This is a
recording of improvised music, made by one person, using
several flutes and a recorder. In Three Thoughts On
Forget-Me-Nots (no. 14) three tracks were brought together.
Mostly, though, the selections were not multi-tracked, and
extraneous sounds, such as vocalisations or percussive sounds,
were done by me as I played.
I am constantly
amazed at the number of formally trained musicians that canít
improvise, either on their own, or with others in settings
with a musical structure round about. Iíve always
been able to do this, and never thought much about it.
Whatís even more amazing is to see a university jazz
band and see the soloists marching out front with
written-out solos. Young friends of mine speak of being
discouraged from improvising (not necessarily those in jazz
groups, though). Moreover, where jazz is
concerned, it seems that many new jazz players are trying to
be clones of the greats. Great efforts seem to go into
learning the recorded solos of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis.
and others rather than finding oneís own voice and
making new contributions. For those who have never tried to
play improvisationally, I hope this modest effort will
encourage you to take out your axe and blow, bow, pluck, or
pound, or sit down at the keyboard, all without music stands
present, and with the music firmly in the piano bench. I
think you have something to say.
The recording was done
in the late winter and early spring at Zac Mues-Byrdís
studio in Houghton, Michigan. It was also done on a
flute that was in various states of disrepair. The
selections are programmed in the order recorded, so one can
hear my concert flute going from decrepit to fully repaired.
There is much key clacking in places: treat it as percussion.
The picture of me on the back page of these notes is the work
of my friend, Sergio, and in addition to a free copy of the
disc, I bought him a beer.
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Selection On Flute Except Where Noted. All Works
Composed or Arranged by Robin L. ōye
Light The joy of playing the flute is its
portability. Iíve been travíliní light
musically for ever. This recording is all about
travelling as light as one can musically: playing solo
For An Old Neighbourhood
The íhood in question is in Chicago, on the North
Side. It is thoroughly gentrified nowadays, and as such
is not a real place anymore, but when I lived there, it
was quiet, unassuming, and a great place to walk around.
Winter (Baroque Flute) Much of the work was done as
snow was still on the ground and the days were lengthening.
In A Dimly-Lit Room
(Nepalese Flute) This is literally true: Zacís
studio is dimly-lit. This flute has a very intimate
sound. My wife, Paula suggested this title.
Time I Feel The Spirit
(trad. Spiritual) I love Spirituals. I think of the great
singers whose recordings Iíve heard singing these
songs, people like Paul Robeson, and Marian Anderson.
There is such joy and hope in these songs, and they are proof
that oppression cannot defeat people who know they are free.
River (trad. Spiritual)
Boogie (Sopranino Recorder) ďPeepĒ is my
sopranino recorder. Iím a big guy, and can just
play this little instrument.
Thoughts On Quiet Streets
In cities, Iím always drawn to quiet side streets. In a
grid-patterned city like Chicago, there are usually several
ways to go places, all of the same distance. The quiet
streets allow my mind to run and race.
Through The Leaves
Another title suggested by Paula, and very appropriate, as
the leaves were just coming out when this was made.
Day Iíd have liked
a bass and drums on this one.
Without Trains I have
heard singers and buskers in subways, and itís magical
On A Monday (Sopranino
Recorder) When I was a parish pastor, I enjoyed weekdays in
churches for the quiet and peace. In older, high churches,
sound soars, especially flute and recorder sounds.
Flute) Here, the trees come into leaf fast. Theyíd
better: they donít have a long season.
Thoughts On Forget-Me-Nots
was done as follows: I recorded a track, then another, then
another, all without listening to the previous tracks, but
being reasonably aware of what they sounded like.
Pedestrian underpasses are great places to play.
Rains The quiet,
still-cold rains of April, with only a hint of spring to
comeÖAnother name suggested by Paula
Thursday It was the day
I did this
Friends This is
not an evocation of anyone I know. The piece changes
character often, which makes it sound like several pieces,
maybe representing several friends.
Game For Two See
Textures This work,
for horn and percussion reflects my understanding that music
has texture. It also harkens back to a place where I
learned much about music composition: the Art Institute of
Chicago. I could afford to go there on free days; I
couldn't always afford to go to clubs or concerts or by
recordings. I owe a lot to Seurat, Monet, Renoir, and