An archive recording of the show can be heard here:
Rich Pulin and I will have a radio show on April 25 that is dedicated to David Arivett. David died on March 23. He was of great help to me in our music collaborations and as a friend. We will feature many of the recordings that David made of my originals.
An archive recording of the show can be heard here:
I just learned that David Arivett passed on. He was one of my closest music friends even though he lived in Arkansas and I only knew him on Facebook. For those who know my music, you will know David's name. For the past 5+ years he recorded many of my scores and tunes. Each recording is a gem. And, David was a person who would have been a great friend in real life. I will be forever grateful to him.
Here is a message that his son posted at the Jazz Arranging group that David started on Facebook:
"My name is Aaron Arivett and I am David Arivett’s son. On behalf of my dad I wanted to share that on March 23rd he passed away due to complications related to a heart attack. He was incredibly passionate about all music, but certainly had a great love of Jazz. It inspired him to found this group, along with others, as a means of sharing the creative and meaningful with fellow colleagues and friends.
He was my mentor, idol, father and friend. I’ll cherish that relationship for the rest of my life.
We are forever grateful for his love, indelible spirit, passion, sense of humor and musical genius that we will endeavor to continue through the lives we lead moving forward."
The last recording that David made for me was New Tango No. 7. He finished it in February. It occurred to me that it might be among the last recordings he created. Right off the bat, you will hear David's joy and sense of fun. He used only my lead sheet for the recording and put much of himself into the music.
In 1999 I received a BMI royalty check for one of my tunes that was recorded in the Czech Republic. The music was Smoke In The Hollow, a fiddle tune that I wrote in 1993. No information was given about who recorded it. This has been a mystery for 20 years. Several weeks ago I remembered the royalty check and, being curious, I tried to see if I could discover something about the recording.
Several musician friends in the U.S. and Europe were able to help me and I received the following information: My tune is on a Ladislav Vodicka album that was recorded in 1996. Looking up Ladislav Vodicka, I learned that he was known as the "Czech Johnny Cash". My title Smoke In The Hollow was translated as "Zakouřená Rokle" and the recording is track #5 on the album Starej Voda po dvaceti letech.
Thanks to Vojtech Pestuka, I received a recording of Zakourena Rokle and was finally able to listen to it. However, I was surprised by how the recording is completely different from my music. Yet, I have a composer's credit on the album. I wrote to the person who was the music director for Ladislav Vodicka to see if he can give me more information. No reply has been received so far. Thus, I still do not know how my music found its way to the Czech Republic in that time period and was changed in such a drastic way. For now, it is still a mystery.
Here is the recording of Zakourena Rokle and a scan of my original copy of Smoke In The Hollow.
According to Vojtech, the lyrics are about a tramp who comes to a county where they warn him not to go to a hollow with smoke in it, but he does, and he sees a girl appearing out of the smoke every night. He approaches her and then then song ends with the repeated phrase “he never had to walk alone in his life again”.
David Arivett made a recording of New Tango No. 7. This piece is a fast tango with a passionate spirit. Its shifting time and extended form are unusual for a tango.
The lead sheet for New Tango No. 7 is for sale at Sheet Music Plus and the recording is available for music licensing through Zudo Music.
A link to my interview in the Winter 2018 edition of The Rookery has been added to the Links page on my site. This came about through David Arivett's recording of Eastern Neck Island. The staff at the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge liked the music so much that they asked Marty Hoover, a journalist living in Rock Hall, Maryland, to write an article about it.
When I woke up today memories of my graduate composition recital came to mind. It has been many years since I thought about it. The music was presented in an unconventional way. Each piece was performed in a different location. The audience walked from place to place and was led by actors from the drama department. The actors were in costumes and street theater was performed along the routes. A ragtime band led the audience to the last performance.
The compositions included a string quartet, a piece for flute and electronic tape, an instruction-based piece for 14 instruments that included staging, and an extended jazz piece. Most of the music had an avant-garde flavor. However, my concept for the event was for it to be fun and accessible. Afterwards, Dr. Tyrone (my composition professor) came up to me with a big smile. He loved it.
In 2012 I wanted to write a new piece that expressed the spirit of that earlier time in my musical life. Smaller Ups And Downs was the result. The piece came to me in a dream! Instead of hearing the music, I saw pages of a score. The dream also gave me ideas for an 11-tone harmonic complex based on intervallic relationships. Upon waking up I wrote down as much as I could remember from the dream. Then, as I worked on the score in the days that followed I used my intuition to fill in the gaps.
This piece is for 5 wind instruments (flexible instrumentation) and soloist. The role of the soloist is entirely improvised. In addition, the soloist does not have to be limited to one musician. It can be expanded to multiple musicians -- up to a small band (any genre). This music has a great amount of freedom. Any creative possibility can be explored.
Ensembles that are interested in playing Smaller Ups And Downs can write to me from the Contact page.
The Charleston Youth Winds ensemble in Charleston, SC has begun to rehearse two of my pieces -- Appalachian Awakening and Salt Marsh Rag. They have an interesting instrumentation: woodwinds, viola, trombone, tuba, piano, and rhythm/percussion as needed. Kristy Marx, the ensemble's Director, discovered my scores (written for flexible instrumentation) at Sheet Music Plus and purchased these pieces. The unconventional instrumentation of this ensemble is right up my alley.
WAMU (NPR station in Washington, DC) selected twelve of my recordings for Capital Soundtrack. This project enables original music by musicians in the DC-MD-VA region to be featured with the station's programming.
A Ballad For T
Connecticut Avenue SUVs
Eastern Neck Island
New Tango No. 3
Rubber Chicken Rag
Salt Marsh Rag
Samba Da Aguia Pescadora
Sleepy Creek Samba
Sunset On The Chesapeake
WAMU banner feature: February 6, 2017
David Arivett made a recording of Eastern Neck Island. This piece is a jazz lullaby and was inspired by the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. It can be heard on the Eastern Neck Island page.
The lead sheet for Eastern Neck Island is for sale at Sheet Music Plus and the recording is available for music licensing through Zudo Music.
A link to my interview in the Spring 2017 edition of McKendree Magazine has been added to the Links page on my site. The jazz feature has several stories. Scroll down and you will see mine.