I played with Spinning Plates, the ambient improvised electronica band, last night.  Three sets of nonstop improvising and playing.  It was fun and very different, and pretty demanding mentally and…

I played with Spinning Plates, the ambient improvised electronica band, last night.  Three sets of nonstop improvising and playing.  It was fun and very different, and pretty demanding mentally and physically, since I had no idea at any given point in  time what I was going to do next.

I used a big battery of effects for this gig, including my Digitech RP200, a Boss OC2 octave divider, an Akai Intelliphase, and an Akai Headrush delay.  It’s fair to say that the sounds coming out of the harmonica were not the usual.

But I don’t know yet what it actually sounded like (although the guys in the band told me it was a little more driving than usual).  The PA speakers were behind me–the band plays facing each other in a big circle–and there were no onstage monitors.  (The band works off headphones, and the only piece of equipment I didn’t bring was an adapter to change my 1/8″ headphone plug to 1/4″.)  Fortunately, the band always records its gigs, so I do have in my possession an SD card with all the music on it.  I’ll listen to it later and post it soon.

One cool thing is that Spinning Plates has a full-time video guy in the band, so while we played a screen next to the band displayed all sorts of video images–pictures of the players, pictures of the players warped in various ways, pictures of cars/buildings/hurricanes/etc.  At a few points I tried improvising to the images, instead of to the band.  Like I said–different.

 I sent out lots of emails to friends and fans for this gig, and plenty of both showed up, so it was a good time for all.  I met a lot of harp players that I’ve only encountered previously online, and collected a CD or two, including one from the harp player/singer/leader for CT-based blues band the Mojomatics.  I think he liked the effects–at one point (while I was working the Whammy effect, which makes the harp pitch dive up and down two octaves) I saw him looking at my feet, trying to figure out what the hell was making that strange noise.

Like I said, I’ll advise when the music is available online.  I hope I get to play with these guys again soon. 

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