Rhythm Abstraction: Gold
Compulsion; Inquisition; Complication; Anahata; Impatience; Momentum
Additional Personnel / Information
Frank Macchia: Composer, Arranger, Producer, Mixer, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone Bass Saxophones; Piccolo, Flute, Wood Flute, Alto Flute, Bass Flute, Contrabass Flute; Clarinet, Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Ethnic Winds, Synthesizers Brock Avery: Composer, Drums, Percussion, Tambourines, Pandeiro, Pods, Metal Bells, Shingclang, Slit Drums, Buffetonium, Pipanafone, Stackers, Bulb Horn
Rhythm Abstraction: Gold is the second volume of new compositions created as a follow up to our 2018’s release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion solos. I then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Gold is the second of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in January and followed up in April and July. In Gold we have a created a group of pieces that continue our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of composition, where I reacted to whatever Brock created with his drum improvisations and continued to pursue the use of tone rows and motifs to create a music journey that ebbs and flows with the rhythm and takes the listener on a journey through rhythm and sound. The opener, Compulsion is an intense ride that uses a tone row of C,F#,Bb,A,Eb,Db,G,Ab,D,F,E,and B, stated at the onset by saxophones. The harmony is derived from that row as well. The relentlessness of Brock’s intense drumming gave me the idea to keep compulsively running through the tone row. The alto clarinet solo bounces back and forth between a heavily effected “electric-distorted” sound to a clean more jazz-oriented one. Brock’s intense ending pretty much summed this one up! Inquisiton was so titled as after I wrote the piece it just sounded like what a tortured person would be hearing during an inquisition! Starting with dense flute and clarinet voicings based on an A7 dominant chord above a Bb7 chord and then reversing the voicing so Bb7 was above A7 just sounded like an opening interrogation with the soprano sax being the voice of the interrogator. That soprano sax interrogator keeps prodding and poking throughout the piece with Brock’s explosive drumming urging the inquisition forth. Half way through we get a long chant by the woodwinds as the soprano sax dances over the top, with a final questioning on the lst eerie chord. Trying to emulate a kind of pseudo-Herbie Hancock Headhunters vibe, Complications starts with Brock doing a funky yet abstract groove, with the music dancing around a C7#9 kind of vibe. Half way we go into a sustained sax chorded interlude with a tenor sax solo, then a heavily chromatic clavinet riff. Keep your ears open for a little Headhunters tune quote near the end by the tenor sax! Anahata is the Hindu word for the fourth Chakra which is located in the heart, in the center of the chest and is considered one of the most beautiful and richest Chakras, as it invites us to dwell longer in its inexhaustible treasures of delightful feelings and experiences. Brock’s drum improvisation on this just was so fluid and powerful that it reminded me of Elvin Jone’s work with John Coltrane on A Love Supreme so I created a more slow textural palette which I then soloed over on alto saxophone, using a motif and a simple open chord progression to improvise over. The rich chordal texture throughout is done by using 8-12 bass flutes slowly arpegiatting and later I use several ethnic whistles and flutes for a kind of random flowing of textures. I asked Brock to do a solo that would keep getting more intense and what he did turned into Impatience. which starts with a time ticking kind of effect with the woodwinds, as Brock uses woodblocks to also keep the time element pervasive. The mournful tenor sax solo is trying to express the sense of impatience and frustration as time keeps moving forth without a helpful conclusion to the point! Kind of like life in general! Momentum was created by Brock’s drum solo which reminded me of wild ethnic African drumming so I utilized a couple of chromatic 5 note pentatonic scales with some ethnic flutes in the intro and then segued to a rather urgent alto sax solo to Brock’s impassioned drumming. Tracy London aided at the end with a beautiful vocal chant to round out this collection of pieces.
- Rhythm Abstraction: Gold by Dan McClenaghan