The Drummer & the Pianist

I read one day the autobiography of Bill Bruford, one of the greatest drummer ever. I like him because he played in Yes and with King Crimson.

He talked about big concerts in America. He talked about this strange thing : when all is ready, when the team is ready and OK, when the group rested in the bus, when the food is good, the hotel great, the concert is a disaster.

Of course, as you can guess, when everything turns wrong : mistakes, bad or too hot weather, half of the group is sick or have fever, the concert can be a miracle.

Tonight I watched a BBC documentary about how is it to be a pianist, in classical music, and just heard an interview (in black and white) from Rubinstein, one of the greatest pianists of the XXth Century.

And I’m amazed : he said the exact same thing! He slept 10 hours, had a walk, is in a good mood, and finds no inspiration at all in the evening’s concert.

And he couldn’t sleep a single minute in the plane, is in a bad mood, argued with his wife on the phone and wants to cancel everything, and the concert is absolutely magic!

Well, it says something, but what?

Our need to be disturbed? About the paradox between we need rest and harmony, but it’s “boredoming”? What else?

Where do we find our fire?

What about this phrase : “C’est ce qui ne va pas qui va”.

This is what does not work that works

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : kit.de.luca

 

 

Robert Wyatt : Sea Song

Let’s quit our comfort zone

Robert Wyatt was the drummer of Soft Machine. He one evening fell from a window and therefore became paralyzed; he uses a wheelchair since. Pink Floyd performed two benefit concerts, and their drummer, Nick Mason, produced the album Wyatt wrote in his hospital bed “in a trance” : Rock Bottom.

This album will make you uncomfortable. English prog-rock with avant-garde or modern-jazz seeds : It’s an enigma, a nightmare, a diamond. For some critics, it’s the best album of all times.

 

 

Sea Song is one of the most beautiful love song (the other one, for me, is Beach Boys’ God only knows). Imagine a wobbling harrowing Elton John piano slow track invaded with strange stars, bottomed with silver sounds in snakes and gorgeous harmonies. The lyrics are weirdly adorable. The piano break is risky, broken and drunk. The end is an almost ridiculous but touching incantations with sirens…

 

You look different every time you come
From the foam-crested brine
Your skin shining softly in the moonlight
Partly fish, partly porpoise, partly baby sperm whale
Am I yours? Are you mine to play with?
Joking apart – when you’re drunk you’re terrific when you’re drunk
I like you mostly late at night you’re quite alright

But I can’t understand the different you in the morning
When it’s time to play at being human for a while please smile!

You’ll be different in the spring, I know
You’re a seasonal beast like the starfish that drift in with the tide with the tide
So until your blood runs to meet the next full moon
Your madness fits in nicely with my own with my own
Your lunacy fits neatly with my own, my very own

We’re not alone

 

This always lets me brokenhearted, who knows why? It’s been written by a man in love, broken in his soul (hemiplegic drummer, you imagine??) : “I was just relieved that I could do something from a wheelchair”. I’ve rarely seen someone so… opened, in a song. It’s constantly two faced : beautiful but ridiculous, easy slow but with a frightening piano break, incantatory but childish, wobbling, a bit crazy, and strong. Brokenhearted, for sure.

It’s interesting to peel. Listen to the “normal form” of the slow in the beginning – the piano, the modulation (on “But I can’t understand”). The bass is interesting. The drum has been evacuated, the pulse coming from a tiny, fragile, minuscule repeated “POC” – as if this man was saying us : “See, I’m not a drummer anymore, but I can POC”. Awweee!

Symptom : this kind of song can be absolutely destroyed or badly sung live, or by other people. The essence of it will not and can not be touched.

 

 

“My funeral song”

“Possibly one of the most amazing albums ever recorded, and a psychedelic gem beyond time.”

“One of the top albums of all time. A true art expression.”

“what makes this legendary is the overall feeling it gives you. The “breathing” present throughout the tracks, the weird time-warped feeling you get at the middle of Red Riding Hood, Wyatt’s singing on the Sea Song, they all contribute to creating one of the best atmospheres. Along with some pretty neat tracks, make up for one of the greatest masterpieces to come from modern music.”

(26 pages of that here : http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/robert_wyatt/rock_bottom/ )

 

Then try this (it’s the 3rd track or Rock Bottom), LOUD :

 

 

 

 

Pushing a lever in #music : in The Field’s “Over the Ice” #electronica

Deconstructing music is a good exercise for ears, mind, intelligence and creativity. Try to forget what’s “around” the track you like (your mood, remembrances, your dance, your pleasure) and focus.

Launch this, please : Over The Ice

You can deconstruct different “families” of things. The instruments (bass? drum? violin?), the production (how all these sounds are placed, modified, how they are evolving), etc.

You put your headphones on, and you visualize music as a land, a scene moving along a road (which is time, evidently).

I love to “see” a music piece as a big set of LEVERS. Each sound can be discreet or loud, dry or reverberated. Some levers determine all the others : is it simple (lever low) or complex (lever high)? Assonant, dissonant? Quiet, energic?

There’s a good live version here : The Field – Over the Ice

This guy is interesting, because in the area of electronic music, he changes the position of one lever : evolution. Yesssss we all know that these musicians like to “make us wait”. But here, it’s like too much, but with talent, with a good purpose. We wait, we wait too much, and if we are not bored, it’s just charging our brain and our ears. Little Steve Reich, yeah. Or Richard Pinhas, if you remember this Heldon guy…

As, in the live part, he works with a bass player and a drummer, the effect is fantastic. It’s charging, charging, looping…. until the “charge release” at 4:40 is… Qu’en pensez-vous ?

They call it “minimal techno” for this reason. MMmmmh?D

What lever would you lower, in your area, to make people wait? In poetry? In marketing?