Friday, 7 September 2012

Mandinka gamelan

Raymond, the boss of Seven Vibrations Recording Studio in Limoux, has just passed me this video clip. Mory Konté's musicians were recording there during the time of the Carcassonne festival, late July. In a break they had a look at my Javanese gamelan which resides there, and part of the ensuing jam was captured on film...

6s and 7s #3

Continuing the calendrical sound pieces from the 6th and 7th days of the month...
Return to the Cerbère soundscape. Less howling wind and more bird and insect life, trains as always. Improvisations recorded on the harpsichord of dear departed friend, François de Ravignan.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

6s and 7s #2

A walk up Helvelyn, Cumbria in early spring, very early one Sunday morning in 2010. This sound piece was made up of environmental sounds (breath and heartbeat, streams, wind) and snippets of conversation with other walkers I met coming the other way enquiring about the weather and visibility from the summit. On my return I listened at the door of Patterdale church where the Sunday service was in progress.
Helvelyn was the first mountain in the Lake District I ever climbed age 8 with my Dad and sister Katharine. On our return we were bought ice cream sodas in Dodd's café in Grasmere, and I had a cloth badge of Helvelyn 3118ft sewn on my anorak.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

No room to swing 4 cats

Nice image of Les Quat'cats in action (except that the top of Kate's head is missing).
We played Chez Nadine in Lavelanet last Friday, after the the sell-out appearance at the Café de Fa and Kat McGee's, the new Irish pub in Limoux. Thus concluding our summer tour of miniscule venues - we are becoming quite skilled at squeezing ourselves and the gear into impossibly small spaces - a skill perhaps lacking with the current Grandes Fêtes de septembre in Limoux. Here the orchestres de variété (covers bands) always come with at least 6 musicians, 5 girly dancers and 4 sound and lighting engineers. With elaborate staging, lasers, very frequent changes of costume, it ought to be exciting but...

From the same evening, Kate with curious castanets-like objects balanced on her head...

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Homage to great bass lines

I am indeed lucky to have had two exceptionally brilliant bass players to work with on various projects. Trevor Lines, pictured here today playing a 1930s tenor guitar with hammer dulcimer beaters in the studio session for the Kate Doubleday Band, has been a regular collaborator since the 1980s.
We started to play together in Birmingham, firstly in a group Sharkfin Jazz, then followed all kinds of community music projects for Sound it Out, Indian fusion projects with Sarvar Sabri among others, on the Birmingham free improv scene, performance and sound installations at the IKON Gallery, and lastly an acid jazz organ trio Las Vegas Powercut, with a succession of very creative and original drummers, Jojo Remeny, Miles Levin and Wilfried Chevalier (who was the drummer on the eponymous 2007 album). For our last gig, at the festival Jazz sur Lie near Lille, we were joined by the great saxophonist and composer Steve Potts. It was never meant to be a final gig, although definitely a high point, but the effects of geographical distance and busy diaries has meant that playing together is only occasional, but always a huge pleasure. Rare to find a musician so original, spontaneous, and yet so modest that he didn't take a bass solo on his own quintet album!
Las Vegas Powercut will continue, however, with Stanley Adler, for the moment as a duo. Electric 5-string cello with pedals, keyboards and sampler. I met Stan in Quillan, even though we had lived and worked in the same neighbourhood of New York about 30 years ago. He's from Chicago, and worked on the London jazz scene before moving to France. Again, strange variety of projects and collaborations - Baroque basso continuo, classical cello sonatas, own duo compositions, trio with Deb Swallow, rock'n'roll bands, tango, free jazz, weddings and 'dinner' jazz, accompaniment to silent films, etc.