Routine Check: RC#20080309 – 7/8 Jam

I’m very happy for being able to keep up with my weekly routine, and for sharing a wide range of musical material, but after 2 weeks of pure electronics, I felt it was time to go back to my roots: saxophone playing.

I had this simple structure built over a 7/8 bar in the back of my brain for a while now, and as I started playing with it, I felt the need to get all 3 saxophones (alto, tenor and soprano) out of their cases and play with them.

As usual, there’s not much editing or production put into this: I just recorded voive over voice in single takes, and made the metronome “click” audible. So you can hear 5 background voices (2 alto, 1 tenos, 2 soprano) and 3 solo voices (1 alto, 1 tenor and 1 soprano) over the metronome “clicking” through the “odd” 7/8 bar.

It’s quite simple and I enjoyed doing it deeply.
I hope you can relate to my enjoyment.

My only regret, in this kind of experiments, is playing alone. I believe this piece, in particular, is something that could really work out great with a lot of players giving their input.

Routine Check: RC#20080217 – Wind Studies

As promised, here’s the second episode of this weekly series.

I’ve called it “Wind Studies”, as it’s an exercise about orchestral wind instruments and the act of playing them, although it features only the Akai EWI4000S, that I borrowed from my dear friend João Figueiredo.
This is what it looks like:

Akai EWI 4000S

It looks like a high-velocity train, but it’s an “electric wind instrument”, meaning it’s a MIDI wind controller developed specifically for wind instrument players: it uses breath control and a fingering mechanism similar to saxophones, clarinets, flutes and the like. The built-in sound module is quite interesting, but for this piece I’ve used SampleTank XL, instead.

The structure is simple:

  • one “spinal chord” voiced by french horn, with a large sync’ed delay applied
  • one bass texture, voiced by Miroslav Vitous‘ hornwind section (available in SampleTank XL)
  • one solo line, voiced by clarinet

Everything is pure MIDI data, played by me on the EWI and voiced in SampleTank. The performance was recorded, sequenced and produced (barely) in my usual DAW, ProTools LE.

Despite appearances (and Michael Brecker’s endorsement), playing the EWI and playing the saxophone are tremendously different activities. And that’s good. What it also means, as far as I’m concerned, is that there’s a lot of technical study to be done, still.

But it’s a great alternative to MIDI keyboards, when I’m “sketching”.

I hope you enjoy this one. I did.

A não perder: Anthony Braxton na Casa da Música

Segunda | 28 Janeiro 2008
22:00, Sala Suggia

Anthony Braxton Septet

Anthony BraxtonAnthony Braxton, um histórico do jazz vanguardista, é um dos músicos norte-americanos que mais tem procurado os pontos de contacto entre o jazz e a música contemporânea erudita. Nas quatro décadas da sua carreira, a influência de compositores como Schönberg, Stockhausen ou Cage está tão presente como as referências incontornáveis do saxofone jazz – Warne Marsh, John Coltrane, Paul Desmond. O septeto de Anthony Braxton traz à Casa da Música um jazz avant-garde muito personalizado, que celebra ao mesmo tempo a liberdade e a elaboração das músicas dos últimos 50 anos.

Anthony Braxton
Embora já tenha afirmado o seu interesse cada vez menor na improvisação completamente aberta, Braxton demonstra ser um dos seus praticantes mais aptos – sensível, reactivo, calmo e cheio de ideias.” Down Beat

Anthony Braxton saxofone
Aaron Siegel percussão
Chris Dahlgren baixo
Jay Rozen tuba
Jessica Pavone viola
Mary Halvorson guitarra
Taylor Ho Bynum corneta

Absolutamente imperdível, mesmo considerando que a noite de segunda-feira não é exactamente a mais óbvia para um evento desta natureza.

O meu lugar já está reservado.

Se nem nunca ouviu falar de Anthony Braxton, vá depressa até à Last.fm, por exemplo.