Saturday, January 08, 2005

Finding Creative Space

Last night I played at Cafe Felix on Main St. in Ann Arbor with Deep Blue. I have been playing this gig two fridays a month for about a year now. It is a pretty laid back gig. We play swing, bossa, and some flamenco stuff. It is a tough gig for a drummer because there is no bass player, just sax and classical guitar. I usually end up doing a light steady four on the floor, and keep the melody stuff in my hands. When I try to change up the bass pattern, there is too much of a void in the bottom end. The bright side is that they give me plenty of solo oportunities, which frees up the bass drum, and gives me an opportunity to let loose.
It is difficult as a musician to create opportunities for yourself where it is O.K. to completly go off on your own musical journey, (in this case, a drum solo). I have found that it always involves these very important ingredients: Practice, patience, focus, humility, and plasticity. There is also a lot to be said for the people you play with. If the people you play with do not give you enough respect, and space to develop your ideas, then the tention that fills the air becomes a breeding ground for mistakes and miscues, not just for you, but for the music in general. Scott and Paul from Deep Blue are awesome in this respect, and I appreciate it greatly. When musicians respect each other, then the music itself becomes the focus, and when the music is in focus, creative inspiration is the result, and that is what keeps me coming back for more. It doesn't matter if I sit behind my drums at a cafe', in my garadge, or in an arena full of screaming fans, if I am inspired to create beautiful musical ideas, then I can ask for nothing more.

Thanks for reading,
John

p.s. Next gig at Cafe Felix is Jan. 21st from 9-Mid.

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