The new music was written for this year’s meeting of the group included four longer pieces: “Fall With A Vengence,” “Untitled Fiction,” “Corrosion,” and “Cards,” all about twenty minutes or more. With these compositions I tried to focus on giving extra leeway to the musicians in the band during the open opportunities to improvise, using the composed material as connections and transitions between the improvisations, as opposed to the other way around. I feel that the results of this approach to organizing the material were very successful, and the music has had the freedom to change from night to night on the tour. Despite rehearsing for only a day and a half before recording a studio dress rehearsal, then a pre-concert performance, and then the actual festival concert itself, the ensemble’s understanding of the material was remarkably clear. In addition, Johannes Bauer quickly fit into the band and has been a fantastic addition to the group’s sound flexibility. All of the concerts so far, in Donaueschingen (10/15), Bielefeld (10/16), Niederstetten (10/20), and Dachau (10/21) have been among the most successful I’ve ever played in Germany, both from the standpoints of musicality and audience response to the performances. Tonight’s concert in Ljubljana, Slovenia is the last of the Territory Band’s European tour. Though it signals the end for this period of work with the group, I am really looking forward to having another chance to see the ensemble is capable of before we split up and move to the other projects taking place this fall.
In the middle of the tour, on the the 18th and 19th of October, the band recorded the new material at Fattoria Musica in Osnabruck, the studio where Free Fall’s album, “Amsterdam Funk,” was recorded. Bob Weston flew in to engineer the sessions- as always, a tremendous help. He always gets the music to sound better from recording to recording. Despite being hit with some kind of vicious German cold that is running it’s course through the musicians, the ensemble was really burning by the time the set up was finished and the takes started, playing off the page and for the music. We got superb performances and realizations of what each piece could be, and I’m already looking forward to when this can be released.
Next stop- Ljubljana.
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