Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2019 in review

2019 basically = billionaire blood diamond
heir rampages around Los Angeles making up new 
traffic laws to promote downright ugly vanity truck.
Let's take a break from me inching painfully towards completion of the new 2019 Book of the Blog, and take a moment to reflect on the welcome end of 2019, the weirdest year on record.

It was a cool year, actually, if you just ignore every single thing happening in the world on a macro scale. My major project was the new Cymbalistic site. I made a second trip to Germany, making friends, and promoting this site, and the very special Cymbal & Gong cymbals which you should buy. And I visited their cymbal factory in Istanbul, and gained a newfound respect both for the smiths and for Tim Ennis, the company owner. These are not the normal cymbals being made in Turkey— without Tim, nobody would be doing them.

This past year has been my first significant time in Germany, and I loved it for a lot of reasons I'm still figuring out. And Istanbul was really just a magnificent city, with a surprising humanity— given that it's a) enormous and b) a massive tourist destination. I like going different places and seeing things, but the most important thing about travelling is always the people, and I really appreciated the people in Germany and Turkey.

Last year I posted more on the site than I have since 2015. My major writing projects were:

— The hemiola funk series, which will hopefully be a new book in 2020. It has been an interesting journey with those materials. I feel like it will be a very powerful teaching tool.

— Developing a usable independence/conditioning method based on Dahlgren & Fine's harmonic coordination materials. I'm finding it to be good for teaching fills without being overly specific. I've never had a truly satisfactory method for teaching them, and I hate the usual thing of just practicing written out fills out of a book. It's good also for conditioning general facility on the drum set— Kind of like Stick Control for the drum set. It's different than anything I've ever done, and the effect on my playing, as someone who is already a mature artist, has been noticeable and very interesting.

— More EZ materials generally. More and more I've been appreciating the value of simple materials.

I released a print edition of Syncopation in 3/4, which is a really big deal, and I should be advertising it more, demanding that everyone buy it. Every serious student who is doing the real stuff with Ted Reed's book should own it. I have several more book projects in the works, and hopefully we will see them released in 2020. We will not speak of the Book of Intros, but that's one of them.

Time to get back to work on the book. Let's do another post about my wonderful plans for 2020, or I'll just get to work on them.

Happy 2020, everyone! 

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