Through conflict and kismet, we are very lucky to have a surprise set of music from Ronan Delisle this weekend! Ronan, a friend of the session, is a wonderful guitarist and composer who came up in the area, furthered his studies in North Texas, and returned to the Northwest to establish himself and his music with new and old friends. Most recently, he has been exploring compositionally with Señor Fin, and a newer project, Cosmic Punishment.
This weekend, Ronan will be presenting a set of solo improvisations. Ronan was kind enough to write a blog for us, where he highlights some of what he will be playing and approaches to the jam portion of the evening that he would like to take. Read on below, and see you this Sunday at 8pm!
dear friends of the racer sessions,
this sunday i'll be opening up the racer sessions with a short solo guitar set. i've been exploring solo guitar my whole life as a guitarist, and it's always something i like to return to; carrying melody, harmony, pulse and groove, all alone. in the spirit or racer sessions i'll be altering my usual set to include some improvisations that focus on one, solitary musical parameter.
this could be something simple like having a melodic contour continuous throughout the piece; perhaps: up, up, down. or, down down up and then way up. i could apply these same motions to a dynamic and it would perhaps yield piano, forte, pianissimo or mezzo forte, mezzo piano, forte, fortissimo. dynamics on guitar have been really fascinating to me recently since switching over to an archtop guitar in most of my solo playing, since it's such a lively instrument.
we as guitarists (and other instruments, to be sure) rarely take advantage of the full spectrum of dynamics available to our instruments because we have amplifiers and volume knobs; dealing with volume as it relates to our hands is a really cool thing to explore.
so there it is, some solo guitar and trying to focus on one musical parameter per improv; a melodic fragment, rhythmic cell, phrase scheme...basically anything to provide a framework for myself. i recommend you try this for yourself during sunday's session. a famous guitar guru once said that these sorts of restrictions help one get past their "beef stew" and "really play". that's where we all want to be going, right?
can't wait to play and hear everybody this sunday.