In Onderhuids, een project bedacht en gecoördineerd door muziekjournalist Tim Sprangers, duiken we in de muzikant. We zijn nieuwsgierig naar de persoon achter het werk. Naar de motivatie en gedachten. Wat gebeurt er in het creëren van de creatie? Wat is er gesneuveld? Is er iets afgesproken? Wat heeft de muzikant ondergaan?
Dat gebeurt conventioneel in interviews via de vraag-antwoord methode, maar in deze rubriek geven we de maker alle ruimte, zonder concrete interventie van een journalist. Muzikanten kiezen zelf hoe ze zich willen uiten.
De Amerikaanse pianist, organist en componist Larry Goldings valt in deze editie van Onderhuids op door zijn openheid. Goldings vertelt over zijn verschillende manieren van componeren: achter zijn instrument, met hulp van een sequencer, zoals hij schrijft voor zijn nieuwe album met Peter Bernstein en Bill Stewart. We zijn de eersten die demo’s van het binnenkort op te nemen album mogen horen. Maar als antithesis, zo schrijft Goldings, komen komen composities soms zo naar binnen gewandeld. Los van alle moderne technologieën dus. Zoals bijvoorbeeld het stuk ‘Acrobat’ tijdens een wandeling door West Village NYC. ‘It was one of those lucky moments where it all came flowing out, and I could hear it all in my head’.
Larry Goldings about his composing
‘In preparation for our next trio record (with Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart), which we are making in Munich at the end of our tour, I wrote some compositions, some finished, some sketches. But the way I went about it was different than the usual method of sitting at the piano or organ. I used a sequencer, Logic, to make demos of the tunes. This way I could record eight bars that I liked, overdubbing sampled organ and sampled guitar, sometimes a basic drum part… and then write another eight bars, and so on, until I felt I had a strong direction, or even a complete piece. It was very helpful to simultaneously create a demo and compose. By playing with fairly good samples of the instruments, I stayed inspired, enabling me to imagine the trio playing it. It gave me a good idea of whether it was going to work or not. Somehow this process made me write differently….
Here is a demo of one of the songs, which I hope we will record….
Of course, once we start playing it live on, and/or work on it in the studio, it will evolve, and some things will change…maybe the structure…maybe the arrangement….but the demo gives me confidence that the overall piece is strong. But, only by working with the trio, will we really discover the piece fully, with all of our three personalities influencing its interpretation. Also, where does it go after the melody is over? Where there be an improvising section?
And here’s a demo of a vamp-type tune….
This feels unfinished, for sure. It may end up on the cutting room floor… Or perhaps I, or we, will find a way to make to finish it. By the way, as of now, I actually can not play this bass line simultaneously with the melody! Only by overdubbing was I able to. So I’ll have to practice that. This is another example of how changing your process can yield unexpected results.
The antithesis of this is writing away from any instrument at all. Over the years I’ve written a handful of compositions this way. “The Acrobat” was written while walking through the West Village in NYC. I particularly remember passing through Washington Square Park. It was one of those lucky moments where it all came flowing out, and I could hear it all in my head. “Mixed Message” came about the same way, but in a taxi cab. There are some funny harmonic twists in there that I don’t think would have come to me had I been sitting at an instrument.
So there you have it……Using modern technology, and avoiding it completely. There’s always multiple ways of getting from Point A to Point B, as long as you keep your ears and spirit open!’