Life as a “Single” Guy – Stories Through Musical Improvisation: I. In My Solitude

Ever since I got separated from my ex-wife and started living the life of a single guy/parent, I have gone deeper and deeper into my musical activities.¬†An almost everyday routine I have established is to record various musical ideas and improvise on them, mostly using the piano. While I have been doing this for the past few weeks, something about them was revealed to me. I then realized that as it turns out, they are actually reflections of how I felt at the moment or whatever it is that I experienced within that period of time. As I have previously written before, my current life in solitude can be lonely yet it is an open road where many opportunities have sprung up. Here is one of my musical stories from my current status, as told on the piano, called “In My Solitude”:

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Lunch Break at the PWU School of Music Recital Hall

This is probably the first time I spent my lunch break on music rather than on food.

What’s happening here is actually a test of recording equipment. This is a video recording of myself and Jeepney Joyride trombonist Diamond Manuel performing a free improvisation jam. Everything here is completely improvised. The first piece is a 20th-century classical sounding ditty influenced by the likes of Bartok, Varese, Messiaen, Zappa, and maybe a bit of Debussy. The second piece is a pretty straightforward swing jazz in C minor.

Now, as to why I was testing recording equipment, I was checking recording levels on my Zoom H4n because I’m supposed to record Diamond’s trombone recital this coming Saturday morning. He will be performing his recital program on December 6, 2014 at the Philippine Women’s University School of Music Recital Hall. It’s free admission, and safe to say that I don’t think anybody’s going to hear this sort of jam session at the event.

The test did come out great on my Zoom H4n. I have to say, however, that the video posted here is from my crappy smartphone and so the audio quality is not so great. Since I usually have to take videos for my research, I suppose investing money on a real camcorder isn’t such a bad idea.

So, if any of you are in Manila on Saturday and happen to have some free time, please drop by and watch Diamond Manuel’s trombone recital. Cheers!

Newbie Tries Live Looping Using Ableton Live

I am that newbie, and boy do I suck at this. How many times do I have to suck before getting it right just like those folks at the BOSS Loopstation Championships? Gotta shed some more wood on bass? Piano? Ableton? I guess that would be everything.