Sunday, December 29, 2013


Virtuosity is not a good or a bad thing.
It's a tool to be used when necessary.

Virtuosity can have the effect of making one transparent and predictable.
It immediately shows that you have been educated.

Modern education can be a form of enslavement
so it's a dangerous card to have at the foundation
all of the time.

Technique is the rational mind
important like seasoning.

Absence of technique, like a child, like an animal.
Empathy for the environment as a moment.
The ear in the heart.

Language is not a conquest
Neither is music.

Clarify your intentions for playing
and the techniques and empty spaces will arrive
of a greater unity than is commonly accepted
or expected.

Remove the walls of the zoo
and see how the instinct is reborn.

Friday, September 27, 2013

David Hurlin Drum Solo (September 2013)

Here is my drum solo opening up for Chimney Choir at Cafe Paradiso.  I'm very grateful to Glenn Chumley for videotaping.  I would recommend listening to this on high quality speakers or headphones at a moderately loud volume for the best effect.  Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Imperfect Looping

In the name of true perfectionism I am obsessed with imperfection. Especially since music, and drumming in particular, is so easily seduced by the charm of neat, knowable math.

I came across a Moby video loop on Vine.  Vine is an awesome website/mobile app where you create and involuntarily edit video in real time from your smartphone and end up with a 7 second video loop that plays forever.  Moby said about his loop, "Not sure if this works... more weird sound than visual,"

Immediately I had the desire to drum to it as Moby's singing head was looping ad infinitum and there was no discernible place that the loop was supposed to start over. So I recorded an arbitrary slice of the infinite loop and improvised a solo over it.

My favorite moment and I'm so grateful that I caught this (literally) is when, I lean over to pitch bend the floor tom and due to the short length of my headphones, I yank the condenser mic off the mantle it is sitting on. In the middle of drumming I catch the mic with my left hand, and keep soloing with my right hand.  I hope I can pull that off live someday.

Imperfection and Perfection together like phases of the moon.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Glock Revelation: Learning the Melody

Last night I had a simple and empowering experience. Instead of waiting around, while the Apocalypso Tantric Boys Choir's new track "Preaching to the Choir" was being figured out by James and Eric, I decided to learn the header also, on the Glockenspiel.

It made me realize how much time I have been wasting because I thought of myself only as a drummer. This is a seriously huge revelation. Learning the melody gave me a deeper window into the form, and consequently intimacy and command were both amplified.

I might even get to play the Glock on the outro. YES!

Then after rehearsal you can really let your hair down.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Thoughts I had tonight while contemplating,
"What makes a drummers different from each other
and different from computers?"

OK there are infinite number of patterns possible.
So even if you were to play your entire life for 24 hours a day
you would be lacking thoroughness almost one hundred percent.
In other words James Tate's "The Oblivion Ha-Ha."

This is one possible antidote to ego-driven virtuosity.
Speed and complexity can be sad and kinda pitiful
if the delivery is too earnest
or if light speed is forgotten for a bit.

This is where dimensionality comes in.
Conquering seems to happen by staying where you are
rather than strong-arming  knowledge
into an attainable intellectual realm like what zoos do to animals,
that infinite lust; water-bottle-wielding mirage chasers.

Knowledge needs to be grokked
at the level of silent intuitive action
while letting go of ownership.
Dropping through and into infinite knowledge
cross referenced through the rainbow-origin
of all emotional states and spiritual illuminations,
(Milford Graves talks about playing different emotions
on different limbs: feeling-polymeters)
That center of the wheel omniscience.
Time Itself blah blah blah.

But in addition to knowledge
there is context, timing of delivery,
stand up comedy rhythms.
Harold Bloom, to paraphrase,
said the common denominator of all bad poetry
is that it is too sincere.
This is a naivete of context.

Aka your spilled milk is funny
if there is a meteor about to land on you.

Aka Brubeck's "Take Five" would be thrilled
to cross dress as a waltz for a night.

Aka the intelligence to quote "Stars Wars"
in "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

OK so there is vocabulary
and then there is poetry and fucking magic.

Awareness, sensibility, and fearless intuition
make infinity applicable instead of useless.

These are what allow your whole voice to blossom
toward the tangible. Lightning and thunder etc.

Below is the video where Professor Graves
talk about different emotions on different limbs.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Voice

I think the voice is the most intimate instrument, meaning it's so innate it's not even an instrument. I guess the heart and the drone of the nervous system would be in the same category, but the voice is audible to other people and it is through voice that we communicate our children and to others.

I think this is why singing, and the other instruments that emulate the voice, the violin, the slide guitar, the flute are so emotional and can have such an impact on the heart.  The instruments I find to be the most emotional are the ones that have not been compartmentalized by frets and note categories.

That is why it must be that when I hear Derek Trucks, and other masters of the entire string, I feel like crying and actually do cry most the time. Like the voice they can get to all the hard to reach places in the heart and in the body because they command the entire range of frequency.

Talking drums, tablas and other such cosmic membranophones are worth researching. The ancient cultures knew the power of all the in between tones.

This video has inspired a really exciting nocturnal practice session. I was experimenting with harmonics on the cymbals and on the drums by holding my finger on the surfaces the same way you would get a harmonic out of a guitar string.  I can't believe I didn't think of it before.  I will post a video as soon as I get a better way to record the low end.

But for now check this guy out. The drums are every instrument.