Last December I had the pleasure to perform a free improvisation session with Marcelo dos Reis, on the occasion of the anniversary of Marcelo’s own label Cipsela Records.
Free improvisation is a completely musical ground for me, although I have been regularly participating in some improvised music events, but the challenge is always renewed, especially because this was the first time I ever played with Marcelo – hopefully there will be more!
24/02/2020 in Improvised Music
Tagged Cipsela Records, Coimbra, double-bass, doublebass, Free improvisation, guitar, improvisation, improvised music, Marcelo dos Reis, Miguel Falcão, miguelbass, Museu Nacional Machado de Castro
PremierGuitar.com made a spectacular interview with Chris Squire, Chris’ technician Richard Davis and Steve Howe where they present all of they gear for the current Three-album tour.
Possibly the most complete guided tour to Chris’ and Steve’s instruments, effects and amps. A rare chance to see our heroes talking about the instruments that make history for nearly half a century.
03/05/2013 in News
Tagged bass pedals, Chris Squire, Fender Jazz Bass, Gibson Maestro, Guild, guitar, interview, Mouradian, Mutron, Ranney, Rickenbacker, Rickenbacker 4001CS, Steve Howe, Variax
This is an original song I made over the last weeks that I would like to share with you. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for sticking around! Miguel
The idea started while trying to make another (yet unfinished) song. I thought it was getting too complicated and took on some accidental playing on my guitar. I found the riff ok and thought it could be the base for something simpler where I could work out an arrangement with all instruments, as to prepare myself for finishing the first song.
Anyway ideas started flowing and it ended up a bit more extended than I initially wanted. The basslines (intro and pre and post solo) were made up a bit after, while I was having fun experimenting with a demo of the Ampeg SVX plugin.
Then the drums – I wanted to find something that would make it sound simple (in spite of having to deal with some odd meter – a blend of 7/8 with 4/4) – and anyway, something I would be able to play by myself. Then the middle sections came about while I was inspired to write some lyrics.
The choral section is a four-part harmony (2 tracks for each voice) that starts – intentionally – very “Bulgarian” and ends up a bit more CS&N (that’s a nice combination :) as to make a passage to the acoustic guitar section and the main poem that I wrote with my dad’s old Ramirez – still sounds incredible. Some more arrangements were made by then, especially the double-bass parts.
Finally the second harmony part, probably the most difficult bit, because my idea was to link to the finale that was already made. Again a four-part harmony but a different one, that finally melts with the kind of repetitions towards the end. The bass solo was the last thing to be thought of.
Well that’s part of my memory description for this song. Most important is that it’s ready now and I can present it to you!
Thanks for watching!
23/11/2010 in Solo
Tagged 2010, 360, 4001, 4001CS, Ampeg SVX, bass, bassline, Bulgarian, Chris Squire, contrabaixo, CSN, doublebass, България, electric bass, Falcão, fireglo, guitar, harmony, Jose Ramirez, Miguel, Miguel Falcão, miguelbass, Practice Versus Perfect, Rickenbacker, roland TD-9, Squire, vocal harmonies, YES
An idea that was inspired by the story (many of you may know) behind the very end of Safe (Canon Song).
I am playing my 4001 CS bass which is unplugged. Holding it against the back of my (plugged) 360 guitar… a Rickenbacker Kiss.
I experimented with different guitar tunings that would resonate well with the song’s tonalities. Onward is a based one the I, VI, V and vi of C major, and modulated a step higher afterwards.
The guitar tuning I did (eventually using a capo) was selected to accommodate all these chords. Ones sound better than others. B minor was, for example, a bit less successful, as well as all passages with an F sharp.
Then I adapted the whole piece – melody and a sort of accompaniment with the lower register which is not related to the actual bass line. The initial riff is my transformation of the original intro, and the coda.. I came up with a way to modulate back to C major. A bit dangerous too cause B flat (G minor) and A flat (F minor) were used… but then finally I got the best resonance spot to end the piece on an improvised Safe-like finale.
One very interesting thing is that – after tuning both instruments with the tuner, I found the resonance wasn’t happening… so I fine tuned on my bass by ear, and found the resonance spots for each string… maybe a few cents lower than the “right” tuning. I know it’s still not perfect but it’s a fact that it wasn’t working with both guitars tuned by the tuner. I think this has to do with the tempered scale of the fretboard that is “fighting” with the natural harmonics of the guitar’s open strings.
While not optimal, I decided to post it to show you the idea. It has some interesting sounds and with more time I will come again to it!
Tunings (bottom to top)
Bass – E A D G
Guitar (Capo 8th fret) – C F A D G B
14/03/2010 in More Music, Solo
Tagged 360, 4001, 4001CS, bass, bass cover, Bass Driver, bassline, Chris Squire, DI, electric bass, Falcão, guitar, Miguel, Miguel Falcão, miguelbass, Onward, Rickenbacker, Rickenbacker Kiss, Sansamp, Squire, Tormato, YES
This is my Christmas video – Silent Night / Night of Silence, where I perform all instruments and vocals. Wish you a Merry Christmas!
26/12/2009 in Solo
Tagged 4001, 4001CS, bass, Bass Driver, bassline, Choir, Chris Squire, DI, electric bass, Falcão, guitar, harmony, Miguel, Miguel Falcão, miguelbass, moog, pedals, Rickenbacker, Sansamp, Squire, Taurus, vocal harmonies, Voices, YES
Pilence Pee (Пиленце пее) is my latest musical adventure. This song features a traditional Bulgarian choir arrangement, adapted by me to an ensemble of bass instruments.
Sometimes an idea is just an idea… the idea of making this arrangement has been haunting me for the last 8 months and for 8 whole months I worked on it. This is the second effort of my BEBE, following the test experience of “Svatba”. My dear channel viewers sent me an incredible loving feedback by then, including some very own native Bulgarian friends. I thank you all for your encouragement and I really hope that this time it will please you too.
Having in mind, once again, that the Bulgarian female choir voices *are* irreplaceable, I tried again to absorb the inspiration of those wondrous sounds and, somehow, to speak my soul through my playing.
The original BEBE concept had to be extended. To achieve the expression of the sustained pairs of voices, I used effects on some basses, namely, the Malekko b:assmaster (second appearence after “Amazing Grace“) and a Sansamp TRI O.D.. My BEBE (Bulgarian Electric Bass Ensemble) had a very special non “electric” guest – one of my doublebasses had an important contribution for the final texture of the sound. BEBE’s veteran members Rickenbacker 4001CS and Fender VI also welcomed the Zon Sonus 8-string and the Warwick Thumb Bass.
The notes were taken all by ear and, later, checked with the help of a friend of mine. Then many changes were (as in Svatba) made, as to adapt the song to my own taste and style of playing, hopefully without spoiling it too much. On the outro I did take some more freedom, harmonically, and in general drifted away from the original Krassimir Kiurktchiiski’s arrangement.
Pilence Pee (sounds like “Pilentse Peh”) is a Bulgarian folk song and it means something like “Little bird sings”. I just know a little Bulgarian and I searched for the meaning of this song, with the generous contribution of some friends. For 20 years, since I heard this song released on the album by 4AD, I sang it without understanding a word, just sounds. But, having understood the lyrics this year, I honestly had the sensation that I already had got the message. The message is beautifully composed and yet extremely tragic. And if there is a sign of hope for the years to come, the beauty of the Bulgarian Music that blossomed from its people, in spite of five centuries of slavery couldn’t be a better example. Love now – because it may be too late and you will regret it. Hear what the little bird speaks.
high (main):Rickenbacker 4001CS + b:assmaster
high (pedal):Warwick ThumBass + TRI-O.D.
mid (main & pedal):Fender VI and doublebass
low (main):Rickenbacker 4001CS + b:assmaster
low (pedal): Zon Sonus 8
19/07/2009 in Bulgarian Music
Tagged 4001, 4001CS, 4AD, 5-string, 6-string, 8-string, acoustic bass, bass, bass cover, Bass Driver, bassline, BEBE, Bulgares, Bulgaria, Bulgarian, Bulgarian State Television, Choir, Chris Squire, contrabaixo, DI, double-bass, doublebass, България, Красимир, Кюркчийски, Мигел Фалкао, Пиленце пее, Филип Кутев, eight-string, electric bass, ensemble, Falcão, Female Choir, Fender, five-string, guitar, harmony, Miguel, Miguel Falcão, miguelbass, Mystére, Mystery, Pilence, Rickenbacker, Sansamp, Sonus, Squire, Thumb, upright, VI, Vocal, vocal harmonies, Voices, Voix, Warwick, Zon
This idea was inspired by the magnificent music of the Bulgarian female choirs, better known as “Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares”, conceived by the great Filip Kutev. This Music is part of me since I long ago came across its 1st vinyl, released by 4AD. Only some years back I had the great priveledge of witnessing two great performances by The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, directed by Prof. Dr. Dora Hristova. Needless to say, it was a dream come true. My little tribute’s idea is simple but not necessary successful – To recreate the choir format, such as the voices correspond to bass guitar timbres. Each of the 4 voices was attributed to one specific bass, and played twice to create the ensemble effect. Eventually each voice plays a slightly different line, usually intervals of a second, very specific of these arrangements. A tough task – to transcribe the piece by ear, adapt it to the playability of the basses, trying to mantain the dynamics of the piece, and produce it, so all the low frequences don’t colide too much and each “voice” can be heard. 10 tracks vere recorded and 2 to 6 vocal lines can be (hopefully) heard. No effects were used, to preserve each instruments own “voice”. And then producing the video. I invite you to discover this unique Music, checking my favourites section. This is only a mere recreation, done by heart and it’s galaxies away from the Real Thing. One of my favourite songs is “Svatba” (Wedding) – a Bolyar wedding celebration coming from far away. So, without further delays, I present you: the Rickenbacker 4001, the fret-ripped j-bass copy, and the Fender VI – I name it, with all due respect, the Bulgarian Electric Bass Ensemble, or simply, “BEBE”.
03/02/2009 in Bulgarian Music
Tagged 4AD, bass, Bass Driver, BEBE, Bulgares, Bulgaria, Bulgarian, Bulgarian State Television, Choir, Chris Squire, DI, България, Кутев, Мигел Фалкао, Сватба, Филип Кутев, electric bass, ensemble, Falcão, Female Choir, guitar, harmony, Miguel, Miguel Falcão, miguelbass, Mystére, Mystery, Sansamp, Squire, Svatba, Vocal, vocal harmonies, Voices, Voix, YES
This piece of music came along one night after some noodling on my Fender VI. I left the tape rolling just to save some ideas flowing by. I just played what was going on inside me. After I heard it, I thought it made sense to keep it as a solo improvisation. It’s something I enjoy doing once in a while but never had thought to actually record it. The idea for the video was also another sort of improvisation… Obviously I didn’t flim myself playing… you may decide to find a musical connection with the images or simply close your eyes and listen.
25/01/2009 in Improvised Music, Solo
Tagged 6-string, bass, Bass Driver, DI, Fender, guitar, improvisation, meditation, Miguel, Miguel Falcão, miguelbass, Sansamp, VI