July soundShoppe was intense and sustained, going nonstop the entire time and weaving through all sorts of moods and atmospheres. Case Hudson, a soundShoppe regular was using a guitar with effects. He was trying out a Mystic pedal, which I think he said was a blend of sustain and distortion. David Hendrey as combining the output from his keyboard with mixer feedback. Mike Meanstreetz from the Whereas Collective was exploring percussion. Bernd Buerklin moved seamlessly from accordion to flute to melodica and back again, spicing them with a handful of effects. Jess Coble was using a little OP-1 Compact Synthesizer, a variety of Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators (PO-14 Sub Bass Synthesizer, PO-12 Rhythm and PO-16 Melody) with a RC505 Loop Station and a Kaoss Pad mini 2 S. He produced an impressive arsenal of sound with an array of equipment that would probably fit in your Brady Bunch lunch pail.
I attended a conversation event hosted by artist and musician Corazon del Sol recently. It was a free-form abstract discussion in which the audience became an equal part of the discussion. I was struck with the similarities between the similarities between improvised speech and improvised music. It was really very much the same process of creating a communal field of concentration in which each participant is trying to maintain the connections between members of the group while adding to it and propelling it in a different direction. At some point things collapse and need to be restarted. I reminds of that kid’s game where you take turns stacking blocks until the structure collapses.