Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day: It feels extremely good to sleep a bit later and take my sweet time drinking coffee and listening to music before getting in a bit of practice. Tony McManus is on the hi-fi. Brooks lent me "Ceol More" after I made a comment about the idiomatic stutter-step triplets that Celtic fiddle players so often use. It is amazing how well Tony has captured not only this but the whole host of fiddle ornaments in his guitar playing. On his website, a quote by John Renborn proclaims him to be the world's best celtic guitarist. He may well be...

Playing with Brooks on Saturday was a bit tense. I played him Great is Thy Faithfulness to start off. Had to retune partway through on account of new strings. Very positive reaction - he responded strongly to how the arrangement moved from darker tone to more confidence and light towards the climax, in order to mirror the ideas in the words to this great old hymn. I was so glad this comes across! It is very gratifying to have someone immediately perceive the intention behind a piece.

We will play three songs together on June 9th: Zoe, Ten Penny Bit, and Chasing the Groove. Chasin' I am especially looking forward to, though some riffs towards the end need work on my part. One of the hardest things about playing with someone as capable and interesting as Brooks is not getting distracted by the cool stuff they are playing!

We briefly discussed live solo performance and the idea of attaining the "living room" level of comfort before an audience. The good news is, Brooks has confirmed it is indeed possible! I believe that greater frequency is necessary in order for the disruptive elements, the sound system and the presence of an audience, to become "normal." Even when one reaches comfort with these, however, there are still disruptions which encroach some nights. Brooks alluded to ways of foreseeing and mitigating against such circumstances. I will have to find out more about this.

It has also occurred to me that my (ADD) ability to tune out my perception of external activity could be of great utility in this matter. If I can only figure out a way to reliably harness it.

Shannon demands I perform my entire set for her so I can begin working out the kinks. We are now in the "end game" and I am happy to oblidge. Looking forward to seeing UMass friends tonight.

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