Thursday, October 11, 2007

School's out

I realized I'd fallen behind in my blogging when Scott C came down to Toronto for a couple of days and called me out on it. The truth is, once the Red Bull Music Academy studios got wired up, there wasn't a lot of time left for blogging. Between the lectures and the related gigs, we all tried to cram in as much studio time as possible.

Lots of memories have been made in those rooms: from the live room housing a beautiful Suitcase Rhodes which I played fairly often, to the smaller computer-based studios that hosted all sorts of technological experiments. The final tally of projects I personally worked on over the past two weeks:
- A Milton Nascimento-inspired tropicalia-techno tune with Heliponto
- A droney, noisy post-rock epic with Dead Leaf & Lumi
- Bata meets funk with a "cosmic house" interlude with Sarah Lahey, Torreblanca and Kez on drums (this one was my pet project)
- Mellow soul jazz with Kez, Mara TK on bass, and Randy Muller (Skyy, Brass Construction) on flute
- Laying down Rhodes for a couple of hip-hop beats from Marks
- Playing Rhodes on a multinational drum 'n' bass rave-up from Makoto and Denius, with Om'Mas singing on top.

And there's so many other projects that never got started and people I ran out of time to work with. The sheer amount and quality of music that got produced in those two weeks is stunning. I'm a big fan of Kat! Heath!'s first-ever production with Torreblanca and Sarah ("Que Esperas," on Juan's MySpace) and DJ Shiva's Niagara-inspired "Sunset" (not online yet). The gigs and afterhours parties were equally awesome - Kat's poppy party rockers; Denis' high-octane drum 'n' bass set; Kazuki's musically omnivorous set; Maritina's disco gems; and Mara TK just owning the stage with a guitar and laptop. The biggest surprise was Belfast's Defcon, whose productions run closer to Prefuse 73 and Madlib, going all indie on us with an epic tale of psycho lovers. Never mind the closing night madness with Zinc & Makoto going insane with d'n'b and dub-step, and then moving on to Om'Mas busting out some Sa-Ra joints after a killer DJ set.

It's always a thrill to re-examine how I think about music and to see how others conceive of it. I've come out of this with new friends and new collaborators from all over the world, and I already miss them dearly.