New Release: After Disobedience (Single)

This is an odd one…

An instrumental musing on the affect of mediation on rules.

This piece is divided into 5 major sections:

Structure (0:00)
The piece introduces its harmonic structure, first with a drone, then adding a synth pattern (0:15), and finally add chords on electric piano (0:31).

Stumbling (0:46)
The guitar enters, trying but failing to play the pattern. The electric piano responds to failure by skipping chords in an attempt to remain consonant.

Testing Edges (1:18)
The guitar attempts to solo on a very fast and difficult series of chords, failing yet again. The electric piano now highlights the guitar’s mistakes by shifting chords by a half step, increasing dissonance.

Breaking Free (1:53)
The guitar now solos on a ten-tone scale, avoiding only the most “out” dissonances. The electric piano doggedly plays along with the synth’s pattern, abandoning any interaction with the guitar.

New Consonance (2:21 to the end)
The electric piano shifts to a series of chords designed to allow for a (relatively) high degree of consonance between the pattern and any note on the guitar. The guitar now solos freely until the end of the piece.

It’s worth mentioning that the “Stumbling” section nearly broke me. I wrote it to be misplayed, avoided practicing it, and set the music on a stand several feet away, all in the hope of increasing errors. It worked. And I got so frustrated at my playing, even though it was wrong when wrong was intentional, that I had to take a break and come back to it another day.

The Bandcamp download includes backing tracks and a leadsheet should you wish to annoy yourself playing wrong rightly. Or practice and play right wrongly.

Also, the title is because I sketched out the piece after watching the movie “Disobedience”.

New Album: Grateful Destination by Graphite Addiction

15 years ago today Tim Carmichael, Pete Ehrmann, and I jammed together for the first time. Today, we’re releasing our 5th album.

We had planned to spend early 2020 recording a collection of originals, improvisations, and a standard or two. Obviously, plans changed. But, as Tim says in the liner notes, “In crazy times we all have to be like Jazz: learn to listen and improvise”. So here’s our album, improvised in it’s production as much as its performance.

About The Tunes

Tracks 1-3 are fully improvised jams. We recorded these on February 14th of this year with no charts, no idea what we’d play, just a lot of listening.

  1. Pete kicks things off with Groove EZ We Do. He’s been on hand percussion for most Graphite albums, so getting to hear him back on kit is a treat.
  2. If there is a best recorded example of what we do, it’s Conversations. Tim and I trade questions, answers, and punchlines while Pete lays down an unyielding groove.
  3. Traffic Saturation is a musical ode to commuting.

Tracks 4-7 are a few of the orignals we had planned. These are from our initial session in November of 2019.

  1. Message for Becky is Pete Ehrmann’s composition. Written for his wife, it’s been one of my favorite tunes to play for years.
  2. Mental Morphology started out as a odd funk groove I wrote one day while teaching. Pete decided to play it as a fast swing and Tim retitled it. Both things improved it immensely.
  3. Years ago, I stopped at Mike O’Shay’s in Longmont for a late-night dinner. Sitting at the bar was Eddie. He told a tipsy tale of catching a penguin (it was an emperor penguin!) at the St. Louis zoo. Penguin Eddie is an attempt to capture his masterful speaking cadence in musical form.
  4. And we’ll close this chapter of our musical journey with Tim’s Future Meetings, in hopes of seeing you again soon.

If you dig what you hear, check us out on the streaming service of your choice. Or, if you’re truly old school, you can buy our CDs on Amazon.

Thanks for listening,
-Vic

Sifferson & The Blue Dog – Exclusive Bandcamp Double Album

It’s Bandcamp shares day again and Graphite Addiction have a special Bandcamp exclusive download of Sifferson & The Blue Dog. It’s both our 2017 albums, together at last for 2 hours and 20 minutes of jammy, jazzy, concept album goodness.

We also have logo and Building a Better Tree t-shirts available, should you need garments.

And since Bandcamp is waiving their fees, order today and 100% of the profits go to the band.

Find it all at Graphite Addiction’s Bandcamp.

Community Infant Program Benefit

Almost every year, Pete Ehrmann, Tim Carmichael, and I play a Mothers Day fundraiser concert for Mental Health Partners’ Community Infant Program. They’re a team of psychologists, therapists and public health nurses who offer relationship-based support services for pregnant women and families with children under 3. We’ve seen the difference they make in the lives of people in our community and it’s extraordinary.

This year the concert was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdowns. So we’re going online instead.

If you’d like a bit of music, Graphite’s “best of” is available for free streaming here. You can also listen to our albums on Spotify or Apple Music.

But, most importantly, we’re asking you to give. If you have the means and want to lend a hand, please donate to Mental Health Partners.