Monday, March 7, 2011

First jam session

Well after 5 weeks in Paris, I finally got to sit in and play at a jam session. What kind of jam session? Blues? Nope. Fusion? Nope. Jazz? Gypsy Jazz? Nope. How about jamming with two electronic musicians that use noise and sound as "music". Jonas Hummel from Germany uses radios and computers to control noises and sounds as a kind of electronic conductor. Ravi Vaid, from Switzerland uses samples, sequences and noises to create an electronic soundscape.

This was an open studio jam session here at Cite Des Arts where we, and 310 other artists live. I didn't have my electric guitar with me last night (I do have it today now that my parents have arrived visiting from the USA) so I sat in with my nylon string acoustic guitar. I'm not sure how to describe it, but we played for about 30 minutes and it was an interesting mix of radio electronics, sampled looped noise creating a kind of "drum loop", some outside crazy sci-fi sound effects and some atonal and sometimes tonal acoustic guitar.  Where does music end and noise start? I'm not sure, but it's an interesting subject to explore and experiment with.

Myself (acoustic gutiar) and Jonas Hummel (radios)

Ravi Vaid (electronics)

The best thing about going out to these open studios, is meeting other artists from all over the world. That night we met people from: Germany, Switzerland, Japan, South Africa, Argentina, Sweden, Tunisia, Russia, Belgium (and even some country in the South Pacific I had never even heard of before). I spent an hour talking to a young pianist from Russia who graduated from a top Russian music conservatory. Amazing, inspiring, humbling experiences to say the least.

In the next month or so, I want to start sitting in at the jam sessions at the clubs here in Paris. I'm working on about 30 songs now trying to get comfortable with them. The plan is to sit in, and play at each of these different jam sessions: Blues, Fusion, Soul, Funk, Jazz and Gypsy Jazz. I could literally go out every night for the next 5 months and have some kind of jam session to go sit in and play at, it's an unbelievable environment I need to stop typing and go practice!