The liner note thing (qu. I.A.), strictly for the interested - please skip if you don´t want to know!
Another four year gap between records ... waiting for so long is a Habit I wish I could Break! Another one is playing this stuff all on my own ... If you live near me and would like to play this kind of stuff - and are rather reliable and not likely to put on airs! - please contact me. I promise I won´t try to make you share the debts that this is going to drive me into (although I might) ...
I´ve been into modes and their quartal voicings recently and I have used my looper for checking out these things and for keeping hold of ideas. Our cute little drummer (qu. F.Z.) is called RC50 and comes from Boss/Roland („he“ even has a solo). The other instruments are only three: My (actually hopefully-soon-to-be mine only!) H-P. Bamberger 8string classical, my D´Angelico EXL-1SH electric and my Warwick Fortress One fretless bass guitar. Used in combinations. Except for „Breaking Through“, the two solos, and the flanged bass in „Drive Out“, this was (qu. I.A.) recorded using a mic (AKG D320B) in front of amps (Fame GX60R - because it was cheap - for the guitar and GK 150MB for the bass). Another Habit I Broke.
Getting On Well After All: starts out with a grooving 7/4 section in E aeolian, short drum(-computer) insert leading to a part in C dorian in double-time feel. These two take turns, the 8string takes a solo on the walking bass feel of the dorian part. After a short drum solo (;), the two hitherto contrasting themes agree and find that they get on well together.
Duos 1 through 4: Exploring the possibilities of the A major pentatonic scale in four different keys and their modes: With no defined state of the G and the D (sharp or natural), this scale fits, among others, the keys of A (Duo 1, two classical guitars), D (Duo 2, one classical, one electric), E (Duo 3, classical and bass), E minor melodic (Duo 4, two electric guitars) and of course all the modes derived from those keys. In each of these pieces, one of the two voices is limited to the five notes of this scale (although in Duo 4, the melody obeys this rule only for stating the theme). Duo 3 echoes a danish children´s song (Lille Peter Edderkop), using augmentation.
Drive Out: B minor melodic is the key for the three contrasting parts of this composition, all in 7/4: The ponderous solo guitar part used three times with its provoking use of a Bminor chord on top of its sharp 7; the driving bass riff with the flanger effect, and the alien sounding middle eight with its strange leaps and jumps. A somewhat longish (I admit!) bass solo leads back to the theme, and after another solo guitar interlude, a guitar improvisation draws the energy up to another statement of the theme of the piece. I think I wanted to find out how far you can go without leaving the mode even once!
Solo 1: Not only a quick filler; improvised on the spot but I feel it gives a thoughtful note to the succession of pieces, ticking off the quartal harmonies of C ionian. Uses an amp simulator because I didn´t have more than one microphone with me.
Dark Kalpa: This only partly modal piece is one that came to me in 2003 while trying out the possibilities of my then-new Chapman Stick (not used on this record). I´ve tried and tried to get to grips with the possibilities of this but this is the first time that I think I have come to something with it. The B and F# used so prominently in the beginning reveal themselves as 6 and 9 of an A minor chord. The A section is more or less the same every time it appears but the B section gets longer and longer. A Dark Kalpa, in Buddhist philosophy, is one age (translated to western science speak: time from one BigBang to the next) that does not bring forth a Buddha. Billions of bleak years with no enlightenment.
Kære Franzi: Funky little piece in B phrygian, knocked off just for fun one afternoon. Had to think of my dear friend Franziska M.E.H.J.P. who has had a big influence on my life. She always liked these danceable funky grooves and I hope she will enjoy this one as well!
Solo 2: For Bass. Uses an amp simulator as it would have been monophonic without it. Meant to sound like bells that will set you on a meditation vibe. Let it all fall off you. Let it Flow (qu. E.C.)
Rise and Walk On: Two themes, one in aeolian (rising from D on a de-tuned ;) bass over E to F#) and one in G lydian in a faster tempo rub it off on each other. The bass figure is identical to the „Drive Out“ one but uses a different mode. After a guitar solo interlude (that even enters tertian harmony!), the two themes return, the aeolian having risen four half-steps in the process. Again, a solo part ends the story.
Breaking Through: I fought with this idea for a week and nothing came out of it. Told my wife Maria to regard me as a loser from now on and to never expect any music to come from me anymore. Moved my home studio to our house in the country (where all this has subsequently been played) and finished it in one day. I used amp simulators and effects which Habit i Broke immediately afterwards (except where noted). In less than two weeks, the rest of this album was recorded, mixed, produced and whatnot. So much for what a nice place we´ve got out here :)
In this 7/8 groove piece, G locrian and G dorian have a discussion that seems to fall apart. Right when everything seems lost, G lydian offers a happy solution: Go for it! Don´t paralyze yourself with brooding over things you can´t control but shake free! just be, just do it - Break through!
Recorded between Aug., 22 and Sep., 03 2010 in Klein Wöllmiß, Austria on a Mac mini using software that I have payed so much for over the years that I don´t feel obliged to run P.R. for it.
Noone can make music that everybody likes. Just trying to reach you.
Claus Rogge, 2010-09-03, Klein Wöllmiß.