The pandemic was a time when I spent a lot of time alone. A bit of time planning, a lot of time wondering, and some time creating. But generally I was working in my basement room, alone.
There was a lot of online playing, I got to develop some new collaborations with fun people and continue some older ones, but I missed the regularity, the contact and the collective potential of being in the same room as another like minded musician.
I began a practice of playing duos and other “ensemble” pieces with myself overdubbing and editing, which gave way to duos with other friends on recordings that I had in my collection. I found it was fun and strangely rewarding to try to contribute to the solos of other artists. If only to add new ideas to the mix and push me to new places musically. Eventually I wondered what my own parts of these duos would sound like, and whether I could make them stand up by themselves, like the solos from which they were born. Some did!
I also tried to use this solitary time to confront solo playing: the kind of music making I generally feel the most nervous about. I spent quite a bit of time recording and judging, recording and judging. Do I like this?
Suddenly, it was May!
The end of what I think of as the year, and I hadn’t committed to anything. There were 8 different projects in folders on my computer. None finished. So, I spent 3 days recording what I could. Several “duos” with recordings of others (that became solos of me), and a few real solos that reflect the day, where my head was at and where my playing unfurled in the moment.
+/- music. I think I like it. I hope you do too.