Catalan Miles…a new release…

I can’t tell you when I first heard of Miles Davis. Or his music. I think I heard his music first, and then said, “Where did that come from!” I had never heard such elegant jazz, with such apparent simplicity and clarity of melodic lines… I had no idea until fairly recently that he had gone to Juilliard and then dropped out because it was boring…that he was a target for the police wherever he drove his gorgeous sports cars, or that he had a terrible time with drugs. I just knew I wanted to capture his sound and hold it somewhere, so I could reach in and hear it again in new ways.

Miles Davis turned the world of jazz on its ear with his album Kind of Blue. But then he turned everything upside down later on with his Sketches of Spain. It is this kind of loveliness that I want to capture…

and so, Catalan Miles…(now you know why my horse’s nickname is ‘Miles’…:-)

Thank you, Miles…

Sometimes there are artists who influence others in a truly profound yet unexpected way. So is it in my life with the music of Miles Davis. I grit my teeth in angst that I never saw him in person. Indeed, I was not even a follower back when he was alive. I thought Dave Brubeck, who happened to live near me in Fairfield, CT, when I was growing up, had it all. But throughout the years, Miles kept popping up in my cd collection. I kept returning to “Sketches of Spain”, mesmerized by its beauty. I had yet to discover “Kind of Blue.” In fact, that happened by chance when I spent an afternoon jamming at Jazz Central in Minneapolis, and someone challenged me to learn his solo from “So What.”

Well now I listen to a steady stream of Miles’ music. Some I like, some makes me cringe, and some leaves me breathless, such as the solo about 5 minutes in on the “Live cd-coverAround the World” version of “Time After Time.” I am hooked. I like being immersed. I am becoming transformed.

But I realize with a truly painful sensation that I had been studying the wrong discipline, the wrong modality, and the wrong tonality. I was classically-trained, whatever that means. I studied with Sid Zeitlin, the perpetually disgruntled perfectionist who was at that time the Principal Flute of the Minnesota Orchestra. I was not completely comfortable, but I didn’t know why. Now I do.

I never liked having to play the same thing twice. And I was never able to equate those who do with anyone who was truly creative.

And so, I am absorbed in learning Miles’ language. And in interpreting it in my own way.

Here is the first piece — a simple working track on my CDbaby page that I call “My Miles…Autumn Leaves…” 🙂

Oh, by the way, “Miles” is also the name of my horse…his gaits are incredibly smooth, and he is quite the cool character too…

‘Miles’ and die zauberflote…

I nicknamed my horse “Miles” because of my appreciation for the incomparably awesome jazz/fusion of Miles Davis, and also because his gaits are so smooth. “Miles” and I did a photo shoot yesterday. It is for a seminar I am taking on cinema production at Independent Film Project Minnesota

The video I will be creating will, I hope, be an impression of my proof-of-concept-short Out of Night and Fog. In it, I will use photos of “Miles” and me coming out of the vortex of night and fog. In those photos I am mounted and carrying the flute. (More about that later). This photo is an out-take showing “Miles” reaction to my playing the flute for him…:-)

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