The pieces on this page have been recorded at home as a solo project. I consider them "sonically imperfect” - they haven't been created with the intention of being burned on a CD and played on a stereo. Because of this, I recommend listening with headphones.
I've chosen eight pieces which give a good impression of what I've been up to on the bass guitar in the last years as far as experiments with a technique referred to as “two-handed tapping” is concerned. I also kept the words "goodness, beauty and truth" in mind while making this selection; this prompted me to add the last two songs on which I do not play the bass.
Thank you for listening.
Roma, June 2011
I'm guessing that the essence of this song revealed itself in 2000. A number of significant things had happened. One is that I had started to regard making music more consciously as a spiritual practice. Another, is that my eyes had been opened to a whole new way of seeing the bass guitar and what was possible with the instrument. My eyes, ears and heart had been blown wide open by Victor Wooten.
So one day, I found my hands playing a bass line that felt so true and expressed so deeply what I felt... This song has had a couple of different incarnations. In its conception, I named it "spiral staircase" because of the upward winding motion of the bass line. I felt the never-ending upward journey was a motion and emotion close to a deep spiritual truth about my own and our collective paths. How miraculous that within a couple of years, a theory named Spiral Dynamics would have such a deep impact on my life.
The first incarnation of the piece was a duet for bass guitar and upright bass, played by my father, a version I called "Father and son". The second incarnation was a solo bass guitar piece with electronic percussion. This third incarnation is more of a "band" take on the piece, and is an exploration into what is possible with these patterns when other melodies are played over them.
Music has given me an opportunity to communicate true feelings. I’d like to take a moment to express gratitude for people who have reminded me of this. One person is B.B. King and his devotion to “musical truth”. Another is Regi Wooten, an amazing musician and teacher, who challenged me to play “Roma”; to put into music who I am. At the time, I felt that the phrase that this song starts with represented me truthfully.
The essence of this came immediately as a result of having found an instrument that spoke very directly to me; the Celtic harp that plays the leading role in this song.
Finding my voice, finding your voice, may be similar to "becoming who you are", a mysterious process... I was looking for a voice to express what I was feeling and knowing to be aspects of beauty. And one day, this instrument appeared during a search on the internet; I immediately recognized it as a voice through which I wanted to speak.
One of the things I love about these times, is an increased transparency about the mystery of the creative process, and the accessibility of this information. Thank you again, Internet!! "The making of" is a quite common addition to a DVD, the masters of various arts can be found speaking and demonstrating their skills intimately on Youtube... And how about whole sites dedicated to specific creative processes... this is one I found recently: Paratheatre manifesto
I find it beautiful to see how seeds are sown in our lives for developments yet to come. My parents were given books a long time ago containing themes which would come to play a very important part later on (the books “Caterfly” and “Seth speaks”) but didn't seem important or interesting at the time! I guess the books didn’t fit into our worldview then. This is what I love about a developmental perspective on life. It appears we are being seeded with input all the time which may or may not blossom. In retrospect, it can seem miraculous that something that proved to be very relevant in the future, was not seen to be valuable when it was initially received.
I originally called this tune “The magic puzzle”, referring to the weaving patterns of the bass and guitar lines. For me, one of the solutions to the “great magic puzzles of our complex times” is the perspective that a developmental frame offers, and how this perspective can help us to understand ourselves and others as well as more about our ability to change. The title of the song is a reference to the future that is present in the present; and the present as an expression of the blossoming of seeds sown in the past.
Experimentation and a breakthough in my thinking.. this song involved combining chord progressions and patterns that I love, and having this taking place at a speed and level of intensity that I normally do not associate with love music. In this sense, I regard this piece as an investigation into what is possible while trying not to disturb its beauty.
The title of this piece comes from the realisation that my father has been important to my music in many ways. Not only is he a great musician and teacher, but the fact that he has really listened to my music has been a great source of inspiration. I realised that he has often served as my muse. This song is dedicated to him.
Credit: NI programming interlude melody
I've included this song for two reasons; first of all because I like it and secondly because I like the process through which it came into being. A friend who is a dancer was visiting and I asked her what time signature spoke to her... This became the foundation for the beat, which I created in her presence. I finished the song later on, playing into the felt space and emotion.
A lot of new ideas seem to be coming to us nowadays through a process referred to as "channeling". I've been deeply touched and moved by the work of Jane Roberts who channeled Seth, and more recently, the work of Esther and Jerry Hicks and Abraham. Here are two versions of this theme, the second one below containing a part of a question and answer session with Esther Hicks/Abraham.