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Question for Steve

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by jeff schmidt, Sep 27, 2004.


  1. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Hello Steve - I recently purchased Grace & Gratitude and also received the bonus disc (Lessons Learned) which I totally love!

    The more I listen - the more questions I have. But I'm most curious about your composing process. I've read that your CD's are recorded live - so does that mean they are written out ahead of time? Do you improv tons of material, record it all and then choose among the pieces to build a cohesive CD?

    This leads to another question. Do you perform these songs on the CDs live - and if so how different are they from the "released" versions?

    Thanks Steve - awesome stuff!

    BTW: I've been on the fence about getting an Echoplex for a few months. I finally caved in and ordered one last week before they raise the prices AGAIN! :D
     
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    thanks! I'm really glad you're enjoying them.

    I don't score anything out for my solo stuff (though I do need to get round to transcribing some of it soon!!). I tend to have a few ideas that have developed from improvs that happened on gigs, or other things that have come up at some point, coupled with some completely improvised stuff. Some of the improvs are based around a new sound that I've just programmed, or a mood that I'm trying to capture - a lot of the happier sounding stuff on 'Lessons Learned Pt II' was actually me trying to write some happy fun music (for a change... :) ) to reflect the subject matter, so it was just starting with a feeling and soundtracking it. Sometimes the first attempt at an idea isn't great, but the idea works so I'll build on it, try it again etc. other times it's perfect, so the first version sticks.

    The material on Grace And Gratitude is the hardest stuff to 'learn' that I've written (well, if we'd bothered to work out the tunes, Conversations would have been harder, but we've never even tried to play those tunes live - Jez and I have far too much fun making stuff up!) - it's taken me a while to really get a handle on the material from the new CD - I was making a truck load of mistakes on it on the first few gigs in the tour that followed the release date. I've got them pretty much nailed now... I try to get the initial loop and the 'head' fairly close to how they are on the CD, though from there on it, it could go pretty much anywhere. Each time I listen to the CD, though, I hear bits that I try and remember to bring into the live versions - I'm really pleased with how this CD came out, and would be happy to play some of the tunes note for note, which is something I've never done!

    Great stuff!! I'm sure you won't regret it, the Echoplex is an incredible instrument...

    Steve
    www.stevelawson.net