Racer Sessions

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

Tim Carey - May 25, 2014


For most of my musical life, my experience with improvisation has been in the context of specific rhythmic forms: tunes, songs, loops, vamps, grooves, etc…

Even when the music seems to have no specific predetermined melody or harmony, some kind of rhythmic pulse always tends to emerge in the music I perform, compose, and tend to listen to. My goal for this week was to write music which does not rely on or use a pulse, but instead uses harmony and melody exclusively to create structure and coherence.

The entire performance will be based on one predetermined melodic fragment. Harmonic and melodic information will be provided to the performers throughout. The goal is that the entire performance will be improvised according to certain parameters, for example, one player might be given a single note and asked to improvise rhythmically while another is given a scale, group or notes, or expressive directive to work with. The harmony and melody are set, everything else is improvised.  The music progresses forward with the help of musical cues, written instructions, and a certain degree of intuition on the part of the performers.

The session to follow the performance should focus on the same concept: music that uses harmony and melody to create structure and coherence without the aid of pulse or meter. This will require a fair amount of melodic repetition and careful listening between players to give melodic and harmonic fragments importance in an improvised setting. Should be fun!

For this performance I am happy to have playing with me…

  • Steve O’Brien – Trumpet
  • Brian Bermudez – Tenor Sax
  • Michael Conklin – Tenor Sax
  • Andrew Coulter – Trombone
  • Chris Icasiano – Drums