Ok so trying to think straight so I can write something usefully. But I'm completely entrenched in lack of brain fibre by this orchestra cube rehearsal that captures my will to write or communicate, my need.
We've become kind of a jam band, kind of a crazy orchestra with a rebellious spirit. I don't like it when people feel that that spirit of a bunch of people together doing something is based only on their feel as musicians - that's always there, but it's not everything. What about what was happening in your life, that affected your confidence at different moments, and the memories you'll carry with yourself of those times and those days when you happened to record that music. It's because sometimes what's not said is so beautiful that it tears apart all meaning in a meaningless day. But that doesn't mean it's everything.
So I feel we should talk, fight it out, bond or whatever the fuck as long as the music we produce is beautiful and breathtaking and inspiring. If I was in it for the money I wouldn't be doing improv.
And then again that's what's going to make improv understood. Musicians love improvising, it's almost a cliche' by now, but the audience we have is different, and the boxes we carve ourselves are so frequently unintentional. And improvisation is always a swim through the line between unconventional and conventional.
My idea at my heart, although I wish for all these visual dreams like busking in the park, my idea is still the triumph of human organisation in creating chance music.
Oh and skill worthy of alice in wonderland, by Miller, with Ravi Shankar.
Just coming in and playing and making it work like magic, cos you just have that ease with music and moving images. But we don't have that yet, I don't have that yet, and I feel I still need a box of sorts, a convention to package strangeness so that someone can hang their own fears on it and buy into the inner reaches of our brain, even if it hurts to know that that's the way and we can't be true. One day I'll be free, but for now I have to make sure our levels are level. Because it's just fair to let the quieter people be heard. I always go for the underdog. Soundchecking also so that everyone can hear themselves and enjoy the experience. If we're there to experience artists in movement then we have to see them happy. And human interaction. We might have chosen to practice with the here group drawers - if deer_aaron hadn't been mugged and lost his phone and hadn't been leaving for canada the next day, we'd been able to get through to him and hence the group before Saturday, and practiced by running off into the fields and played flying pancake death. It always comes back to the pancakes.
And on the other hand it was so enjoyable, and made me so happy and honoured to be there with everyone watching the first showing of Francois' future DVD and the recited poem. As we slowly arrived and figured out it wasn't just going to be a trio - the new sound of cheezy jazz. The future sound of Smooth FM - Marcus, Hugh and Me. But people slowly rolled by or made themselves known by the winds of talk in their wake.
After a while we even managed to paste together a semblance of a set, and secured some amps to cater for our input hunger. We were going to start by playing one at a time, or really sparsely, and then all come in together, for effect. Then at some point there was Mr Hopkinson's Gulls, and then also we would get the Drawers to draw us and maybe their thoughts about us on our figurative T Shirts or thought bubbles, as imagined by Richie (although he said they would write "wanker" or "shut the fuck up" on the thought bubbles). I'd also been through some some shit and also quite interesting online texts.
By the time we played, there were loads of us, including new members Morgan and Ellie and her really beautiful sounding flute, and I had the added pleasure of Richie to the other side of me, also shaping the music in general. It was hard to beat the relief of continental emotions from Francois and the other animated music before it, but we
did look really cool when it started and I saw the video selecting all the stuff and editing it so that you never knew which bit would be shown next on the big screen, although you could peek it and guess.
By the end we'd had lots of great moments, inspired by the Skull, the sunset, the various cartoons and funny sentences, and finally by the vagina (which started up a great latin beat from Richie). My only frustration was that for example we tried for ages to try and tell the other half of the stage that we were stopping, or various ideas we shared with each other with a quick word on our side. Negative inspiration came from people leaving and people drawing picturs of themselves hiding their ears or saying they they were bored or couldn't figure out what to do next.
It was after the gig that the shortcomings of the show became apparent, as well as the brilliance of some of the pictures that had come from it. I got the idea then to
Always sound check a burst of orchestral wrath: everyone playing together, so we can get the levels.
If someone is going to turn up at the spur of the moment, it's up to them to figure out their levels. First come first served. The problem is implementing this rule and at the same time being welcoming.
- Meet the people beforehand. Talk about what you think it's going to be, exchange ideas. If you have trouble you can then fall back on these ideas. Otherwise at least you've met these people. Some people can always do great improvisations with people they've never met, other people don't. If you overprepare you miss the creative peak and your ideas gel into something that could be fragile if something unexpected is added. So to the level in which you are happy with it, prepare.
- Establish means of communication during the gig. Is there a conductor, or people to look at to tell if it's time to finish or change? Always look around at everything. Playing with your eyes closed means to me you're closed too.
All in all a constructive night. Lots of constructive comments from everyone, and good to have a shared opinion that doesn't agree with itself. We also figured out the basis for the first re-scoring - For now comprising at least the dream sequences from Brazil and it's false ending. I want to play through these bits at home. Anyone is invited. Especially the fight between Sam Lowrie and the Typewriter Warrior. And through that we could come up with special bits to write into a semi score.