Next up: I’m continuing to share notes from this (ancient, timeless) project. This one included some special guests: the California Guitar Trio.
For potential next-gen instructors, note: this entire project began as a simple one-page outline based on ~10 years of working in various guitar circles around the globe testing out each of these specific types of circulations. These notes about what we worked on in each session were written right after each of the meetings, capturing what unfolded from the original simple outline. In other words, the sessions were also mostly improvised within a loose, pre-defined framework.
* * *
Seattle Guitar Circle
1998 Circulation Project
Meeting #3: Special Guests
Saturday September 12th, 1998
1416 Evergreen Point Road, Medina
9:00 - 9:30 Sitting
9:30-10:00 Coffee and free warm-up
10:00-12:00 Circulation Meeting #3
Present for the Meeting:
- JT Milhoan
- Scott Adams
- Steven Rhodes
- John Henning
- Jaxie Binder
- Brock Pytel
- Heather Pytel
- Curt Golden
- Steve Ball
- Frank Sheldon
- Bert Lams
- Hideyo Moriya
- Paul Richards
* * *
SECTION 1: Horizontal and Vertical Melody
1. Horizontal Melody - the group plays a specific melody (scale up or down)
2. Vertical Melody - each person plays a melody with-in their own part
a) direct progression, Up / Down
b) movement in thirds
c) melodic up / dual notes
d) movement in thirds / dual notes
SECTION 2: Vectorizing
1. Left to Right / Right to Left Shifting
2. Dual direction / node transmission techniques
3. Even / Odd
4. Note Toss with eye contact
5. Note Toss naming the name of the person to the right of the eye contact
SECTION 3: Time shifting
4. quarter and eighth together
5. node transmission techniques
SECTION 4: Group Loops
1. One person begins playing a very simple part, improvised in the moment.
2. Before playing, each person listens to what the group is playing and contributes a part which:
a. complements what is already being played
b. is simple enough that you could play your part for an hour without resting
3. If in doubt, play a slow pulse on a single note
4. Each person adds a new part in turn only when receiving a clear nod from the person to their left.
This is how we "circulate in" to a Group Loop.
5. The piece begins to end when the new part that someone adds in is silence. This silence is then circulated until there is only one person left playing their part. When this person adds their silence, the Group Loop is completed. This is how we "circulate out" of a Group Loop.
Variations after the Loop is "cooking':
1. Round - small sub groups continue playing their parts while others rest. Pockets of Silence are circulated.
2. Trading - groups trade 4-bar chunks of silence and playing their parts (directed by one person by naming names during the piece)
* * *
SECTION 4: "Follow the Leader"
Rule 1: there is one designated leader who comes up with an improvised looping part on the fly which is:
a) simple enough that everyone in the particular group will be able to learn to play the part within 10-15 seconds, and
b) simple enough that every instrument in the group will be able to emulate the part
Rule 2: The person to the right of the leader acts as an "analog delay" to the leader's part. The group "delay time" is determined by the person to the leaders immediate right. After an appropriate delay time, the person to the right begins to play (as best they can) exactly the part which the leader is playing.
Rule 3: Always play precisely what the person to your left is playing after waiting for the group "delay time." If the person to your left changes their part, continue to play your current part for the duration of the group delay time, and then change to the new part. If the person to your left plays "silence" wait the delay time, and then begin to play "silence."
Rule 4: The leader does not change their part until at least three other people are playing the same part. There are always at least 3 people playing each part.
* * *
On Wednesday night we will work with the transmission of Quantity (circulation-based ear training)
Next Saturday, we will begin to look at repertoire circulations.
* * *