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.