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My 20th Anniversary gig on December 15th was one of the most enjoyable shows I've ever played. The music part of the evening was in two halves - what you have here is the first half, a completely solo show, that followed a discussion with the audience about improvisation, and their expectations for the show, conducted as part of the research for my ongoing PhD.
So the Listen in the title refers to both the audience listening to the music (obviously) but also the amazing privilege of getting to listen to you... and the realisation that the discussions were very much part of 'the work'. They weren't some lil' academic add-on to an otherwise 'normal' gig, they were act 1 and act 4 of a four act play...
The second half (or act 3) was an Illuminated Loops set with Poppy Porter. More on that later.
I started out this gig on my Modulus 6 string fretless - the same bass that I played the majority of that first solo show exactly 20 years ago on (albeit with a new body after the other one got smashed up on a flight in 2008!)
The middle piece is on my signature Elrick SLC fretted 6 string, and the last piece is on my Modulus 4 string - the other bass that made up the bulk of that first gig.
It was a whole lot of fun mixing up the instruments, and did introduce a subtle element of nostalgia into an evening otherwise dominated by completely new music!
The big revelation of the gig, though, was how much more connected the whole thing felt in terms of me and the audience because of the discussions in act 1 and act 4 - I'm going to build that into gigs going forward, I think - it's such a rare luxury to get to hear from the people at the show in that way, and one that I imagine would be very difficult if your audience was made up of people who were (to you) total strangers with big expectations about what you should and shouldn't play and what the music had to be in order for their nostalgic buttons to be pushed... I don't have that, at all - instead, the discussion played out as not only an illumination of what people were expecting but also a broad permission to 'be you'. Do your thing and we'll come with you on that journey... Lots more of this to come as I analyze the data and write it up, but for now, here's the album. I really hope you enjoy it!
released December 18, 2019
Bass, Quneo, Recording, Mixing, Mastering, Photography, Artwork - Steve
All music by Steve Lawson
Thanks to Poppy Porter, Lobelia Lawson, Flapjack, Tom Martin, Phi Yaan-Zek, Lee Daniels, Richard Hallman, and everyone who came along and shared their thoughts and ideas. I hope we get to do it all again with a completely different load of music :)
No thanks to the massively drunk guy mumbling about Simon And Garfunkel all the way through the discussions...