Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Hour Forty-Five Minutes

I invited three local crafty guitarists to come over today and work on group improvisation. Long time friends Steve Geest and Peter Legowski were able to take part. I have played more notes with these two people in various configurations than any one else on the planet. Four different groups: oDD CamP, Solaris Guitar Trio, FingerPaint, and Special Guest.

Due to various family obligations amongst us we had 1 hour and 45 minutes to play with. We began with circulations for the first 15 minutes. There were so many extended beautiful melodies coming out of us, that I could have been satisfied circulating the entire time. After a brief pause an improvisation began. Then another one. Spirited exploration by all three so us. I was happy to watch myself being free enough to play. I was not holding back, just listening and experimenting. Occasionally even responding. Very valuable information for myself.

Quickly showed them the japanese scale based on C and we were off exploring again. A suggestion to play "water." There was a hesitancy to begin this, but then slowly, surely music evolved. The next improv began with groups of harmonics being played in five. What developed had many moments of sheer beauty for me. Most of the time I held the simple pattern of harmonics with some variations as Steve and Peter took this places. I wish we had been recording to be able to learn from this one. An embroidery was introduced which after two times around took off in various directions of the unordered kind. During this time my body began tightening. We had decided not to take a break after 45 minutes and now at around the hour and 15 minute mark I was losing any semblance of a relaxed relationship with my body.

When that improv completed it did not seem to make sense to take a break, yet even a brief shaking out of the limbs would have helped me. Perhaps I should have suggested it, but I did not want to disturb our process. Another improv with some actual dialogue between Peter and myself trading licks. This was fun and a personal highlight. Both Steve and Peter possess very musical natures, are good players, have played in a variety of contexts, and can play fearlessly.

Our final improvisation began with circulating dyads. Again many beautiful moments emerged as we allowed this to take form.

A good piece of work with very few words being uttered during the time we played. We shared a glass of water and goodbyes.

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