Tag Archives: Victor Shwartzman

World Poetry Celebrates Vani Pradeep!

Ariadne’s Notes:  We celebrated the amazing Vani Pradeep, World Poetry Director (India) World Poetry Canada, Author, International Poet Motivational Consultant, Accountability Partner (Australia).

   Vani Pradeep has done so much for this Peaceathon and all of our Peace events through the years. 

I commented on her activities below and read her poem but the show was never archived. I will try to read all the poems this coming week again and hope they will be archived.

” Here is an update on the Just an update on the World Peace session planned at the University of Madras.

I have got the proposal through to the Dean of the University. He wants to take up the event as a University-wide one and has proposed the plan anytime between the last week of October or early November due to pre-planned academic sessions and exams. I will take it up then and send the session recordings and text.

Between, I have planned a Woman Centric peace session for this weekend where I have designed a self-realization Kit called the ‘I Wanna Be…’ kit — which will lead the taker into self-realization, an oath and ‘being at Peace woman’. I shall send details of this session post-weekend.

Thank You.

Peace and Love, Vani. “

 She also writes: “I have followed the UN theme for this year’s peace poem. I have poured my emotions into the poem. Kindly let me know how you will be able to accommodate the same into the radio show and into World Poetry Canada’s website. Thank you in assurance… 😊🙏👍

Continuing my peace work into the month of October.👍

Into the Furnace…

Down memory lane,

I can sense fresh air blow on my membrane,

I can breathe-in the smell of mud

as the first rains kissed Mother Earth.

 

Down memory lane,

I saw a flock of birds swim past the vast skies;

I saw a shoal of fish in the ponds to fetch food and stay together.

Boundless was the ocean in tranquility.

Down memory lane,

I saw extensive tree species and plantations

cover expansive soil.

I inhaled non-polluted air

that was safe for my existence.

 

Today, as I run into my present and

Run up for my future:

I am startled by the air that touches my skin.

Higher degrees are displayed by AQI (Air Quality Index),

as injurious gasses have been infused into the atmosphere.

I am harmed!

 

Can my children no longer play in the sands by the sea?

Polluting it with plastics and non-degradable material – is shame!

We ask blessings from Mother Earth. But, we don’t give her preservative care.

 

Today, as I run into my present and

Run up for my future:

Many species of birds are facing extinction.

No sparrows left around to show my next generation.

Oceans and seas polluted by materials that can’t be digested by it–

The Outcome: Many sea creatures dead to death.

 

Today, as I run into my present and

Run up for my future:

Mass Plantations slew the soil…

I see mass erosions; I miss fresh air;

I am trapped in floods of climate variation.

 

Flee planet earth and mount over the Moon?

Is this solution…?

 

Today, as I run into my present and

Run up for my future:

Need to ask ourselves – Why wait anymore?

By: Vani Pradeep (C) All rights reserved by the author.

Copyright © 2019

 

World Poetry Celebrates Alan Lowe!

Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Cafe radio show , CFRO 100.5 FM welcomed  the poet and coordinator Alan Lowe calling in at 1:10 pm PST  He has served as the Coordinator of the Voices of our partners the Lincoln Poetry Contest since 2009. The contest has grown steadily and has become international. https://slolowe44.blogspot.com/

Also calling in at 1:30 pm PST, was the fascinating musician and composer Wayne Wallace. I will give him a separate feature.

To hear this special show: CLICK HERE!

http://www.coopradio.org/content/world-poetry-caf%C3%A9-48

ALAN LOWE (The Truth of the Matter Is ….) was born and raised in New York, but has spent over fifty-four years in California, the past seventeen living in Lincoln with his wife, Barbara. Earning a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology/Counseling from UCLA, he spent thirty-nine years working in higher education as a teacher, counselor, and administrator. He retired in 2008. His background in Psychology colors his writing, much of which centers on feelings, perceptions, and how people interact in our complex world. In retirement, he enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and plays. His poetry has placed in contests and has been published in newspapers and periodicals. Three of the plays he has written have been performed under his direction. As a member of the Poets Club of Lincoln, he has served as the Coordinator of the Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest since 2009. The contest has grown steadily and has become international in scope. https://slolowe44.blogspot.com/

My Son, My Daughter

As I age,

I reflect on the things most important to me.

My son, my daughter,

you play a crucial role in my life.

 

Each day,

I think a lot about what you mean to me.

It is hard to choose the words

to describe my feelings.

 

You are my treasures—

special in every way.

Not many gifts can a father appreciate,

as I do you.

 

Our phone calls each week,

bring us closer together and keep our lives intertwined.

To laugh with you, to cry with you, to hear the stories

of your adventures have been my good fortune.

 

It pleases me 

you entered beautiful relationships and found fulfilling jobs.

I admire the life choices you made

and delight in your accomplishments.

 

Although we are separated by distance, 

I will always be there for you.

Forever, I pray you achieve

the successes you so deserve.

 

You have given me more to be proud of

than I can describe in words.

It is my wish our love will continue to grow

and our bond will be everlasting.

 

My son, my daughter,

you are the world to me.

I am blessed

to have you in my life.

 

Copyright ⌾ 2014 Alan Lowe. All rights reserved.

 

World Poetry Celebrates Ran Blake!

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: A wonderful  World Poetry Café radio show on April 11 at 1:30 PM, PST!

The talented Ran Blake called in and told us about his new CD and ended the show playing the piano with a piece called Memphis  that remembered the great Martin Luthor King Jr and what he wrote in his jail cell on a bit of newspaper for the world!  What a wonderful and inspiring interview! 

LISTEN THE SHOW HERE!

 

 

 

 

Ran Blake
Pianist, Composer, Educator

Ran Blake (b. 20 April 1935, Springfield, MA)
In a career that now spans five decades, pianist Ran Blake has created a unique niche in improvised music as an artist and educator. With a characteristic mix of spontaneous solos, modern classical tonalities, the great American blues and gospel traditions, and themes from classic Film Noir, Blake’s singular sound has earned a dedicated following all over the world. His dual musical legacy includes more than 40 albums on some of the world’s finest jazz labels, as well nearly 40 years as a groundbreaking educator at Boston’s New England Conservatory.
Blake first discovered the dark, image laden and complex character driven films that would so influence his music at age 12 when he first saw Robert Siodmak’s Spiral Staircase. “There were post World War II musical nuances that if occasionally banal and as clichéd as yesterday’s soap operas, were often so eerie, haunting and unforgettable,” Blake would later write. “After more than eighteen viewings during a period of twenty days, plots, scenes, and melodic and harmonic surfaces intermingled, obtruding into my day life as well as my dreams.”
Long before the invention of virtual reality, Blake began mentally placing himself inside the films and real life scenarios that inspired his original compositions like “Spiral Staircase”, “Memphis” and “The Short Life of Barbara Monk”. The influence of the Pentecostal church music he also discovered growing up in Suffield, Connecticut, combined with his musical immersion in what he terms “a Film Noir world,” laid the groundwork for his earliest musical style.
That early style would become codified when he and fellow Bard College student and vocalist Jeanne Lee became a duo in the late 1950’s. Their partnership would create the landmark cult favorite The Newest Sound Around (RCA) in 1962, introducing the world to both their unique talents and their revolutionary approach to jazz standards. This debut recording would also show the advancing synthesis of Blake’s diverse influences with its haunting version of David Raksin’s title track from the movie Laura and his original tribute to his first experience with gospel music, “The Church on Russell Street”.
The Newest Sound Around was initiated and informally supervised by the man that would be come Blake’s most significant mentor and champion, Gunther Schuller. The two began their forty-year friendship at a chance meeting at Atlantic Records’ New York studio in January 1959. Less than two years earlier, Schuller coined the term “Third Stream” at a lecture at Brandeis University. Schuller was recording on Atlantic—helping to define his term in musical practice—with future jazz giants like John Lewis, Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy, and Ornette Coleman. Ran Blake came to the label to accept what he calls “a low level position” that allowed him to be near the music of inspirations like Chris Connor, Ray Charles, and Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater. Blake’s long association with Schuller, modern classical music, and Schuller’s controversial term began here, and was forged by years of friendship, collaboration and innovation.

Ran Blake, p
Photo by Justin Freed
One of the only people in the music world who could see the potential of Blake’s unorthodox sounding musical style, Schuller invited Blake to study at the Lenox School of Jazz in the summers of 1959 and 1960. While in Lenox, also home to the classical music mecca at Tanglewood in western Massachusetts, Blake studied with the jazz giants who formed the faculty of this one-of-a-kind institution—Lewis, Oscar Peterson, Bill Russo, and many others—and began formulating his style in earnest. He also studied in New York with piano legends Mary Lou Williams and Mal Waldron.
A year after Schuller became president of Boston’s New England Conservatory in 1967, Blake joined his mentor and many one-time teachers and inspirations, including George Russell, as a faculty member at NEC, the first American conservatory to offer a jazz degree. In 1973, Blake became the first Chair of the Third Stream Department, which he co-founded with Schuller at the school. He still holds this position—though the department was recently renamed the Contemporary Improvisation Department to address both its expansion from Blake’s own additions and the outdatedness of the term.
Blake’s teaching approach emphasizes what he calls “the primacy of the ear,” as he believes music is traditionally taught by the wrong sense. His innovative ear and style development process elevates the listening process to the same status as the written score. This approach compliments the stylistic synthesis of the original Third Stream concept, while also providing an open, broad based learning environment that promotes the development of innovation and individuality. Musicians of note Don Byron, Matthew Shipp, and John Medeski have studied with Blake at NEC.
Although Blake’s teaching career would soon become the second half of his dual musical legacy, his career as an influential performer and wholly individual jazz artist is his main source of fame. Following Jeanne Lee’s departure to become one of the premier vocalists in the burgeoning avant-garde, Blake recorded the prototypical Ran Blake Plays Solo Piano (ESP) in 1965. The recording showed a clear refinement of Blake’s style of reinventing popular standards by incorporating his other influences from Film Noir, gospel, his favorite pianist Thelonious Monk, and composers like Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Messaien. His reputation as the major Third Stream pianist, and later an educator, soon followed, as he could improvise just as easily on a jazz chord progression as a twelve-tone row.
From 1965 on, Blake worked primarily as a solo pianist on more than 30 albums. Although most of the music was primarily informed by his Film Noir perspective, many of his most acclaimed recordings are tributes to artists like Monk, Sarah Vaughn, Horace Silver, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington. These tributes merged with his teaching career by inspiring an annual summer course he still teaches at NEC, thoroughly exploring the music of a single artist. He has also recorded with Jaki Byard, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Houston Person, Enrico Rava, Clifford Jordan, Ricky Ford, Christine Correa, David “Knife” Fabris, and others, including a 1989 reunion with Jeanne Lee.Most recently, Blake reinvented himself again for a new millennium of fans. Although solo albums like Film Noir (Arista/Novus) and Duke Dreams (Soul Note) earned five star ratings in publications like Down Beat and the All Music Guide to Jazz, 2001’s Sonic Temples (GM Recordings) is Blake’s best received and most critically acclaimed recording in several years. The recording features Schuller’s two jazz musician sons, Ed (bass) and George (drums), whom Blake has known their entire lives and worked with throughout the last 25 years. This is his first recording in the standard piano trio format, an unprecedented statistic for a jazz pianist of his stature. This collaboration, which Gunther Schuller conceived and produced as a testament to the unheard breadth of Blake’s abilities, showcases Blake performing with a rhythm section and features a repertoire of up tempo standards and group improvisations, as well as trademark Blake originals.

Ran Claps
2012 marked Blake’s fifty years as a professional recording artist, making him one of most resilient artists in jazz history. In the tradition of two of his idols, Ellington and Monk, Ran Blake has incorporated and synthesized several otherwise divergent styles and influences into a single innovative and cohesive style all his own, ranking him among the geniuses of the genre. The addition of his innovative aural based teaching approach, and the nearly thirty years he has spent influencing future generations of musicians, makes his contributions to the long tradition of jazz even more impressive.
Fifty years after his innovative duo release with Jeanne Lee, The Newest Sound Around (RCA-Victor, 1961), Ran continues to evolve his noir language on the piano and remains as active as ever with full-time teaching, recordings, touring, and writing a new book, “Storyboarding Noir.”
A recent Downbeat review said, “Ran Blake is so hip it hurts … a pianist who can make you laugh at his dry humor one second and wring a tear the next.” His music still sounds fresh and unmistakably unique.
In 2012, Ran performed in Portugal with vocalist Sara Serpa, in France with Ricky Ford’s Orchestra at the Toucy International Jazz Festival, and at the Qubec Jazz Festival where he performed solo with Hitchcock’s I Confess (1953).
by Scott Menhinick, 2002
(Updates by Aaron Hartley, 2013)

Source by Ann Braitwaite and Katz. Thank you for another wonderful guest!