August 11-15, 2014
So, I'm sitting in my Living Room a day after returning from my third TOAPP camp, absorbing the experience, and dealing with the inevitable exhaustion. Just like anything else, things evolve, and that includes the camp. So, I'm only going to talk about what was new, you can read more in depth accounts of my previous camps here and here.
- Like 2012, Pat, Adrian, Tony, and Markus were there all week. This time around, all 4 were very focused on teaching. Once again, Markus provided scheduled one on one lessons, which were very informative. In my case, I picked up with the son and daughter on a U8 Touch Guitar. I made sure to attend one of every session type, and that included doing drum stroke rudiments with Tobias and Pat, which was a blast, BTW.
- Every morning of camp, a dedicated few convened on the lawn with Markus, and did some polyrhythmic movement and clapping exercises. These got to be very challenging, and were also great fun. I came to the realization that while I had internalized some polyrhythms in my hands, things were a lot more difficult starting with the feet and legs.
- The group jam, was replaced with a set of smaller jams spread over two nights. Tony, Pat, and Ade selected two songs each, such as Red, Walking on Air, Larks Tongue II, Happy with what you have, Elephant Talk, and Schizoid Man. Campers could then sign up for the individual slots. I played keys backing Adrian and some others on
Walking on Air, and sang lead vocals for
Happy with what you have to be happy with.I really enjoyed this.
- Pat and Adrian had some shorter group recording sessions, which were intended as samples for a project in Pat's case, and Flux, in Adrian's. I attended both. I really enjoyed the chance to display my cymbow chops.
- This year, the show at the Bearsville Theater was Friday evening, after camp finished, rather than Thursday. This meant that there was one additional full night, and we were able to do more things Thursday.
As a result, the last night, Adrian and Gary Slick (Julie's dad) sat around the campfire with us, and led us in a whole slew of Beatles songs.
This time, I shared a vehicle with Cedric Theys, and chose not to rent a keyboard from Alto Music, figuring that there were plenty around the last two camps. Well, I won't make that mistake again. There was only one keyboard in camp in the Roadhouse. Perhaps next camp, I will have a touch guitar. I'm not sure, but am leaning heavily that way.
I also didn't contact John Esposito this time, and am regretting not staying an extra day, because he was playing a gig with Jeff Seigel in Woodstock, last night. But, I would have been forced to choose between his gig, and a gig Markus did in Beacon. Instead, I saw neither, returning to home to find the AC on the fritz.
Rather than attempt to do the equivalent of Dancing about Architecture, I'll just say that there is a great vibe around the camp, and it unbelievably refreshing to spend some time with some old friends, and make some wonderful new acquaintances, as well. I wish you could be there to see it!