Thursday, February 20, 2014

SESH BRO


          Lately my musical life has been mainly focused on practicing singing like a madman, teaching my awesome students, or recording sessions. 

Will Dollinger took this photo

           My recording history has been pretty consistent for a while with a HUGE spike in work last winter. I was blessed with a fantastic opportunity to learn a lot in a short period of time. My musicianship improved beyond measure, and thankfully so did my social skills as a collaborator. You just had to go in there and do your thing, no matter what malfunctioned. It truly helped me learn how to believe in myself. 

           A lot of people tell me that they dig how I smile for most of the time of perform. It's because the performance is the culmination of a lot of hard work practicing and studying. It truly is a reward, and its so fun to experience the power of rhythm in harmony with a big group of people. I don't really agree with most kinds of people on most kinds of things; but on this, we are together one. It's really fun for me, so I act a fool and goober up. This is what we call natural expression. 



           But having a recording session feels far more consequential. This is the chance to go inward and confront myself as a musician. Think of it as a phycological analysis almost, where I am in the chair and on the sofa. And sometimes both of us indulge in cigars. 

           Recording music has always reminded me of leaving little flakes of my soul in the past to be experienced new again in the future. It is my chance to make a resounding impact on people with no histrionics, just music. Just my expression. This is a fairly deep connection, and although not a true connection in reality, it is pure. 

          Of course I still maintain a joyous attitude because recording sessions are, for the most part, collaboration sessions. It's a mistake to really take group work too far beyond this fact, I believe. Relationships are collaboration sessions, and if you are a good collaborator, it is far easier to do anything. 

          In truth, I approach recording with a bit more fear, because your true expression and ability is often under a microscope with a bias lens. Fear is simply switched with excitement, and I'm ready with my senses heightened. Because of this, I probably tend to take a bit more of a spiritual approach. As such, I really like to have a routine to how I get ready and set everything up. The French call this "mise en place." 

          "Mise en Bass" seems more appropriate for our purposes. Try out your own pun. 

          I like doing certain things the same way; like an archer hitting his mark or a surgeon arranging his materials before a bypass. There is no better feeling to me than doing things in an easy order to ramp up. Do it right; right makes light. 

          The chord charts get made the same way. The cables are un-coiled in the same fashion. I even find myself taking the same amount of coffee sips between each prepared activity. I can notice all these things easily because I do them the same way each time; it really helps assuage my body and mind to notice all the new details much more easily as well. Eventually it, or you, is all there. 

          Perhaps this is why recording feels like leaving parts of my soul behind. More than a snapshot of who I am in a precise moment of time, recorded baselines are pristine conservations of who I am exactly then in a way that is indescribable by words. You can only access that way thru using your ears, using your mind, and using your heart. All at once. 

       off to leave musical dandruff that even head n shoulders couldn't help with,
benjamin 

1 comment:

  1. Last time I saw you was October 2012, chatting with you and Jaron after a show. New Jersey. Looks like you cut some dead weight - those guys are way too mopey anyway. Still a hardcore IG fan but that night I saw you was the last time I saw them. The craziest series of events began on the drive home from that show. It involved flashing blue and red lights, abject poverty, show tunes, a free trip to Baton Rouge, and ultimately meeting the girl who is now my wife. Man - you and Jaron are TERRIBLE influences! Seriously though, I'm super glad your out in the world laying down grooves and keeping the oatmeal industry honest. Keep playing happy. That's how I'll always think of you!!! Lindsay

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