Improvizone

Darkroom go to Antwerp

Andrew Booker 2009-05-29 14:47:25

I've been getting ready for a trip to Antwerp this weekend for the European Live Looping Festival on Satuday 30 May 2009 (tomorrow) organised by Sjaak Overgaauw. Darkroom are playing, and Mike and Os left this morning. In order to join them on electronic drums, I'll be getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow and taking an early tunnel crossing to drive over, find the venue in a city I've never been to before, and remember to stay on the correct side of the road. It's OK though, I checked the tyres last week.

Possibly on the way there, but probably on the way back, I hope to stop off on the outskirts of Brussels and do a bit of Improvizone backdrop filming of the Atomium. I know it's a stationary object, and I've always wondered why people go on holiday with their video cameras and take moving pictures of things which are completely still. Movement is relative, of course, and now that I've been doing Improvizone visuals for about a year now, video is the way. So these days if I go anywhere, I always video as well. I like stills to look back through later on, and I like video to have my back to during a gig. By the way, that globe thing is in Seville, not Brussels. There are pictures of the Atomium everywhere, it's 50 years old after all, or if you've not seen it, you could save the surprise until the next Improvizone gig, assuming I make the trip there this weekend.

Anyway, about the gig tomorrow, it's a long lineup of loopers from all over the world. Suitably, the three of us are more prepared than ever. We spent about 10 minutes emailing each other about timings, tempos and keys, and I've worked out a few things to do, otherwise it's improvisational business as usual for 25 minutes. I've done absolutely no work on my drum software since last week's gig but I'll be taking it anyway, plus the SPD-S pad by itself again, and playing a little bit of synth bass on it occasionally. Mike will be playing without a guitar amp, as he did at Improvizone last week, and Os will be using just the EWI and his laptop.

I'm pretty excited about doing this, and delighted Os and Mike have invited me. They have been known to fly to this kind of event with their gear in small cases. As a frequent attendee of scientific conferences, Mike informs us these international looping festivals are a very similar breed of event, which is why having two of us using our own software for sounds is a good thing. Were it not for that I would probably be leaving my backward and impotent drum software at home, seeing as it constitutes about one percent of my audio output. This is in complete contrast to Os, who has beautifully styled the last 18 months of Improvizone gigs using his own commercially available products. I figure if I don't gig my bits and stuff, I'll never have reason to develop it any further.

Now, where the hell is my passport.

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