Amplifiers & Explosions

I’m excited to finally launch this idea, albeit in a small manner, and in a weird time.

I give you Amplifiers & Explosions.

In short, this is a blanket idea/project for a lot of the things that @Angela and I have been doing over the years, which now have a physical home in the countryside of Portugal.

Some of it will be a continuation of things that have already been happening (Gib Gabs and such) and others are new, and many more yet to be started.

The first of these new ones is a series of video performances and conversations with improvisers called play talk play. The plan is to put out a new one every month, and the first one is with fantastic vocalist and improviser Audrey Chen.

@Angela and I have been slowly filming these over the last couple of years and we now have enough to start putting them out (we think). There are some exciting ones in the pipeline which I’m really pleased to finally be able to put out there.


A bit late with this month’s video, but here is the latest play talk play with Ray Evanoff:


This month’s play talk play is with fantastic drummer and composer Pedro Melo Alves:


This is wonderful stuff. Thank you for sharing.


Here is another play talk play with Wade Matthews on laptop and electronics.


glad to have come across this inspiring project. thank you.

i’ve only watched the most recent upload and loved it, really captivating. interesting that you both mention dealing with different forms of limitations, but the resulting sound is limitless, in a way.

are you planning an audio release of these performances? or is that kinda antithetical to the project?


I would love an audio release as well (if for no other reason than to support with a few bucks, as the video quality is solid as-is). just watched the Pedro Melo Alves video and was really blown away - not just by the playing, but in hearing that neither of you play with other percussionists very often. really great series and I look forward to digging into the latest!


Glad you’ve dug these.

Yeah it’s interesting that. It’s like a “category” thing. Reminds me of playing Everquest or something like that, when building a group you need a single “tank”, a “healer” etc…

So a “drummer” is often like, “cool, we have one of those now”, lets get someone that plays something else.

I also had a silly idea a bunch of years ago to put together an ensemble of only percussionists, but with people that specialized in using a single part of the drumset, like a deconstructed drumset (me on snare, Lê Quan Ninh on bass drum, Ray Evanoff on hi-hat, Jacob Felix Heule on floor tom and Luigi Marino on cymbals).


Whoops, missed these.

I think the video does a lot for it, in terms of seeing the communication, setting, etc… (not to mention @Angela’s great eyes on the Audrey and Ray ones).

But yeah, it’s a bit antithetical, particularly the selling part.

Parallel to this, @Angela and I have been filming some longer form interview/podcasty-type things as well, but we don’t have enough of those to start putting them up yet. But things like that may lend themselves better to an audio-only version.


i like the idea of JFH as a “floor tom specialist”


absolutely. it’s incredibly intimate observing the subtle gestures and pauses. it has me hanging on for the next unexpected turn. i just watched the Audrey Chen performance and enjoyed the visuals there even more, really nice work.