Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Luke Bergman - February 20th, 2011


After one year of Racer Sessions, I have experienced more than 50 completely unique presentations, each one exploring a new musical area, stretching my mind in some way. I am amazed at how the community of Racer participants has developed its own unique way of playing and listening to music as a result. I feel very lucky to be a part of such an open and supportive community, and excited to see how it continues to evolve.

I feel all the bits and pieces I’ve taken away from the sessions have largely defined the way that I currently approach improvising. I have also noticed new styles of playing emerge in other individual players over the last year. I have composed a piece for four musicians: Neil Welch, Aaron Otheim, Chris Icasiano and Myself that is meant to showcase and fuse these resultant new improvisational approaches together.

The piece has three movements (i. Errors ii. Magic iii. Seeing is Believing) each exploring a different angle of the group’s ingredients. The group is called Brain City Eyeball Band. The piece itself is only successful by complete attention towards the extreme large scale arc of the piece at all times. So that even the microscopic elements of the piece are pointing towards the greater form. I extracted this idea from studying the John Coltrane Quartet recordings (‘63-'65), especially Elvin Jones’ drumming, there is always attention to the large scale form. Even parts of the music that feel like peaks end up pointing somewhere else when they arrive.

For the Improvising, I will impose a couple of parameters on the instrumentation, but generally, I would like everyone to play with less immediacy and focus more on what the large form of the piece is going to be, letting it inform all of what you play.

See you on Sunday!