While watching Dave Matthews Band Listener Supported DVD, I didn’t realize just how much LeRoi Moore influenced me. He never over-plays and sometimes you forget he’s there until you really pay attention and then you realize that he’s the one playing that part or texture that pulls the song together.
A funny thing happened to me tonight. Not hysterical but worth sharing. I sat-in with the Monday night group at the Greenwood in Des Moines. The Greenwood is a small room but people go there to hear live music; it’s very cozy. Being a small room, we didn’t put a mic on my saxophone. So we started playing the first tune and I was softer than I expected to be. So I started thinking the usual stuff; Is it my reed? Do I need to practice more? And then I thought, maybe the other guys are simply playing that loud and maybe I’m not as soft as I think I am. And then it hit me: my microphone is in the carrying bag in the bell of my saxophone! The thing that amplifies my volume is muting me right now. So, I removed the bag from my bell and ta-da: I was a lot louder.
Last night, I confirmed a solo show at the Des Moines Social Club for Thursday November 6th. I only have a small amount of detail now but I’ll have more later. I’ll be performing my solo material and opening for a drummer that does a similar thing with acoustic drums and electronics. So mark your calendar for an electro-acoustic night of fun and wonder.
This week, I’m driving to Dickinson, North Dakota to inspire some young saxophonists. “But Tommy, that’s 804 miles away from Des Moines?” Yes, I know but that’s what you do for friends. When I got my first teaching job at Muskingum College, my teacher Greg Banaszak drove out of his way to give a master class and make me look cool. I’m doing the same for Jeremy Wohletz. He’s at a small school like I was but he’s doing some great things like organizing this Single Reed Day and inviting kids from all over the state to visit his school. So, this Thursday, we’re going to nerd out on some clarinet and saxophone music. It’s going to be a full day of workshops, rehearsals and performances. Jeremy and I are each performing and we’re going to perform a duet together: Mad Rush To The End by Charles Savage.
Thomas Doggett At The Fremont August 21 2014 by centipedefarmer on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds
Like I said leading up to this performance: “I’m going to learn something.” I did.
-I learned that I love performing. I was so excited to play that night.
-I learned that I need to relax. I don’t really relax until about seven minutes into the set.
-I learned again that distortion on saxophone is best for studios and not for stages. It’s so cool and incredibly hard to control.
-I learned that I need to spend more time on sound checking. I didn’t realize that the saxophone was that much louder than the beats and loops. The saxophone isn’t amplified through the PA. It’s just naturally that loud.
-I learned that I need to relax; did I say that already? I need to constantly remind myself of that because in my head, time is moving faster but it’s not moving that fast for the audience. Any audience would rather hear me play my best than rush from song to song.
-I learned that there is a large group of listeners in Des Moines that appreciate what I do. That means the world to me. It means that I’m doing what I should be doing.
-I learned that I want to do this again.
No effects. No loops. Just one man with a baritone sax with the ability to circular breath and scream at the same time. His name is Curt Oren.
Vaudville Mews July 30, 2014
I just had the greatest thing said to me: “You’re a saxophone player. Don’t you all practice eight hours a day while running on a treadmill underwater?”
Yes. Yes we do.
I was being very goofy while practicing today. The “stabilize” feature in Capture made my goofiness more animated. No basements or houses were damaged during the making if this video.