the collective experience of spontaneous creation when playing live

cube orchestra performing where the wild things are

musicians play together to create an entity greater than their individual sounds and this process of composition can create some great shared moments, especially when the result of spontaneous response. i’ve felt the wonderful collective rush, when our playing and the music and the experience become one, we all feel the buzz

sometimes this is born out of a developing sound, forming over time, and at other times born out of an accident, an unexpected turn, to which we as musicians can respond immediately, more through feeling than certainty

and it is the accidental moment that i wish to draw your attention to here, with an excerpt from an improvised piece recorded on 13 january, 2016 at the cube microplex, bristol. we fade in nine+ minutes into the track, with ollie’s guitar jangling, sax’s tooting, a flute piping and me singing something about the bass, but the real tour de force emanates from alun’s rock-steady beats and jon’s growling bass, persistent, atmospheric. unbeknown to us, we’re one minute away from ending the track when jon accidentally treads on his lead, unplugging his bass. it disappears from the sound and the drums come to a halt, precipitating an unexpected and sudden end to our playing, but here is when the marvel of spontaneity when playing live kicks in, as i begin chanting “we’ve got no bass” while jon scrambles for his lead, a sax parps along and four bars in we all fall back into play, invigorated, buzzing with the excitement of saving the tune, at least until we stop it a few bars later. it’s a real glory-from-disaster moment, only possible with this gift of creative response

i hope you enjoy the moment as much as i do every time i listen to it, now you know the circumstances

where the wild things are (saved)

the players at this moment in time:

jon shepherd: bass
alun person: drums
ollie owen: guitar
chema gala: sax
steve radford: alto sax
matt mockford: flute
keef chemistry: vocals

cube orchestra xtrax

click to download the two-minute excerpt

One thought on “the collective experience of spontaneous creation when playing live”

  1. thanks so much for taking this moment and bottling it beautifully – I was thinking of sorting out my lead issues but now I’m not so sure…

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