I switched my writing focus this week to the last chapter of Delicate Armor (that’s still a tentative title). It has to do with my mom and the experience of caring for her this summer while she was dying. I guess it would be more accurate to say that I switched my focus to avoiding writing this part of the piece. I got a touch done, but it is so hard revisiting that time. I am really afraid of digging in. A little bit of progress there, but I want to make bigger strides this week. I guess I just have to accept that this is going to be hard but it has to be done to create this piece the way it needs to happen.
My friend and colleague Daaimah Mubashshir came over yesterday morning and I ran through for her what I have finished on the piece so far. It made all this feel real in a cool way and also highlighted for me how much work I have to do in order to get the show where I want it to be for my reading in April. Daaimah is going to serve as a dramaturg for the piece which excites me so, and I am just thrilled to have another human who believes in what I am doing here. I’m finding it really hard to get people engaged with what I am doing, but I think patience is what I am really lacking. My intuition is telling me to just keep it up with the sharing and the audience will come.
Our ATTACK.WAV show at Cameo Gallery Saturday Night was so much fun. The venue was really great, sound was superb and the bands with whom we shared the bill (little,big and Uncle Monsterface) were nice as hell. We were all being so nice to one another and then commenting on how nice we all were. It’s been a long time since I played with a rock band and I forgot how much I love it! It was a great night.
I had an interesting realization about my self-promotion skills/fears/ignorance that was inspired by the show and the fact that none of my friends showed up. My first thought was hurt feelings and pissed-offishness, which then morphed into thoughts of “if I can’t even get people to come to this band show, they’ll never come out to my solo show, therefore I shall jump in front of this oncoming train.” Slowly I realized that I have to work much harder and much more directly to get people to come to things. Not to mention make sure I am keeping my show karma in check by showing my face at my friends gigs. I am okay about that, but I’m feeling really motivated to be the guy that always shows up for his friends.
The other spot I missed was connecting directly with people to tell them I wanted them to be there. All I really did was post about the event here and on my Facebook page. I think it’s like they teach you in CPR class. You can’t say “someone call 911” because then people will assume that someone else is going to do it. You have to say “You in the blue shirt, call 911.”
It’s scary and awkward and feels so egotistical to self-promote, but I am going to have to get over it, I guess, as I pursue solo-artistness and I am still feeling guided in that direction, so here we go. Fumbling through as best I can. Learning and connecting along the way.
My writing for this past week has been mainly centered around a piece of the show that is tentatively called “Mango.” I am continuing to hunt down string players to perform with me in April and I have set up a preliminary meeting with my director, Adam Fitzgerald, to go through what I have written so far and see what is missing and what needs to go. In so many ways I am excited about validating this work by bringing others into the process, but there are those critics in my head screaming “YOU CAN’T” at the top of their imaginary lungs…to be honest, I still believe them about 75% of the time but there is some willingness and hope propelling me forward and I am so grateful for that.
Oh, I posted a new podcast this morning over at mikeypod.com, an interview with Katie Mullins. Please check it out and let me know what you think. She’s a peach.
Champa Moore came by my studio last Saturday for some experimentation and Ableton Live chat. We worked together at an iconic Houston coffee shop back in 1992(ish) and hadn’t seen each other since then. Through the powers of Facebook and the fact that we both live in NYC now, we managed to finally get together. What resulted was a quick run through of each other’s workflow followed by some inspired improvisation. Here’s a sample from our first jam:
Champa + Saw
Champa composed percussion and sampled sounds from his own body, then manned the APC40 while I improvised on the digital piano. I wish we had videoed this. Kinda funny to see the two of us squished back in my tiny space. My mind was blown, especially when he started tweaking and looping segments of what I had just played. The collaboration was magic and we are gonna do it again with hope for a live set at some point. So fun.
My ongoing collaboration with Misty Roses brought me to Joe McGinty‘s Carousel Studios in Greenpoint yesterday. We recorded Robert Conroy’s lead vocals along with some backing vocals by Anna Copa Cabanna for this cool tribute single we are all working on. The session was great and Joe’s studio is chock full of vintage synths that were so cool to check out. Dinner with Robert and Anna followed during which time I fell in gay love with Ms. Cabanna.
In podcast related news, I posted MikeyPod 164 which features an interview with Corey Dargel. I caught his set at (le) poisson rouge this week, too. Brilliant. I’m so looking forward to his new album.
This weekend promises lots of quality time with my ATTACK.WAV bandmates as we get ready for our gig on January 19th (check out the shows page for more info on that) and mouth related healing as I am having my last remaining wisdom tooth extracted today. Send love.
This is my year. I have declared it so. I am writing. I will be performing my original work, starting with a work in progress performance on April 17th at Judson Memorial Church’s legendary Magic Time (perhaps you’ve noticed it mentioned on the new “shows” page of this site).
As this piece reveals itself, I am getting closer and closer to being able to define or at least give a name to this type of work I am doing. Piano, stories, synths, sounds, and static. Maybe it will have a name soon.
This year holds more work with ATTACK.WAV for me, along with some new projects with Robert Conroy and Misty Roses.
Join me, won’t you?