Was delighted to play a streaming set on Nick’s International Virtual Garage, a fantastic channel where electro-acoustic performers play in the diasporan space we’ve been working in throughout the pandemic (and thanks, Nick, for inviting me!).
I did an hour set of music and stories, with a top-down video showing my instruments as I improvised my set, after which I edited and mastered an album version of the set, which is available via Bandcamp:
Showed up with my increasingly stable rig (details below) for another run with the Baltimore SDIY Group‘s concerts at the Electric Maid Community Exchange in the Takoma neighborhood of DC (and MD). It’s always a bit of a mystery of what I’ll come up with in these experimental improvisational episodes, and I followed a nice melodic, relaxed modular set from Hovercraft, so I felt like I could delve into slightly glitchier, pulsing, wavelike territory as a counterpoint. I think it came out quite well.
I was using a five-tone equal temperament tuning, which is a tuning that, instead of dividing the octave into twelve equal steps, divides it into five steps. It’s a really lush harmonic landscape for drones and massed sounds, with a sort of exotic feel, but not necessarily one tied to any particular ethnic tradition. Amusingly, I got started with alternative tunings back in college, when I wanted to take some independent study sessions in the music department, but didn’t want my professors to know that I’m absolutely pig ignorant of traditional music theory. Work in 5-TET or 7-TET or another off-the-beaten-track tuning and you’re freed from the mass of conventional theory on how tonality is supposed to work. And yes, that is absolutely cheating, but key and chords and all that related stuff make my head spin.
Nothing prerecorded—everything was composed on the fly.
Listen, preferably with the volume lowish and speakers with some bass: