The Comfort Zone. Why is it so maligned? What did it ever do to anyone? Seems like it ought to be lauded. It’s literally a zone of comfort. I once saw a sign that said “Your comfort zone will kill you.” Er...police will kill you. Your comfort zone will probably just like, make you all comfy and shit. But nooooo....that’s not good enough for the powers that be. Aspersions are cast wantonly. It must be left. Gotten outside of at all costs. Very well.
On my musical Venn Diagram of Comfort, just outside any circumference, lies live performance. I’ve spent most of my life making music, but have performed live only a handful of times, save an open-mic circuit in college. Though I work with sound, I consider myself a painter. The devil’s in the details; god’s in the layers. Live performance is a raw vulnerability; the imposter syndrome peeks through. Let’s poke at it with this sharpened stick, shall we?
So what’s this then? A few weeks ago, I was asked to perform a 30 min set to be streamed as part of a series called “The Quarantine Concerts”. I accepted, challenged myself to a mostly analog live set, no prerecorded tracks, and proceeded to have all manner of technical difficulties, false starts, and bad takes. It got to a point where my frustration loomed larger than any potentially successful performance. I almost canceled. Something had to be done. I watched the “Relax, Relate, Release” scene from A Different World a couple times, put a lil’ sum in the air, and attempted to breathe. “How can I relax musically?” I asked myself. The answer: DRONE. Use the drone to navigate the grey. Allow the undulating oscillations to lead me back to the BLACK. The result: "Grey Rainbow." Inspired by Pandit Pran Nath, it’s basically an improvised relaxation exercise which allowed me to focus enough to perform "œqc." Once I could breathe...I was able to breathe.
So here: I present two long(er) form improvs. One an aural amuse-bouche, the other a multi-course meal that may start with dessert and end with appetizers. Only you can tell. Warning: there are clams. *rimshot* At any rate, it’s my first “live” album. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Grey areas to the front, comfort zones be damned.
As always, I hope you can dig it, and thank you for your support. 😘
Forever in the kitchen,
Live footage of œqc (The Quarantine Concert):
released July 17, 2020