One of my favorite groups is Snarky Puppy. I love their sound, groove and energy!
I was fortunate to attend their only 2015 concert in Sweden. It was great to finally be able to see them live after listening to their albums and seeing their great YouTube videos for a couple of years.
On the concert in Stockholm they were joined by Swedish drummer/percussionist, André Ferrari. He did an amazing job! André is one of the members of Swedish neo folk music group Väsen. The group is featured on Snarky Puppy’s upcoming release, Family Dinner vol. 2.
The first song released from that live recording is called ”I Asked” and besides Väsen it also feat.Becca Stevens on vocals and charango.
To help out in the bass department Mark Lettieri, one of the guitar players in Snarky Puppy, plays UBass together with the Moog bass played by Snarky Puppy founder, leader and bass player, Michael League. The Moog and UBass makes the sweetest low end! One of the greatest things with the Ubass IS the super great low end you get with those rubbery strings!
It sure was a great and pleasant surprise to see this combo in the first video from Family Dinner vol. 2!
I have wanted to write about this for quite some time now. I got this kit last year and my plan was to start the project early August…this wasn’t possible because of my hand injury…
But now I’m back on track and will get started with the Kala Solid Body Ubass Kit!
EDIT: This kit is no longer available, you have to add all the parts to the shopping cart in the Kala Web Shop! See more here!
I will build the 5-string fretless based on the US made California series.
I will do this in a couple of phases. First phase has just started, working on the body finish. The goal is to mimic the espresso finish of my Kala Bakithi Kumalo Solid Body.
You will be able to follow each and every step/phase of me putting together the Ubass. Every phase will be a separate blog post, but they can all be easily found on my DIY page. I will update that page as the new blog posts rolls out.
In May I visited Brazil for the first time and met a lot of nice people including Henrique and Almir. Read more in this post.
Last week we met again…but now in my studio in Sweden! We started to jam and came up with some new music.
One of the things we played was built on two short bass parts (bass bits). It has a very loose form and one version turned out to be 13 minutes!
I used a Kala SUB with the new Kala Metal Round Wound strings. I went back and forth between a dry Ubass sound and a FX chain. This was the FX chain: Kala SUB Solid Body Ubass (with Kala round wound strings) > RMI Basswitch (the built in DI sends the signal to my Apollo Audio Interface) > In the parallel loop I used this chain: Boss OC-2 Octaver > Electro Harmonix BassBalls > Boss SYB-5 Bass Synth controlled by an Boss FV-500L Expression pedal. > Aguilar bass amp (Tone Hammer 500) and cab (SL-112). This time for monitor only.
Below is a link to a shorter version of the jam. (The whole song might be released in the future!)
Hope you like the music the cool sound of the Ubass and of course great playing by Henrique and Almir!
Henrique Alvim, guitar
Almir Cassio, drums
Magnus Sjoquist, Kala SUB
A while ago the amazingly talented Swedish duo, Good Harvest uploaded a video on their Facebook page.
I have followed Good Harvest for awhile and got to know them when they have played in Orebro, Sweden.
The song is called ”Ukulele man” and I thought… -I’m kind of a ukulele (bass)man! 🙂
I started to jam along and came up with a bass part and a vocal harmony part.
These parts were added to the Facebook video and the result sent to Good Harvest.
They liked it! 🙂 I have already put it on my Facebook page but now it’s also on my YouTube-channel
We have talked about the possibility to record the song together in the future.
Would be very nice!
In the end of May 2015 I did my first ever trip to Brazil! I have been listening to Brazilian music since the early 90’s and have played Brazilian music for quite some time too. See previous posts with a Brazilian content: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 |
Finally being able to travel to Brazil was a very big thing for me!
The main reason for this trip was to visit schools and find out ways to set up some kind of exchange program between the school where I work in Sweden and schools in the capital city of Brazil, Brasilia.
I had a really busy travel plan with several visits booked for almost everyday of the eight-day trip. These visits were to different schools with arts and music focus. I’ll try to write more about this later. We’ll see what happens with these ”might-be” exchanges. It’s interesting to see how it unfolds and evolves.
Besides these visits I also got to play some Music! With me on this trip was my colleague, Eva Stenström. We had prepared some songs we could perform on only bass and vocals. To make the travel easy I brought my spruce Kala Ubass and the new Phil Jones Bass ”Double Four” amp I just bought just before the trip. Traveling with this setup was very nice and I was able to get both the UBass and the amp into the cabin of each flight we did.
Me and Eva did a few workshops involving playing, different vocal techniques and I also did a short live looping workshop featuring the TC Electronic Ditto looper. If someone is interested in knowing more about live looping with the ubass (and other instruments) please let me know and I could make a series of posts on the subject! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org [Older post featuring Ubass and the ditto looper!]
We met a lot of really great musicians and teachers and students at all three schools we visited. A very big thanks for taking such good care of us. Extra big thanks to: Lucas at Escola de Musica, Henrique at Escola de Choro, Antenor and Alexei at University of Brasilia, William and Barbara for giving us a great tour of Brasilia!
Besides playing as a duo we also got joined bit different Brazilian musicians and also got the change to sit in on a concert and also do a ”club” gig with two great Brazilian musicians that will come to Sweden this fall. I hope we will be able make some more music together. Stay tuned!
There isn’t that many recorded videos from this trip but I will let you hear some music bits and pieces. See this video! There is also a gallery of photos from our workshops, concerts and some scenic ones too!
It was a great trip with lots of interesting meets with universal language of music as a great common ground! Thanks to everyone that made our first trip so fantastic!
Some links you check out!
Lucas de Campos, guitarist and professor at Escola de Musica One of his projects (Text in Portuguese)
A couple of weeks ago I did a so called pechakucha. Don’t know what it is? Well, it’s a kind of lecture that architects in Japan started using in 2003. You tell a story about a subject using 20 pictures/slides. You’re allowed to talk for 20 seconds per picture. This makes the presentations nice and short!
I was invited to do a presentation on the first pechakucha night in Vasteras (…yes it’s almost the same name as in Game of thrones but spelled with an a with a two dots and an a with a ring 🙂
I wanted to tell my playubass story with this headline; Social branding in the music business. A short presentation of my background and how I’ve used social media to tell my story and interact with other musicians and ubassists across the globe!
Swedish TV did a short interview/segment with me for the news channel with and you can see this below. Since this is in Swedish I have made English ”subtitles”. Please use the caption feature in YouTube to see this!
One of my goals with this blog/site is to take my Ubasses to places you normally don’t see one!
Here’s a new experience for me and the Ubass 🙂
Besides blogging I do other stuff too 🙂 I work as a music teacher and ICT-pedagogy in a Swedish secondary school with an arts program (music, dance, theatre, and visual arts).
Among the highlights we give our music and dance students is a collaboration with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra that is based in our town. Since our hometown <a href=”http://www.orebro750.se/”turns 750 years in 2015 we decided to do a concert with songs that is either performed or composed by someone from here. (There is even a bass neck and head in the logo! 🙂
I had to (which wasn’t a sacrifice at all) chime in and play two songs on these concerts. One of the songs lend itself towards the Ubass. So I decided to play my trusty acoustic/electric on a jazz ballad. It is composed and arranged for orchestra by one of Sweden’s premiere jazz pianists and composers, Lars Jansson. The song is called Hilda’s smile. Below is a sneak peak of one of our performances of the song. It was great to play together with this wonderful orchestra once again. I have done it a couple of times before in different projects, but never before with a UBass. It was also nice to talk and hang with the nice fellows of the bass section. See pic above!