Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Berkeley visit and recording

Over labor day weekend I was out in California for a cousin's wedding, so I stayed for a few extra days to visit and play music with Tom Bickley and Joe Zitt. Tom, Joe, and I used to play in a quintet called Gray Code, back when they lived in DC. Now that they're out in Berkeley, I don't get to see them much, so it was great to have a chance to visit. Joe was able to get access to a church near the monastery where they live, so we were able to set up some recording gear, and spent a few hours improvising in a really nice sounding space.

We tried a few structured things - some of which worked better than others, as well as some free improvising. I'm not sure what we'll do with the recordings, possibly we'll use them as raw materials for further editing and processing, maybe someday I'll have some time to add additional guitar tracks or something... we'll see. Tom did a few pieces with a "snake bead," a reed instrument that his partner, Nancy, brought back from India. It's very loud and has a remarkably piercing sound. One piece involved Tom walking around the space playing that thing, while I tried to put out a similar amount of sound using the vibrator and a slide simultaneously on the guitar.

Unfortunately, scheduling didn't work out for us to also play with Phillip Greenlief and Jonathan Russell - hopefully next time!

While in the bay area, I did have a chance to eat at Cha Ya, Manzanita, and we stopped for vegan gelato, but I don't remember the name of that place. I also had time for a quick trip to Otsu.

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