Thursday, 16 February 2012

Tip See

It's funny that I haven't practised intervals over chords per say but just thinking about them has improved my chances. I got to realize this theory tonight while playing solo piano (it's so soft) for the Sabor Dovino place and it worked in part, as long as I was concentrating properly. For a lot of the repertoire that I do, I have written chord changes especially passing chord changes over the original lead sheet and have tried to create "arrangements" that have some (hopefully) interesting sonorities both vertically and horizontally. However it takes a lot of doing to get these under the fingers never mind actually memorizing the resultant new chart—even though that of course is the goal. At tonight's gig I chose to just play the tunes without any charts resulting at times to sometimes a reversion back to more standard changes or in some cases a set of new changes came out—always welcome if they work—and they can be made to "work" of course. It's a great process to really be able to hear the tunes on my list of 200 tunes or so. It's giving me a balance between arranging and playing and hearing/remembering how tunes go that I hadn't played for a while. I have memorized quite a few of the new set of changes in tunes though and they seem to continually evolve somewhat.

I'm hoping to be able to put up script passages in this blog... There's a few things I'd like to share in the passing chord department. I'm going to hopefully put up some of the new solo piano tracks up here on cloud (stay tuned :). I'm hoping help might be on the way.

So this gig was interesting. Not absolutely full but quite a few parties. I was talking about the dynamics of doing a background/ambience gig like this. Tuning into the broad scope of the melodies, keeping the rubato as really in time but stretched and squeezed when it felt like it without actually losing or gaining time. So there is a rhythmic feel/principle involved. I might go for something and, be also listening in for the mood of the room and the vibe, and definitely tune into it. They are a part of the "performance". I try to listen to them with a compassionate ear and that helps somehow. The dynamics may operate according to what kind of conversation they are having. If it's a near table and they're talking about some construction project aspect !!. I kind of listen in on the conversation and back off a little when a point is being made (is that crazy?). Or, at another table quite far away from the keyboard they may be laughing, and this laughter often comes in waves ... If I'm playing Body and Soul... while they're laughing in waves, it becomes very convenient to phrase the melody in the "troughs" of those laughter waves. Sometimes someone will laugh way out loud quite obviously it's hard not to turn and take a look and I sometimes (secretly) join in in my mind and I smile too. Not at the person (sometimes a quick one) but in general. It makes the whole thing pleasant and keeps my attitude on an even keel. They're out to have a good time and I don't want to interfere with that so I keep my artistic intensions as high as I can whilst accommodating the pulse in the room.. It's not that hard and everyone's happy (I hope). Tonight I drifted off my discipline now and then and played for myself and then realizing the mood was changing (i.e. they talked even louder), I reined in that energy and got back to the meditation on the vibe and the people who share this life in this room. I have to really concentrate on that return because it feels like I let the sheep out and I'm a sheep dog getting back to work bringing home the (bacon) lamb.. :) Generally I had fun during those episodes but I'd like for them to keep asking me so I have to maintain a status quo and still give my time on the job some meaning. Life is Good !! Oh and I got a symbolic "Tip" 2 Tunies (how is that spelled? Yeh.. it's the thought that counts—it was nice to know that someone appreciated it (I split a $50.00 tip there one night)... !!


  1. "while they're laughing in waves, it becomes very convenient to phrase the melody in the "troughs" of those laughter waves" -- I can believe you do this, and all the other dynamic responses to what's going on in the room, but it really is amazing to hear about it.

  2. "while they're laughing in waves, it becomes very convenient to phrase the melody in the "troughs" of those laughter waves" -- I have no trouble believing you do this, and the other dynamic responses to what is going on in the room, but it's amazing to hear about it!

  3. Notably, When I "jazzed" out and failed to live up to my mission, the talking got louder and louder.... I had to do a quick re-install of my intent and calm everyone down... I believe this is true...