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Push

buckydome

A Bucky dome that I built out of mini-marshmallows and toothpicks to simulate the one that Stanley Jordan created at lunch during the recording session in 2005.

The last of the three videos to be created from material shot during the recording session at Harmolodic Studios in Harlem in 2005, “Push” features Will Calhoun and Stanley Jordan. Stanley used his two-handed tapping technique on this track. This technique for which he is well-known is explained on Wikipedia as:

Normally, a guitarist uses two hands to play each note. One hand presses down a guitar string behind a chosen fret to prepare the note, and the other hand either plucks or strums the string to play that note. Jordan’s touch technique is an advanced form of two-handed tapping. The guitarist produces a note using only one finger by quickly tapping (or hammering) his finger down behind the appropriate fret. The force of impact causes the string to vibrate enough to immediately sound the note, and Jordan executes tapping with both hands, and with more legato than is normally associated with guitar tapping. The note’s volume can be controlled by varying the force of impact: tapping with greater force produces a louder note.

During a lunch break that day I spoke with Stanley and told him that my first memory of him was seeing him as part of a trio in Princeton, New Jersey in the early eighties. I still have the LP of the album “Touch Sensitive” that he sold at that venue. Stanley brought out a bag of mini marshmallows and a box of toothpicks and started constructing Bucky domes. This was right up my alley having started my career as an architect and a fan of Buckminster Fuller (how could anyone not be?) He was a devotee of Fuller’s and carried a book about him. Yesterday I decided that it would be good to illustrate the marshmallow and toothpick construction for this post and gathered the materials and began the reconstruction.

A few years ago, I moved my office from Manhattan to a town in New Jersey close to my home. As it turns out, my office is now located a few blocks from the middle school that my eldest son attends. He often stops by my office after school and prior to doing so checks to see that I am in by texting me. Typically, he is in such a rush that his messages arrive as “Icom”. Is this what we can expect from the young generation? He doesn’t even have the time, patience or perhaps dexterity to type “I’m coming”? Whatever. The reason I include this information, is that he came yesterday and saw the Bucky dome, asked what it was and immediately began building his own version. He is indeed his architect father’s son. His design is less Buckminster Fuller, more Russian Constructivism or perhaps Deconstructivist, something more akin to the early works of Daniel Libeskind or Coop Himmelblau. Photos barely do it justice.

Who says that being an architect is difficult? Behold my eleven-year-old's design.

Who says that being an architect is difficult? Behold my eleven-year-old’s design. Better eat it before the it goes stale.

But I digress, on to the video. The track “Push” has Will playing a number of instruments including drums, bass and an Indonesian flute as well as drum programming, looping and ambient sonics. Will wanted a fast-paced urban feel to the video for this video. Time and imagery are compressed and manipulated to mirror the audio looping in this urban-paced piece. Scenes of Will and Stanley during their recording session at Harmolodic Studios are super-imposed over imagery of midtown life even more hectic than usual. “Push” Features Will Calhoun and Stanley Jordan and is produced and edited by Charles Kliment.

Deep

nativelands_frontcoverIn 2005, Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun released a new solo album called “Native Lands”. The album features a wide variety of musicians from around the world spanning several music genres including Pharaoh Sanders, Mos Def, Buster Williams, Stanley Jordan, Kevin Eubanks, Marcus Miller as well as Naná Vasconcelos from Brazil and Cheick Tidiane Seck from Mali. The album includes a DVD that I produced with Will featuring over ninety minutes of music videos and documentary materials chronicling the last ten years of Will’s life and travels. It started out a much smaller project, just a simple video edited from photographs that Will took on his travels.

In future posts, I will explain more about the album and include a “making of” video as well as other music videos, but for today I wanted to share the video for “Deep”. Shot at the legendary and now defunct Harmolodic Studios in Harlem, Will plays the instrument that become one of his trademarks, the wave drum. This video set the direction for the look of his new album “Native Lands”. Layered visual effects echo the way in which Will constructs drum loops and uses effect pedals to alter sonic properties. The gives the video Deep the quality of looking like it sounds.
During a lunch break during the recording session, Will improvised for the cameras and the result was the videos “Deep” and “Tagine”. “Deep” features Will Calhoun and was produced and edited by Charles Kliment. The video was named by Will’s then four-year-old son who after viewing it just said “deep”.

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