"Here's your comfort zone," and she made a little box with her hands. "And HERE," a little spirit-finger frill off to the side, "is where the magic happens."
This is SO true!
So, in the spirit of getting out of my comfort zone, I want to admit something to you, in case you hadn't heard the rumors: I'm in a band,
What kind of band, you ask? Well, it's kind of electronic-techno-pop-rock.... I really have no idea how to describe it. No, I don't play a keytar (although I grew up longing to be like Kimber from Jem)! I actually play the cello and sing in this band. We're called Pink Pompeii (long story about the name).
Classically-trained cellist by day... well, still a classically-trained cellist at night--but you know what I'm trying to say: There are a lot of fun places to stick a cello! (That reminds me of the time I decided to practice while lying in bed; I literally stuck my endpin in the wall. Kids, I don't recommend trying this at home. And if you do, blame Yo-Yo! That guy is such a trouble-maker!)
This is extremely useful since you can learn to improvise and get comfortable composing in the privacy of your own home. Noodling like this can snowball into entire songs, rock operas, or minimalist movie soundtracks (if only in my mind).
So, getting out of your comfort zone with a little bit of technology like this can actually make you more comfortable with the subjects that can sometimes seem a bit intimidating.
Now, back to the band.
It's a bit tricky to use this pedal when other people/hardware are involved, so it hasn't seen much action in Pink Pompeii (besides making the ubiquitous ethereal whale-noises and trance-y ambient drones). If I play a riff and loop it with my pedal, it gradually gets out of sync with the rest of the musicians and computers (like the windshield-wipers always do when you're favorite song is playing).
So, I have recently acquired some hardware that will allow me to make my loops with my iPad--which will then talk to all the other computers and iPads in the band and magically synchronize.
I'll keep you posted, but I am definitely out of my comfort zone on this stuff!
In the meantime, here are some video examples of string instrument looping that will give you a taste of what it's like:
- Kishi Bashi plays violin and sings for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert
- Warp&Woof: Cello Chamber (All Sounds Made on Cello): This guy has no idea how to play a cello, and the end-result is super cool. Imagine what you could manage to do with some serious chops!
- Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw's improvisation with violin and voice
- Zoe Keating's "Lost"