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Non-Blindfold Test

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
This is quite uncharactertistic of me, so if you can kindly oblige, I would appreciate it. Clivey is actually the individual who inspired this project. He mentioned the word 'restraint' All I kept thinking of was that word 'restraint'. Playing as cold as I did this morning, I tried to be as less restrained as I could play. 'Tried' is the operative word here. Playing fast, for example, doesn't mean that we're without being restrained. When I had played fast I felt I was laden with restraint because of rhythmical implications. I find it harder to play with less velocity within the passage of notes.

I really need you, if you're accessible to listen, to comply in a very candid, raw, but intelligent way.

You cannot hurt my feelings so I implore that you respond, the way YOU feel about this recording.
I'm experimenting in a way that I need to regarding improvisation, naturally, at the level I'm presently at, which isn't of an advanced nature. Chris Knowles has always been extremely kind in presenting me with rhythms to play against. I'm never interested in the chord structures, but only how I'll react to them.

This recording, is cold right out of the box this morning. I really didn't warm up. Firstly, I placed the rhythm track into two parts. As the first
one fades out I continue to play while the second rhythm track fades in again. I don't want to listen to it until much later today, possibly tomorrow. But I'm presenting it. I'm not sure how the levels came out so keep that in consideration.
I haven't a clue what I played in memory.

I find that when I try and work on various works I get less and less creative. I think I get bored!
I've found that when I pick up my horn cold and press record I think differently, I guess we all do. Personally, I like the way I think in this frame of mind.
How does it sound to the listener? I experiment all the time in various ways, which may not be in a musical reference because I love science. Well, this is my little experiment. I'm going into this blind because I have no idea how anyone would respond to something like this because I didn't want to play in familiar way and I wanted to play and forget about it. That's the best I could do in gathering a non-blindfold test of myself.

If there are responses I'll read them and think about them and then tonight, or tomorrow, I'll sit down and have a listen to it for the first time.

Thanks

Non-Blindfold Test....(Music written by Chris Knowles)
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...bandID=1289603
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
Well me 1st.Here goes.I can tell its you straight off which is good.You have a very strong voice and it hits you smack in the face.Your tone here sounds alot stronger and more full up top.I like the way the track fades out then in.I've said lots of times your lines are very topsy turvy and angular.They throw you left then right then up and down.Theres always alot of tension which reminds me of Joe Lovano.You always play in that strong hard be bop vibe but for this piece which by yhe way is top notch i think if you weaved in and out of your style with atad more blues lines.Say like Joshua Redman would do.Say 12 bars of the hard bop tension stuff then some dirty not to busy old blues lines then back to that tension and repeat.Your using some nice space here but how about a fraction more.I'm finding i'm using it alot more these days.Your ears are great at just playing along on these tracks by Chris and you have tons of nice ideas pouring from your horn.So for me i can only repeat on some more use of the blues as your vibe plus the tracks and atad more space would just refresh the whole thing and maybe lift things atad.Sorry i cant add further as this is the only thing i can say as i always think your style,bag and vibe is sweet.As always this is just my opinion.
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
Not sure I understand completely the context of the word restraint in music, I suppose it means holding back, being less impulsive, but does that mean rhythmically ( perhaps playing behind the beat) to me the opposite of BeBop, or melodically.


This link is a classical piece. By the french composer Saint Saens.


The opening of the piece is what I would call restraint, ( in a melodic sense) achieved with the melody having the second note a semiquaver late, and which figure repeats throughout, until the two slurred two staccato semi quavers on the beat speeding up the tempo, which I would call unrestrained.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD059jkt6bs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Its only necessary to listen to the first 60 secs
Ps. But in the last section you can hear how the French composers got the reputation of writing the best Spanish music.
 
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Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Well me 1st.Here goes.I can tell its you straight off which is good.You have a very strong voice and it hits you smack in the face.Your tone here sounds alot stronger and more full up top.I like the way the track fades out then in.I've said lots of times your lines are very topsy turvy and angular.They throw you left then right then up and down.Theres always alot of tension which reminds me of Joe Lovano.You always play in that strong hard be bop vibe but for this piece which by yhe way is top notch i think if you weaved in and out of your style with atad more blues lines.Say like Joshua Redman would do.Say 12 bars of the hard bop tension stuff then some dirty not to busy old blues lines then back to that tension and repeat.Your using some nice space here but how about a fraction more.I'm finding i'm using it alot more these days.Your ears are great at just playing along on these tracks by Chris and you have tons of nice ideas pouring from your horn.So for me i can only repeat on some more use of the blues as your vibe plus the tracks and atad more space would just refresh the whole thing and maybe lift things atad.Sorry i cant add further as this is the only thing i can say as i always think your style,bag and vibe is sweet.As always this is just my opinion.

Ha, I find this utterly fascinating because I don't recall anything I've played and here you are telling me what you heard from something I did...Maybe I should always record this way? Hows that for walking the ledge?
Thank you Davey!


When I listen to it, It will be like me hearing it for the very first time after reaction, which it is actually the 'non-blindfold test because I've sort of taken the blindfold off as I played, but that was fleeting, yet figuratively I sent it out online with my blindfold still on!


I've been told Joe Lavano comes to mind with my playing. I love Lovano! Okay, good so far! lol....
Okay, the bop style is something that's deeply embedded within my soul. It's my dialect apparently.
And I'm perfectly fine with the style. It's what I can do with the style which I'm trying to find importance with. Being that my playing is on par with 'competent' at best, I have to work with what I do possess.
I could imagine someone with an elevated status, if they chose, could really push the envelope in ways that I can only dream of.


Blues Lines? That's an interesting thought and I do believe in what you're saying, but in that regard it may limit me in tonality. Maybe not! If I could somehow find a way to sound bluesy in a non-tonal way that would be something to consider. On and off? I gotcha! Mix it up kind of thing. I concur!


More space? Sure, space is good. I do tend to blow too much which is why in the last recording I tried to leave space. But I have to listen tonight to hear how much space is there because I haven't a clue!
So from what you've told me I may have played a bit on the excessive side.


All good points Davey! I'll definitely keep them in mind and thank you for the participation!
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Not sure I understand completely the context of the word restraint in music, I suppose it means holding back, being less impulsive, but does that mean rhythmically ( perhaps playing behind the beat) to me the opposite of BeBop, or melodically.


This link is a classical piece. By the french composer Saint Saens.


The opening of the piece is what I would call restraint, ( in a melodic sense) achieved with the melody having the second note a semiquaver late, and which figure repeats throughout, until the two slurred two staccato semi quavers on the beat speeding up the tempo, which I would call unrestrained.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD059jkt6bs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Its only necessary to listen to the first 60 secs
Ps. But in the last section you can hear how the French composers got the reputation of writing the best Spanish music.

Well, from what Clivey was telling me, I was holding back. It's easy to assume that because in my first rendition of Filthy Habits I played a few passages very quickly. In the second one I didn't. Yes, less impulsive.....In the 1st one I was impulsive but I was careless.


It can yes, rhythmically speaking. Also melodically, harmonically as well. it all depends on the what the listener hears and personally defines as what is being restrained. We can't all predict what a listener expects and so it's anyone's guess what will turn up from an outside source, such as the listener.


The alledged restraint in the video is an orchestrated one, I would assume. The composer, who I also assume is not present in the performance, not that that has any relevance. The composer thought this through alone at home, or somewhere else, and carefully notated the desired notes/dynamics, etc. I think the composer was intentional to restrain himself because those passages meant something in a personal way (descriptive). Granted! I don't call that restrained in how I mean it here in improvisation, as in how to go against what is suggested to be melodic or how it comforms to a status quo.


Whereas, in improvisation, where, myself for instance, was trying to 'escape' from a norm. I don't know how successful I was at it but the effort is there nonetheless. I assume Clivey knows what I try to do because he's heard some music from me and he was being helpful in indicating that if I want to pursue this I have to be more free with myself. Less restrained!


And he's 100% correct!
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
BTW Mike, I find your playing, enjoyable. What I mean is I can usually allways listen from the start to the end without my mind wandering, that tends to happen with a lot of things you hear.
the point I was making with the classical piece, is using restraint or the opposite in music, should result in a musical result, the restraint or unrestraint is just one of the many ways to compose, and impro is composing on the fly.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
BTW Mike, I find your playing, enjoyable. What I mean is I can usually allways listen from the start to the end without my mind wandering, that tends to happen with a lot of things you hear.
the point I was making with the classical piece, is using restraint or the opposite in music, should result in a musical result, the restraint or unrestraint is just one of the many ways to compose, and impro is composing on the fly.
That's about as best a compliment as I could ever receive!
Thank You!

Yes, restraining in music has it's necessary place. When and Where, that sort of thing.......
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
Look forward to what you do or not and find out about your findings when you listen back to it.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Look forward to what you do or not and find out about your findings when you listen back to it.
I appreciate your thoughts Davey! I really don't know what to expect and I must admit that I find this exciting. Like what kind of prize will I get from my Cracker Jacks box! Yeah, that kind of excitement!


I did expect a small response load but that's okay. It is what it is, as they say these days. The end result is what came out of my horn. But I thought it was a creative concept and it's one I may involve myself in more.
Tomorrow morning I'll have a cup of coffee and have a listen.


You and I went at it a few days ago and for you to come on here and tell me this is very kind of you.
Whatever it is I do, in the scope of things, it's not really important, but what I do find importance in is to always push the imagination in not only music but in peripheral concepts as well. I trust the theory of plasticity.

I'm highly critical of my work, so let's see....I may think it's real crap and that may possibly be why response was so low after asking for response. So, ya see how that can alter a person's thinking? Even out of silence (my imagination) I've gotten a general idea from how others hear it. Now I'll compare how I hear it as opposed to how others heard it and judge. Do I agree or disagree?
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
I wouldn't worry about the response, your idea to talk about a concept in creating your music is great. Although I found it difficult to work out exactly what the goal was, and I hope my introducing the classical piece didn't derail your post. But just tried to illustrate in concrete musical terms what I thought was your idea.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
I wouldn't worry about the response, your idea to talk about a concept in creating your music is great. Although I found it difficult to work out exactly what the goal was, and I hope my introducing the classical piece didn't derail your post. But just tried to illustrate in concrete musical terms what I thought was your idea.

Nah, it's not about worry, it was just an exercise in participation in a personal experiment I attempted.
I appreciate that you enjoy my playing! And thanks to Davey and Chris as well!
If I may.....Let me tell you that I listened to it twice this morning and I was actually pleased with it.
I found more positive as opposed to negative. I'm verrrry critical of my playing. I liked how I resolved my phrases,
as well as the thought process I had yesterday morning. It appeared more like a soliloquy where I was speaking to others while they listened...But more from a platform. I usually don't get that impression when I listen back to my work. The phrases reminded me of worded passage. They were quite lucid. Free of cliche and had more substance for the level I'm at. My articulation and tone was fine for my tastes. Although I agree with Davey and Chris, space could have only enhanced the tune. I'm wordy in both music and text because I'm an opinionated individual. I always have a lot to say in both fields and music is a direct reflection of who I am. I think what both Chris and Davey told me were right on the mark. I need to stop with over note usage. ( and word usage as well...lol)....

There's no specific melody, which is characteristic of me. But does, talking always have consistent melody. Talking is essentially discursive. I hear all the time the word analogy between music and speech. I never bought it and I still don't actually. The two are two ambiguous a comparison, in my opinion. It's just a nice artisitic way to express the analogy. So, the paradox is if I lack melody, then isn't that more of a reflection of actual speech? Ah, it's not really important. I only speak in terms of artistic analogy and not in a general aphorisms.


My altissimo also is always in need of repair. I should try and fix that but I never found it important. But if I'm going to go there it should sound decent, otherwise I should stay the hell out of there! What I found most pleasing is that, for my ears, I had consistenctcy throughout which is something that always bugs the hell out of me. Additionally, I liked how it got stronger as it progressed. Ha, I'm being a critic of my own work in a way that is unusual for me in this context, which is what I wanted to happen. A different approach and trying to get outside of myself, if that's at all possible? Hey, at least I try things out! I'm a dreamer at heart!


In that regard alone this tune is different. Does this sound different? Well, to be honest not per se, but I found it separate from my other work. It had identity....... I heard it as standing alone from my other improvisations in a good way. So my observation is that there are variables.
1. Chris's tune may have a lot to do with it. It's a great piece to work with harmonically! He's such a lovely human being! We Skype each other from time to time to discuss things without the dreaded constraints of a text only communication.
2. Being that I went into it cold I didn't taint it with extraneous thoughts before I recorded it.
3. I have to try this procedure more often to validate if I'm a better player cold than warmed up. ( no asked participation though) It was just a one time experiment to please my eccentric self on many levels.


My goal? I wanted to re-inspect my work from another angle. I wanted to read what others had to say in order to influence my thoughts before I actually went in and had a listen myself. I more or less got a general idea from the percentage of views as opposed to actual replies. The replies gave me 'hardcopy'
results which I appreciate. From that, and my imagination regarding 'no response', I did go into it with a mixed expectation. When I listened, it was a gratifying feeling and I've always found that rare with me.
My history has always dictated that.


No James, not at all....Your classical link was nice to listen to and I understood perfectly your intention.
I found it had everything to do with the topic at hand! Thanks so much for the support my friend!


Mike
 
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daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
In the end Mike i've had a few ding dongs on here and on SOTW and if i did not really like or respect the player i would not bother but the likes of you and Wade who i do rate and respect as players and fellow art makers i'm not going to throw in the dummy.I was a wild cat in my early playing days,very hot headed and would sulk and be a real nasty git but these days i just have my say and likewise and turn the other cheek.Lifes rather short to hold any grudge.Hey i'm strong minded and so are others but we have a little scrap and all forgotten about.Will read your new replys later,rushing about here.
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
Nah, it's not about worry, it was just an exercise in participation in a personal experiment I attempted.
I appreciate that you enjoy my playing! And thanks to Davey and Chris as well!
If I may.....Let me tell you that I listened to it twice this morning and I was actually pleased with it.
I found more positive as opposed to negative. I'm verrrry critical of my playing. I liked how I resolved my phrases,
as well as the thought process I had yesterday morning. It appeared more like a soliloquy where I was speaking to others while they listened...But more from a platform. I usually don't get that impression when I listen back to my work. The phrases reminded me of worded passage. They were quite lucid. Free of cliche and had more substance for the level I'm at. My articulation and tone was fine for my tastes. Although I agree with Davey and Chris, space could have only enhanced the tune. I'm wordy in both music and text because I'm an opinionated individual. I always have a lot to say in both fields and music is a direct reflection of who I am. I think what both Chris and Davey told me were right on the mark. I need to stop with over note usage. ( and word usage as well...lol)....

There's no specific melody, which is characteristic of me. But does, talking always have consistent melody. Talking is essentially discursive. I hear all the time the word analogy between music and speech. I never bought it and I still don't actually. The two are two ambiguous a comparison, in my opinion. It's just a nice artisitic way to express the analogy. So, the paradox is if I lack melody, then isn't that more of a reflection of actual speech? Ah, it's not really important. I only speak in terms of artistic analogy and not in a general aphorisms.


My altissimo also is always in need of repair. I should try and fix that but I never found it important. But if I'm going to go there it should sound decent, otherwise I should stay the hell out of there! What I found most pleasing is that, for my ears, I had consistenctcy throughout which is something that always bugs the hell out of me. Additionally, I liked how it got stronger as it progressed. Ha, I'm being a critic of my own work in a way that is unusual for me in this context, which is what I wanted to happen. A different approach and trying to get outside of myself, if that's at all possible? Hey, at least I try things out! I'm a dreamer at heart!


In that regard alone this tune is different. Does this sound different? Well, to be honest not per se, but I found it separate from my other work. It had identity....... I heard it as standing alone from my other improvisations in a good way. So my observation is that there are variables.
1. Chris's tune may have a lot to do with it. It's a great piece to work with harmonically! He's such a lovely human being! We Skype each other from time to time to discuss things without the dreaded constraints of a text only communication.
2. Being that I went into it cold I didn't taint it with extraneous thoughts before I recorded it.
3. I have to try this procedure more often to validate if I'm a better player cold than warmed up. ( no asked participation though) It was just a one time experiment to please my eccentric self on many levels.


My goal? I wanted to re-inspect my work from another angle. I wanted to read what others had to say in order to influence my thoughts before I actually went in and had a listen myself. I more or less got a general idea from the percentage of views as opposed to actual replies. The replies gave me 'hardcopy'
results which I appreciate. From that, and my imagination regarding 'no response', I did go into it with a mixed expectation. When I listened, it was a gratifying feeling and I've always found that rare with me.
My history has always dictated that.


No James, not at all....Your classical link was nice to listen to and I understood perfectly your intention.
I found it had everything to do with the topic at hand! Thanks so much for the support my friend!


Mike


Well you are a thinking man, in music and language, and an innovator at heart. The great innovators in music are the great improvisers like Charlie Parker and composers like Messian, who would listen to birdsong and transcribe it to music on a page, the giants, but to coin a phrase. Most of us stand on the shoulders of giants. So I wish you well in your quest Mike. But it may drive you insane. LOL.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
In the end Mike i've had a few ding dongs on here and on SOTW and if i did not really like or respect the player i would not bother but the likes of you and Wade who i do rate and respect as players and fellow art makers i'm not going to throw in the dummy.I was a wild cat in my early playing days,very hot headed and would sulk and be a real nasty git but these days i just have my say and likewise and turn the other cheek.Lifes rather short to hold any grudge.Hey i'm strong minded and so are others but we have a little scrap and all forgotten about.Will read your new replys later,rushing about here.
I understand, sure. But ding dongs? Is that a cultural thing I'm not understanding? In my country that's used as a slight. At least in my region of the country.
If they don't relate to who you appear to be, they're entitled to their opinion and their own interpretation. There's equanimity in that and just because it doesn't apply to our music in a positive light does not make it any less authentic. It's another personal perspective. Would you rather only get positive results, and never receive an alternate opinion that does not coincide with your work? If I misinterpreted what you meant, I sincerely apologize.


I speak my mind as well and it's my experience that that really doesn't always count for integrity. But I take the good with the bad because of the essence of the environment. I think I'm fair in anything I assess. And I certainly don't owe anyone anything in regards to how I should respond according to expectation.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Well you are a thinking man, in music and language, and an innovator at heart. The great innovators in music are the great improvisers like Charlie Parker and composers like Messian, who would listen to birdsong and transcribe it to music on a page, the giants, but to coin a phrase. Most of us stand on the shoulders of giants. So I wish you well in your quest Mike. But it may drive you insane. LOL.

Ha! nah, it may appear more indulgent then it really is because words of themselves are non-definitive
without spirit behind them. Words do not permit that luxury. The word ineffable always comes to mind how I really feel about things, and it must for others as well. Words in any forum are merely like drips leaking out of a dam that contains the full essence of who and what we are.
Like anyone else in any forum, we become relegated to imagination. That's the fuel behind online interaction.


Music has a part in my life, obviously, but it's not the most important aspect of it.


Quest is trying to realize one's potential. Personally, I find that erroneous. How does anyone know when the platform of potential is reached or attained? It doesn't exist because there are no limits. It's insatiable and as long as this is realized then strength in conviction to perservere whatever we can to fulfill us along the way will always be productive no matter how small or depending upon various levels. The level part is irrelevant and others should realize that if they haven't already.


Most of us stand on the shoulders of giants
Well, that's essentially it in a nutshell. I don't want to stand on anyone's shoulder.....I have a reasonable fear of heights!


Thanks again for the support you've kindly offered! It's appreciated!
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,303
I understand, sure. But ding dongs? Is that a cultural thing I'm not understanding? In my country that's used as a slight. At least in my region of the country.
If they don't relate to who you appear to be, they're entitled to their opinion and their own interpretation. There's equanimity in that and just because it doesn't apply to our music in a positive light does not make it any less authentic. It's another personal perspective. Would you rather only get positive results, and never receive an alternate opinion that does not coincide with your work? If I misinterpreted what you meant, I sincerely apologize.


I speak my mind as well and it's my experience that that really doesn't always count for integrity. But I take the good with the bad because of the essence of the environment. I think I'm fair in anything I assess. And I certainly don't owe anyone anything in regards to how I should respond according to expectation.

Your way off Mike.Here in Blighty it just means abit of of row,fight,argument etc etc.
 

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