The planets align for a triple bill! – writes Tim Garland:
I was all set to write this article solely about MAYDAY C4 – a hugely ambitious and worthy clutch of compelling talks about this precious planet and our responsibility to it….
As a bonus to the talks there are two filmed music concerts, one is an hour of jazz that I was honoured to produce from my studio featuring a host of great UK names including Natalie Williams, Jason Rebello, Ant Law and Yazz Ahmed.
I was going to plug this exclusively and how tickets await you when you go HERE for the Sunday 2 May 7.30 stream.
Then I realised that the planets had aligned and that the commissioned tribute to Chick Corea featuring myself and Jason Rebello is also streamed half an hour before this, a 20-minute duet featuring a beautiful new ballad
by Jason dedicated to Chick. Tickets await you on the Cheltenham Jazz Festival website :
Then I saw that Spring Encounter Episode 3 is due to drop later that same evening at 9pm (curiously none of these actually clash with each other!) and this features Cleveland Watkiss and was an amazing quintet encounter!
Check this out on Vimeo (LINK) and your tickets are good for three months!
An unplanned TRIPLE BILL no less!
So how do I focus this down to what’s really important?! There is a LIVE Q&A with the quintet with Cleveland right after that episode on FaceBook Live and I get the feeling that my mind is going to be turned repeatedly to the BIG theme of our time:
our fragile environment, and how many of us, including me, have felt that we are simply too small to make any difference and how things might now change.
What moves us to truly change? I believe it is our suffering. What if one role of the artist is to “run ahead” and find the means of “reporting back” through emotion, through music and through story, what can befall us if we continue to insist we are something separate from mother Earth.
A new song that is featured in the MayDayC4 concert is Man In The Moon where the lyrics despair of the divisiveness of all the conflicting advice we are given regarding saving the planet. I believe that politics of every kind stem from one’s world view, and one’s world view is borne of one’s perception of reality and this is a spiritual matter. Following that logic politics is below spirituality. If we can emerge from this pandemic in a way where spirituality becomes part of the conversation and not continue to be ancient divisive dogma or NewAge bullshit, the new normal might be a rather wonderful place to live.
This all sounds like quite big talk from a saxophone player, but I guess this is the point I’m making, the conversation about music and art in our traumatised culture cannot now exclude you or I. We are all simply too important for our voices not to matter, in all walks of life and that includes music and art.
“We have to emerge from this with a different perspective on the whole process of creating music, but not in a commercial way, in a spiritual way.”
I love this quote from my friend and long time saxophone mentor Joe Lovano. I wouldn’t dare with my limited knowledge to pronounce that I knew the definition of what is spiritual, but I know it has a great deal to do with listening. We can make space in our minds not simply to passively hear the music, the messages and the story of our times, but to actively listen to them.
I’d like to thank every artist who has turned up at the studio willing to be recorded and filmed with such minimal rehearsal, the process has preserved the edge you experience at a live gig. The feeling of support, co-operation and purpose helps the New Normal take the shape I know we all have dreamt it could be.