

First I heard the strange, dense and head-spinning tones of Slovak duo JAMKA. I had a chance to chat with them and my old friend from Machine Funck (Stop Look Listen, Prague) too.

I also enjoyed the soft and dreamy tones of Tujiko Noriko, who put me into a blissful swaying state. Indeed; music to drift away to.

I also managed to meet her, and unfortunately couldn't help myself from asking for a fanboy photo. She was a very friendly woman and obliged.

Other fine electronic music makers doing the rounds that night included MURCOF and CLICK JOE. Murcof is well known for his mixing of minimal orchestral elements with electronic sounds. Click Joe uses a simliar approach, but doesn't seem to get the critics raving despite using a similarly sparse palette.

As I already said: goodtimes.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Make a beat...

So there you go. No excuses. Get busy.
I have a few new dubs and versions I'm working on. I hope to have them ready for your ears shortly.

In the meantime get down with some serious listening here. More audio than you can digest in a day, courtesy of the Hound.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Cold Season.

The first snow of this year's winter has fallen.

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