Music For Shuffle

Session #1

Download (3 tracks, 320k MP3, 47mb)

This was the first proper recording session of the Music For Shuffle project. I spent a day at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, working with a fantastic group of players put together for me by the wondrous Magik Magik Orchestra.

The focus for the day was to take the idea of shuffle mode, and embed it directly into musical notation. I wanted to imagine what John Cage, Cornelius Cardew or John Zorn might do with a few iPads and an internet connection, and so sketched out some randomly-looping, animated notation, stuck each part on an iPad, then asked everyone to make use of (or ignore) whichever notes happened to appear in front of them.

Each track was recorded in one take, and completely improvised. I left a lot of room around the notes, setting a few loose directives for each improvisation. We recorded around 14 different explorations, but these three in particular stood out for me.

Dialogue is all about conversation. I asked the cellos to take the lead, and have a chat with one another. The vibes and piano glide around in the background, following the conversation, wherever it may lead.

Time Apart looks at things like proximity and distance. I asked each player to try getting as close together or far apart as possible, and explore the limits of pitch on their instrument – to play the highest and lowest sounds they could make, no matter how they were produced.

For Ways Of Seeing I stole the title of the same fantastic book/tv series by John Berger. This track explores attention and observation. During the take, I moved around the studio, shooting continuous video – the rule being that whoever I pointed the camera at would take the lead.


Piano: Rob Reich
Vibraphone: Andrew Maguire
Cellos:  Hannah Adario-Berry and Crystal Pascucci
Recording/Production/Mixing: Jay Pellicci
Mastering: Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service
Written and directed by me
Recorded on 8 February 2013 at at Tiny Telephone, San Francisco.
Special thanks to Annie and Minna at Magik Magik