Pick Up Another Instrument
Muhal Richard Abrams
Well, being confronted to have to play the instrument in order to contribute another color to the musical atmosphere or composition, the challenge to — well, to be challenged to add another color. So, if you elect to, you pick up another instrument, and you learn to make some sort of, what should I say, you learn to make some sort of a contribution with that particular instrument. In my case, it was a clarinet, and cello. I taught myself to the extent that I could be respectful within the composition, and whatnot like that. And there were other instances where I used this also in one of my own records, at least the clarinet.
Are you familiar with Levels and Degrees of Light? Well, I played clarinet on that, and I think there’s a duet with Leroy Jenkins and myself playing clarinet and violin, and I use a melodic line. However, but they were — within the AACM also, to give you a better basis, all of the reed players doubled on all sorts of instruments, you know what I mean? Like saxophone players played all the saxophones, and the flutes, clarinets and whatnot like that. So, it wasn’t unusual for me to double on any of these instruments. I’ll be respectful enough to try and learn something about that instrument, and then make a contribution. There were a lot of things going on. We used a lot of percussion things, and we all played different types of percussion and whatnot depending on the programs or concerts.