Still here….Posted: February 2, 2015
Well, I fell into silence on these pages for a couple of months, which may have seemed strange in view of the fact that I was active on stage and on the releases front. Truth to tell, I simply didn’t feel energized enough to make a contribution in this period; I felt I’d be trotting out that Promo stuff if I put hand to keyboard, which is not my intention (well, not my main intention) in writing here.
So the latest solo recording(s), “…all that might have been…” have been out there for a while now. I wanted to let them go out in their various forms without further direct explanation from me, though obviously there have been press releases and the like which gave some impression of what they were about. Eventually I may come back here to give further angles on the intentions behind, the making of, my own assessment of these musics. But now’s not the time.
Apart from organizing the release of “…all that…” I also managed a couple of long-haul live journeys last November. First I went to Mexico City with Gary Lucas, giving probably the best performance to date of the “Otherworld” material. At the end of the month I had another four-gig solo stint in Tokyo, two of which were performed on electric guitar – it’s a *very* long time since I’ve done a solo show like that. All enjoyable – but somewhat exhausting – stuff.
Incidentally, since it had been such a long time since the last release I’d forgotten what a time- and energy-consuming thing it is to put out physical product. Each time I come back to doing it it’s like learning to walk all over again. A lot of falling over involved.
No surprise, then, that I spent the most part of December in passive recovery mode. January’s been clear the desk time. That’s almost done, I’m almost ready to start up again into whatever’s next.
But, but, but….most importantly, today (Feb 2nd) is the release date of the latest VdGG effort, “Merlin Atmos”. These are live recordings taken from our European touring of 2013. The main event’s a single CD and there are also special edition releases: a (single) vinyl and a double CD.
At the core of all versions are our performances of the two long-form pieces, “Flight” and “Lighthouse-keepers”. We’d played the former on our last North American tour and, emboldened by the success of that effort, made the commitment to play “L-K” as well throughout the Euro tour. Naturally, we did so without, at that stage, having rehearsed a note of the piece….
In other words, we set ourselves a proper VdGG challenge. I suppose the fact that this stuff is now being released indicates that, in our eyes at least, we’ve met that challenge. It’s really exciting – and at times surprising – to listen to, even having been there on stage!
Have I veered into full-on Promo mode?
So, not such a hard task, firing up the journal again. Let’s hope I do more in the coming months. No promises, mind, for music-making may divert me….