At 5:25am, I awoke with a few new ideas. The first was a suspension trumpet case that eliminates the risk of damage when shipping horns. The system is very simple so I don't know why I didn't think of it years ago. I will add that to my list of prototypes to test in the coming months as it looks promising. I've also had my mind working on slide locks for modular finger rings, leadpipes and bells. This system has to be simple to use while maintaining SWE design principles which is a challenge. Moving parts are almost always inefficient thieves of energy. My latest demo trumpets were due to be complete in December...on hold due to the complexity (or simplicity?) of the slide lock design. I think I have it now...time to build one.
Set lists are also working into my daily routine. I have ignored my performing the past three years, taking random gigs or short tours here and there just to get out of the shop. I truly do not enjoy long runs of playing horn parts in a section or lead in big bands so I put performing on the back burner to focus on trumpet designs. Up to 2008, I was performing in 5-6 bands with around gigs every weekend so the change has been extreme and I find myself blowing horns continuously for hours without pulling the mouthpiece off of my lips. I guess I have a lot to express through the horn when I'm not out playing every day. Hence, set lists are coming back into my life. The goal is to create 3 or 4 shows and get back out on stage, this time solo. Sure, that's what everyone says, but how many of us actually do it? I'm working up a biographical musical comedy for cruise ships...don't laugh, cruising is fun and can be lucrative; a more personal show for small to medium 30 something clubs that will be vocals, trumpet, piano, bass, drums...this one is also biographical on a more personal level; next is a new masterclass combination trumpet solo performance for high schools and colleges that focuses on my personal experiences in a way that reveals my growth as a musician while offering insights into overcoming the many obstacles brass players and musicians in general face while making music their career. And last, but not least is a jazz set that shows off the many tonal possibilities of my arsenal of horns including the new (but top secret) elliptiphone.
Now where am I going to find time to do all of this? In my sleep...