Lockdown loops…

Well pandemic lockdowns sure make jamming with other musicians hard…
And lockdown life has at times felt like one big loop on repeat…
I had long resisted I’ve resisted playing music with #looppedals, fearing tackiness + endless solo noodling, but a mate lent me a mini basic looper during a lockdown, and I couldn’t resist. Both fears have been affirmed. But i hadn’t counted on them providing so much ‘fun’, and scope for random improv soundscapes.
So here’s a little snapshot of some of the silliness that popped in the subsequent weeks, during lockdown.
The first time plugging my weissenborn into the looper, I found this groove

Then it was AFL grand final time, and I was nervous, so I tried using it as an ad-hoc, very daggy, improv mutli-track device… #footysongs

Then before bed one night, this jumped out

And things got extra hectic when smashing up a fuzz-blues-stomp version of The Ashplant reel…

Hunting the Squirrel with Alex Borwick


Slow sliding horns & guitars w Alex Borwick

In the depths of 2020 pandemic lockdown, recording this tune with good friend (+ brilliant musician & producer) Alex Borwick was a consuming distraction, a joy, and a reaffirming way to keeping making music in collaboration – all the way between Ireland to Australia.
I hope you find some slow space & solace in it too.

Alex recorded his mesmerising horns in Dublin, I recorded some slide (and a few impro overdubs) in Morwell (Oz), & Alex smooshed them together.

Massive thanks to Al at Aldoc Productions for putting this beautiful little video together (& to Parvathi & Ananth for first requesting this tune!)

A traditional Irish tune arranged by Dan & Alex (inspired by The Gloaming).
Alex Borwick (Trombone) – http://www.alexborwick.com
Dan Musil (Slide Guitar) – http://www.danmusilmusic.com
Audio recorded by Alex Borwick & Dan Musil, mixed by Alex Borwick.

Gigs, gigs….gigs?….

….COVID-19…”unprecedented”…horrible…[it’s all been said]…etc.
I acknowledge (gratefully) that I’m far luckier than most. But one gaping hole I’m really feeling in Victoria’s lockdown 2.0, is our inability gather in person to make and enjoy music together.
The tragedy and open-ended upheaval of the pandemic is worsened by an absence of the social and musical connection that is so often able to nourish us through tough times.

“Familiar refrain”…”adapt”…innovate…technology…etc
One obvious consolation is being able to collaborate, share, and still even perform remotely. It’s no substitute for the electric ephoria of sharing music in person, but I’ve had the chance to play a bunch of livestream gigs over the past few months.
Alongside the awkwardness of singing to a screen and receiving very little energy back, there are some charms – a strange sort of intimacy, the convenience of gigging without travelling (though I still managed to be late for one…), the ability to share with folks far away….

It’s been certainly been a fascinating learning experience. And definitely an affirming way to connect with folks in the doom of the first lockdown.
The lockdown co-incided with a big bunch of gigs and touring planned with Van Walker for the launch of his new album – meaning many of the livestreams I’ve played have been replacement sets with Van.

So here’s a smattering of some of the ‘online’ music activities of the past few months, in no particular order – from my first solo livestream on my dingy laptop, to a bunch of higher-production marathons with Van (including some cute ‘fly-in’ tributes to some favourite live music venues).

There’s a few missing (I hate, and love, that Instagram live videos disappear after they’re done… just like a real life gig), and perhaps a few more to come…

My first solo livestream – broadcast my clapped out laptop via the Earthworker Energy factory wi-fi for my footy club – was genuinely bizarre experience, and rather low-fi (as was the second).

Some were a little more highly produced… (https://youtu.be/eP40yOsyoHk)

Some cancelled-festival-substitute-livestreams with Van were fun (thanks for Matt Yales and the crew for prodicing!)  but also served to highlight the sadness of the actual festival cancelation…

There were a few when restrictions first started easing… there were even people in the same room!

But that ended too soon… so it’s back to pretending we’re in real music venues

There’ll be a few more that I might post here as they come up.
In the meantime, check out Van Walker’s brand new album (which I’m proud to be playing on), coming out August 28th.

In the lockdown-ed absence of gigs, I’ve also had the chance for some other remote collaborations – including recording some mood-music for the great new ‘SeaCreatures’ Podcast from Matt Testoni (check it out!), and a long-distance slow-jig with the awesome Alex Borwick (out soon).

But here’s to being together (musically and otherwise) soon…
Stay strong comrades.