Kim loves dance parties! I alway throw on a beat for Kim, she dances along or plays keyboard. Today she sang for the first time on the microphone, she sang about her Kitty Cat!
People are really starting to open up in the St. Paul group. Leah, who is typically very soft spoken sang "It's a Small World" on the microphone and recorded the poem the group wrote last week. Deb recorded her own poem as well as the group's poem. Joe sang "God Bless America" since it was the 4th of July this week. Others are enjoying experimenting with the microphone and synthesizer sounds on the keyboard. I'm going to work with the recordings we made this week and present them to the group and see if they like them enough to put them on the Bandcamp page.
I played the Eagan group the piece they recorded the week before, everybody liked it and agreed to post it online. Here is The Rap Song of the Beats. The participants played all of the instruments in this recording and performed the vocals. I did some editing and added a drum beat to help give the piece some cohesion.
With the Apple valley group we used a similar process. Here is their rendition of Lets Go Fly a Kite.
4th of July! I got alot of work done on recordings for MSS and some other projects. Also got to go on a really nice hike!
With Shoreview we listened to the piece they recorded last week: Shoreview Sounds. With this piece I had the participants play atmosphere sounds layered on top of each other. I did some trimming to the beginning and endings of each individual track to help give the piece some shape and musicality.
I met with Joe in Oakdale Friday morning, he wanted to record his song again. He is still hesitant for me to share his song with others, and is nervous about performing. I'm going to be working on boosting his confidence over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully he'll start to feel more comfortable with sharing his talents.
What's the Music About?
Liz Lerman asks in her book "What Is the Dancing About?". She devotes a couple of chapters to this question. A large part of her inquiry comes from the fact that a lot of her dances have concrete subject matters. The music I'm making with MSS and CCW can be concrete, but can also be abstract. Either way I always interpret a meaning.
For me, the music we're making at MSS is always more about the participants than it is about me. It's about amplifying their experiences and their voice through recordings and live performances. Sometimes that means I take myself completely out of the creative process. In this scenario I see myself as an enabler. Other times I'll play an instrument or create a backing track, if the participant says thats what they would rather. When I am less involved in the music making the piece can be more abstract or avant-grade. The meaning behind these pieces to me is that these people are beautiful just the way they are, no filter needed. The sounds they create are worthy of our attention and their humanity gives the music life. It may take more effort to hear the beauty but its there. I see a different underlying message when I play an instrument or create a backing track. Here I am approaching them as a collaborator. By collaborating with them we make a statement that we are partners and equals in making music together. I don't see either of these processes as better than the other, but I've always been aware of and sensitive to these ideas throughout these creative processes.