Last summer I trekked up to the Connecticut woods with Changing Modes for the Cell to Cell video shoot. The band had a ball making the video and everyone was really happy with the final product. Special thanks to Paul Rondeau for the concept, location, and the direction of the video. I have to admit, robot-drumming was more challenging than I anticipated. I got together with Grace from Changing Modes, and her boyfriend TJ and we put together a short behind the scenes video from the separate footage that TJ shot.
While we were in Argentina, Sarah and I had the pleasure of checking out La Bomba de Tiempo at Konex. This percussion ensemble lives up to it’s name. They combine elements of afrobeat, afro-cuban, samba, fusion, tribal, and acid jazz to build their rhythmic explosions.
Here is the interesting part: It’s all improvised compositions that are led by a single conductor. The conductor uses hand signals to communicate with the ensemble to create the piece in real time. For example, pointing to a section and making a fist would mean to stop playing. The conductors also decide volume, tempo, type of rhythms, and just about anything else they want. Regarding the rhythms, it seems they use hand numbers for different style beats. They had a keyboard player join in later in the set and the crowd was happy. This video was from another night, but it sounds like the same keyboard player.
Another interesting element is that there are multiple conductors. Each conductor works for about three pieces and then another conductor takes over the helm. When the conductors are not conducting they play in the ensemble. Needless to say, each conductor has their own style so we got a taste of everything. Towards the end of the set, the ensemble invited the crowd to join in with (clave) hand claps and body movements. Here is a video I took during the first set. We loved every minute.
This was fun. I had my brother video record a few takes of “White Room” at seaside lounge studios in Brooklyn. I think we did about 10 or 11 takes. We were lucky to get this one on camera. This is what is sounded like in the studio:
And this is what it sounds like after production. I synced the audio using iMovie: