Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Summary of All Things

Hello. Welcome to my blog about the new songs on the "Walking Eagle" album.

The group "Walking Eagle" is composed of three of us who have played together for almost 20 years. We have explored many genre of music from fusion jazz to punk rock to folk to Celtic to flamenco to Australian, Native American, free jazz, and just about everything in between.

Two years ago, we reformed our "aggressive world-beat jazz" group 'Before the Rain' into a trio focusing more on the acoustic elements of world jazz. We released an album at that time called "Returning to my Village." The album was largely based on The Native American flute, with a few other flutes and saxophones tagging along for good measure.

This year we have released our second album that is more probing, and uses a larger variety of world wind instruments.

"Summary of All Things" is the third track on the album. Here is the link to listen to it while you read:

The penny whistle was actually my first world flute. I got ahold of my first one in Scotland in the early 90s, (along with a set of bagpipes.) When I returned to the US in 1992, Dick and Dugg and I started playing Celtic Christmas music. That eventually led to a more varied catalogue of Celtic music, and our first name as a trio "The Cornerboys."

in 2011, my wife had to spend a week in Omaha, studying at a university. I tagged along, and spent the week mostly in the hotel room with a keyboard, a computer and a bag of flutes. That week I cranked out about 15 songs, many of which are on this album.

"Summary of All Things," originally known as "guitar piece 2" was one of the first pieces I wrote that week.

I was interested in writing guitar accompaniment pieces that could stand up on their own, and then added flutes to them. This one had sort of an Elizabethan feel to it, and so seemed to call for a Northern-European/British type flute, and returning to the penny whistle for the first time in well over a decade seemed very natural.

This particular flute is a plastic susato D whistle. I usually play wooden or tin whistles, but the plastic one has a sharp tone that records a little better. I did try several whistles before choosing to use this one.

Dugg pulls this piece together with a driving djembe beat. I had envisioned it as a bodhran piece, but Dugg definitely made this work better.

I also definitely pictured all these pieces being played on the acoustic guitar, but Dick kept forgetting the acoustic and brought his electric guitar, so they are all played using electric.

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