Thursday, February 19, 2009

What the hell was that?

Do you like how I just dropped off those little audio and visual nuggets on you last night without explanation?

Perhaps I should do a little explaining now. Actually, it's pretty simple. It's guitar. And drums!

I took the concept of the drum/guitar duet from John Coltrane's album Interstellar Space, which was a collection of duets he recorded with drummer Rashied Ali on a single day in February, 1967. I like the idea of having endless freedom on guitar to go wherever my mood takes me. The difficult lies in making the part something more than a bunch of random noodling. Recording this kind of duet requires a lot of thinking on the fly if you want the results to be musical.

The two versions of "Decaffeinated" are simply two different guitar takes that I overdubbed over the same clangorous drum part. The first version I recorded without any prep or forethought. It has a certain inspiration to it and is perhaps the smoother take. The second version introduces a basic melodic theme that recurs at various points, giving it more of a finished feel. The playing is hotter in the second version, also. If I was still doing albums, that would be the version I'd use. But since I'm not limited by the album format, I figured I should throw both versions out there for your amusement.

I call it "Decaffeinated" to celebrate the fact that this is the week I quit caffeine cold turkey. The reasons for doing that aren't germane here, but it did inspire both the title and the artwork--which is just a photo of a coffee cup taken on my dining room table, and then heavily tweezed in Adobe Illustrator. Lots 'o fun!

As a final note, I was just too damned tired this evening to record another duet, but hopefully I will do so tomorrow, and then work on a more developed piece this weekend.

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