A jazz and improvised musician by training, David Dove says that he hadn't planned on incorporating electronics into his trombone playing. "I was never interested in using guitar pedals or effects on my horn," Dove tells Art Attack by phone.
The late DJ Screw steered him toward his electronic experimentation that's been seen and heard in Houston, all over the States, and in Europe.
In 2009, Dove, the main man behind Nameless Sound, started a project called Screwed Anthologies (the band name is based on Ayanna Jolivet McCloud's 2009 exhibit at labotanica) with Lucas Gorham of local heroes Grandfather Child. The duo -- which features trombone, guitar, lap steel guitar, and Screw tracks -- recorded slow-moving improvised music in an ode to the worshipped Robert Earl Davis, Jr., whose 42nd birth anniversary takes place the same night (Saturday, July 20) as Dove and Jawwaad Taylor's CD-release party at Art League Houston.
In order to model a chopped-and-screwed-type tempo, the group slowed down the tunes on Improvised Music Under the Influence of DJ Screw after the fact. That worked great until Screwed Anthologies was booked to play a show.
"There was a particular thing that needed to be addressed in the music to make it sound like it was slowed down," remembers Dove. With Gorham's help, Dove figured out how to modify his trombone by using an elaborate subwoofer and looper configuration.
Since then, Dove has developed the practice into a solo set that the Houston-based musician has played locally with dancers and throughout the States and Europe as a solo performer. There have been near disasters along the way: During a house show in the Heights that Art Attack attended last summer, Dove took more than two hours to setup, but then the equipment threw a temper tantrum before he started playing.
Before Houston-born trumpet player and rapper Jawwaad Taylor moved to New York, he and Dove started collaborating during one of Dove's improvised music workshops that he continues to offer to youths, teens and adults.
"At the time, I think Jawwaad viewed trumpet playing and improv as one area and hip-hop as another," says Dove. "I said, 'You should bring all of your practices [to class].' He then started introducing vocals and rhymes and practices as a rapper [in the improv setting]."
The two started working outside of class, attempting to sync the languages of improvised music and hip-hop. (Taylor -- who has collaborated and performed with MF DOOM, Jay-Z, and Joe McPhee -- eventually moved to New York City, where he advanced his career.)
In Dove and Taylor's These Are Eyes, See? (El Cangrejito), recorded in September 2010 and released in February 2013, one might hear the following in the three-track, 66-minute album:
- Guttural and delay pedal-affected trombone with electronic washes.
- Agonized, poetry-type delivery of lyrics over silence and scratchy electronics.
- An ear-latching, rolling cluster trombone loop.
- Tasmanian Devil/Satan noises.
- Helicopter and crashing sounds.
"The challenge is to not sound like beat poetry...in the context of a rapper with a horn," says Dove. No problem there.
On Saturday, July 20, Dove and Taylor, who recently moved back to H-town, will play a CD-release show at Art League Houston. You won't find any mention of DJ Screw in the promo materials for the album or Saturday's show. Actually, Dove completely spaced that DJ Screw would've turned 42 this weekend.
"Did you purposely plan Saturday's show to take place on DJ Screw's birth anniversary?," Art Attack asked Dove by text following the phone interview.
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"No! In fact. I totally forgot! You're reminding me now. That's rad."
On Saturday, July 20, David Dove and Jawwaad Taylor are scheduled to perform at Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose Boulevard. The evening will feature a short performance by Lisa Harris, projections of Ayanna Jolivet McCloud paintings, and DJ Rachel Orosco.
The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Dove and Taylor plan to take the stage around 9 p.m. There may be a dance party afterwards. Fingers crossed.
Admission is free. Call 713-523-9530 or check out the Facebook event page.