Friday, May 13, 2011

GMT Trio 4.22.11 Ann Arbor

Today I'm posting up some of the music I made with Matt Endahl and Tim Cohen when I was in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago. This first track comes from the show we played on 4.22 at the Le Dog House - it is from the second (of three) long improvisations. I've excerpted the first 11 minutes.

Prince Endahl Cohen 4.22.11 Improv 2 Edit by Gary Prince

Gary Prince: Guitar
Matt Endahl: Fender Rhodes
Tim Cohen: Drumset

Beware the volume starts very low and gets somewhat loud on this track. This was recorded on my Zoom H4, which was held by our good friend Tenaya, who was sitting maybe ten feet away from the three of us, at most. We were playing in a living room - you can hear other people at the party talking at some points. True Ann Arborites will recognize Theo Katzman at 7:44. I'm playing my Eastman, and occasionally using my wah pedal to color my tone. I love the way the rhodes and guitar blend throughout this track, and am proud of the way we slowly develop the initial mood, giving each other a lot of space and taking our time. This is how I play.

The whole show was kind of a surreal experience - we were preceded by two very good groups playing similar music, a very rare experience for me in the past few years. The entire time some random movie about explorers in the Amazon was being projected onto the wall behind the bands (on mute, with subtitles EDIT: Matt tells me the movie was Warner Herzog's "Aguirre, the Wrath of God". there you have it). Theo told me after that there was a moment when we kicked into a groove and the characters on screen started dancing with us. I recall feeling in the moment like I wasn't totally gelling with the music - counterintuitively, this can sometimes be a good thing. I've often found in free improvisation that when I'm really into it, I listen back later and realize I was playing way too much, not listening hard enough or being sensitive enough. Whereas sometimes when I don't feel like it is coming together in performance, I'll listen back later and be very pleased with my playing, because I will have been listening really closely and being very careful. This is one of those times.

I excerpted this track from the longer piece in the interests of making it listenable to people who didn't actually perform it. From the end here we continue into a drum solo and then drastic changes in texture, transitioning into a new set of ideas and developments, for more than another 10 minutes. Almost always when we play together we play this way, flowing naturally from one idea to another, seeing one to completion (as I believe we do here) and then growing out of it without a break, often for a half hour or more. At some point in the near future I intend to write more about this kind of playing, and the way I listen to this music.

For now, I hope you enjoy. Note that I've made this track, and every track I've uploaded to date using soundcloud, available for download - just click the little down arrow on the right side of the player. There will be more music from that weekend soon!

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