Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dancing Snakes

Here is the entry about Dancing Snakes, and here is the link so you can listen while you read:


Next to "The Lotus of Mt. Ararat," I think this is my favorite piece on the album.

I wrote this just a few days before recording. It is just a simple bass line.

We recorded the bass line first, along with the drone box (yes, we used an electric tamboura, as my actual tamboura doesn't have a great tone for recording...) After that, I doubled the drone with the didgeridoo.

Dugg added the drums on a clay dumbek.

After all that was done, I attempted to play the melody line on the sitar. I kept trying and trying, and juts couldn't get the sound I wanted. So I went to my old standby, the bansuri.

I play the bansuri a little different than most: My teacher was from Northern India, and so uses the fingering from there, which is 2 fingers down for the root. I have never met another bansuri player who does this. Everyone else seems to use the Southern Indian 3 fingers down for the tonic method.

The benefit of my method is that you can go all the way down to the 4th (MA,) which gives a little more flexibility to the improvisation. On pieces that use a natural ga (major third) you can actually bend down to that note, as well. This piece uses a natural minor scale, so I don't get to do that.

This piece is in E. The E bansuri is just a little big for my hands, so I struggle with it at times, and am glad that there are only a couple of suspect notes in this piece. The bansuri I use most often in in F# (or E for those Southern Indian players...)

I like the energy of this song, too. Dugg and Dick really seem to drive it without rushing it, and we must have had the mics in the right place, because the drum is very intense.

Here is what the bansuri looks like:

And this is the dumbek (one like it, not Dugg's actual one...)

No comments:

Post a Comment