Monday, August 06, 2007

Tao of mad phat


By way of research (ie an excuse not to be writing) I've been listening to Steve Coleman's Tao of mad phat (link will open up your media player) again tonight. Haven't listened to it in a while. It's an amazing piece, totally improvised. Coleman's an interesting character: he sees music as a means of communicating ideas and points to the long musical traditions to be found in ancient cultures as proof that music has always been a primary means of creativity. He sees in those musical cultures a way of understanding music which is very different from our own western understanding, based as it is on structures and time signatures and so on. His work tries to extemporise and, by so doing, create musical vocabularies with which we can communicate more effectively.

I wrote a flash ages ago while listening to Tao, in which I tried to mimic the free-flowing extemporisation. It kind of worked and it has an energy to it that I like. It got published at Canopic Jar and can be read here.

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