Do not fear mistakes, there are none.
Normally at this time of year we offer a Solstice Wave in Castlemaine with Live Music. Not this year – we are going on holiday early.
When I told this to my friend and collaborator Team Henderson, it was with a wry smile that he reminded me of a reality we can’t avoid. EVERY time we do a Live Wave it is a magical experience. The dancers come and tell us it was amazing. We are transported to another place. We love it. When we pack up we say something like ‘lets do this more often’.
But we never do.
Life is full, busy. We are not alone in that. It is hard to make time for special projects amidst life, work, kids and in Team’s case, grandkids….
So this year, we decided we would commit to finishing something we said we’d do about 3 years ago. Finishing a recording of some of the Live Wave tracks that we have been playing with over the Solstice years. Those musical moments – here, then gone. Could we try to capture some of that magic for eternity? Here’s a bit of background to our journey.
About 10 years ago, I first visited Team Henderson at his home. I couldn’t believe that one person could have collected so many musical instruments. Team is a clown, a musical performer and entertainer and Moving Essence was already offering 5Rhythms in Castlemaine so the idea was hatched to turn my instrument-envy into play! It started on a Solstice night…
Thus began a shared musical adventure for the dancefloor. We discovered these events were not the place for entertainment, a place we both know well. This was a new discipline – listening and following dancers to be in service to a group.
Setting up so many musical toys takes a long time. That partly explains why we don’t “do this more often” and only play live twice a year!
In the first few years of the Live Wave events we would hardly remember what we played. But we started to notice – musical themes, or particularly tunings or instrumental pairings would re-occur. Some kind of ‘improvisational structure’ was evolving which would allow us to pull sections of the solstice journey out and refer to them as a ‘song’. We then decided it would be good to try recording some of these tracks.
Some of you may have heard my last album – a recording with longtime collaborator Terrafunka to produce the Reveal Album – a 50 minute wave made up of 10 tracks – all with great attention to detail because that type of dance music production requires it. I’m grateful that Terrafunka (Kevin Edge) excels at this discipline.
I’m not that kind of producer, hence this live recording provides something completely different. The intent is to capture our in-the-moment expression. There are some extra bits added, but the main discipline required to record the base track was to accept moments of imperfection. Just like when we are providing a Live Wave – we’re on the edge. Thus for this project we were experimenting with instruments and mics and unconventional recording techniques. Unlike what I provide in 5Rhythms classes – there no loops, no beat-matching. It is much more challenging especially for a perfectionist like me. But giving myself that permission is great because now I have experienced two very different approaches to recording. I’m exercising both sides of the brain.
Team and I spent some time discussing this challenge and it’s unique quality. We came up with the name ‘Everyday Giraffe’ to describe this process. This refers to the conscious practice of sticking your neck out every day, taking a risk, going to edge of your comfort zone and being willing to grow and learn. Still learning and on the edge at 70! Team, you are a role model for life-long learning.
So dancing friends – have a wonderful solstice without us this year. If you download the album and dance – please let us know if any Solstice Wave memories come back to you.
We hope you can find 50 minutes for yourself and that dancing this Solstice Wave will bring you peace at this busy time of year.
Love and blessings
David & Team