Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Something new, fun, and rough!

Monday evening I gave a performance/talk on my flutes at Tryon Estates in, you guessed it, Tryon, NC. Truth be told, it's not in Tryon but just outside of Columbus, the county seat. Tryon is several miles on the other side of the interstate, but the 'known' Tryon name is oft used even if it is a stretch...there I go, digressing as usual.

The A/V person was kind enough to burn a DVD of the show for me (they broadcast it on their large campus to those that wish to watch it in their rooms on closed circuit TV); alas, my Pinnacle software can't recognize the files that burned it, so I'm unable to show you this song I thought you'd enjoy. To that effect, I had to take the audio off of my Zoom recorder I'd placed below the stage on the floor and then just stick my mug with 'kids' in order to have a 'video' to embed in this blog.

Allow me to set the stage on what you're about to hear. My performance started at 730p. I wanted to be there no later than 630p. It was earlier that morning I decided I'd take my own sound system instead of using the 'house' system, and I pulled out a neat gizmo that I'd moth-balled a couple of years ago, for no other reason than I wasn't using my sound system when I performed and, well, just one of those out-of-sight-out-of-mind things.

At approximately 2p, I set up one speaker and the mixer just to balance and test...then unearthed the JamMan, a small blue box with two foot pedals and a handful of adjustment knobs. While that little computer does many things, the feature I wanted to use was the one where I can record a few bars of a riff or sound I want to repeat, using a stop-start pedal, and it continuously loops. Likewise, I can hit the same pedal and lay another riff or sound on top of the original one, and build it as thick and rich as I want. Yes, it takes coordination and a lot of use just to get comfortable and proficient with it, which I was not, given I hadn't used it in so long.

However, I started doing silly things with it just to practice...and, honestly, this song I started stitching together from scratch and had so much fun with it I thought "whattheheck" and decided I'd set it up in Tryon and, if my first test or two went well, I'd risk falling on my face and give it a try. Too fun not to, and it would be a welcome change from a flute solo.

A couple of nights ago I watched a fairly new Adam Sandler movie called "Bedtime Stories" in which he would make up a bedtime story for his niece and nephew he was caring for that week. The movie would act out his crazy story, but then the kids would chime in and want this and that to happen, as he would add that in and the movie would act out the new additions. Quite cute, the movie. Well, it just so happened that whatever the kids added in, it would happen to Adam the next day, in some way...and so was this crazy magical movie that surround the imagination of a child.

I'm a Child. I have quite the imagination, too...and so I whipped up this 'adventuresome' song in which I threw 4 children's songs, making my own imaginative bedtime story song. I called it "Child's Play", and I'm telling you right now it is ROUGH around the edges, in part because it's weird mixing major and minor scales together. I multitrack my voice first playing a bass, then adding a trumpet, then doing some percussion. Interestingly, my trumpet voice is one of my best, and it's the weakest part of this song...singing requires practice just like playing!

SOOOooooooooo...turn on your speakers to hear the premier performance of a song that I need to work on some more! Enjoy! And DARE TO DREAM!!!!!

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