Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show, November 15 at 1-130 PM PST, CFRO 100.5 FM featured the talented and amazing Randall Stephen Hall with music, poetry and stories! Due to a time difference, he was not able to call in but our radio audience greatly enjoyed his music and bio as we read from the fascinating Canada Link which is listed below. Also, we welcomed the wonderful Peter Nelson with his new CD;Ash, Dust and the Chalkboard Cinema, He shared his unique story of healing and recovery and added suggestions. The music mirrors his story and is very healing. Peter comes to us courtesy of Braitwaite and Katz. World Poetry Contributors: Alaha Ahar from Afghanistan and the US with tips and a poem by regular contributor Jeanne Probst. The team: Ariadne Sawyer, MA, Host and producer, Victor Schwartzman super tech and special Volunteer Sharon Rowe completed the team.
“I travelled to Vancouver Island in 2000 and in 2001 I travelled to Sioux Valley Reserve (near Brandon) which I found interesting too. Both trips were a kind of pilgrimage, back to Canada, where my great grandfather, William Frederick, had been born in 1864.”
“His father, Richard, was born in Westmeath, in Ireland in 1828. He had joined the army in 1848, around the time of the Irish Famine. His own journey had taken him to Cape Colony, South Africa and India during the Indian Mutiny. He travelled to Canada in 1861 where his first 6 children were born.”
On my trip to Vancouver Island I went to look at the native art and to hopefully have contact with some native practitioners themselves. Along the way I visited Ladysmith, Duncan, Cowichan, Campbell River, Quadra Island, Port Alberni, Tofino, Port Hardy, Fort Rupert and Alert Bay along with Sontulla.
Up until that time I had barely done any storytelling workshops or had found my way back into making music. All that changed after my first trip to Canada. So you could say that my trip to Canada was expansive and very worthwhile.
I was born in Belfast in October 1957. I nearly didn’t survive my birth. I had to really struggle to get here. I was born into a political context I didn’t understand, in Northern Ireland and it has taken me most of my life to educate myself about Ireland in general.
Because of the very divisions that still exist where I live today (wasn’t there a peace process?) I was raised a Presbyterian (Protestant) automatically branding me an outsider. While many people just accept that it made me very curious about labels and the cultural architecture that makes us seem different to each other.
During my education, up until the age of 18, I had little or no contact with the opposite side of the Irish fence here, other than through some simple friendships, playing beyond the restrictive and divided barriers of location, education, church and social politics. Even then I was asking myself questions about these barriers.
My first serious girlfriend was a Catholic. That too, left a lasting mark upon me in a positive way. 1976-1980. Art College introduced me to many more Catholics but I thought then, as I still do, that our divided education systems kept us apart for far too long in our early lives. Sadly, things are much the same now and even though there has been a Peace Process there has not been a religious, educational or cultural process for the mind.
1980-1988. After Art College I worked in local adverting as a designer and studio artist, learning the basics. After six years I became a Freelance Illustrator still working in advertising, taking me beyond Belfast to Dublin and Glasgow in Scotland.
1988-1998. In 1996 I produced my first book called “THE GANT’S CAUSEWAY”, a local legend that tells the story of two local giants battling against each other. This led me towards storytelling in schools and beginning to understand how to tell a story to an audience of children or adults.
In 2010 I released my first CD called “SONGS FROM THE MOON SHED”
A collection of 21 songs and poems. This pushed me into playing with a live band called The Moon Shed. From 2010 to the present I have written many songs and poems, many of which can be accessed at my website www.randallstephenhall.com
In 2016 not there collection of 17 songs and poems was released called “RE-WIRED”. Followeec by a live sampler album called “Leaving the Box Room”.
Of course this isn’t the whole story, just some highlights and being an outsider has had some advantages. I’m blessed by the opportunity to be creative on a daily basis.
Ariadne’s Notes: We are glad to welcome the lovely sister of Alaha Ahrar in her first feature here! It would be great to hear more from her in the future. Listen to the World Poetry Café Radio show below to hear her poem!
“Dear Ariadne Sawyer,
I hope you are doing well. my name is Rabia Ahrar. I am Alaha Ahrar’s sister. In addition, I grew up hearing about international World poetry, Canada. I want to start working with you to share my written poem and articles with you. I attached my poem for you to publish it, please open the attachment!
I am thirsty to find out the spirituality of God, A goblet is not enough for me, I need to drink a bottle of wine of God. I don’t need to drink just one, two or three of bottles of awareness of God, So, I need to drink casks of monotheism to know my God, I am like a piece of dust full of sins and ignorant of why I came, I need to know myself starting from my creation, in the beginning, nothing, I was just a dirty piece of clay in the land of unknown. I am the son of Adam, but I am thirsty to know my land. From which land I came, in the beginning, and to which land I will be back. I need to drink the wine of understanding myself. Why I came and why I should go back to that land I came from I should know this land is an exam, on that land is my own land. I am thirsty to drink more than goblets of knowledge of Spirituality of God. Until my spiritual thirst becomes full of Unique Worship in the way of God.
(Rabia Ahrar) (C) All rights reserved by the author. 06/11/2018
Ariadne’s Notes: On May 17, 1:30 PM PST, the World Poetry Cafe , 100.5 FM , CFRO welcomed the talented drummer, composer and musician , Phil Haynes to the show. We were celebrating his two new CD’s, No Fast Food’s Settings For Three and My Favorite Things which to me felt like a breath of much needed freedom. in this world. Our sound engineer Victor Swartzman especially enjoyed the slow Star Track theme which was played at the end.The CD’s are at www.cornerstorejazz.com/shop Sales are used to help others create their CD’s. You can reach Phil at : philhaynes.com
Drummer/Composer Phil Haynes Explores ‘60s Rock Classics and Bold New Territory on Two New Recordings available June 1, 2018
A veteran artist based in New York for 25 years, drummer/composer Phil Haynes is featured on more than 70 releases from numerous American and European record labels. His collaborations include many of the seminal musicians of this generation: saxophonists Anthony Braxton, Ellery Eskelin, and David Liebman; trumpeters Dave Douglas, Herb Robertson, and Paul Smoker; bassists Mark Dresser, Ken Filiano, and Drew Gress; keyboard artists David Kikoski, Denman Maroney, and Michelle Rosewoman; vocalists Theo Bleckman, Nicholas Horner, and Hank Roberts; violinist Mark Feldman, and the composers collective Joint Venture. His current projects include the romantic “jazz-grass” string band, Free Country; the saxophone trio No Fast Food; bluesy power organ unit The Hammond Brothers, featuring young B-3 master Paul Bratcher; and the classic piano trio Day Dream, a cooperative with Yamaha artist Steve Rudolph.
My Favorite Things (1960-1969) takes on The Beatles, Hendrix, Coltrane, James Brown and more with “jazz-grass” string band Free Country with Hank Roberts, Jim Yanda, Drew Gress
No Fast Food’s Settings For Three sparks inspired improvisation
from bassist Drew Gress and NEA Jazz Master David Liebman
“[No Fast Food is] ridiculously good — One of the two best trios since the legendary Elvin Jones.”
“Just like Jack DeJohnette or Bob Moses, [Haynes] is broadening the beat by means of a significantly melodic component. You don’t have to be a prophet to foresee a great future.” — Heinrich Oehmsen, Szene
It’s not that he has anything against whiskers on kittens, mind you, but these are a few of drummer Phil Haynes’ favorite things: creating in the moment with old friends, who just happen to be some of the most inventive improvisers on the scene; digging deep into the rich musical legacy of the 1960s; navigating original compositions that offer tricky surprises and wide open spaces, just perfect for inspired spontaneity. With a wide-ranging pair of new releases featuring his bands Free Country and No Fast Food, Haynes gets to indulge all of those faves alongside an amazing crew sure to make you forget any dog bites or bee stings. Both are due for release on June 1, 2018 through Corner Store Jazz.
My Favorite Things (1960-1969) concludes a trilogy by Haynes’ free-wheeling “jazz-grass” string band Free Country, where he’s joined by longtime collaborators Hank Roberts (cello and vocals), Jim Yanda (guitar) and Drew Gress (bass). Released over nearly two decades, the band’s three albums encompass nearly the entire history of American popular music in their own irreverent, stripped-down fashion: their 1999 debut focused on pre-1900 tunes from the Revolutionary War to Stephen Foster; The Way the West Was Won took on the first half of the 20th century, with cowboy songs and Hollywood movie soundtracks.
The concluding chapter narrows the focus to a single decade, but what a decade: over the course of two discs, the quartet takes on everything from John Coltrane, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix to Burt Bacharach and the theme from Star Trek – as Haynes himself puts it, “you’ve got everything from schmaltz to the highest art.”
Beyond the fact that the ‘60s were the formative years for the band’s members, the decade is so ripe for extensive reinvention because, Haynes explains, “It was our last cultural revolution. This is the last decade that everybody agrees on, so this is a look at that psychedelic, diverse musical landscape. We face many of the same questions now that we faced then, and it will be interesting to see if there’s another social revolution.”
If there is, Free Country is here to provide the soundtrack. With Roberts’ wry baritone, the knotty interaction of the strings, Haynes’ loose-limbed, evocative percussion, and a profound conversational spark forged over decades of collaboration and the magical live sound born of recording in the round, the band captures the spirit of the 1960s with the urgency of now. “The ‘60s had this great American outpouring of creativity,” Haynes says. “There was music that everybody shared: Santana and The Beatles knew about A Love Supreme, from Hendrix to what Bernstein did on Broadway, everything was changing. This band focuses all those things into one sound.”
Haynes – My Favorite Things, Settings for Three On the opposite end of the creative spectrum, No Fast Food, with Gress and NEA Jazz Master David Liebman, was formed as an outlet for Haynes’ compositions. The trio’s third album, Settings For Three, is their first not recorded in concert but carries the electricity of their live performances into the studio. As the straightforward title implies, the intent was simply to provide fodder for the three musicians’ estimable improvisational gifts, or as Haynes puts it, “I wanted to give the guys some new settings to play in and also familiar territory to romp in.”
The opening track, “El Smoke,” takes its name and inspiration from a different group – Haynes’ collective quartet Joint Venture, where he and Gress are joined by saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and trumpeter Paul Smoker. Of course, No Fast Food make it utterly their own, ranging from the atmospheric to the rhapsodic over the track’s ten minutes. Haynes has written lyrics for the second tune, “Joy,” though they’re not sung on the recording. No matter, as Lieb and Gress seem to have absorbed the composer’s poetic meaning, which looks at the many different sides of joy, from the outwardly ecstatic to the more profound and complicated.
“There’s joy as we know it,” Haynes says, “but then there are all these other shadow aspects of joy. I really appreciated how the guys played on it because they reveal those different depths: not just that first expression but then all the ripples that happen beyond that.”
Speaking of multi-faceted, the blues offers an endless supply of variations and possibilities, and that’s certainly the case with the wide-open “Blue Dop.” High-spirited and grooving in this rendition, it’s a piece that suggests myriad approaches and changes each time the trio launches into it. The onomatopoeic “Whack Whap” shows off the mirth and humor that the three can share, a wild avalanche of sounds and sonic surprises.
“Longer Shorter” pays homage to Wayne Shorter, taking the legendary saxophonist’s composition “Pinocchio” as a starting point. The hard-driving, sharp-angled tune nods toward Liebman’s history with Miles Davis and Elvin Jones while spotlighting his singular approach to the soprano. The ballad “String Theory,” which kicks off with Liebman conjuring fluttering bird calls on flute, is a vehicle for Gress’ poignant arco emoting. To close the album, “Shramba” takes a different twist on the samba, progressing through all twelve keys over Haynes’ rollicking rhythmic bed.
Through the simultaneous release of these two thrilling albums, Haynes provides a study of two facets of his expansive musical personality. Both are wildly inventive and thrive on the personal interactions of the musicians involved, but where My Favorite Things is subversively accessible, Settings For Three is an enticing challenge. “You’ve got one group where the universe is the option,” Haynes says, “and another group where the microcosm is the universe. They’re very different kinds of playing yet you look for freedom in both.”