A Tribe Called Red

14 July 2012

Free Album – and don’t forget the electric Powwow

Local DJs A Tribe Called Red hold a monthly event called the Electric Powwow (2nd Saturday of every month at Babylon night club in Ottawa). That means tonight! I need new shoes.

They’ve released their album for free online and have asked people to share and pass it along. So here it is.

Also, you can check out their blog and their page on Soundcloud.

160 Days to Dec 21st 2012


Soundscapes for Sunday

10 June 2012

Watching Sound.

I’ve been waiting with fascination for something new to come along, musically speaking. I was alive for the death of Jazz and as a result North American Music. There were short flashes of novelty during that time, turntables, electronic music certain explored uncharted territory, however, it seems to have gone through the same stages as Jazz, only in a matter of years instead of decades.

While we’re still trying to figure out how to truly push these new and versatile instruments to their fullest, enjoy some visualizations tuned to music. Maybe synesthesia is the next step forward.

194 Days to Dec 21st 2012


Music Come Full Circle

28 May 2012

Musical traditions creep back into the electronic era

I was thinking about this the other day…

So, music, as a form of communication, has been around as long as sound. It likely began with us listening to the sounds of birds and beasts around us, the wind in the trees, the waves clacking pebbles and so on. We responded with our voices. We developed our sounds to a rich complexity of language and singing. Music was participatory, we sang with one another.

Moving ahead, we developed musical technology, starting with something simple, hollow logs, tense reeds, which eventually lead us to woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, pianofortes. Not only did we perform, we began our role as non-participatory audience.

Following this, recording media broadened the audience beyond live performances. We could capture the sounds of a single performance, then a blending of tracks. Radio and records lead to CDs and MP3s.

Then, depending on which version you believe, the good folks down in Jamaica created dub – remixing previously recorded tracks. DJs began playing record players as instruments. The exploration of electronic music has reached new sounds, textures and musical expression.

And then this happens:

Using his voice,  James Burchfield imitates the electronic.

Full circle.

207 Days to Dec 21st 2012


International Jazz Day

30 April 2012

Well pluck my bass.

I only just discovered that today is International Jazz Day.

I can’t think of a particular style of music that deserves an international day all to itself (maybe hip-hop – it spread to the four corners of the world pretty quickly). Jazz, in its idealest form, is an open door inviting musicians to come on in and bring what they know to the jam.

And there’s always the chance to participate – I’ll be ready next year. This year, I’ll just noodle around on my trumpet in B-flat.

There are other days related to Jazz that deserve some attention, birthdays in particular. Everyone has their favourite musicians of the era, but three men and three women deserve particular attention: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald. There are plenty more deserving, and by all means, celebrate Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bessie Smith, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Art Blakey, Oscar Peterson and so on. If I could narrow it down to two people: Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

Louis Armstrong (b. Aug 4th) and Ella Fitzgerald (b. Apr 25th)

That’s all. Listen to some Jazz.