From Andrew Lamb:
In order to begin speaking about my project, I must give thanks and praise to The Most High for allowing me to be present in this dimension.
I have lost several of my colleagues and those which I have known and interacted with from the inception of the pandemic and literally every other week for months. It has always been a belief of mine that I have a responsibility to all those who love my instruments and weren’t given the gift to play or perform with them, in presenting my work at its highest level each and every time I approach a venue in performance. That belief has been further accentuated now to the fallen comrades who are no longer here to present their work.
My work during the pandemic has largely focused on my large group Andrew Lamb’s Circadian Spheres Of Light Project. The project consists of compositions by Andrew Lamb, a.k.a. The Black Lamb, saxophone, flute, woodwinds, trombone, multiple percussion, electronic washboard, poetry/spoken word, live visual art, dance, and magic, interwoven in a seamless stream of spontaneous improvisation with no gaps and no stopping points over a 90-minute presentation designed to bring together people with mental and physical disabilities with the general audience for a shared creative experience.
This is possible because of the kindred spirits of the artists in the group who are all leaders in their own right with Dick Griffin (trombone), Warren Smith, Lloyd Haber, Newman Taylor Baker, Jose Luis Abreu, and Marvin Bugulu Smith (percussion), Hilliard Greene (bass), Melanie Dyer (viola), Gwen Laster (violin), Dara Bloom (cello), Ngoma Hill (poetry, spoken word, didjeridoo, and various instruments), Jimmy Green (visual art), Trashina Conner (dance), and the Great Olmedini Magic, that are true professionals with high levels of musicianship and sensitivity, who are great people both on and off the bandstand.
My process upon completing all of the new pieces for an upcoming performance is to first send everyone the music. Then after a week or so, I have rehearsals in fragments which helps compliment folks busy schedules. The first rehearsal is with the percussionists, the next one or two percussionists and trombone, next percussionists and strings. After this the next are full rehearsals leading up to the performance.
The nature and severity of Covid-19 completely affected my world on a multitude of platforms including personal, business, and creative mobility causing me to cancel several tours, and performances. My rehearsal process could no longer remain the same and even with masks and social distancing being at the forefront, for me I couldn’t imagine taking the chance of asking anyone to revisit my process especially with 2 members of my group being “ageless” senior citizens.
The first and only salvaged performance of Andrew Lamb’s Circadian Spheres of Light was originally scheduled for February at Roulette and I rescheduled it for December in hopes that things would be better and live audiences could begin to attend events.
So leading up to our December performance I composed a different set of compositions discovered and studied a very good and clear music notation software and sent out the music a few weeks prior to the performance Then we communicated online and by phone until load in and soundcheck on December 1st which was the first time we had seen one another since the evening of October 24, 2018, performing at St. Peter’s Church before Covid became a reality. The evening’s performance at Roulette became a true reality due to the musicianship, passion, and overall camaraderie of the group.
There is a pending record date and performances for Andrew Lamb’s Circadian Spheres Of Light Project for 2022 and we will keep everyone in the loop.
Recordings of the Andrew Lamb Trio, Andrew Lamb Quartet, Baba Andrew Lamb Trio, and The Dogon Duo, are available on the Delmark, C.I.M.P, Engine, Birdwatcher, NoBusiness, and LFSD record labels and on my website.
Cover photo credit: Hollis King