The Queen’s Lean

Hola Friends! It’s been a super fun time over here at SpragueLand and the overriding theme for the time that has just passed is Technology Braintrust Upgrade (my terminology).

The digital brain trust of SpragueLand! Endless buttons and manuals to explain what those buttons do.

I’ve finally accrued some free moments and I’ve chosen to rat out some tech things that needed fixing. First in the studio, there are a few plugins that help with mixing and mastering that I’ve wanted to integrate into my workflow. I found some instructional vids that are amazing and to hear some dude from England speaking with the Queen’s lean makes the absorption of semi-dense tech terms and concepts easily palatable. This mode of info sharing is revolutionary!

Next I’ve wanted to upgrade a few things on my website and so I’ve employed a few code avatars to enlighten me on the finer points of HTML. It’s like composing a tune but take away the MUSIC and instead add an ocean of RESTRICTIONS and RULES. Hah folks, this ain’t for the temid! Through my studies I’ve managed to make the gig email appear more to my liking. Plus, the workflow of documenting my initial ideas all the way to releasing it into the wild has been hugely STREAMLINED. I love this part of the equation!

To take in some of the fruits of this last week’s tech push you could go:

And just around the corner is a STORE upgrade that’ll greatly streamline the procurement of new music in CD, MP3, and PDF formats. Sexy! And new CD releases of Road Work Ahead and The Peter Sprague String Consort.

To maintain balance in this tech taking over world situation, we at SpragueLand have surfing, yoga, music, and family meals to help balance the scales. Last week the surf was HUGE and I was in it, sometimes fearful, but digging the ride. Yoga for when the surf is flat, music ALWAYS and in every which way, and finally the magic of food and friendship, NIGHTLY. It’s a great life and I’m blessed.

Other People’s Music

Last Sunday was a day of other people’s music. First up was Joshua White’s trio concert at the Encinitas Library. I loved it! The spirit of play mixed in with the cool balance of “out there” versus right down the middle major chords—it worked beautifully and we were all mesmerized. Bravo!

For Sunday night Stef and I walked over the Solana Beach bridge to the Cedros Design District for a night of The Punch Brothers at the Belly Up Tavern. This too, absolutely amazing music with musos that walk on sonic water. Chris Thile, gifted in every which way, ripped the mando to shreds and sang up a storm. “Ahoy” was his chant through the night and it finally made sense why he kept saying it. It turns out that it’s the name of their new CD. Kind of an interesting subliminal marketing angle but I’ll bet it worked like a dream at the Belly Up cash register.

Chris took this one solo in which he was imposing musical phrases in 7/4 over the songs 4/4 meter and this, my friends, is not easy to do. Thus, you’ll now catch me walking in 4/4 and tapping in 7 on my chest until the day this magic act makes it’s way into my music. Einstein once said, “the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources”. So, when this rhythmic gem hopefully surfaces sometime soon, you’ll know it’s true origin.

For this week’s music angle, first up, I’ll be at The Roxy on Thursday night playing solo guitar. Last week’s hit was a true joy with good people in the loop and the always deluxe Roxy food with super large portions. Smoking blendo! Hope to see you there.

On Friday night it’ll be maestro Fred Benedetti, my brother Tripp, along with me playing our Blurring the Edges songbook. The concert is at Grossmont College and these shows always prove to be hugely entertaining plus we throw in a little educational component too. Being that it’s a school it’s fun to talk a touch about what makes the music tick. And what’s ticking inside this music is samba, jazz, blues, and The Beatles.

Blurring the Edges with Peter, Fred and Tripp playing a recent concert at the Escondido Library.

Last up for the week is a house concert held at my friend John St. Claire’s home in Cardiff. John is a wonderful guitarist and he recently recorded a project at SpragueLand called The Tao of The Beatles—his solo guitar interpretations of the Fab Fours greatest hits. For this concert he’s asked me to open up the show with a few of my Beatle arrangements and this I couldn’t turn down. I love The Beatles! Look to the Gig page for the deets on all of these gigs and I hope to see you there.

There you have it friends and thanks for reading and taking it all in…

yours in HTML, Peter