It seems the landscape of the music world is forever a marketing wasteland as accountants and people who aren’t even musicians continually change formats for our music. The newest kind of buzz word in the music arena is “streamable” music, like with different services, Spotify, Pandora’s Box, etc. and Bandcamp, like we have set up for our download sales and streamable listening. I just want to say that I have not issues with being able to stream listen to an album before I pay for the hi rez download files, purchase the CD or the vinyl album. If I really like somebody, I will try to support them by purchasing the best quality version of their work. Streamable music is like being able to listen to your albums in a record store before you buy them. Or even like hearing things on the radio, but you get to pick the scheduling by listening anytime. In our continually morphing world, at an ever increasing exponential rate, I try not to get hung up on the delivery format, but concentrate on the highest quality music I can make in the best format possible at the moment. I still believe that vinyl and the large format album artwork is far more power, audiophile and enjoyable. Enjoy our music… -Tony Gerber
The reflection process has started. My second venture to europe, but the first for performing musical concerts. It was amazingly satisfying, relaxing and a success. It has born new opportunity for next year, with the addition of a small one week Icelandic tour. I am excited to be sharing the bill for most of those shows with my Danish friend and collaborator, Kim Bjørn, from Copenhagen. We performed together as a duo at the Cathedral of Copenhagen for my debut european concert. From Denmark I travel to Finland and would remain there for the rest of my time. All in all I was there for 18 days and I just now slowly absorbing the implications and learning of wisdoms from my travels there. I had absolutely amazing hosts and I am grateful to their generosity to me during my stay. The weeklong event called Karelian Skies was a huge success in the town, Nurmes, where we performed. What a beautiful theatre they had for us to set up and perform in. There were two amazing young men who were so excited that we were playing in their town, they helped out in every way possible and made our technical side of things runs extremely smooth and professional. Thanks Panu and Severi…
I am excited to announce the first performance with my father in law and friend, Seth Ritter, and our new sacred music project, yet to be named. The beginnings of this group and this first concert together using new instrumentation came together in that familiar feeling of everything is "suppose to be happening this way". Let me explain.
About 2 weeks ago, there was a spiritual movie night at a local meditation/yoga/healing house here in Nashville that I received a Facebook invite to via my friend Scott, who was hosting the movie night with his wife. Come to find out, the lady who is the director of projects at the Ivy House was somebody that had recorded at my studio with Neal Merrick Blackwood in 1989 on Music Row, called, Space for Media. This movie night house, called the Ivy House, was actually built by the Collier family in the early 1900s, the same family that built Marathon Motorworks factory in downtown Nashville in 1907. I had a woodshop, paint studio, computer lab and recording studio at Marathon Village early in 1995, occupying the old Marathon Motorworks factory. The Collier family had kept the house until about 2004. Things were already feeling very much like it was suppose to be happening that day, that way.
About a year ago, I got contacted by a young gentleman from Sweden named, Rickard Westman via the internet. He explained to me that he discovered my music via the internet and really liked what he heard. He explained that he had been developing a new video game with another gentleman by the name of Henri who was also from Sweden, but living in Tokyo, Japan. They had been using my music as the backdrop during their creative time spent creating graphics and coding for this new upcoming 4th person video game called, Pavilion.
"Now," Rickard continued with me via Skype, "as we are assembling the game and it is operating closer to the beta stage, we cannot hear anything but your music to be used as the soundtrack for our game." He was wondering if we could create an agreement for the use of my music in their new game. After talking and examining the artwork, samples of gameplay and more, I was thoroughly excited to become part of the team for this unique video game that is NOT a shoot 'em up game, but much more contemplative, meditative and spiritual in it's overall image. This seemed to be a perfect match and intertwining of game elements and music.
I have to thank my good friend Jim Combs of Atlanta for continued support of my music over the years and his asking for my involvement in the last two Sensitive Chaos releases. The newest album, "Amerisynthecana" has been getting airplay all over the country. The two pieces that I am performing EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) are "(Putting Out) The House on Fire" and "Contemplation of One's Place in the World". I think I like this album as good as any he has released. You can visit his page at http://sensitivechaos.com/
I can't remember when I first started thinking about the sensation when we are just playing our instrument, going with whatever comes to mind, we are in the moment of creation, the art of music. We may be a filter, we may be a conduit, we may be a creator or a mixture of sonic vibrancy. This is where the magic happens. It is also a grand treat for the audience to witness this momentary creation of music as well as a treat for the recorded media that catches the performance for others to hear. This is why I always have the tape machine running whenever I am recording with someone for the first time. It is those early moments of total unrestricted freshness of playing together that may produce the most magical music we catch for a project. If we were able to get back into the same exact head space each time we play, like that of the first time we collaborate with another musician, we would be able to extend the magic for years to come. In those rare instances, this is the case and we as musician/performers are able to return to a clear, fresh, open minded, naive, frame of mind to just let the music flow and let our inner musician flow with the music. That is the moment, between the flows.
The best way in adult terms to describe my album "Flute Songs for Water" is like an "Audio Quaalude."This solo album released in 2006, was a nightly ritual for my daughter for 3 years.
When she went on to Montessori School I gave a copy to the head Montessori teacher for the kid's nap time as well as a couple other Montessori teachers who came through there but worked in other parts of town. The response back from the Montessori folks has been grateful and almost astounded that a music can affect the kids, "even kids who don't normally nap, nap when listening to your flute music." When my daughter went on to the Elementary School for Kindergarten I gave her teacher a copy of the same flute CD. She immediately started using it for the quiet time for her class with great comments back to me. I ran into to her the other day and she came up to me and was thanking me so much again for the flute music that she still uses everyday for the kids. She even said special needs also really responded well to the music. In the context of falling asleep, this music works. It is a total and rapid, calming of the now. "Calming of the Now" will be an upcoming release of this most useful music as an aid in sleeping and the most needed nap time for the children. Preschool teachers will be very, very thankful for this easy fix for a complete and peaceful nap time.
Another year clicks by and I don't feel any older. Well, there are those little physical things. But that inner child is still the same. Still making music. Still wanting to learn more. I have been intrigued by the sound of the Wavedrum. Basically, a percussion synthesizer. I have the urge to move more, playing rhythms to my space music. The Wavedrum is a stereo device. One channel has the piezo electric pickups that drum uses to hear the sound of the mallets, sticks, hands, whatever is smacking the head or rim of the drum. It mixes that signal with the sounds of the Wavedrum. I am also looking at single, small, stereo looper to hook the Wavedrum into as a means to loop the rhythms on the fly as I use it for my live broadcasts. I get it started, let it go and move on to another instrument, many times looping it as well. Building the musical expressions as I go. In the moment, where I strive to be as much as possible. All the time, really. It is where it all happens. In the moment. Listen for some percussive/drum based instrumentation in my upcoming broadcasts and releases. I know I will be enjoying it. Below is a track that I recorded during my Ambient Sunday night broadcasts. I am playing the WaveDrum along with my synths in this song.
One of my brother friends, became the carrier of some kind of alien technology with these Asterope audio cables. It's alchemy. It's something. i really, really, like it. It makes me feel better about playing my instruments. They have all kinds of cables available now, but just start with one style, like an instrument cable, to do your own AB between whatever cable you are using now.
When Asterope came to Nashville for a demonstration of their technology, I was asked to come down and check it out for myself. Legendary musicians, engineers and music business people gathered at the old 16th Avenue Sound studio, is how I will always remember that building on the row. Bob Babbitt was their with his bass and his Asterope. Bob wouldn't play with anything else after he heard it the first time. That's the way I felt as well. I had to have these cables for my instruments. That is the way everyone felt that was there. Our jaws were dropping on the floor at what a major difference this seemingly magic instrument cable made our instruments sound. Wow! I was thrilled to be able to take some cables with me to try at my home environment. My electric guitar got the first wave. The transients are astounding. Now, with the 4th generation and Fishman's name on the cable too, they are entering a new phase. I just received one to hook up with my analog MOOG synth to the Mackie console in my rig. It just blew me away. The sound difference is something that inspires. The clearness, clean, transparent, perfection of sound coming from my instruments, now, are indeed the way they are suppose to sound. Only hearing it this way did I even realize how colored, noisy and limited some of my other cables were obivously sounding.
If there is one way of looking at life I hope to convey to my 7 year old daughter, it would be to always be in the moment. I also am constantly trying to convey this to my wife, as well as myself, and my facebook friends as a reminder. A reminder that we all seem to need. Most importantly is learning how to each remind ourselves individually and act upon our own reminders. Easier said than done, as most things are in life. The simpler the concept, many times, the more difficult to achieve.
Music in my life has proven to be a discipline that forces me to be in the moment. Especially with the spontaneous improvisation music that I so much enjoy performing. Whenever I find myself living in the past or worrying about the future, I recall the feeling of being totally in the moment during musical performance. Other great examples are during a great laugh, or painting, reading a book, engaging conversation, meditation, time of emergency and really, everything if you are truly living in the moment. Another recent development, the virtual world, also forces you to be in the moment. That is an extremely interesting observation of being in virtual worlds. You would almost think it would be otherwise, but it puts our mind into an of the moment time frame, much like reading a great book is my viewpoint on this amazing realm of modern culture.