Thursday, May 21, 2009

supermellow semi-outdoor Drone session

Vaughan - voice, acoustic guitar, dan bau, percussion
Keith - mandola, electric guitar, acoustic bass guitar, mini Casio keyboard, bells, percussion
me - saz, balalaika, body percussion
Henry - Roland percussive samplepad, percussion
John - acoustic guitar, acoustic bass guitar, voice, percussion, harmonica
James T - poetry, percussion, glockenspiel, triangle, slidewhistle, etc.
Annie Q (left early) - flute, alto saxophone, voice
Brian (arrived late) - hand percussion

Listen Here

It's that time of year when Vaughan invites the Droners out to Sherwood for sessions in his barn. It's an open-sided structure, so there's an outdoor feel to these sessions. On the plus side, that meant we got evening chorus birdsong woven into our playing (particularly noticeable when the first long piece - just under an hour - came to an end). Less positively, some of us (based on blood type?) were eaten alive by midges for a good part of the session. But that didn't detract from what was one of the most enjoyable COTD sessions yet. An especially harmonious grouping of players this time, predominantly acoustic instruments, and a lovely mellow groove throughout a lot of it. John was playing some Latin-flavoured stuff on his acoustic guitar, and I locked right into that. I also played a lot of balalaika in the second half, which was more successful than usual due to a different amplification arrangement (playing though John's little mixer with a pre-amp). It still sounds like I'm playing down a telephone line, due to pickup I made from a musical birthday card speaker, but I quite like that.

Sherwood House gardens Sherwood House gardens
photos of Sherwood House gardens by Vaughan (he's the resident gardener)

Vaughan was playing some nice stuff on his dan bau (a one-stringed Vietnamese instrument), but somewhat hindered by having lost his pick (a special bamboo thing). Also, he wasn't loud enough, as usual! James read an entertaining poem about memory loss, and Keith was making some far-out noises with a little Casio keyboard played through a wah-vol pedal.

As Keith was dropping James Turner off after the session, we noticed Nigel from the Future Sound of Exeter having a cigarette outside the North Bridge Inn. They're now doing some kind of Saturday events there, so Keith took the opportunity to ask if we (the three people left in the car, being the three members of Orbis Tertius? could perhaps get a slot. That would be nice, although I think the poster I saw outside the pub saying "COSMIC DISCO BOOGIE SOUL" might have something to do with them, explaining why Nigel said something about me having to play more funkily. Not sure I can do that...


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