About Me

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After years of following an acoustic singer/songwriter guitar path, I've decided to go electric. Bringing loops, ebow and multi-stage delays into a largely improvisational mix that ranges from blissfully ambient to full-on psychedelic journeys in sound.

Breaking Light's latest tune is "Tin Man's Tears Flow"

Friday, December 30, 2011

Avant Garden, Houston 12/28/11

I'm always looking for venues to play down in H-town when I'm down there visiting relatives for the holidays, and when I saw my friend and mentor (whether she knows it or not!) Susan Alcorn was playing at Avant Garden, I looked into the place. An old two-story on Westheimer, Avant Garden houses a small bar with a huge patio and has a new and improvised music show on Wednesdays, in addition to other cool activities. The kind of place I wish I had in my neighborhood.

So I packed up mom (who just turned 90 a week before), my bro and my rig and headed out. Got there way too early, but Robert, who organizes the event was there. There had been some overbooking, with another band added to the bill, but ok by me because I would be the second set as planned. It was a bit cold inside, so mom stayed out in the car until I played. Seth Paynter was the first act. Looping sounds from a contact mike (scratching, breathing), he also played EWI (electronic wind instrument) and did a nice improv on sax. His pedal board resembled a guitarist rig, with a couple of Moog boxes I could have had real fun with. As I entered the bar at the beginning of his set I was struck by the silence. The small bar was full of patrons but you could hear a pin drop, everyone was focused on what was happening on stage. I knew then this would be a special night. Seth played for half an hour. Then I did my thing. Mom and bro got a table up front and I gave him a crash course on operating my camera, pix below. Also below, some edits from the performance. The recording got a bit saturated on the loud bits so I had edit those out, unfortunately. Nothing new here, but I decided to pull out the motif Hymn, which is a good show ender when there is a quiet attentive audience like this. Everything worked well, with a minimum of mistakes, and I think the setting had a lot to do with that. The audience was very kind and appreciative after the set.

Thanks to Robert Pearson, Susan Alcorn, Mariana, Mom and Duane.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Open Street/Roland AC-22

Yesterday I went to the Open Streets event in FW with the Tele and BL rig, and the new Roland AC-33 amp (more on that later). I was directed to an establishment with power at the start of the route, but seeing little foot traffic, decided to go up Broadway and set up across the street from the cathedral-esque Baptist church. This would be a good test of the amp with battery power in an outdoor public sitch. Played for about half an hour to bicyclers, cops, strollers, kiddies, skateboarders and a few zombies happened by. A beautiful day for such an event. I'm not sure how well the amp projected out into the street (it's only 20 watts on battery power), but I'm sure I didn't bust any eardrums. After that, packed up and strolled to the opposite end of the route on Jennings where Tammy Gomez was doing her poetry/dance/art thing in front of the Rainbow Lounge. She graciously implored me to set up and plug in from the Lounge. What a difference. The extra 10W in power was ample to blanket the surrounding street with my sounds. I jammed with Tammy for a while and packed and moved on, fearing sunburn. Headed back to the car. Only saw another small band of yutes jamming acoustic on the route, I expected to see more music types.

Overall I'm pleased with the AC33's performance, although it did distort a bit on the peaks coming out of the loop pedal. The amp has an onboard looper and some nice chorus and reverb effects (it's actually an "acoustic" amp). I'm hoping to rewire the Behringer foot pedal son Eric gave me to utilize these functions in the future. The big advantage here is it's very lightweight, supposed to be 10lbs but it feels closer to 5. Beats lugging that Carvin around if I don't need the 100 watts, which I usually don't. Or I'll use it in conjunction with the Carvin for stereo sound.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BL at the Hip 8/14/11

Last Sunday night at Hip Pocket was pretty cool, and I use that term figuratively. My acoustic stuff before the play, heavy on instrumentals and original stuff, seemed to go over well. I'm still a bit cumbersome with the refurbbed 12 string, with the action and frets slightly higher, I really seem to mess it up on the intricate stuff. Maybe just need to practice more.

During the play I changed over to my Breaking Light setup. The set went extremely well, less abstraction and more groove based noodling, if that's a good thing. I'm usually too engrossed in what I'm doing to notice the audience, but I did glance up a few times and catch people actually listening, tapping feet, and one gal was...dancing? She later performed a lap dance for her boyfriend (or whatever), right there in front of Hip Pocket and everyone. I chalk it up to the beer more than the music. But an interesting and fun night, nonetheless.

The BL set was almost 2 hours long, but edited the best bits and joined into one 37 minute long mega-track. Here:

HPT081411 by Breaking Light

Sunday, August 7, 2011

SDQ @ Hip Pocket/Silent Words in Wing Dust

Never mind the heat at Hip Pocket Theater last night, it was downright pleasant (in a Texas way) after the sun went down. Another triumphal jam for Strung Drawn and Quartered last night. We ended up improvising so much, we didn't even complete the set list (we didn't get to Link Wray's Rumble, which was probably for the best). SDQ's sound is evolving, bringing in more use of loops and octave pedals. The second set after the play felt and sounded better, I think.

Darrin's clip here is a little oversaturated, but I include it here for reference. My clip is shorter, with the same reaggae-ish section, and tweeked in Logic.

Darrin's clip
01-reggae jam thing - Strung Drawn & Quartered by darrinkobetich

Kavin's clip

On an unrelated note, I put out a new Bandcamp release. I had several tracks gathered that I wanted to tweek and remix into one mega-track. Ended up just using three, but they seem to make sense in merging them.

So here:

The title is from something daughter Brit wrote, and photo art by William Shannonhouse.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FW Weekly Music Awards show/Hip Pocket 6/26/11

Wow days like this don't come often. I had already booked the Hip Pocket Theater gig, my first one of the season, then the Fort Worth Weekly Awards showcase party sprang up. And I always jump at the chance to jam with Darrin Kobetich and Bill Pohl (as our improv guitar trio, Strung,Drawn and Quartered). We played to a packed house at the Magnolia Motor Lounge, to folks who were ready to drift away on some mind meld music.

Strung, Drawn and Quartered

Breaking Light set at Hip Pocket Theater

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Arts Goggle 2011

Played yesterday at this bi-annual gathering of artists and musicians on the south side of Funkytown. Lots of fun. I played in a cavernous, garage-like space, part of Landers Machine Shop, an art gallery/music venue/office space. There were some tech problems once I set up, due to the fire inspector requiring the stage to be placed far from the power source. Big thanks to Ken and Terry of Hentai Imrovising Orchestra for helping me move my rig to some reliable power.

As I was setting up and moving (for the third time), El Lobo and his drum people were jamming. I recognized them from the monthly drum circle at Feed Your Head. So an improptu jam ensued, for the first 15 minutes of my set they adjusted their rhythms to my shifting delay setting, bless 'em. It was fun.

After my set I stayed for Hentai's, in which they accompanied the Big Rig Dance Collective in a very effective display of improv and interpretive dance. Good job guys.

Thanks to Will Shannonhouse for taking some great pix. Great to see my good buds Glenn and Didi there.

Here's the the audio:

Breaking Light @ Arts Goggle 5/14/11
Breaking Light @ Arts Goggle 5/14/11

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Golden Age

Finally a non-music related post.

There was a time in my life when I devoured science fiction. I was about 10 years old and we had moved from the city to the country and I was bored shitless. My safe, secure childhood had turned to uncertainty, insecurity and, looking back, I needed some escapism. This is before the guitar became my main obsession.

I had just seen 2001, then read the book, so the stage was set. Joining the SF book club (8 books for 99 cents!) sealed the deal. The two volume A Treasury of Great Science Fiction came in the mail, and well, it was. It contained the novels The Stars My Destination (Bester) and Rebirth (Wyndham), as well as a pile of classic short stories, which I read, and my mind was blown. I was best buds with a cousin, who had similar interests and we bought and cataloged our paperbacks with glee.

In the space of a bright, molten summer in either 1970 (or was it '71?), I went from Heinlein juveniles and Bradbury to the out there experimentalism of the Dangerous Visions anthology. I read all the Clarke I could get my hands on, and, even though I really didn't care for him that much, Asimov.

The devouring lasted a couple more years, through junior high (even more need to escape) and started to taper off once I hit freshman, too much time spent maintaining relationships with friends and doing what you do at that age to get grownup. All those paperbacks got packed away in a box somewhere, or donated to the library I suspect, so now I'm on a quest to re-acquire those titles, one at a time, volume by pulpy volume.

From memory, and by author, here's a list of what I read in that, my Golden Age of Science Fiction.

Arthur C. Clarke: 2001:A Space Odyssey, Childhood's End, Tales from the White Hart, The City and the Stars, A Fall of Moondust Isaac Asimov: The Foundation Trilogy, I,Robot, The Gods Themselves Robert Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Red Planet, Have Spacesuit Will Travel Ursula K. LeGuin: The Left Hand of Darkness, Rohannon's World Ray Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man C.S. Lewis: Perlandra, Out of the Silent Planet, Edgar Rice Burroughs: Carson of Venus, A Princess of Mars Alfred Bester: The Demolished Man, The Stars My Destination Frank Herbert: Dune, Dune Messiah

And numerous short story anthologies, The Hugo Winners, etc..

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I've released a collection of (mostly) acoustic oriented improvisational tunes, realized on solo 6, 12 string, resonator guitars and koto. These were created while taking part in the weekly improvFriday events over the last several months. For the most part they are acoustic, one take creations recorded live with no overdubbing, however the last tune (Kneejerk) is a bastard piece with some electric guitar and some live looping.

Monday, April 4, 2011

what is music?

Cave Street asked this at the listening party as it was winding down the other night (we were the only ones left)..he was extolling his own views on self-expression and was still on a high from seeing Akron/Family in Austin the previous night. I said, depending on who you are it can be a mode of commerce at one extreme, or a connection to spirit, love, God or whatever you choose to call it, on the other. Then there's always what Tom Waits said at his hall of fame induction that music (songwriting) is "just moving air around". I like that one.

Friday, April 1, 2011

improvFriday submission 4/1/11

Not much to say about this one. Started out with some Harry Partch virtual instruments, filtered through Sound Doodle, which I had to abandon because the program was so unstable. Added some gtr thru the DL4 and some live looping.

In the Nanoforge

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Breaking Light and friends at Dunn Bros Feb. 19

Live recording for the RPM Challenge

Michelangelo: didjeridu, wooden flute, percussion, guitar
Ross Reitzammer: flute, recorder

BreakingLight-Feb2011 Kavin
BreakingLight-Feb2011 Mick's Didj

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011


This is the new stuff. Well, relatively. Took my favorite live recordings from last year (Doc's, Super Happy Funland, Feed Your Head, etc.) and mashed them with some of my pieces I submitted to improvFriday. Thought I'd give Bandcamp a try. I think I like it. Alot.

Psychography on Bandcamp

Saturday, January 1, 2011