One of the things I appreciate the most about Bugs In The Basement is that it was created organically. The idea of creating these long-formed improvised journeys is not what we set out to do. In fact, I'm not sure we really set out to do anything in particular. Just two people with a passion for making music getting together to see what could happen. It seems to me that most 'bands' come together by someone having an idea of what they want to do, the songs or music they want to play. Then collaborate with other musicians or a lot of times get 'hired guns' to play the roles and support that initial driving force of an idea.
This ability to accompany is a skill unto itself that seems to be under appreciated. I feel it plays a major role in what we do and how we came to be. Week by week, without expectations, we explored. Adding new instruments and overcoming technical difficulties (aka bugs). Both of us playing accompaniment to an unknown source. For reference we would each record these sessions. At first it was just an open mic from our portable recorders, capturing the sounds and conversations from the room but as the sessions evolved so did our recordings. I remember us wondering on many occasions where this all was leading. Hundreds of hours of music, soundscapes and happy accidents we could have never planned.
We once edited these little moments into a file that would showcase all the different places we had journeyed but it didn't seem to capture the true essence of what we were doing. The 'journey is the destination' process became so engrained in what this experience is that it didn't feel right not including it. Our willingness to be open minded about the outcome of what we were doing allowed us to create something unique to us and the ability to embrace it when it became clear. The multiple discussions on recording and editing always seemed to lead back to the same thoughts. We want the sound to be as authentic to the process as possible. I am personally not interested in revising history or making myself falsely appear better than I am. In the cringing feeling I get when an idea fails or a wrong note is played there is the reminder to make an effort to be better. In the big picture nobody benefits from editing their history. Not only learning from our mistakes but from others is an evolutionary must.
Now, don't get me wrong, recording and audio engineering is an art that can take many years to ‘master’ but I think for now we'd rather be musicians. I think of our music in the same manner as the temporary art of Andy Goldsworthy. Inherently impermanent yet photographed beautifully. Is the artistic expression just in his creations or also possibly in the capturing of it? If it weren't for the photography we would never know of it's existence but it must play a completely neutral role. Too much or not enough focus on the capture could greatly detract from its essence. Our music, like these works of art, is intended to be a fleeting experience. Consumed and eroded yet honestly documented. A clear unfiltered image of what it's like to explore making music and the challenges we face in the moments of creation.
Someone once asked me what I thought defined good art...I think I have my answer, at least for today. I find that I value the things in life that represent the dedication to persevere, the commitment to overcome, the discipline to actualize. Art is about the struggle and the celebration of it's reward.