Jun Miyake & Todd Harper at Studio Z, Saturday, September 30.
Photo by Carl Allen
I crossed a bridge in the past three years, and I wasn’t even aware of it. But now, I know that I can’t go back. ever.
For many years, I have devoted my musical life to writing “nice” songs.. I have about 5 or 6 dozen songs in these kind of genres. And, for about 7 years, I played them in cafes, farmer’s markets, places where people “kind of listen”. I met a bunch of great musicians . I even had a weekly gig for 6 years.
I left many things behind” teaching; my marriage. In the vacuum, I returned to “intuitive invention”, in concert situations. It was fresh air !
I met Jun Miyake in September of 2016. A year later, He is in the Twin Cities, for a 5 day tour,in a concert space, a poetry park, a barn in Wisconsin, and a cafe.
Jun jolted me into a deeper musical space, of large tenor saxophone presence, often revealing music which terrified me. On flute, Jun and I wandered off the map – into sweet, intimate places.
While we did play some charts, a performance poem, a few songs, we really explored: improvised, invented, extended.
What came of this? A vow to honor whatever kind of music that is inside me: not to doubt, or second guess. And, I will create some music that many friends will not like. I will have to be ok with that: it’s time to expand my audience.
Will I give up lyricism? Beauty? Hope? Of course not. But it’s November, and there ain’t nothin’ beautiful about November, in the North. It’s going to get cold. Real cold. And Someday, you will die. Your arthritic knee is acting up. The misty rain, and snow soak you, and when the sun appears, it is pale and timid.
It doesn’t work to pretend it’s a warm sunny May afternoon, with bluebirds farting rainbows. We have to face reality now. Dig deep, and bring out some real courage.