Steve Ball: sketch box    
a unique new release


SB Sketch Box Discipline Knot

Steve Ball: Sketch Box
48 new songs and 9 videos on
 three CDs and one data disk
in a beautiful, hand-crafted
embossed box

© 2015 Ballistic Music

Sketch Box

exclusive, limited edition
 box set featuring
lyrics & song tiles
posters and liner notes
for each of the 48 new tracks

plus shipping
$6.00 domestic
$16.00  international

available directly
from the artist
via paypal:

SB Sketch Box Box Shot  
Sketch Box Poster

Sketch Box
1. Each piece has its own
“Song Tile” that reflects or uncovers something about the essence of the song.

2. The Song Tiles also influenced the song sequence so, like a puzzle, each piece has a purpose and coherent place in the story.

3. In most cases, these songs were built on improvised seeds where the record button was glowing bright red before it was clear what was going to be played.

4. "this box is my mission
bringing together both
science and religion
under one higher oath:
practice making perfect
if perfect means practicing
being in the moment
with every line we sing"


Track Details

CD 1 Song Sketches

1. niagara
2. backhome
3. everything means something to me
4. the flat horizon
5. sofie’s song
6. red lion house
7. remembering the future
8. in sweet defiance
9. sign error
10. watching my input
11. sermon on the moat
12. character sketch
13. captain kumbaya
14. undertone
15. sketchbox
16. ark

CD2 Guitar Sketches

1. tell god your plans
2. the airport exercise
3. backspin
4. backspace
5. backfire
6. backlog
7. backbend
8. sofie’s suite
9. reddish
10. pablo’s birthday
11. everything means something
12. rhapsody
13. no i’m a frayed knot
14. descendent
15. need your love to get backhome
16. plucked from the air

CD3 Piano Sketches

1. workback
2. shockwork
3. legwork
4. hopework
5. homework
6. backstory
7. backstab
8. backfill
9. blockwork
10. backfloat
11. backtrack
12. lockwork
13. network
14. clockwork
15. rockwork
16. nightwork

Musicians and Contributors
Steve Ball
Robert Fripp
Tony Levin
Pat Mastelotto
JG Bennett
Paul O’Rear
Ivan Lee
Sofie Ball
Ken Kato
Lisa Herrman
Jamie Biller
Travis Hartnett
Travis Metcalf
Derek DiFilippo
Curt Golden
Bob Williams
Jaxie Binder
Chris Gibson
Dean Jensen
Taylor Sherman
Greg Meredith
Bill Rieflin
David LaVallee
Bret Hamilton
Duncan Weller

Produced by Steve Ball 
Printed and manufactured by the most excellent Megalodon Manufacturing 

Inquiries: sb at steveball dot com.

Preview Video: The Airport Exercise, from Guitar Sketches

Video by David LaVallee and Steve Ball.
Featuring Robert Fripp (soundscape) and Tony Levin (bass).

From my diary, Jan 29, 2001: The Airport Exercise is

"...designed to 'warm up' and build individual stamina for each finger of the left hand equally with a balanced and musically engaging progression.

This is the only exercise I have discovered within the larger GC repertoire of primaries, secondaries, and applied exercises after-which my left-hand fingers each feel completely balanced, warm, strong, able, and stretched.

My subjective take on why this works for me: each combination of two fingers (1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4) passes through a natural series of ascending major and minor second intervalss (and a few minor third stretches) in a way that is rhythmically, harmonically, and musically engaging.

For me, playing this particular exercise puts me into a sort of active meditation that does not come when I practice some of the other things I'm currently working on (ear- training, speed, anchoring, tone, and arpeggiated-scales across three strings.)

Why is it called the 'airport exercise?'

Two reasons: a) it's a great warm-up when you only have 15-30 minutes of time while 'waiting' to board a plane, b) I have played this in many airports all over the country over the past twelve+ months.

In fact, those who know me well, know that I love practicing in airports; while everyone else is 'waiting,' stressing, or bored, or finding ways to 'kill' time, I am secretly hoping the plane will be delayed so I can spend even more time with my guitar in a 'distraction free' environment (no meetings, phone calls, external demands, other than showing up on time.)

I've even run into a few airport groupies who come sit nearby and listen to the guy droning on his A string in the corner. I've also met a small number of LCG/SGC fans in airports who either recognize the Black Ovation and the stream of 16th notes, or who recognize the bony guy from Bumbershoot, Folklife, SAM, On the Boards, King Cat, Sit-n-Spin, Tractor, Firehouse, Mr. Spots, Borders or theatres of Buenos Aires, Europe, or across the US.

For my sister, Katie: "I'm so honored."

Steve Ball writes records and performs precisely unlikely music.   

For two decades, Steve Ball has led guitar-based improvising ensembles playing in various configurations, under a wide assortment of group names in and around the Seattle area.

Before settling in Seattle, Steve Ball was a long-time member of the League of Crafty Guitarists, founder of the Seattle Guitar Circle and the Steve Ball Roadshow as well as core member of international guitar ensembles Los Gauchos Alemanes and Electric Gauchos.

Steve Ball music is characterized by odd, intricate and interlocking guitar parts, often complemented with stacked vocal harmonies and contrapuntal keyboards.

Steve Ball recordings feature a constantly morphing line-up of world-class guest musicians who collaborate to present improvised songscapes and multi-layered story-songs. Arrangements, tempos, keys, and harmonies unfold dynamically and musically in the moment, and no song or show is ever performed or presented exactly the same way twice.

Steve Ball performs woven arrangements of both new and familiar songs as well as carefully chosen covers by Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Jane Siberry, Kate Bush, and Todd Rundgren.

Steve's current live ensemble is C3, a long term collaboration with Paul O'Rear also featuring the stellar work of Nathan Grigg, Igor Abuldaze, Jaxie Binder & Stephen Thompson.

  back to