Tuesday, August 07, 2007

playing irresponsibly: addendum

One more borderline irresponsible thing I did that I forgot to mention in the last post: at one point in the performance, I set up a steady little pulse (a simple additive ditty). We went with that a little while, but when the drummer joined in, I switched to a much more elastic time feel.
By this time I had a feeling that the drummer tended to follow the ‘leader’—autonomy was not the strong point of the evening—and had a taste for the regular pulse (nothing wrong with that, I do too). I suspected they wouldn’t, but I hoped that the drummer would pick-up on that pulse, keep it going, even as I and the rest of the ensemble (who also tended to play sheep) dropped it.

Didn’t happen.

In the end, the drummer just sheepishly dropped out altogether.

Was I being a stinker?


Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'd call it a stinker...

I have found that whenever I try to "lead" in those settings, the other folks rarely do what I want them to. Sometimes they do something better.

the improvising guitarist said...

I agree. What I’d expect (and what I’d prefer) are context in which there’s a significant degree of autonomy / independence from all involved. Thus ‘control’ or ‘leadership’ can’t really be exercised (at least not with predictable results). You’re right to say that giving others independence results in much better results than you could have anticipated.
What was ironic about this performance, though, was that I became the involuntary (unelected?) leader by default. What I’d wanted was more autonomy and independence from each member of the ensemble, but, perhaps because of a desire for ‘coherence’, the players were being sheep (although, thankfully, too small a group to really become moosh).

Thanks for the comment, jeff!

S, tig