Commission Music

Commission Music
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Saturday, 7 May 2005


Ok, so I didn't do much packing today. I recorded a double-CD thinge with Braxton that's going to be released, um, maybe next year some time. Apparently, I'll be getting money for this. I said, "I'm only in this for the coins." but that's not true. Getting coins from music is just gravy. Andrew Dewar did the recording.

So now I'm an avant-garde tuba player. It was making me nervous playing in front of andrew, because he plays a lot more than I do and I'm always comparing myself to everybody else here. I'm going to spend my summer practicing scales, so I can figure out what notes to play much faster instead of going for random. Also, I think I rely on didjeridoo textures too much or rather, I don't have enough variations in my textures. I'm not sure. Anyway, so it made me nervous. I was gripping my horn with a death grip in my left hand. After the first set, my hand was numb. Yeah, my left hand doesn't do anything but steady the horn. thing #2 to practice is having a loser grip.

So hours of playing tuba is kind of exhausting. I was playing some stuff that was kind of physically intense and loud and it's pretty draining. I love the tuba because of it's physicality. I really feel connected to my horn, more like I think a vocalist feels about her or his voice than a guitarist might feel about her axe. Like, there are some low notes that I play that actually rattle my eyeballs. Everything gets blurry when I play them. It kind of shakes my whole head all the time actually and makes my nose itch from the vibration. This is probably bad for me somehow, alas. The medical profession always views the tuba with suspicion. Bah. It doesn't hurt my wrist at all though, except when I hold the thumb trigger down, I learned today. I felt like I was playing too much in C, because that's my open note, so I was holding down the thumb trigger to change my key. I don't recall what note the trigger plays.

So near the end, I guess I was hitting my fourth valve too hard because the paddle came loose from the rotor. I'm into the half valving thing, but it's kind of inconvenient having the rotor move on it's own. I cursed during taping. Alas. I also sniffled a few times because of my poor vibrated nose. The bit driver on my pocket knife is exactly the right size for screwing my tuba back together. It can also dismantle/remantle a mac laptop.

When I play with Braxton, I try to use forms from his music, like ideas from ghost trance or language musics. In general, playing with somebody I try to treat it like the game "Set." I try to do what they're doing or do the opposite of what they're doing. Like if he's playing something high, fast and quiet on the soprano sax, I can't do high or fast, so I do low and sustained, but I can do quiet, so I do. If somebody's playing some phrases, I might echo them, but I end up with oddball notes, so it's like I'm parodying them. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. When I think of playing this way, I think of "Complement or Contrast." If I'm doing the same ideas, that's complement and if I'm doing the opposite, that's contrast. I want to sound like I'm playing with the other person even if it's a weird combo, like a high pitched saxophone or a clarinet or a flute.

so exhausted. . .

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