Rip Tide (session one)
Today is the day… I am going to practice with the record button ON!! I hope by the end of the day I will have at least a few sections that sound decent enough to post, simply to give Michael a sense of how the instruments are sounding together. I have the BD set up behind/beside me and am playing not with my heel, but with heel up, on the side kick pedal that is set up to my front/right.
Warmup – exercise created for this piece, with 8th notes on BD added, at 120-150bpm. I used this time to figure out how to stabilize the BD and the secondary pedal (both of which were running away from me…so, I got barbell weights to hold the drum, and put the non-slip rug stuff under the pedals), and to check physical ability to play for short periods with most of my weight on my left foot. I started having issues around 140bpm, but I tried 150bpm anyway. Verdict = not really successful beyond 140bpm. I also tried kicking the pedal that is attached directly to the BD with my heel, and… of course, I whacked my ankle/lower leg bone with the beater…that was fun. Maybe I’ll have pictures of the bruise tomorrow? 😉 Regarding the balance though, I feel like I can do this by alternating my weight with my left knee bent, and with my leg straight… that also gives me the opportunity to change my right foot BD technique, if it gets fatigued.
Today I am using the Keiko Abe mallets. The general dynamic of the piece has the BD usually at mf, while the marimba and cymbals vary from mf to ff. I think these mallets are the best option to articulate the cymbals and marimba above the BD, but I have to wear ear plugs for long practice sessions with these. So, ear plugs in so I don’t kill my ears, and headphones on so I can hear the metronome… I feel like a mess. 😉
Mm. 153-end – everything in, no metronome, time fluctuating to make it work (around 110bpm)
Mm. 94-152 – everything in, no metronome, time fluctuating to make it work (around 110bpm)
Mm. 1-93 – everything in, no metronome, time fluctuating to make it work (around 110bpm)
Conclusions – mm. 153-180 is the most difficult section to put everything together, so I need to hit this every time I practice this piece. Also, from this point forward, I need to be playing with everything in, all the time. I have the marimba parts down. I didn’t feel fatigue in either leg, but I think the slow tempo was keeping me relaxed.
Rip Tide (second session)
Now, we record…
So, below are basically my first takes on the various page layouts. They are by no means the best of the day, but they are on record, and can give Michael an idea of how the sounds are mixing. I do have some volume control issues across the board, but I know this is just my first week of playing with all instruments set… so, I am trying to be patient with myself. This is the process and, in this format, my process has become part of my performance.
Listen, and imagine all of this at twice the speed… right now I’m around 100bpm, and must get close to 200bpm!!