Author: Stemkovsky, Ilya
Date published: June 1, 2012
Steve Honoshowsky's two-volume Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick is the stuff drumming dreams are made of. Imagine having the opportunity to request all-percussion pieces from some of your favorite players-and then overdubbing yourself playing along, as if you were actually jamming with them. That's exactly what the New Jersey-based multi-instrumentalist did recently with a collection of original tracks by Amir Ziv, Chris Pennie, Ches Smith, and G. Calvin Weston, among others. "There were no rules for the submissions," says Honoshowsky, who received the tracks through email. "It was just go for it."
Steve continues, "These drummers' styles are all over the map, so it was really interesting and surprising to see what they came up with. For my parts, I intentionally didn't overplan. I wanted to have the element of me just reacting. Even though the initial vibe is spontaneous, I didn't want people to think these were drum solos, but rather pieces of music."
The fascinating final cuts range from hypnotic tribal grooves to avant electroacoustic constructions, created with drumkits and a variety of percussion instruments. "I've begun work on volume three of Speak Softly," Honoshowsky says, "and Amir will be involved again, as he's almost second in command for the project. There will also be a piece with Billy Martin, with whom I've studied and finally gotten a chance to record."
Honoshowsky busies himself with multiple projects, including his collaborative group No Use for Humans, as well as solo drum performances. And through the YMCA, he's involved with the Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP), a therapy program that helps increase coordination and motor skills for physically and mentally disabled people. "I'm blown away by the results from TRAP," he says. "To witness people communicate nonverbally is tremendous." Ilya Stemkovsky