One Drum Track, Many Tunes
If there's one thing I can remember from when I was a little kid, it was some old film or radio broadcast stating that how "in the future, people will be able to pick up any instrument and create music as if they had played all their lives." And with the aid of varying degrees of technology, that prediction has now come true.
My first collaboration was back in 1986 with my old friend Spencer Jones in Jackson, MS. I had recorded some wacky drum solo in a friend's studio and Spence got hold of it and created this bizarre little ditty. I wish there was a copy of that to share.
In 2006 I was determined to begin creating a digital body of work of my expressions and "sketches", for lack of a better word. The first things I recorded were "Funk #1" which has ended up in many projects, two of which I'm quite proud "Esperanto" by The Odd Get Even and "Forever" by The Journeymen.
"I am the one who draws the lines in the coloring book."
Collaboration gave me the ability to get the ideas in my head out into a workable medium that others could use to build upon. Oftentimes, my ideas are not easy to grab on first blush; there's usually some strange twist or facet that would otherwise be omitted by a traditional "writing session" so playing the ideas and uploading "stock" has been a great outlet for me.
And the best part- My creation is not limited to any one person's ideas, which *is* that "traditional method" of composing. Many folks can and do access the "sketch" and augment it with their vision. My art becomes a part of theirs, much like a "wire frame" in sculpting or digital art can become as simple or elaborate as the creator chooses. I am the one who draws the lines in the coloring book! I make the shapes, and others add color.
And as a player who has these grandiose, spiraling rhythmic tornadoes swirling through my head, it would be more than easy to begin "lashing out" at gigs where I'm more of a "framer" than a "finish carpenter". Playing inappropriate stuff in the wrong context is a recipe for getting replaced in a band... I know this, because I wrote that recipe many ways in the course of my career!
Having an outlet to drop off my "creative artworks" and the ensuing anticipation of "what's the world gonna do with this?" is more than enough to center my ego and id and allow my energy to flow for situations where I'm supporting an artist rather than trying to "be" an artist; I am "being" an artist even when my job is to play little square beats in 4/4 so that the nice people can dance and drink and be happy.
Thank you for supporting the arts.