WELCOME TO FOUR ON THE FOUR: A BLOG ABOUT JAZZ DRUMMING AND ALL THINGS UNRELATED, BROUGHT TO YOU BY JON McCASLIN
Friday, May 2, 2014
Steve Lacy's Words of Wisdom
Steve Lacy is an artist that has always fascinated and inspired me. Here's a great list to learn from and muse over for the weekend! "Gems of wisdom from Steve Lacy" (source unknown via the Facebook!)
- Teaching is an act of generosity; it is awareness that one has something to give, and adesire to give it.
- Music knows no limits. Don’t set up exclusionary boundaries.
- Practice slowly. Practicing slowly holds it own technical challenges-and makes even more difficult demands on the spirit. It calls for patience when the world demands results, and quiet single- minded focus in the face of huge repertoire demands. It is the ‘Zen’ way.
- Strive for straightforward purity and logical simplicity.
- Find rhythm in more subtle forms than a metronome. Always strive for forwardmotion and impetus.
- Rhythm is all and everywhere.
- Strive to develop an individual sound and playing style. Have your own voice.
- Be disciplined. Study and practice hard.
-Concentrate on pitch, rhythm, dynamics and tonal sonority.
- Expand your music making vocabularies by searching through some unusual lexicons.
- Think of it as "Sound Research": Collecting sounds and growing melodies in a garden.
- View the Saxophone as an "Interval Machine". Practice a variety of intervals in a variety of rhythmical combinations.
- Never become fixed on patterned sequences that can become stale and block creativity.
- "Shake up the bag" inside of your head. Move out of the familiar and typical in order to be able to create something new.
- The interval machine can become Zen-like and expand perception. Take the interval of a minor second and play it up and down over and over again. After about 40 minutes you will no longer be bored and will start to hallucinate. The half step interval will become enormous. Your ear has changed. Small has now become large. Now, when you leave this space and go back to the rest of the horn, everything has changed and your perceptions have altered. Illumination and Metamorphosis.
- Take a limited subject and spend an unlimited amount of time on it until it opens up.
This is a blog about jazz, jazz drumming and all things unrelated. Thanks for stopping by!
A Bit About Me...
Jonathan McCaslin was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. Jonathan began playing the drums at the age of nine. He progressed through the Regina Lions Junior Band and the music program at his high school, Campbell Collegiate, soon developing a passion for playing the drums and jazz. Ultimately, Jon's interest in music led him to enroll in the Jazz Studies program at McGill University, graduating with distinction in 1999.
While at McGill Jon had the opportunity to study with some of the finest jazz educators in the country including Gordon Foote, Kevin Dean, Jan Jarcyzk, Chris McCann, Andre White, Michel Lambert and Dave Laing. He also attended the prestigious summer jazz workshop presented by the Banff Centre for the Arts in 1997, where he performed with Canadian jazz greats Hugh Fraser, Don Thompson and Kenny Wheeler.
Jon has also been fortunate to have performed with many of Canada's jazz elite including Charlie Biddle, Brian Hurley, Louise Rose, Alaister Kay, Mart Kinny, Gary Guthman, Mike Rud, Hadley Caliman, Greg Clayton, Chase Sanborn, Andre White, Tilden Webb, John LaBelle, Kevin Dean, Dave Turner, Ralph Bowen, Don Thompson, Dionne Taylor, Jim Vivian, Kelly Jefferson, Ian McDougall, Brad Turner, Jim Brenan, The McGill Jazz Orchestra, Jeff Johnston, Lorraine Desmerais, Steve Amirault, Hugh Fraser, Chucho Valdes, Kieran Overs, The Altsys Jazz Orchestra, Pat LaBarbera, The Regina Symphony Orchestra and The Montreal Jazz Big Band.
In the spring of 2002 McCaslin completed his Master's in Jazz Studies at McGill University where he studied jazz drumming, improvisation and composition.
In January 2003 Jon released his debut CD, “McCallum’s Island”. Featuring his quintet, the CD contains an exciting collection of McCaslin’s original compositions, featuring himself and his band. The release of this CD was followed by a twenty-day tour of Western Canada, performing to enthusiastic, capacity audiences. During March of 2003 Jonathan was the recipient of a fellowship from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and attended the “Betty Carter Jazz Ahead” residency in Washington, D.C. Along with twenty other distinguished young jazz artists, McCaslin was featured with such jazz icons as Terence Blanchard, Carmen Lundy, Winard Harper, Curtis Fuller and John Clayton.
McCaslin’s quintet performed at the 2003 edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival and was nominated for the General Motors Grand Prix du Festival (awarded to the most outstanding Canadian group). From 2004 until 2006, Jon toured North America, Asia and Europe with the high-energy, critically acclaimed music production troupe “Barrage”. Featuring a cast of seven world-class fiddlers and a four-piece band, this dynamic show featured high-energy music and fiddle traditions from around the world set to upbeat choreography and movement.
In 2015, Dr. McCaslin received his Doctorate through the University of Toronto and completed his dissertation on the conceptualization of contemporary melodic jazz drumming. He is currently based in Calgary, Alberta where he maintains a busy performing and teaching schedule across Canada.