Friday, May 15, 2020

You are your own curator

The definition of a curator is a keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection. How does this relate to us as musicians? Well, one can view one's playing elements or style as a collection. We live an an era with a VAST amount of musical materials and ideas to work on. Some of them will be more attractive to us than others. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING! Part of what defines what we are is what we are not. In other words, as the curator, we get to decide what does or doesn't belong in our collection. For example, I have very little together in terms of playing double bass drums. This isn't because I have anything against this particular area of drumming, ( truth be told, I think it can be quite cool ) it's just that I have only so much time to work on material, plus double bass drums isn't really an essential part of most of the music I play. Conversely, my extensive work on the piano over the last 10 years or so might be seen as not the best use of my time by an avid devotee of Speed Metal drumming. But, since I am the curator of my playing, I believe my work on piano has been very valuable indeed.
I played an online solo drums concert a couple of nights ago and it involved a fair amount of specific work towards it ( mainly involving, harp, piano, and performing tracks with myself ). Once I had completed my online gig, I decided i wanted to do something different. I have been fascinated for awhile now with people who drum along to speech patterns. Dan Weiss, for example, has done quite a bit of this.
When I was deciding what to play along with, I realized I wanted something short, but also iconic. I started by looking at a John Lennon quote about how most of the drummers that he met in his early years were idiots, but I found his dry, laconic Liverpudlian delivery wasn't very dramatic, and thus didn't lend that well to the drums. But drama I found, in the form of actor/firearm enthusiast Charlton Heston, in one of his most famous performances. Check it out!

I've already learned a lot around following freer rhythm, and applying drum pitches to match vocal inflections. I also had a lot of fun, so I see myself doing more of this in the near future. Stay safe!

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