Friday, October 31, 2008

Things to catch up on

I've had a list in my notebook for a week about things about which I really must blog. But it's just been sitting there for ages... so here you go:

1. In improvisation class we have been working on chord progressions and becoming comfortable improvising over them. This can be quite intimidating, particularly if your bass keeps going out of tune so notes aren't really where you expect them to be... but on Tuesday I had a couple of eureka moments and actually sat down on the floor to scribble down thoughts during the middle of class.

Improvisation is about making a statement, having something to say and saying it with confidence-- even if it is in a structured improvisation. I've become comfortable with STATEMENTS in free improvisation where you can really screw up- but of course you can also say something in a structured environment. This had literally never occurred to me before. Also- there is communication between the soloist and the rhythm section; just like in free improvisation you can have a conversation, play off of each other, communicate something through the playing of the solo. I mean, duh. But a new duh.

2. Last Friday we had a day long class at the London Contemporary Dance School. I'm madly in love with that place. I'll tell you more in another post but what I want to tell you here is that after class (the school is by Euston and King's Cross) and before the Stockhausen concert Emma, Jo, Michael and I went to go find tasty vegetarian food. I lugged the bass quite a ways and was like "Michael! Where are you taking us?!" when we arrived at Ravi Shankar. I tried to tell them that my family had eaten here and they met my teacher/mentor but I hadn't really met my teacher/mentor yet and the story all got very convoluted except that I was able to get across that a smoking viol had been involved...

The waiters loved that the bass was there. They moved a table so that he (this bass is a he. I've never had a male bass before) could have a place to lean in the corner and then one of the waiters in particular kept coming by to ask more questions about it. It was cute.

3. This weekend Latana and Ella and I were all at home which is a bit of a rarity. We were cleaning the flat and got the storage space under the stairs all cleaned out and organized so that there is no longer I giant mound of stuff in front of it. Well done us. We also were giggly all day long and roamed about the flat doing a bit of yoga on the ground floor landing and eventually singing pop songs from the 30's and 50's at the piano in Latana's room. Have I mentioned that I have the best flatmates?

4. Last Saturday was Kate's friend Cos's birthday party to which I was invited. I wasn't really planning on going but then I got this manic phone call from Kate and Simon who it turned out were right outside our flat. They were a bit lost so borrowed my map and dragged me along to the party which turned out to be marvelous. Lots of Cos's friends in bands singing various odes, lots of bouncing around dancing and generally being a bit ridiculous. Much more fun than sitting at home.

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