Wednesday, March 14, 2007

the gig is done

Well, in the end, the gig comes and goes. You play as well as you do and before you can count a 4-4 bar, it's over.
[Left: church gigs are full of post concert socializing.]
We were escorted to the basement for refreshments and to say hello. We were greeted by some really nice people. The feeling for me is happiness brought on by the relief of the pressure being off, and though this may sound disingenuous and as much as I appreciate the compliments, I never feel worthy of them. But, I try not to think about it all too much as this is best for me.

We were a bit thin on material, due to our hectic and full schedules making rehearsal time limited, but with some "show and tell" talking about instruments, we were able to fill the 40 minute requirement.

[Mad scientist Dave setting up. That's his EVI in his hand. Note keyboard, laptop and satellite to the Mothership.]

Being part of a Lenten church series, it was a decent audience in terms of numbers and was comprised mainly of church members, family and friends. They were quiet and really attentive. You could feel them really listening-their presence, so to speak, was encouraging, alert and responsive. Overall, a casual gig and a good one to launch this ensemble.

Regrets always come with the territory. I don't think I've ever played a perfect gig; one that just made me overjoyed. I've been happy, but never satisfied or sure that everything went as planned, but that may just be natural. Usually, you accept the "gain and loss" aspect of playing live. I'm just glad it's over and all the stress is done. There is a sense of accomplishment and mostly relief that no disasters happened.

These days I try to approach live performance with the intention of simplicity. As a young man, I would try to get every musical idea I could think of out of my mind and into my fingers. The results could be rhapsodic, border on chaos, or sound like confused doo doo. I hate listening to tapes-tapes are always devoid of the accompanying emotions and just mechanically preserve the results. You think you did something great, but then the tape says otherwise. That's tough. But, when you approach everything with a sense of calm (hopefully) and fully intending to stay within your technical grasp, with nothing to prove, there tends to be a much better, more satisfying performance for all concerned. Just relax and play. As Fripp instructs his students, "We do nothing." He often begins lessons with nothing but sitting. This acts as a centering.

[Poor Li-li had to open with a piano accompaniment that kept her fingers busy. Here's the four page score of "Sergie's Tune."]

That rare moment of a glimpse into that other level of being, what you could call "out of the body" musical experiences, happened only once during this gig. I was taking a solo on the classic Miles tune "All Blues"- a very common tune, deceptively simple, but easy to mess up. I found myself enjoying my solo-so rare. To designate where the sections begin and end, in our group, the guitar seemed to be the natural choice. I hit the beginning of the solo with a G9 chord like "bah-BAH". It left this huge hole in the sound for a moment. Instead of rushing to fill that space, I let it linger for a moment and in turn, it created a "moment."

I always question everybody a few days after the gig to see how they felt things went. Dave, as of this writing, is the only one I've spoken to and he felt that it went ok. He has a tape.

OH boy! Burn it! Burn it! Destroy all record of it.

Nah. We'll listen. Mostly for our own mistakes....

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