This weekend we have a wonderful band in from Los Angeles, BATTERY. BATTERY is a solo project for drum set and electronics, belonging to Jacob Richards. With sounds at the intersection of jazz, electronic music, and West African percussion, BATTERY is a unique sonic experience to say the least. Jacob wrote a little about himself and what's been on his mind, which is shared below - take a peek, and then see you tonight at 8pm at Cafe Racer!
"Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I make music. I just graduated from a master’s program, so I’m at a huge transition point in my life; naturally, this grand question is something that comes up. I’ve mostly found the answer to be that making music is an exercise in building community with the musicians and the folks who are listening. It goes beyond the act of music making, and encompasses the people you meet while traveling, the stories you’re able to carry with you, and whose house you sleep at after the show. The music is the gravity that holds it all together.
I have to think though. If music is the force that brings people together, it is important to think about who you would like to bring in with this power and to actively include folks who you would like to be there. It is for this reason that I’ve realized that improvisation is and always will be a crucial part of my musical practice, and that the music I make should be an extension of how I carry myself and my conversations. If there is one thing I could have every participant at Racer think about this Sunday, it would be to consider how the music they make fits into the larger picture of their life- how does making music support your friendships, your love life, your politics?
I’ve been checking out Brazilian music, solo drumset & electronics projects, and improvised groove music lately. Namely:
Hermeto Pascoal continues to inspire me with the sense of vibrance and life in his compositions. Brian Chippendale’s Black Pus is a transcendental approach to marrying drums, voice, and synths. Zach Danziger’s duo project Edit Bunker infuses drumset triggering and duo improvisation with automatic telepathy. André Duracell, who was the initial inspiration for my solo project BATTERY, continues to be a reference point for the passion and work that goes into being a solo drumset artist. Sam Ospovat’s PIKI reminded me that the drumset IS in fact many different instruments put in the same place. Makaya McCraven’s In The Moment showed me the beauty of improvising grooves and the great power of being able to curate improvisations for a record.
I want to thank Haley Freedlund and all of the folks at Racer Sessions for having me this Sunday. I’m looking forward to meeting you all! I’ll also be playing on Monday the 29th at Royal Room with some local buds: Alex Oliverio (gtr), Haley Freedlund (tbn), Levi Gillis (ts), and Miller Wrenn (bs, he’s a friend from calarts!).