This album came together as a bit of an experiment. After teaching with Andy Edwards at Kidderminster College for a year, we started an HND in Music Performance. We insisted on getting new lecturers who were not only at the cutting edge of the music industry, but would also challenge us musically. Thus, we hired the venerable Steve Lawson on electric bass, as well as guitarist and composer Phi Yaan-Zek. Over the year, we played together off and on during lessons, eventually leading to a recording session over the Easter holidays in 2014.
At this time, I began experimenting with putting my bass trombone through live effects. Egged on by my students, I discovered an entirely new palette of sounds that were synthesised, yet created on an acoustic instrument. This has wildly changed my approach towards playing, and I am very excited to share my first steps into this kind of performance.
Each track on the album is freely improvised, and we didn't agree on (or even discuss) a structure or plan before playing. However, given our gregarious natures, we did have extensive eclectic conversations before each take. As these random topics were the last things that we discussed before recording, snippets of them became the track names.
Surprisingly, all of the tracks that we recorded were around the same length. Whether or not this was because we simply ran out of ideas at the 20-minute mark or because of some underlying sense of periodic form, this does mean that each track retains the ebb and flow of our improvisations as they were played live – including how they trailed off after we had exhausted ourselves, in some cases.
I would like to express my sincerest of thanks to both Steve and Andy for their encouragement and enthusiasm with this project. Their astounding musicianship makes every time we play a joy. Likewise, their help in mixing, mastering, and producing the album was invaluable, and I have learnt so much from them. In addition, I would like to thank Rob Groucutt for recording and videoing our performances, as well as his input in producing the album.
released July 14, 2014
Murphy McCaleb, electric bass trombone
Steve Lawson, electric bass
Andy Edwards, drums
Recorded by Rob Groucutt
Mixed by Andy Edwards
Mastered by Steve Lawson
Produced by Murphy McCaleb, Steve Lawson, Andy Edwards, and Rob Groucutt
Recorded 15 April 2014 at Kidderminster College
Cover Art and Design by Murphy McCaleb
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