As we were recording yesterday, we briefly commented on what a strange experience it was to come into this session. Strange because it was extremely difficult to guage whether we were/are prepared. With such loose structures involved, we usually have to look up some notes that say things like, “You start, then I go, then when x happens, we go to y.” Then we do a take. Talk about what we liked and didn’t like. Then do another take which might be similar or might be very different from the first take. Then we talk about that one and try again.

It’s all very different from preparing a completely written piece. In that atmosphere, it’s easy to say, “I know my part, I’m ready to record” or “I know my part, but I might need a couple takes on one section.” In this case, the preparation is the training you have been doing your entire life. Whether you are ready or not depends on your ability to manifest your aural imagination with the physical gesture that creates the corresponding sound. Then you have to make decisions about how far you will push yourself. At what speed does my physical response become slower than my imagination. If I push beyond that point, can I still use my ears for structural tones? Is it better to play safe or take risks?

Largely, that last question is determined by the aesthetic requirements of the structure itself. Today we will try some more. I’ll be back to report on it tonight. Happy 4th everyone.