Released by Made To Break [view band]
Record Label Clean Feed
Year released 2013
Release format CD
The music composed for Made To Break was developed through work with two previous, coexisting sets of activity and history. One extended from FME (with Nate McBride, Paal Nilssen-Love) to the Frame Quartet (with Tim Daisy, Fred Lonberg-Holm, and Nate). The other began with Spaceways Inc. (including Hamid Drake, Nate McBride) and then continued with Powerhouse Sound (version 1 involved Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Lasse Marhaug, Nate, Paal Nilssen-Love; version 2 included John Herndon, Jeff Parker, and Nate). Clearly these particular lines of evolution in my music owed a great deal to Nate McBride’s input and creativity; I’d like to acknowledge that here.
Material created for FME [2002-2007] and then the Frame Quartet [2007-2010] was formed, in part, to address my ongoing fascination with the challenge of discovering new ways to write music for improvisers; methods of composing that do not establish a fixed road map that can be “learned” or a specific order of musical “puzzles” that can be solved. There is a tendency for this to happen, even with the most creative players, and it can allow the compositional structure to take over the shape of the improviser’s creative choices. With the music of FME I began use “modular” organization (which is now utilized by the Resonance Ensemble, as well as Made To Break). This system makes it possible to learn and execute ensemble material while making it feasible to create new paths from one composed point to another. The pieces are resequenced from performance to performance and long-form compositions are created out of these shorter units. The Frame Quartet used a fairly complex set of visual cues to assemble the construction of a piece. A leader was assigned to a specific composition, who then reorganized its structure on the spot, conducting the band and rearranging the form in any way they chose. At every concert each piece was led by a different member of the group, the structure improvised by them, with the music improvised by the entire band.
Spaceways Inc. [2000-2004] was the first ensemble I composed for that directly addressed my interest in Funk and Reggae. I was scratching at the surface of this exploration with the Vandermark 5, but eventually realized that there are reasons why these genres of music utilize the electric bass. Nate McBride was one of the only musicians I knew who was a tremendous acoustic bassist that also had a real fascination for what its electric counterpart could do, so he was the clear choice for the Spaceways Inc., where he used both instruments. Powerhouse Sound [2005-2010] took this type of exploration further, initially with an Oslo based group that incorporated two electric basses and electronics, then later with a Chicago based unit that featured the possibilities of electric guitar. I say that Powerhouse Sound took things further because, in addition to the inspiration found in Funk and Reggae, the genesis of that ensemble’s music was directly influenced by my growing fascination with the astonishing “electric period” of Miles Davis from the early to mid 1970s.