Preparing for March 5

Next Thursday, March 5, a full moon night, I will present a musical event at William Paterson University.  HERE is a video explaining the night. It’s going to be an amazing evening.  I’ll start the drones at 11:15 p.m. and start singing and bringing in beats at 11:30.  The lights will be low (including some candles), and we’ll be in a big open space.  There may or may not be tea and food . . .  😉  As with the concert I did a few months ago with my duo partner Ina Filip the audience is invited to bring a yoga mat or blanket or whatever and make themselves comfortable.  I don’t really think of this as a concert so much as an event, a musical group meditation.  Collectively we will explore the mystery of Raga Chandrakauns, a deep raga that taps into the energy of the moon.  March 5 is a full moon night, so it’s perfect.

Preparing for it has been exhilarating and energizing.  Of course I’m singing a lot every day, doing my usual routine of technical exercises to keep my voice in top shape plus leaving plenty of time to improvise on Chandrakauns and get to know the raga inside and out.  I also took a few Skype lessons on Chandrakauns with my teacher in India.  As usual, his guidance was uplifting and humbling.

I’ve also spent considerable time expanding my sample set from the previous show.  In addition to all the percussive vocal beatboxing sounds I’ve included a loop of marimba chords, tuned pipes, almglocken, vibraphone, some of Ina’s vocals (she’s in India so won’t be there in real time), and various found percussion objects including a chunk of wood and some empty beer kegs.  The organization of the show is much more complex than my previous work, including a section with chord changes and an almost Radioheadesque tune in the middle.

I’m spending time every day practicing with my Akai APC40 and my Ableton software.  I’m getting quite comfortable with the computer/human interface.  It’s becoming intuitive and free.  I’m making music from my heart, and going ever deeper into Naad, or the yoga of sound.

I hope to see you there.  This is some of my best work and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone.  Feel free to make audio and/or video recordings of the event and share.  Let’s work together to bring people together in peace with this ancient music from India, with some beats to keep it flowing.

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In the shed . . .

January was a busy month with many concerts and traveling.  February is a quiet month.  No concerts, no traveling.  Just some much needed time to go deep in the shed and do a lot of what Indian musicians call “riaz”, or dedicated practicing.  Actually, it’s more than that, it’s sadhana, or a complete giving up of the self to the Muse of Music.  Each day is full of singing, drumming, teaching, and composing.  I have some specific musical problems to solve, and some long-range projects that need my attention.  I am falling into the bliss of Naad, or the pure yoga of sound.