Just back from a week offline.
This from our Family Tree Contest + Water Balloon + Pizza Pavilion Party. Ross and Carol won the large dinosaur kite by not getting wet in the Water Balloon event. That was followed by a spontaneous but 100% predictable water balloon fight where the unlucky contest host was doused in one massive MacGruber moment.
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Home: after a week offline, the process of ‘unpacking’ also involves more than just suitcases and guitar cases. This evening, I managed to move my inbox down from over 4000 to just under 900, mostly while listening to Nik Bärtsch as energizing background music.
Here’s a quick, improvised attempt to articulate what moves me about this music. I initially shared this list a couple of weeks ago with Paul and Lee as reference to the music we’re currently writing and performing:
1. Patient evolution – no one is rushing to get anywhere
2. Precision – each part is clean, precise, crisp – like a beautiful blueprint, or well organized workspace
3. Space – each phrase is a hook, every instrument is playing just enough to lock into the whole without dominating
4. Fearless and Confident – the musicians and phrases are articulated with poise, confidence, and calm
5. Polyrhythm everywhere – there are layers in the harmonies and rhythms that wake up the body, heart and
themy mind at the same time
6. Conversation – each part is in conversation with every other part, and the conversation is focused and relevant
7. Searching – the music is not making statements,… it’s sort of like it’s asking questions instead of being a ‘know it all’
8. Listening – the music and musicians feel like they are listening, not preaching or broadcasting some re-hashed, pre-thought ideas
9. Flow – the meter and tempo is precise, but the grooves are not rigid or metronomic.
10. Drums + Percussion – everything rests on a solid bedrock of interesting spacious grooves; feels like a beautiful brick building built on an extremely solid foundation
11. Prepared Piano – I first heard about the use of ‘prepared piano’ back in David Liptak’s music composition class in 1981. To my ears, this music is the first ‘successful’ use of prepared piano that does not sound like an experiment.
I also gave a copy of this CD to Tjeerd (and Cathelijne, Sterre & Tijmen) Hoek at their going away party last Friday evening. This is the second copy I’ve recently purchased, then given as a gift.
And there may be more.
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Other semi-notable events of the day:
- Saying ‘goodbye’ to ~47 relatives now heading back to various corners of the globe.
- I practiced the Airport Exercise in two airports today.
Great to be back home.
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