Corey Mwamba

status → journal

Entries for Mar 2017

Having my mind blown reading Ruqaiya Hasan!

I am not that young, not that old; but Soweto is younger; James Morton and Tommy Scott are younger still; and J-Life was possibly a few weeks old. We are playing JuJu. I am still finding my way through music, playing the instrument of the man who inspired me. And so I am waiting to solo rather than paying attention. I am remembering rules I had taught myself a few weeks ago: Shorter uses c minor (melodic, ascending), but on the b. Use the major seventh to ascend through the B section. I have not eaten. The Terry Gibbs sticks Orphy has given me for this song; they are so short (Hey Corey; use these on JuJu. I remember looking at them in wonder)! I am looking at the vibraphone. It's a large Sono—

I hear an mm.

I am suddenly paying attention to Daniel indicating to Jason, who is watching Soweto. I accompany, hitting accents where I can. The events are qui—

I am paying more attention. Soweto is really going for it now, but it seems that he is about to finish. use the melody I play a variation, but in the C section Darren and Daniel are applying pressure. I cannot ignore it. space; did I learn that from Miles; or Monk? I look at the vibraphone; and then I dive in—

there is so much

I have heard this described as switching the conscious mind off, but no, that is wrong. Everything switched on. And I know this because I remember that this was the day I met John Morris who was pianist in many of my groups for quite a few years. "There's knives in those vibes," he said.

This is a status update with an "in the office" image. Except that it's in a kitchen.


Here's an incomplete map of British and Irish jazz/improv venues.

I've been quiet because... well, PhD writing. It's more important to me than lots of other things.

That importance is not something that has crept up on me. I knew it would gradually take over; but I thought I had much more time. This was a mistake.

I am enjoying it, though.

The time spent on this—which I want to do—has made me realise how much time I have spent on things for other people while not properly thinking about myself.

It's been sobering. In the effort to be able to be helpful and adaptable, I think it is easy to forget to "spring back", to accommodate our own needs and selves; to be elastic rather than plastic.

That isn't to say that I'm a saint, because I'm really not. But I have been been stretched in different directions; and (perhaps appropriately) the PhD is giving me a focus on what I want to do that I'm not sure I've ever really had before.

I feel my focus as a musician is always fleeting. This is mainly because I never planned on being a musician.

But doing music has given me many ways of dealing with myself and others that I may not have found, had I done exactly what I wished or planned.

Put another way, the practice of music elasticised my thinking. But the working in music has plasticised my life.

I've put together a short list of the things I'm reading (or have read) for my doctorate.