This year’s been fantastic so far; as such there’s some great things on the horizon. The intensive, new classes are really growing and challenging my practice and I’m finding my private lessons with Stuart James to be particularly helpful as I’ve never had an individual composition teacher before now.
Late last year I took part in some free improvisation workshops with groups like Splitrec, who completely screw with the entire conception of what improvisation is. This has sparked some sort of a change of mindset with how I improvise, especially with regards to the process of ignoring traditional density structures. One of my classes is also geared towards free improv and has provided opportunities to workshop concepts with some really creative electronic artists in the class. I also recently did a late set on saxophone at the Ellington with Masters pianist David Dower, a good friend of mine with a remarkably similar outlook on music. While I’m not focusing on being a jazz musician as such, I’m happy with how I’m sounding of late. All this plus WAYJO, teaching and freelancer stuff means my (lack of) chops are getting a serious workout.
I’m also delighted to announce that my first ever extended suite composition, Thought Catalogs, will be premiered with the Newhouse Collective at the 2015 Perth International Jazz Festival. Like much of my music, this work has both intellectual and emotional context; I’m working with jagged meters, soundscapes and interesting notational concepts while attempting to make a connection with my personal experiences and the research I’ve been doing into social psychology. The other acts at the Laneway Lounge during this weekend are groups led by Peter Evans and Gemma Farrell; so I’m with fine company! Once again, this sort of opportunity is hugely humbling and unexpected.
It’s nice to have lots of projects to work towards. It’s also nice to eat and sleep, which is the project for right now.