ARTIST FEATURE: Dave Douglas from ‘Overcome’

Fay, Camila, Jorge, Ryan and Rudy have all been so generous with their words about this experience making the Overcome album. I guess it is my turn. I try to answer with utmost humility.

What are the projects most dear to you during this time of separation? Any special musical experiences you’ve encountered?

Oh my, I think first of all maintaining my daily physical connection to my instrument. That has taken many adjustments and redirections. And new approaches to sound and technique.

Second has been pursuing music making on the compositional and production level with some of the top collaborators worldwide. Each of these pieces have required months of recording and collecting recordings from all these players around the world. Secular Psalms will premiere Live (I hope) in November. The Dream is out on Greenleaf Music. Overcome was the first of these. There is a double album of new Quintet pieces, Songs of Ascents, with Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda May Han Oh and Rudy Royston that will be done soon. Rehearsing new music with Italian pianist and composer/theorist Franco D’Andrea, bassist Federica Michisanti, and drummer Dan Weiss. Also a series of solo recordings I am calling Hudson Solos. All recorded from here. Tiny Home Recordings.

Third has been dedication to the young musicians I interact with over the semester at The New School and independently. These interactions have become more meaningful for everyone as we work around health, family, travel, and technological restrictions to find the personal and spiritual connection of the music within the music. I am blessed to have these young colleagues in my life.

What adaptations did you have to make to record yourself?

Early on I invested in some recording gear which has served me well. I have been overdubbing for various composers and bands around the world. Lucky to have the relationship with Tyler McDiarmid and Geoff Countryman, engineers and musicians, who always steer me right when I need gear or have questions bout any of the engineering challenges.

What contributions do music and the arts make to your life and to the life of our culture and society?

Absolutely essential. In “What It Is We Think We Are Doing Anyhow,” I pointed out how projects like this one arise out of necessity. Some things need to be said. Somehow we have to find a way to say them. Albert Ayler said it best: Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe.

Does the unity of purpose we felt in making Overcome during a time of widespread social justice movements and a crucial election carry on in this new period of transition?

I felt this sense of urgency from everyone I interacted with in this period. And it’s not over, changes are still to come. With Fay, Camila, Ryan, Jorge and Rudy, I felt that everyone sensed the gravity of the statement and selflessly pitched in to make it come alive. I am forever grateful to them.

What is your latest project either in development or recently emerged?

Trying to make sure we can get Overcome onto 12” vinyl! Hope that folks come join us in pledging for their copy!

There’s three days left to make a pledge in our Overcome LP campaign here. We’d love your support!