A few months ago I was playing piano at a house party in West Asheville (the notorious Montana House) with Reese. We were trading places at the piano bench and mixing it up with some four-handed stuff and really just having a blast playing and entertaining the folks that crowded around the swaying, rocking old upright. We beat that piano to a pulp for five hours, and my old friends Mike Belleme and his girlfriend Kristen were there for much of it.
A few weeks later, Mike asked me to be a part of a skate video featuring the skaters of Asheville’s PUSH Skate Shop that he was going to be in. He’d filmed all his parts and there was a rough edit but no music yet. Inspired by the music that he had heard Reese and I play, he asked me to play the soundtrack. So we met over at World Coffee, where they have a beat up old Wurlitzer spinet in the back, RJ Hess (the filmmaker) set up some recording equipment and I improvised some music while I watched the rough cut. I treated it like I was playing to a silent film, trying to accentuate action. After about six takes and some great ideas from Mike, the above is what we got. Damn it was fun. Mike said we made history – he didn’t think any skater had ever had a live piano track before.
In exchange for musicking his video, Mike took some professional head-shots of me. Here they are:
I even got a shout out in the MountainX. Kind of weird seeing my name listed next to the Rolling Stones. I love a good collaboration, and though the output is unique, what made it work was not. Can’t wait til the next project.