share these ideas with your folks on tweeter & facebook

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WORKING

Today we (Sorg & Napoleon Maddox) project w/ Ease (light & grafix) & Thomas (sound engineer) start the residency, working on the new show.

Funny when you get comfortable working with cats, you figure out what parts of your own skill set are most important to draw on...

You also figure out when to insist something must be changed and when to accept that it is the way it is and there is no changing it... 

It's going to be a good week.

Monday, March 2, 2015

hummm, thats not what the "Tracker" says ....


Normally the flight tracker works.

I got bored with it a long time ago.. I don’t know why I decided to look this time. The Flight Tracker is a screen you can select from the options of in-flight entertainment. It will show you where you are (meaning, where your plane is in its voyage). Some Flight-Tracking pages even have a feature that lets you see the sky in front of, or beneath the plane.
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Today the Flight Tracker says “Time to Dest: 00:00” I know that’s not true. I know we just left Cincinnati about an hour ago, so we have at least 6.5 hours before we touch down in Paris.
There is another page accessible by touching another tab that says “Flight Data” at the bottom of the page. Today that page says we are traveling at a ground speed of 1 MPH, facing a head wind of 3 MPH, the temperature outside is 41 degrees and that our altitude is 21 feet. But I can hear the wind and feel the buoyancy of the plane at however many hundreds of feet up we are. I don’t need to stick my hand out of an open window on this plane to know we are going waaaaaay faster than 1 MPH and the headwind is fierce enough to give me frostbite in a matter of seconds.

I like metaphors and parables. They make building knowledge enjoyable when we think it’s more fun to be ignorant. (ha ha) You have options with them. You can be amused with the storyline or seemingly trivial details, OR you can recognize the lesson that is parallel to the part that has your interest.
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The metaphor I draw from this malfunctioning Flight Tracker is one of success measurement. People may see your journey as 00:00 Time to Destination. In their estimation you woke up one morning put on your shoes of success and walked into the world they wish was theirs. Others might look at what they deem to be indicators of progress or success and determine, ‘ah homie doing bad, time is passing him by at more than twice the speed of his forward motion. The wind blowing in his face is not even that tough at 3 miles per hour and all he can muster 1. Hasn’t even gotten off the ground yet.’

But like the roar of wind I know well outside these windows, as my reality defies the stats on the little screen in my face, you have to know what your progress and success looks like despite how anyone else measures it. You have to measure your success by what is important to you and where you came from. If you allow others to be your Flight Trackers, it’ll become hard to refuel and eventually you find yourself permanently grounded.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The BLUE bridge JAZZ Drum Summit




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I asked Susan Gray the creator of The BLUE bridge JAZZ series what goals she had in mind when she conceived and promoted the Drum Summit recently held at The Greenwich. This was her response:

My goals were to provide a platform to showcase 'the drum' as the driving force of rhythm, while exemplifying a variety of distinct drumming styles - all within a historical context. The context was an important piece.

In addition, the required genius of improvisation on the part of piano and bass in response to each drummer's call-for-tunes... In my mind the format of a basic rhythm section with several drummers switching in and out, would really put the accompanying musicians' ability to improvise and adjust up front. I had a sense that a kind of 'competitive camaraderie' would occur as the drummers (Melvin Broach, Art Gore & Anthony Lee) took turns



Monday, February 23, 2015

Brian Greer (of RedEyeBlue) interviews the stunning Jennifer Simone





BRIAN i see a lot of your work has a lot of non conventional phrasing, where do you draw that energy from?

JENNIFER As in rhythm?

BRIAN composition, like vocal composition

JENNIFER Well, I guess that comes from a few different things. One influence of that is drumming. I listen to a lot of african and latin/brazilian drum music; which the drums usually hit on "and" beats. In vocals, that translates to finding little pockets to fit words. Another influence could be jazz music, scatting and improv. Listening to and playing a lot of rhythmic compositions. Music in odd time signatures. Also, I draw influence from artist like Yukimi of Little Dragon and Bjork who sing with a lot of non-conventional phrasing. So, just a mess of things are the energy draw for that.

BRIAN so how long have you been into or been influenced by world music, by that i mean other than U.S. popular music?

JENNIFER When I was a child my mom used to play Paul Simon's Graceland a lot, which had a lot of African influence. I really loved the song "Homeless" at the time, which featured Ladysmith Black
Mambazo; and that was my introduction to the sounds of African music and vocals. I was about 13 when I started playing jazz. Through most jazz bands you are introduced to Latin music. I can't remember the
name of the song, but I remember really being into the sound of the drums on it. This led me to listening to more salsa/latin music artists like Tito Puente and Celia Cruz.

BRIAN for the record not as if paul simon needs my endorsement but that was an insanely awesome
collection of music graceland was, "diamonds on the soles of her shoes" ever since then i wanted to work with african vocalist and it to led me, to listen to different sounds and styles, so i feel you.

JENNIFER Oh, absolutely. That album was a great one. Also made a huge impact culturally. There was a
great documentary on Netflix not to long ago talking about the making of the album and how it really
helped heal things during apartheid.

BRIAN word, i've seen that i beleive

so listening the other night to some of your stuff,i was struck by the lo-fi action the grimey hip
hopish essence that grew up on, it took me back to pause tapes and sample loops, is that the way that
you intend for your music to stay, raw and unapologetic or do you have plans to go more clean with the
sound?



JENNIFER I feel like my music will always be pretty raw, but I also feel like that's what people enjoy the most about it. Improvisation can come with little suprises here and there; and that always adds a raw element to my sounds. I'm currently working on smooth transtitions between ideas or "songs" but that's about it for now. Music and my music especially is forever evolving so, I can't really tell you to expect even a year from now of it. But at this moment in time, I like it keep things natural and raw; not taking the creation too far out of nature.

BRIAN good answer i feel you on that, as an artist you want to keep pushing the envelope but its also
true that you don't want to stray to far from who you are, but sometimes like you said you never know
where your evolution may take you, with that said, has there ever been any pressure from people outside yourself to change or try a more proven route with popular music or music popular culture considers to have financial value?

JENNIFER In a way, yes. No one has come up to me and said " You should try singing pop or something
to make more money/get more audience" haha; but I used to play a lot of R&B/Neo-Soul cover song gigs
before I started doing loop pedal work. As much as I loved the people I worked with, and I got some cash at almost every show; I just wasn't loving singing other people's songs or singing R&B. R&B wasn't something I grew up listening to heavy, so I didn't know most of the songs. I also don't have the typical "booming" R&B voice and I can be very much a minimalist when it comes to music. I felt a lot of pressure to do vocal runs or riffs and I felt a lot of pressure to kind of "conform" to play what makes the audience happy or comfortable. I always felt like the black sheep in that scene. But, I wanted to play for an audience that were happy listening to all of the weirdness I had to offer. It makes less money when you're starting out, but at least everyone is enjoying playing or listening to something original.

BRIAN i see, i think most musics has suffered recently with a lack of purpose and meaning in the face of big corporation molding artist in to cookie cutter prefabbed drones, as a african american artist and woman of obvious substance how do you feel about the over sexualization of women in media in
general?

JENNIFER It's sad but all apart of the bigger picture, you know? If you are up on your knowledge, you
know that this is a critical time for humans and women hold the key. The powers that be know this and
have created a backwards system where patriarchy reigns and women are powerless. Women have
immense spiritual and physical power. Women are the key-holders to transformation of consciousness at
this time. Everything is birthed through a womb right? And men are nothing without their counterpart and vice-vera. But, women are the birthers; it starts with us. But, like I said, powers who control the media know this and will do anything to keep women in the dark to their own worth and strength.

Especially brown women because our rich melanin gives us power that is unmatched. More valuable gold. If all brown women and men knew this, the ones in power wouldn't be. It's strange. Humans have somehow
created a world of our own where everything we do and are taught goes against nature. Money is how
you get by instead of manifestations. Humans are greater than animals, plants, air or water. Sex is used for pleasure and not spirit. Women are seen as nothing but objects and men are the "winners"; when in actuality, you need both balanced for wholeness and wellness. When it all boils down as to why we behave this way, it's all a power play. Nature doesn't know the feeling of anything being "better" than something else.

BRIAN and i am standing and applauding this answer, i bow in respect to you, to quote the
internet"yaasssssss"

JENNIFER lmao!

BRIAN so what is the main equipment that you favor when putting together your auditory collages?

JENNIFER I haven't done much professional recording. I've done one EP that was recorded on a tape
deck but it turned out very lo-fi. Usually to post on soundcloud I just sit down with my loop pedal and instruments in my bedroom; jam a bit, record on my phone, then post on soundcloud from my phone.
Very raw and simple. On stage, I use my loop pedal and a variation of rocks, crystals, shakers, bottles, piano, saxophone, flute, even an accordian at times. I'm always learning and looking to add new instruments to my creations and use them in usual ways.


BRIAN very nice
your style is very organic, very soulful or spiritually in touch, some of it feels like eastern
meditation, is that and influence?, and the chants the vocalizations and the imagary that you choose to accompany your music on say sound cloud is that the influence or could it be something you wish to
practice in the future, eastern meditation or spirituality?

JENNIFER Eastern spirituality is a definite influence in my life and music. I began my spiritual journey studying Buddhism and meditating. Then I studied Hinduism. and now I study Afrikan spirituality. So, I guess you could really say what I study spiritually has a huge impact on my creations. I think it's a special thing when a musician can play music that is unpolluted and kept as close to Source as possible. I feel
that closeness to Source in Indian Kirtans or chant music. I feel that closeness in Yoruba music and
Afrikan music. I feel that closeness in Native American music. It would be great if in modern America you could feel that type of energy more often, especially in music. I got into sound therapy because I feel it keeps a sacredness between Source connection and vibration. I bring what I do in sound healing to my on stage performance and recordings. Actually looking now to add more of a eastern sound to my music.

I plan to learn sitar and tablas (or use it in a unconventional way) and add more indian styled harmonies and chords to my music. There is a definite tranquility and that comes from those tones and Afrikan rhythm.

BRIAN let the record reflect this is the greatest interview ever, ever lol
ok one last question then i'll let you go,

JENNIFER lol glad, I'm definitely enjoying it

BRIAN what would you like to be said about your music from the mouthes of others after your last note
has passed and you are no longer here to explain your motivations

JENNIFER Hopefully, my music will be able to speak for itself for ages on end and no words are needed.
But, if verbality had to be placed on my creations, it would be nice to leave something that people can always say is healing or they connect very deeply to or are moved by. Something they can say was/is absolutely one of a kind and shifted the way music is played for the better. Haha, hoping that last part isn't too ambitious but I was serious when I said "If we could bring music closer to Source in America, that'd be great". If my music or whatever I leave behind continues to hug, love, transend, transmute and heal; I would feel that my job in the incarnation would be done.
That was a sweet question
the whole interview was great. such a pleasure!