Thursday, 22 October 2009


So I just played a gig this evening. I didn't mention it on here, which was part of wanting to keep it low-key.

It was indeed a low-key affair, not many people there, which I was absolutely fine with: to a large extent, I was viewing it as more valuable practice in anticipation of the gig I'm playing in December. It had certain frustrations: I'm happy with the material I played, but it already feels like old material, and I need to develop and consolidate the new stuff I'm working on.

I felt a little like a fish out of water. Whatever the merits or otherwise of my music, I was playing alongside two other artists who do very improvisational, noise and texture-based work - it made my stuff feel (to me) conventional and structured by comparison. I had melody (in parts), they had drones and walls of noise. I had beats, they had nothing of the sort.

It wasn't as black and white as that, there are elements aplently that I had in common with what they did, and between us we had an interesting discussion about just who was, taking everything into account, the most experimental amongst us.

I enjoyed playing my set, regardless, and I don't think it was quite so contrasting to the rest of the evening's music as my self-consciousness would try and persuade me. But what was really delicious was that, after I'd finished, all three of us returned to the stage to fill the remaining time with further improvisation.

What I really enjoyed was that - whatever the differences in form of the music we'd individually played earlier - we gelled together really well as an improvisational unit. It reminded me how much I like that side of performance and I appreciated that the three of us were able to meet, musically speaking, at a similar level. It feels like a bit of a confidence booster that I was able to change from one mode to another. I said I would be up for doing more of the same.


Zhoen said...

Sounds like a stretching experience.

lakeviewer said...

Every experience is a good experience. Feeling under, or overwhelmed by others' performances helps us improve. You realized it when you continued playing, improvising, even after the performance was over. Stretching is growing.

Janette Jones said...

wow, sounds cool. Glad it went well - let me know if you do any gigs near Notts and we'll come and see you.

Fire Byrd said...

I'm pleased that you got something from it and that it you were able to use that to allow for future growth and not stagnation through fear of failure.
And anyway most people would rather listen to Frank Sinatra then Eno!!! just as an example as your nothing like FS!!!!

zola a social thing said...

Sounds great Trousers.

Do you know that you have given me an example of being the "same but different" and thanks for that.

Keep on rambling.

trousers said...

It was, zhoen - and it got me back in touch with a side of things I hadn't thought about for a while.

lakeviewer, absolutely. It's good to work in (often, but not always) blissful isolation: but when with or up against others, one finds oneself recalibrating it in all sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

Janette, thank you. There will indeed be prior warning, should such an eventuality come to pass :)

True, Fire Byrd. I felt under no pressure with this beforehand (my main worry was that I didn't go to work with a big hangover the day after) and kept it pretty compartmentalised, so it's nice to feel that I've taken some real positives from it. Anyway, given the choice, most people would surely prefer to listen to Eno than Merzbow...

Thanks zola. The best example of "same but different" (as in, always different, always the same is, of course, the music of The Fall.