Concert Practice: The First Incarnation of the Nick Cagla Quintet

By October 2, 2013 No Comments


A couple of weeks ago I did my first self-elected concert prac. It was cool. I thought I’d put up a bit of audio from it to tantalise your ears.

I should clarify, for the non-Bmus kids out there, concert practise- un-affectionally known as concert prac or CP- is sort of like the music of equivalent of science ‘lab’ sessions, that being, a practical, hands on experience. Each week three students prepare and perform a half hour set of music in front of their peers, to which then the floor is open to comments and constructive criticism. It’s a great way to gather performing experience and feedback.

This year I have been playing around with certain concepts to do with form, harmony and different textures- whether it be the trumpet itself or the spectrum of textures within an ensemble, and had just recently bought my Kaoss Pad 3 and so elected myself and threw together a band together of good mates and musical heavies.

More explicitly, some of the concepts I’ve been thinking about included extended forms and interconnected songs/one song sets; trumpet through effects and playing more texturally than melodically; entire band through effects; re-invigorating simple or ‘pop’ harmony and the dichotomy between nothing and everything and tension and release. Hopefully you can hear some of that stuff in the recording.

The set was made up of three tunes, all connected into one long set. We started with a traditional greek easter hymn ‘Xristos Anesti’, then played a cover of a Radiohead tune called Reckoner, from ‘In Rainbows’, and finished with an extended adaption of an excerpt from a piece by ECM pianist Nik Barstch called Modul 36, from his album Stoa.

I don’t feel quite up to posting the first half of the set at the moment. Although it was super fun to play I don’t think it’s worthy of the public domain. In saying that it was great to listen to in terms of feedback and self-assessment.

It’s interesting how the perception of inflection in music differs so much in time from what you think you are playing in the heat of the moment and what is actually being heard e.g. playing something that you thought was well articulated but then listening back and hearing it was all over-done, or the way you phrased a certain bar seemed great in the moment but upon hearing it on the record sounds stunted or rushed.

I think it has to do with the warped perception of time when you perform; a common talking point for musicians, but that’s something for another day…

What I would like to post is the last tune, our adaptation of Modul 36, which took up a modest half of the set. It was the only tune I used electronics on.

I’ll also post the original so you can compare.

Soundcloud was being a bit square and refused to post the tune when I called it Modul 36 and gave credit to Nik so instead I’m just leaving it untitled.

The band includes: Nick Calligeros, trumpet and effects; Nish Manjunath, Tenor; David Allen, Piano and effects; Nick Henderson, Bass and effects; Harry Day, drums and bells.

A big thank you to all those guys for rehearsing and deciphering my sometimes vague instructions.

I should add, I’m really excited because this performance has sort of got the ball rolling in regards to leading a band. Hopefully I’ll be bringing some originals to these guys in the not so distant future- stay posted!

To everyone else, I’d love to hear what you think!


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