Fall comes to town

Fall in redding
Right after Veterans Day in Redding we can expect a frost. Not yet, so far, but soon.
The musical excerpt Lithium is from Craig and my CD Planetary Elements Vol 2, released on the Space for Music label. It was recorded live at the Schreder Planetarium on Magnolia Street in Redding around 2004. Here’s the story of the music. We played as a duo under the dome, while Brian Grigsby ran the planetarium visuals. It seats 64 people. We’d played there before but this time we decided to play improvisationally. We planned to play floaty synthesizer textures and ambient soundscapes. We deliberately didn’t play much beforehand, except to setup, so we wouldn’t know what each other was going to play. Here’s the kicker: playing in the planetarium is done in total darkness. We even had to cover the the LED displays on the synthesizers so their dim light wouldn’t bleed onto the dome. So here we were as usual, playing improvised music in total darkness.
About 10 minutes in, I started up a sequence texture that had a mildly rhythmic bass drum in 4/4 time. I figured Craig wasn’t going to like it much actually, so I thought I’d fade it up and then back down. To my surprise, Craig launches into a full-on lead synth line over the texture. Now, it’s going somewhere. At some point based on Craig’s stellar lead, I transpose the sequence, and follow along.
I guess the piece stands on it’s own, and would be otherwise unremarkable beyond that, except to us. Both of us were thinking, where the hell did that come from? It sounds planned. It wasn’t.
One of those weird moments you get after playing music with somebody of like mind for a decade or so. In the dark. It still weirds me out to hear it. Where does music come from?
Fall leaves in redding
Photos by Skip on Northpoint in Redding, Fall 2008

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