Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - The Year That Sorta Was

A year-end recap of my musical 2009:

--Finished one album, Saturation, and began another, to be titled The Structure Creates Itself. The latter album will have to wait until 2010, as I have been in procrastination mode lately. I think the new album will be worth the wait, based on what I have done so far.

--Furthered my commitment to improvised music. The music I recorded this Fall shows clear growth in my ability to create improvised music that doesn't sound so much like random noodling. I'm not the next John Coltrane, but I am growing in my ability to improvise beyond set licks and patterns.

--Wavered in my commitment to abandoning traditional forms of releasing music. When I created this site, my intent was to issue a steady stream of new music, images, and words without regard for how it would fit into album form. However, I remain attached to the album concept. It may be, however, that I need to get beyond the album format, since I do not charge for my music or play live. Or, perhaps, I will just issue new recordings as they are finished and then periodically declare the results to be an "album," for those who care about such things. That, however, is an issue for 2010, not for the present year-end recap.

--Finally got a non-suck guitar sound going, after all these years. Thanks to the Grendel Dead Room isolation speaker cabinet, I can now record real, honest-to-god guitar sounds that don't sound like the cheesy modeling amps on display at Guitar Center. I'm continually getting better at dialing things in, and you'll hear some really cool sounds on The Structure Creates Itself.

--Bought a shit ton of guitars. Frankly, at year's end, I cannot believe how many guitars I now own. It looks like a disheveled guitar store in my little studio. 2010 will be about cutting back the quantity while possibly increasing the quality. Also, we need another car around here at the Military-Industrial Recording Complex, so it would be nice to generate some cash.

--Saw many great concerts. A partial list includes Heaven & Hell, Chick Corea Trio, Stanley Clarke, Corea/McLaughlin, The Mahavishnu Project, Hiromi's Sonicbloom, Airto & Diana Moreira, Larry Coryell, Progressive Nation Tour 2009, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, jazz bassist Dave Holland, and Azar Lawrence & Benito Gonzalez. There were more, but my recall is bad at the moment.

All in all, my 2009 was probably better than it had any right to be. Happy New Year, and here's to a very musical 2010 for everyone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Elegy

My grandmother-in-law, Mabel Carreon, passed away tonight after a period of illness. Upon hearing the news, I needed to record something that would both express my sadness and pay tribute to a lady for whom I had great affection.

Here it is, "Mabel The Cowgirl."




















The title is taken from a gift shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My wife and I immediately thought of Grandma Mabel upon seeing it, and I think we might even have gotten her a coffee mug or some such from there with the store's logo on it.

Happy trails, dear Grandma Mabel.

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