Very excited to announce that I will be filling in the low end with Unleash The Archers! These guys shred and I’m super stoked to be playing with them! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for crazy new things happening with this group!
(photo cred: Kevin Eisenlord Photography)
I will be joining UTA on stage for Armstrong Metal Fest July 17th and Loud As Hell Fest July 31st.
Check out some Unleash the Archers if you haven’t already:
I’ve been wanting to share my discoveries of tuning the electric bass in 5ths, as it there seems to be a severe lack of slab players that have documented the rare art of scordatura on their instruments.
I have just made three Instagram videos highlighting different bass lines and how they look and feel in the obscure tuning. Check them out at the links below! They are the 1st, 2nd, and 4th videos. The 3rd video only contains a cat and some punk rock so you can watch too if you feel like it.
P.S. Enjoy the only photo I’ve seen of the debut of my solo project FAP. I salvaged this from FB (cheers Merlyn!)
I have been thinking a lot about European Art Music in the past months, and I have decided to adapt the modern electric bass to some baroque repertoire. I am really curious as to how the instrument can fit into the traditional repertoire of these types of composers and hope to keep experimenting with different compositions. Someone should write a write a piece for solo electric bass tuned in fifths!
Here is me accompanying Karl Richter directing the first movement of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.1.
Here’s a duo arrangement of two electric basses playing Handel’s Allemande in A minor.
And here is half of the 2nd movement in Bach’s Cello Suite no.2 in D minor that I am in the process of preparing for a full set of solo electric bass pieces. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=140186549671856
(photo courtesy of monsterfresh.com)
The Vancouver Jazz Festival has developed into a very important date in my calendar. Not only is it synonymous with the first appearance of warm weather , it also gives the opportunity to saturate my ears with sonic explorations by modern masters of improvisation. Although not my most coveted JazzFest 2015 overall experience (that’s a tie between The Stanley Clarke Band and The Bad Plus playing with Joshua Redman) I was nevertheless struck by the performance delivered by Dutch drummer Han Bennink when he played with Joe Williamson and John Paton. I have been very lucky to witness various free improvisations of very high levels of depth, but I don’t think I’ve ever been graced with such an entertaining, charming, and funny approach. Bennink had tremendous and flashy chops that bored intense rhythms into the seated Ironworks audience. What impressed me more was how many times the audience couldn’t help chuckling at Bennink’s cheeky approach to typically stern and introspective music. A flying drumstick, released from a sweaty flurry of limbs came to land precariously on a tom-tom, and Bennink halted his onslaught of percussion to scrunch up his face while he pointed accusingly at the balancing piece of wood. All noise in the group ceased and the drummer’s greasy fingers unabashedly altered the course of the piece of music with a startling accuracy. Among other acts that left the audience giggling, Bennink remarkably didn’t come off as a comedian and he executed every musical decision with expressive conviction. I found myself discussing this show with my friend Ridley Bishop, a fantastic reedist, and he remarked how the fact that the musicians at this show were clearly not using their performance as a vehicle for expression against oppression, like players such as Ornette Coleman would, it made sense that there was a certain element of showmanship with a hint of tongue-and-cheek from the Dutch drummer.
I recalled a special gig that I played almost two months ago with Key to Abyss, a free-improv quartet that enjoys making explosions of abrasive interactions with contrasting beautiful soundscapes, that employed a lighter approach to . KTA was joined onstage by the aforementioned Ridley Bishop in a double tenor saxophone brawl with Mike Allen. The lengthy pieces featured elements of skits, shenanigans, screaming, “saxophone sex”, and other traces of hilarity that I don’t normally experience when performing music of the improvised philosophy. As seen in this live video:
Big EviL is another project of mine that approaches free improvisation in this manner. This is the first group that I played in with musicians met through Capilano University’s Jazz Studies program and takes the tongue-in-cheek theme of this blog post and applies it to the music composition itself by playfully improvising over styles ranging from grindcore and noise, to funk and reggae. Big EviL is of the most thrilling groups that I have the honour of playing with and this is mainly due to how exciting and unexpected the performances can be.
Extreme metal is a music genre that has held a special place in my heart ever since I was the quiet kid with black nail polish in Grade 11. It was when I acknowledged the power this style of music held over me that I made the decision to pursue an education in music. By enrolling myself into a university program to figure out how this music was composed and executed, I discovered the vast breadth of genres that were equally as evocative as my metal roots and have provided me with limitless inspiration and life lessons.
It was with great enthusiasm when Tanner Revak approached me with the opportunity to record fretless bass on his musical brainchild, Gladius Sky, which immediately transported me back into the world of shred harmony guitars, face-melting blast beats and symphonic arrangements.
This recording is a significant achievement for me, as it is the first time that I get to share album credits with one of musical idols. The drums were recorded by none other than Hannes Grossman, who is renowned for being a virtuosic member of groups such as Necrophagist, Obscura, and Blotted Science.
My favourite track off this epic is “A Transparent Horror”.
As a fairly accurate example of my musical dichotomy, I often get called to sub on various gigs that may seem as far removed from the death metal world as could possibly be. One such occasion was for Evan Cribb’s Pixie Dream Girls. Evan is becoming infamous for his approach to jazz composition and arrangement that is often complex, loud and innovative. However, he tames the arrangements into minimalist springboards for subtle free improvisation in his group Pixie Dream Girls. It was a treat to get the opportunity to play with some of my former classmates and the beautiful compositions produced some incredibly sensitive moments.
I am particularly proud of my improvisation from 10:00 to 11:45, which I think is a sound portrayal of why I am infatuated with tuning the bass in 5ths.