general fuzz

Musing from a obsessive computer music composer with hippie-ish tendencies.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Looking for Action

I've had a really good week, if not a little tiring. As I've been working on a bunch of tunes, it dawned upon me that this new album is starting to come together. Very little could put me in a better mood then that thought. I have maybe 6 songs that are compositionally complete, but will need more work until they are finished. A lot of them have parts composed for other instruments, so its all about finding musicians who are willing to come in to my studio and contribute. Another 3 are maybe half way done.

One of these songs has a three part flute harmony, so I began searching for a flutist, as referenced in earlier posts. My friend Hawk came over and recorded the parts. I learned a lot through the process. For example, I need to take into consideration long sequences of notes that have no break, as my sampler never runs out of breath. Anyway, after revisiting the recording session, I found that the material wasn't really what I was looking for. The notes were all there, but the dynamics and tone were not. Hawk's a great flute player, but more geared toward improvisational/jazz music. Stina suggested contacting Sarah Holzman. Sarah is the sister of my long time friend Jess. They both went to Oberlin. I had forgotten that Sarah studied flute at the Conservatory. So, I asked Sarah, and fortunately for me, she was willing to give it a go. She came over on Thursday. I said we'd need 3-4 hours to get through the material. We were done in an hour and a half. I had to scrape my jaw off the floor. It turns out she's a full time flutist, and deservedly so. It was one of those recording sessions where I felt the magic. It was a lot of fun, to say the least.

So I was riding the best high when I woke up on Friday. I checked the recorded material - it was as good as I hoped it was. After spending most of the week cooped up my office/studio I was itching to go out for the night. Stina's not much of a night person these days, what with the tri training. So I call around, no one really seems to have any plans, or at least, any plans that I can intrude upon. I talk to Matty, and he's down to meet somewhere downtown for drinks on the way home from work. Since its nice and early still, Stina rallys and we meet up at my favorite chi-chi bar, Cosmo's. Its one of the only places I'll order a Mohito at. Its like 8 bucks, and its fantastic. So Matty, Amanda, Caryn, Stina and I have some fabulous drinks and some food. Stina takes off, and soon after everyones ready to head home, around 8ish. I call my buddy Adam, and he's with a couple friends at wine party, so thats my new destination. Matty and Amanda even give me a lift over.

Now, the irony here is, I don't enjoy wine. I think I might be allergic to sulfites or something. So, I'm now I'm heading over to a random wine party, where everyone was supposed to bring a bottle from a specific french vinyard. So I roll in, and everyone seems to be on their way to drunksville. This makes it very easy to interact with anybody, which I'm prone to do. I discover that a lot of people are here from some yahoo wine list, so they don't know anyone else. After a couple longish random interactions, I decide I'd like something drink. Turns out there's a corner store 15 feet away, and I pick up a bottle of Chimay. In the kitchen, I ask one of the hosts for a wine glass. Seems like they're all out - could I use this beer mug? He has no idea I just came in with my Chimay. I feel that a higher power approves of what I'm doing, and now I'm the one dude in 40 people drinking beer, out of my beer mug, no less. I'm having a great time. I finally have a chance to catch up with Jesse.

Jesse is a friend for college who I played in a band with, along with Jason Parmar, who's also at the party. When I think of my peak times in high school, I think of my high school band "Lunch". Similarly, a lot of the best times were with our band "Harvest". We were the 'it' jamband my senior year. We played a lot of parties, and a lot of good times ensued. I also took Economics with Jesse, and for some reason I had a natural aptitude for the subject. He struggled some, and I was happy to work with him. This is where I learned about his incredible focus. We would work for 45 mins, and I would be like, we should play video games or something. He would want to work for another hour or so. Despite his hippie-ish mannerisms, the man has discipline, and it willing to work hard to succeed. So for the last 6 years, he's been working his ass off for a world beat label in San Francisco called six-degrees. In parallel, he's started his own band, which is self named as JP Cutler. In the last couple months, he's been transitioning out his job, and starting up his own publicity business. This is the first month where he's finally working for himself. All his hard work, and bringing his A game to all the publicity and tour management he's done is now paying off in dividends. He now has a bunch of choice projects, and amazingly enough the financial side of things are looking good as well. This is unbelievable for someone just starting out, but this is how you do it right. Building up a network of people, slowly over time, and proving yourself again and again. Now these people turn to Jesse, and actively recommend other people to use him. I'm so proud of him, and it so amazing to watch this happen. So we're both there riding on incredible waves of positivity, getting rather drunk. Good fucking times.

There's no music going on, and though I might not know whose apartment I'm in, I stopped caring a while ago. Adam, Jesse, Jason and I spring in action. Suddenly Dark Star is coming out of the living room stereo. I find the area where itunes controls the music, and quickly General Fuzz fills the other end of the party. I love it. I drink my beer, gaze at the expensive empty wines bottles strewn all over everywhere, and really soak in the randomness of it all.

We clean out the party. They want to go see Spearhead @ Mezzanine. Its midnight. I don't really care for Micheal Franti (lead singer for Spearhead) - I feel like he hasn't progressed his show at all since the first time I saw him. It's a $25 dollar show. Whatever, I'll cruise along with this crew and I can easily get home from Mezzanine when we get there. We park, and pass a fine pizza eatery on the way to the venue. Perfect. We show up, and I guess its late enough, cause they're like, "it's a benifit, and there's a bowl for donations over there." Awesome. We catch the last 25 minutes of Spearhead.

I don't get to spend a lot of time with those guys, and its often special when I do. I had such a great night, and so glad I was able to connect with all of them. You can hear tracks which I collaborated with Jesse and Jason with. A track that I did with Adam is done and slated for the new album.



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