Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Bleed for My Art

The past couple of weekends we've been back on the recording saddle. Much of the material has been from me in this early phase; the guide vocals, congas, and bass. The good thing about the playing hiatus was that return to playing music was very enjoyable, the downside being blisters and other incovenient non-tone-enhancing wounds.

We're a little behind schedule due mostly to fluctuations in (my) performance, but I hope to have caught up by this evening. Then it's to laying down the hand percussion and doing a mixdown to help with the arrangements for the melodic instruments. All very timely really, considering that I'm jetting off to Penang for Chinese New Year.

The other upside is that Jeremy's found the time to provide me with the timing tracks for the Salsa Ear Training tutorials on Congas indicating clave orientation and dancing to Rumba clave. I was glad to make them live yesterday; the material had been written for more than eight months; a measure of how busy we've been with the band.

I don't anticipate that there will be additions to the website at the same rapid pace in the near-to-mid term, now that the restructuring's finished. The strategic decision I took in positioning the content of the site has paid off, and I'm looking forward to filling in the current gaps before expanding it further.

Now, on to more music.

Loo Yen Yeo

Monday, January 08, 2007

Salsa Blog January


I'm back from the break and itching to go.

The past few weeks have been excitingly kind to my salsa: I've finished reading "Music in Cuba"; watched a couple of DVDs on Yambú and Guaguancó, which deepened my appreciation of rumba no end (review coming in due course); wrote and posted three tutorials; and my pursuit of dancing on half-beats has bestowed me with information I needed for a rhythm tutorial.

On the website front, I AM going to redistribute the dance skills material to open up a new tutorial category. And I am confident that it will give rise to a more intuitive navigation structure. I've only just now finished the draft of the final dance skills tutorial on whole body cascade, and I'm considering renaming dance skills (and all the hassle it entails).

The tres playing is coming along just fine, as my callouses will attest to, and I'm starting to think that that is where my long term future in Cuban music lies. I've still got at least a year before I understand the instrument well enough to make that kind of decision.

Half the band is still away on respective sojourns, so we won't start for a couple of weeks yet. All precious time to me!

Okay, gotta scoot.