Gooey's P-log Blog

Personal accountability to make sure I'm not doing absolutely nothing.

log 5: Lesson Notes and Practice Routine Revisited

March 09, 2022 — ~gooey

Sound (30 minutes)

  1. Low Db-Bb (tongue attack)
  2. Low Db-Bb (air attack)
  3. Low Db-Bb semitone lip down and back; whole step lip down and back
  4. Palm Key F - High C minor 3rd lip down and back
  5. Middle F - low F 30 second sound inception
  6. OVERTOOOONES Fundamental to overtone and back; Start on overtone and slur down; overtone scales (!)

Technique (2 hours)

  1. Rigby Technique Sheets! (Keep weighted fingers. Minimal, yet purposeful, swift movements.)
  2. Interval studies from JO'G book (print by chapter!) and Malaby Lesson 2 notes
  3. Reading Practice (Ducret, Bach, Mitchell, etc.)

Current Transcriptions

  1. Sonny Rollins - 3 Little Words - Live in Copenhagen (1968)
  2. Lee Konitz - What's New - Together Again (Bill Evans)
  3. Dewey Redman - Interconnection - Ear of the Behearer
  4. John O' Gallagher - Prime - Live in Brooklyn
  5. Matt Maneri - Gravitational Systems - Duos (Matthew Shipp)

Notes from Tony Malaby

  1. Practice ways to assimilate and replicate the sounds of other woodwinds/string instruments on classical recordings
  2. Practice in nature. Try to replicate sounds nontypical to woodwinds (percussive, metalic, etc.)
  3. Write out and learn how to improvise using limited intervals (b9,^7,b2 all from 2 notes!) thinking of such cells as building blocks that can build on, stray away from, or subvert harmonic context
  4. Exploding Triads exercise
  5. Closing and Opening symmetrical chromatic intervals in all octaves
  6. (WHILE IMPROVISING) Leave plenty of space, sometimes an uncomfortable amount, to take in sensory information and let your environment unfold around you. Let go of musical superego. While playing (and leaving space!!!) Listen and develop your own streams of sound to tap into. Keep these streams going in your mind, even when not playing your horn, while also taking in all information around you. This will help to maintain FOREWARD MOTION . KEEP IDEAS GOING FOR LONGER!!!!!!!!!!
  7. Next Steps: pick specific spots on recordings with interesting timbral concepts and articulation styles.
  8. Braxton live @ HAT HUT, Jimmy Lyons w/ Cecil Taylor, Marion Brown

tags: Improvisation, Practice, 2022

log 4: Working list of Mutations to Existing Material

March 07, 2022 — ~gooey

I, among some of my friends, am keeping a working list of possible mutations to existing compositional material (if nothing else than to prevent writers block). Every time I try to impliment one of the mutations from said list, I am overwhelmed by the feeling of fuck, I'm not even close to exhausting the potential of this which is enough motivation in itself to keep adding to it, and enough to break me out of my usual writing conventions (yikes). The goal of this is not to have it overtake creative decision making entirely (although, total serialism comes to mind), but to be supplimentary.

The Big Bad List so far is as follows, with the understanding that any existing phrase can be repeated with any inclusion of the following:

  1. Inversion, Retrograde, RI, Axis Flips and Fluctuations, and any dispersal of these methods in chunks (shuffled, ordered, patterned)
  2. Rhythmic Displacement
  3. Filters! (all of x becomes y; all pitches above E4 are displaced by x; all half notes become eighths; etc.)
  4. Augmentation/Diminution of either rhythmic or pitch material, or both
  5. Deriving longer forms from local rhythmic content, phrase structure, or harmonic progression, and vice versa
  6. Derive pitch from rhythm and rhythm from pitch
  7. Shuffle segments
  8. Remove and replace, or add a contrasting phrase
  9. Reduction or simplification
  10. Addition of pitches to build harmonic density, or emphasis of certain pitches in unision
  11. Addition of rhythms between existing spaces
  12. Tiling of rhytms offset by x bars
  13. Stretching of rhythms and/or phrase lengths by using ratios and informative bar lengths
  14. Retroactively apply microforms to existing phrases to inform new contiguous material
  15. Percieved Tempo Shifts, namely in the form of irrational meter, related to an adjacent rhythmic phrase
  16. Mapping (kind of like filters, but more as an additive than a replacement/displacement) (where x is, y is implimented, etc.)

tags: Composition, 2022

log 3: On Dedication to Craft / States of Practice

February 28, 2022 — ~gooey

I have been thinking quite heavily about dedication to craft (or (my) lack thereof) recently: what it means to be an actually competent improviser; what it means to be healthily obsessed with your work, in hopes that it isn't so; whether its possible to have any inkling of original thought in a music where everything has been done a thousand times over, or whether its better to shamelessly steal conceptual material, and expand upon it.

Speaking of stealing concepts, I recently heard a great bassist talking about different interdependent, overlapping states of practice that we have to tap into, to make sure that all parts of our complex machine (being a musician who doesn't suck) are well-oiled and working as intended. From what I gathered, everything could be boiled down to 3 states: Training, Research, and Performance (just fucking playing).

Training is the state of practice that focuses on conditioning the body toward consistent and relable execution of technical material. Think scales and arpeggios, etudes, sound exercises and timbre exploration, etc.

Research is the state of practice where we solve our personal musical problems, as well as deepen our knowledge and understanding of music through intellectual means: analysis and theory, active listening and transcribing, journaling and mind maps, etc. THIS is where most of the stealing can occur, and comes as an endless refresh of boundless potential. It can occur at any time, on or away from an instrument, and usually has lots of stopping and starting. Yeah baby!

Performance is the state where we engage in music-making in real time, with whatever skills and knowledge are available to us at the point of departure (see: Andrew Hill, 1965). This one is hard to pin down, but it can be thought of as making oneself available to accessing generative, reponsive, and subvertive qualities within ourselves. This helps to eliminate the disconnect that occurs in ability once one leaves the practice room and gets on the bandstand.

tags: Practice, 2022

log 2: 2022 Undertakings

February 06, 2022 — ~gooey

After having recently released a new solo recording, Riverfawn I am reassessing what I want to complete by the end of 2022, or at least sometime in the near future.

Ravinia Bridges (due February 15th) will be a new composition for string quartet, alto saxophone, piano, bass, and drums. It must be 10 minutes long, and include a composer CV, program notes, and some form of recording.

Inker's Crying Again is the working title of a new quartet/quintet recording that will be produced with the help of a county grant. It will be ideally 7 or 8 tracks long, and recorded sometime in May, if all goes according to plan. I've written music with the group in mind-- myself on alto, MK on piano, MHJ on bass, and ES on drums-- but am willing to expand to a quintet with DP on vibraphone, DL on trumpet, EM on guitar, or JR on tenor. As of right now, the format of the record is as follows:

  1. Introduction (freely improvised) starting with solo saxophone.
  2. Bug Omen, ending with solo bass
  3. Pines Turn Their Backs, beginning from solo bass and ending with solo drums (maybe with added electronics or voice?)
  4. Blank Stare (and Not the Good Kind) starting with solo drums, ending with duo alto and piano
  5. Duo alto and piano freely improvised piece (title TBD)
  6. Freely Improvised piece (full group) starting with duo alto and piano, and ending with solo piano
  7. Last Written Piece (title TBD) ending with saxophone and drums
  8. Postlude solo saxophone and voice (MK)

Family Words is the working title of a Trio (perhaps quartet as the desired instrumentation becomes clear) recording inspired by Appalachian folk traditions, and various terms, names, and phrases that I frequently heard in my house growing up. As of right now, the options for intrumentation are: Alto, Banjo, Bass, Drums; Alto, Accoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums; or Alto, Banjo/AG, and piano. The working format of the record is as follows:

  1. Oy, If I Could Tell Ya
  2. Momma Bear Clause
  3. Dimension (Dimentia)
  4. Traveling Shit Show
  5. Odie, Odie, Odie
  6. It's Just No Good, That's All
  7. KONK!! Proppys Sop
  8. Trippy Loppies & Push-a-Doodies
  9. Obby Dunda
  10. Nun C'y (Everything's Broked)
More on this soon.

A new duo alto / bass recording is also in the works, but is still in the very beginning stages. That's all for now <3

tags: Composition, Recording, 2022

log 1

February 06, 2022 — ~gooey

This blog will serve as a compositional and woodwind-itional practice log. Doesn't that rule?

tags: general