First rehearsal for ‘Why Scotland, Why East Kilbride’

We’ve just had the first rehearsal for ‘Why Scotland, Why East Kilbride’, which is a new piece I’m putting together for Cryptic Nights, 4 & 5 July of this year. This piece is a fantasy: an reimagination of my own East Kilbride childhood, as expressed through the medium of my alter ego Edward ‘Teddy’ Edwards, unsung hero of early British electronica.

The musical starting point for this piece was a dream I had, where I heard a fragment of music for what seemed to be a double rock band plus an orchestral horn section. Tonight was the first jam session with the band I’ve put together. This is made up of people who don’t really do this sort of thing! I’ve got two ex students of mine, Aimée Laws and Nikki Donaldson (from Edinburgh College and the Conservatoire respectively) on drums and keyboards. My second drummer is legendary percussionst/composer Steve Forman, a colleague of mine from the Conservatoire, while on bass I’ve got Steve Ford, who I’m also collaborating with on a sci-art sonifiation project. Rounding out tonights lineup was Bill Whitmer, aka williwaw, a great ukulele player, whose solo improvisations to film loops is part of my inspiration for this project.

I played guitar for tonight, although in the final thing I thing I’ll probably be swapping between elecronic noise-makers and a video sampler, which I’m going to use to represent the horn players. So, we had four chords and… we jammed.

Interesting. When I was a teenager, the idea that one day I would play rhythm guitar in a space rock band seemed like some sort of unattainable dream. Now it seems all I need to do is book a rehearsal room and go for it. Musically, it’s a ridiculously easy thing to do. However, I do now have some work to do to structure the whole show: in the end, 25 minutes of semi-inept rock jamming just sounds like, er, 25 minutes of semi-inept rock jamming!

I have some ideas. I’ve tried putting the recording of our best jam together with the video, and it’s got something going for it. Not going to make that public for now, would spoil the surprise…

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