Tonight, we will sit and watch a movie together. Dan Phelps - a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and previous Racer presenter - will be live-composing a score to 30 minutes of moving images. With a career built in audio engineering, advertisement, and freelance performance, Dan has built for himself what might be a perfect platform for approach to this project. He speaks for himself very well below. Please read through and join us tonight at 8pm!
"'What kind of music do you do?'
It's a question that all musicians have had to answer at one point or another. For the last decade or so my response has been: like a soundtrack without a movie.
I've always heard music visually...like a picture with height, width, and depth. An image that represents both the landscape the music is happening on and a visualization of the movement and gestures happening in the music. Some sounds are small and localized, others are wide and sweeping. Certain sounds like are smoke and embers, moments of light that blink in and out of existence. Others are like clouds, moving with stately grace across the landscape of the music... that's just how my brain processes sound and texture.
For the last few years I've been on a deep dive into improvising with a setup that allows me to manifest a lot of these big ideas. I wrote extensively about it for my last Racer Sessions, and you can read that here. For this upcoming session, I'll be bringing my whole situation back with the addition of 30 minutes of imagery. I will not see the visuals before hand. I will improvise a live soundtrack to the images, reacting in real time and relying on the mind's ability to draw connections and see causality where there is truly only instinct and intuition.
For at least this one performance, my music WILL be a soundtrack...a soundtrack that will be (hopefully) manifested from the ether."