From the subscriber-only release "Seeing Sound" with Daniel Berkman.
January 2014 - a few months after we completed the FingerPainting 10 album set ( music.stevelawson.net/merch/download-only-of-all-10-fingerpainting-complete-shows
) - a huge endeavour in terms of the mixing and mastering of all that music - Daniel, Artemis and I set out on another tour. In keeping with how we do this stuff, it was bigger and more ambitious than before... not in the sense that we would be playing to bigger crowds, or to more acclaim, but in the same week as the NAMM show, I ended up doing - I think - 14 shows in 11 days. We even did two full shows as a trio on one of the days of the NAMM show... It was a pretty ridiculous schedule and left us with another massive quantity of audio material to plough through. With the life that was (and is!) still left in the FingerPainting recordings, I was in no hurry to dive back into mixing and mastering more music on that scale, especially as this set was EVEN BIGGER than the last. And I guess I was also probably trepidatious about whether the quality would be up to what we'd reached with FingerPainting, which always felt like a once in a lifetime happening...
...Truth is, I still don't have anything like enough perspective on the recordings from the tour as a whole to make any kind of judgement call on that, so I'm not going to bother, but I do want this music to get out there - Artemis has just released a brilliant first volume her choices from the vocal tracks we recorded - that's at music.artemis.fm/album/transfigure - it's a joy to hear all the vocal work gathered together like that. There's a unique beauty to the music we make as a trio.
I'm still fascinated by these concerts as entire entities. If you remember, there was only one actual edit across the entire 11 hours of FingerPainting recordings (a 4 bar joke that I chopped out of one tune) - everything else is as we played it, and there's something about that conversational, sometimes meandering but always forward-rolling journey that Daniel and I go on together that I find most compelling in its long form. Maybe you do too. I'm also eager to make it possible for people who were there to revisit the music in its entirety... That's a pretty minuscule subset of my already small audience, but it seems like a worthwhile factor :)
So here's the first available show from that tour - it's from a beautiful show at the home and art loft of Steven and Christine Nakamura, where artists were painting and drawing as we played, hence the title. I'll see if I can dig up some of the art and share it with you... The cover to Artemis' album Transfigure is a piece that was painted that night.
The cover photo was taken a few miles south of where the gig was, almost exactly 5 years later - it was on Newport Beach a few weeks ago. Those California sunsets are an ever-present part of playing shows there, and maybe you can hear some of that colour in the music.
from Best of Steve Lawson Pt4 (Collaborations, 2014-2021)
released November 4, 2022
Originally released February 15, 2019
Steve Lawson - bass and processing, mixing and mastering
Daniel Berkman - Kora, Handsonic, guitar, synth, laptop and gadgets!
Artemis - vocals.
All music by whoever was playing at the time
All lyrics by Artemis
Please go and investigate the extraordinary musical worlds of Daniel and Artemis: