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brother martin and the intangibles
Sam and Tabadra's Love Song
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08/20/14 @ 05:53 PM     post a comment
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The ultimate love song....
Nights in Berlin
New School
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There's nothing I'd rather do than play music. I write my own songs, but also enjoy playing the work of Kate Wolf, Richard Thompson, the Grateful Dead, and many other musicians too numerous to mention. The songs I write tap into the same veins of insight, inspiration, and ecstasy that my favorite musicians channel so well.
Why this name?
This band is called "Brother Martin and the Intangibles" because I, Brother Martin, am the only tangible member of the band--I play all instruments, altho I do sometimes make use of a drum machine to help get the timing right and all that.....perhaps someday more musicians will materialize--that would be great, but I'm not sure how I would play saxophone and piano and sing at the same time...something would have to give!
Do you play live?
I play at Ragweed Festival on the Farm once a year. As I don't like being around people who are smoking tobacco and drinking, and few coffeehouses have acoustic pianos (my solo instrument of choice), I make little attempt to "play out." If there were Amsterdam-style cafes in this country, I would be more inclined to seek gigs. If you got one, get in touch!
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
It really levels the playing field. It's great. We can all get out there--I just hope the internet stays as open as it has traditionally been.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Since I am sixty years old and labels mostly won't sign anyone over thirty, the question is pretty academic. I would like to see other people pick up on my songs and get them around, however--I think songwriting is my real strength.
Band History:
I have been playing piano ever since I was tall enough to reach the keys, largely by ear--got theory training as a teenager and started playing songs on piano. Moved to Nashville by accident seven years ago and got infected with Nashvirus--got a 4-track, then a 12-track, and been learning how to use them ever since. I view music making as an art form akin to painting. People don't gather in cafes to watch painters do their thing. I'm quite happy working in my studio and presenting finished products to the internet public.
Your influences?
Imagine the Grateful Dead as a jazz quintet--bass, drums, keyboard, piano, sax, and inspiration as a piano player comes from Robbie Basho, John Fahey, Keith Jarrett, and Jerry Lee Lewis. My sax playing is influenced by Jerry Garcia, Ornette Coleman, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, and Ludwig von Beethoven. As a songwriter, I like Hunter-Garcia, Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson, and Robin Williamson.

I view style as subservient to message. Some of my songs are very folk-rocky, others jazzy, others feature the keyboard equivalent of howling guitars, others a string quartet or symphony orchestra or spooky electronics. Variety is the spice of life.
Favorite spot?
I do not like cities. My favorite spot is Dog Canyon, near Alamagordo, New Mexico
Equipment used:
I have an old upright piano that's loads of fun to play but isn't quite up to recording standards, a martin indiana sax that dates from the twenties, an offbrand bari sax i'm hoping to replace soon, an ashiko and a set of tablas, and a Roland Juno D keyboard, and a Korg D12 12 track recorder
Anything else...?
African proverb: "if you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing"

I am firmly in favor of amateur music--it's more fun to enjoy yourself being creative than sitting around absorbing somebody else's creativitiy. I think it is important to break down the audience-performer dualism and make music participatory as a political/spiritual/psychological revolutionary act.
Khenpo Palden Sherab
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