ok so here’s what i like ~ generosity.
i remember brandon in so many ways but first and foremost it is this way, giving, caring and present. incredible qualities for a percussionista or any kind of music maker. i remember being introduced eagerly by pals when he came thru to hali’s obey convention years ago with notthewindnottheflag. i had the whole afternoon to present all kinds of improvising music and i remember that colin and brandon were there for almost all of the four hours or so. and like the spirit of the true jazz giant, within the hours of meeting, brandon and colin came to play and i felt brandon’s voice through his hands from the drum ~ and this preface is to let you know how prepared and grateful i am to speak on mas aya and brandon and generosity and also how necessarily i must use this public platform to thank brandon. brandon, my pal. thank you.
i’ve haphazardly toured around the country in discomfort and one of the things i remember about brandon is how grateful i am to see him, light one up and share treasures from the crown of music. how many borrowed drum kits and favours and care-taking gestures i personally am indebted to this kind man is many and i know this sentiment is shared by all of his truly numerous illustrious collaborators.
i remember brandon from the stage of the polaris music prize and i was one of few people who could feel the pressure on him when all the monitors turned off and his drum was still deep into the pocket of the electronic sounds echoing around a deep theatre and still if you watch the video i’m sure you would not know unless i told you. i remember brandon’s convicted reassurance that no outcome at an award show would or could influence the speaking to the spirit that is our work. i remember brandon taking care of business and otherwise i remember brandon smiling and pouring another one in the hot tub.
i also remember clearly the first time i put on “nikan” and was again reminded that the collaborative spirit is always alive and well in the servants of music; and i remember feeling often with mas aya the same spirit that lido pimienta furiously reseeds into the musical landscape. as our ears decide it is time to assess our insecurities around our ancientness ~ we have a home in a new generation of popular artists that can see themselves a million years old.
my insider scoop is that mas aya is ultimately this spirit at work. something that is resiliently ancient and drilled with joyful discipline into the present. i don’t know what the yaks who text thru concerts get out of instruments crafted from and resonating thru the earth but i remember the first time i heard brandon touch a drum and i hear it every single time. honestly, i think the world of music is pretty confused about risk taking and spontaneous music and what it is to always be prepared. please do not heap your expectation on mas aya. just understand that someone who is observant and near the explosions of new music can bring you, tenderly, a new perspective. trust mas aya, y’all. please..
Nick Dourado is a Halifax-based engineer, artist and multi-instrumentalist involved with BUDI, Century Egg, Beverly Glenn-Copeland & Indigo Rising and Special Costello to name a few. Dourado will be performing at Kazoo with BUDI on Friday, April 13th at Kazoo! HQ (127 Woolwich St.), with Special Costello on Saturday, April 14th at 10C (42 Carden St.) and as part of Beverly Glenn-Copeland & Indigo Rising on Saturday, April 14th at Dublin United Street Church (168 Glasgow St W.)