Entries for 26th Apr 2018
I have had a good month of getting back into using the computer alongside the other instruments in my music-making again. It has been a long time...
The first album where using audio processing really came together for me was Sipping Rioja at Home, which in many ways is the spiritual ancestor to (s)kin.
Sipping Rioja at Home was started in late 2001. The idea was that I would just post tracks up as I made them, based on things I was thinking. At that time, the term Afrofuturism was not fashionable in the U.K.
Anyway. There were always vast gaps between making the tracks—I made a lot more music than I actually put out (I am currently looking through old hard drives and staring at CoolEdit Pro files).
But the main thing was—I was really enjoying the way of working, melding the technology with what I knew from my jazz-rooted practice, to make new music. And (I think) it was new music at the time, in all senses.
The use of audio processing got a boost after I switched from Windows to Linux. My imagination of myself in the future meant that I needed to learn technology—to actually be part of that future. And so I did.
The two "siblings" were made in this time. But then I didn't use the technology to imagine a future in either one. First came Popular Delusions, which talks quite pointedly about the past:
Then came Song for the New Folk, which still talks about the present.
I have, for the record, only been called an Afrofuturist once, by Dr Das in 2009. But by then, I had stopped using technology. The struggle as a Black person to be comprehended in live electro-acoustic music was too hard. So I retreated to the vibraphone.
The vibes was my first love, my focus for so long. But I kept wanting to go back, to begin to work in an electro-acoustic realm again. There were a few live glimmers, mainly with Orphy Robinson (2006-7). That duo was nuts!
This is why this new collection of music is so important to me now. It's the first time in a while that I've made music so rooted in all aspects of my thinking and "ways of doing". I am really enjoying the journey, and hope you are too.