Music For Night Owls [back cover]

Paul Pomeroy

Truth is ...

♬ I put this playlist out on Spotify for those of you who have it. Unfortunately, Spotify does not have three of the tracks (1, 4 and 5). However, these three can be purchased on iTunes for $0.99 (US) each, so for $3 you can get Spotify to play the entire playlist for you. Thankfully, Spotify does have tracks 3 and 7 as the only way you can buy those is to buy the whole album they come on and the Keith Jarrett album is a double costing, last I checked, $24.99 (US). [Update: I just noticed that the version of Imogen Heap's Cumulus that Spotify has is more than 2 minutes shorter. The shorter version is EQ'd a bit different—it's probably a "radio edit"— but the real problem is that it omits the ending which not only helped with the transition to Jarrett's song but foreshadowed what is heard on subsequent tracks. Unfortunately, you can't buy the longer version I used without buying the whole album it comes on. My apologies. I'd really hoped there was a relatively inexpensive way to share the full playlist with you all.]

♬ As mentioned in the liner notes, Djivan Gasparyan has a long and amazing history. He began learning to play the duduk at the age of 6 and is now considered the master of the instrument. The duduk, indigenous to Armenia, is, in the great tree of musical instruments, related to the oboe. It has a much wider, double reed, though, and is considered by some to be harder to play well (which is saying something as the oboe is notoriously difficult). Played well and in the right note range, it sounds remarkably human (e.g., at 2:43 in Fuad). While still a teenager, Gasparyan went to Moscow for training and was accepted into an orchestra that performed for Joseph Stalin. Years later he would end up also playing for President Kennedy. He is not well known in the west although many have heard his music through his collaborations with Peter Gabriel and, even more so, through his contributions to the soundtracks of Gladiator and The Crow. He will be 85 this year and is still performing.

♬ I wasn't that familiar with Erkan Ogur who shares credit with Gasparyan for Fuad. I've listened to enough of his music now though to know that he is primarily responsible for how Fuad sounds. In particular, not only the use of vocals but the style of those vocals is his doing as is the nearly western sounding guitar work. The vocal work is really interesting and not something I've run into before.

♬ If at all possible, don't pass up the experience of listening to Au Lait with headphones on and lights off. Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays were in their late twenties and, musically, had hit their stride when the Offramp album was created. They were overflowing with musical ideas, something very much in evidence in Au Lait which always reminds me of Chagall paintings for some reason.

♬ Nils Frahm's Less actually did make me suddenly think of Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and I still have no idea why (but am re-reading it now to see if I can figure it out).

● All of the photographs are of a "double twelve" set of dominoes I found buried in a closet in my parents' home. It's a beautiful set, quite heavy and almost with a ceramic feel (although they are plastic).

● The "night owl" thing came about as a result of the negative photograph on the front cover because I thought the double-one domino looked a little like an owl's face.

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