Chris Icasiano - September 18th, 2011
Neil Welch and I have been performing in the drum and saxophone duo Bad Luck for nearly four years. In performance, we utilize a live looping station and various effects pedals that allow us to create a wide range of sounds and textures. In the amount of time we have been working on this project, our approach to the electronic effects has evolved in a way that has made its use integral to the compositions (as opposed to it simply being another tool for improvisation).
Also in this amount of time, Neil has developed a truly unique approach to solo saxophone improvisation. He has developed his own language on the instrument that is both awesome and inspiring. When he performs, I have no doubt that every note he plays is absolutely genuine—I no longer even hear the saxophone; I hear Neil. While I have not spent nearly as much time developing my own voice as a solo improviser, I have realized that there are some ideas that are very specific to my style that I tend to always address within a solo piece. It is this concept of the hyper-individualized voice that I have been interested in developing within composition—writing music that is geared specifically toward the blending of Neil’s style and my style.
As Bad Luck, we have not yet explored using the electronic effects in a way that takes advantage of the vocabulary we use as solo players. This piece is my attempt to combine our solo approach with our band approach.
It is called Bloodroot.