One Crazy Weekend

Hey! I’ve got to write about something for my crazy weekend. You know, keep content coming onto my blog just to let all you good people know that I’m still alive and keeping busy. I guess it wasn’t really that hectic. It was just that it was Memorial Day weekend and I got to hear about what other people at work were doing with their 3 days off. Me, I work on all of those Monday holidays now, and as a result of trading days with a co worker, I had to work this Saturday as well. So I got a glorious ONE day weekend to honor our nation’s fallen troops.

But that’s enough about my boring work life, let’s talk about my musical efforts now. On Saturday, I got to pay a visit to the studio at Jack Straw Productions to record my session for Sonarchy. It used to be that this weekly broadcast was done live and it had been like that the three times that I have participated in the program before. That tended to make for a very late evening considering the show’s 12:00 midnight time slot. Now they are all pre-recorded and I guess it’s going to be about three months before this performance actually airs. One nice thing, I found, about such an arrangement is that you don’t have to start until you know you’re ready. I took some to relax after I got all set up and sound checked and we started the show when it felt good to do so. I think it really paid off. I do get really nervous about working with the set up I had. It represents a process I’ve been trying to perfect for a very long time now: generating rhythms through careful synchronization of various time based elements like sequencing, modulations and delay. This can be a tricky thing to pull off live for it can lead to long periods of sounding really monotonous as I try to find the right tuning of frequencies to get something that sounds cool. However, most of this session turned out really nice. I’ll be sure to post on this site when the show is going to finally air so stay tuned.

And then on Sunday, Tempered Steel got to play at the long running NW Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center. This was kind of a surprise for us. I hadn’t really been paying attention to anything going on at the festival for a really long time. As far as I knew, it was pretty much devoted to music and art of a much more ‘traditional’ nature than anything I’m usually interested in. I do remember that last year, after it was all over and done with, that I heard about things that had happened that were far more outside of normal than I would have expected. I found that intriguing, and wouldn’t you know it, the very next year I get to play. It was Dennis who applied for it, figuring the whole traditional African instrument angle would make us sound like a good act to have. Using kalimbas in their typical way was never what we’ve been about, however. I don’t know if there are any real kalimba purists out there, but if there are, I don’t expect them to really like what we do. And I was a little afraid that if we were going to run into any such purists, this was going to be the place. It turns out that we were kind of stuck on a little stage in back of the opera house that was off the beaten path. We got a few of our friends and acquaintances to show up, but there wasn’t any foot traffic to speak of. I guess the our clash with any kalimba purists will have to be a conflict for another day.

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