Tag Archives: Rhythm and Blues

Artist Feature: Noah Garabedian

Bassist and composer Noah Garabedian is originally from Berkeley, has lived in Los Angeles, and now resides in Brooklyn. It was a long time coming, but we were able to catch up with Noah recently at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn, where he played with his group The Slim Tones – a flat-out incredible set featuring their signature honking-tenor rhythm and blues. A hardworking craftsman, Noah plays with multiple groups spanning an eclectic range of sound and genre, including – along with The Slim Tones – Big Butter and the Egg Men, The Amigos Band, and the Rebirth Project. In the following dialogue, Noah breaks down his approach to music and discusses his current and future projects. Keep an eye out for a couple New York engagements this weekend and The Amigos Band’s upcoming tour in Southeast Asia in March. Check it!

Noah Garabedian

Everyone experiences countless provocations of the senses everyday, and reflection is the moment one takes to acknowledge its occurrence. Response is the way one acts after that experience.

– Noah Garabedian

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

NG: I’m from Berkeley, CA, and I currently live in Brooklyn, NY after 5 years in Los Angeles.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

NG: Reflection is the process of digesting material that has penetrated one’s exterior and provoked a reaction; whether it be within or out for all to see. Everyone experiences countless provocations of the senses everyday, and reflection is the moment one takes to acknowledge its occurrence. Response is the way one acts after that experience.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

NG: My current ensemble that I compose for is called Big Butter And The Egg Men. It is a sextet comprised of bass, drums, two tenor saxophones, alto sax, and trumpet. The compositions and sound of the group combine several influences of mine. I cannot help being influenced by experiences of my past, not only musical, and those inevitably show themselves in my writing and improvising.

As a music student, you are constantly told to understand and respect the history, the tradition, and the rules. Then you are told to throw it all out and to be creative and original. I suppose my own compositional process and my own approach to making music on the bandstand, is a response to my reflections of the past or just old habits I developed by rote.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

NG: I am currently excited to be working on two other projects. The first is The Amigos Band. We play all types of American music – country, Cajun, blues, and jazz. We just released our first full length album, Diner In The Sky, and on March 10 we will be representing the US State Department as musical ambassadors on a 5 week tour throughout Southeast Asia. The second project I am working on is called the Rebirth Project. The music I am currently writing for this project is traditional Armenian folk music, mixed with improvisation, and combined with a contemporary compositional aesthetic.

Who or what inspires you?

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Feature: Los Platillos Volantes

To kick off a three-part “Voices From León” miniseries within our ongoing Feature series, we are proud and excited to present Los Platillos Volantes. Los Platillos represent a leading rock group in the Leon music scene and have participated in festivals and concerts throughout Spain, such as Purple Weekend. Los Platillos is a powerful combo that features Sam on drums, Miguel on bass, Dani on lead guitar, and J on lead vocals and rhythm guitar. Channeling the energy and aesthetic of rock music from the 1960’s, the band’s original hybrid of blues, rock, garage, and psychedelic make them a favorite in the current modern Spanish classic rock scene. In our interview with J we learn about the experience of playing current music informed by the past in León, España. Check the dialogue and footage of the group performing at the 2012 La Mar de Ruido festival in Avilés, Spain.
Para empezar con algunos puntos básicas, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
J: Venimos de León ( España ) y estamos en León. Tenemos el local de ensayo y estudio en un pequeño pueblo a unos 20 kilómetros de la ciudad. Solemos tocar cerca de aquí: León y provincia, Asturias, Cantabria, aunque a veces vamos un poco mas lejos como Bilbao, Madrid. Siempre intentamos ir un poco más lejos, ir abriendo fronteras, ya me entiendes.
J: We are from León, Spain and we are still in this city. Our practice space and recording studio is in a small town 20 km from the center. Most of our shows are nearby: León and it;s surrounding area, Asturias, Cantabria, though sometime we travel further to Bilbao or Madrid. We always aim to go further and cross new frontiers, if you know what I mean.

Que quiere decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para vosotros?
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

J: Reflexión es lo que piensas que vas a hacer y respuesta es lo que realmente haces, es decir: tienes una idea y la maduras en tu cabeza (reflexión), luego la pones en práctica (respuesta), si todo va bien la respuesta es igual a la reflexión, aunque hay veces que entre la reflexión y la respuesta se te quedan cosas por el camino.
J: Reflection is what one considers doing and response is what one does: an idea grows and matures in the head (reflection), which is then put into practice (response), and if all goes well the the response is the same as the reflection, though sometimes things get lost between reflection and response.
Cómo se mete Los Platillos Volantes en esta definición?
How does Los Platillos Volantes fit in with that definition?
J: Los platillos volantes vamos pensando cosas y haciéndolas, eso si poco a poco, sin prisa pero sin pausa. Una canción, una versión, una grabación, tocar aquí o allá…
J: In The Platillos Volantes we are constantly considering ideas and carrying them out, slowly and without rushing but also without pause. An original song, a cover, recording, performing here and there…

Que más están haciendo actualmente? Que proyectos estás pensando trabajar próximamente?
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

J: Nuestro proyecto constante es hacer conciertos, tocar en vivo, para eso tenemos un grupo ¿ no? Aparte hemos terminado de grabar un EP de 4 canciones en vinilo que estamos mezclando con dos temas propios y dos versiones que próximamente saldrá a la luz, también tenemos un proyecto ” aunque ahora está un poco parado ” de tocar con Gabi, cantante de ” Los Salvajes ” grupo por excelencia del rock español de la década de los 60.
J: The Platillos main project is performing and playing live and for that reason we have a band, right? We are in the process of mixing an EP of 4 songs on vinyl that consists of two original songs and two covers. We also have been working with Gabi, singer of “Los Salvajes,” a leading Spanish rock group from the 1960’s.

Quien o que les inspira?
Who or what inspires you all?

J: En general nos inspiran las bandas americanas, británicas… de los 60 de blues, rhythm and blues, psicodelia, garaje…pero mas en concreto las bandas españolas de esa década.
J: American and British bands are a big inspiration. Especially those that play blues, rhythm and blues, psychedelic, garage…Additionally Spanish bands from the same time period.

Hay algo más que quieren que sepa el Collectivo? 
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

J: Si, queremos que todo el mundo escuche nuestra música y ya sabes que el mejor medio es la red de redes, por lo tanto aquí te dejo un par de webs.
J: Yes, we would like everybody to listen to our music, and the best way to do that is to visit our various sites, found below:

Saludos a….?
Shout outs to?
J: A ti por supuesto y a tu compañero que está contigo en todo esto, también a toda la gente que viene a nuestros conciertos y disfruta de ellos. Un saludo y suerte con el blog.
J: Shout out to you and your partner that works with you on all this and all the people that come to enjoy our shows. Un saludo and good luck with the blog.
Reflection and Response.
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