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Maiden Voyage, Star-Gazer, Dave McKeown with R1SA and Derek Cornett

Dave McKeown on November 30, 2013 22:43


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    This track combines Herbie Hancock's jazz classic “Maiden Voyage” and Louis MacNeice's beautiful poem about the passage of time, “Star Gazing”. It features two of the most talented musicians I have heard on Soundcloud.
    Derek Cornett from California can play in any guitar style, from classical to rock to jazz, and like most superb musicians is incredibly humble about his huge collection of skills. Here he does his Pat Metheny impression early on and shreds like John Schofield later on.
    Risa Kobayashi from Japan combines electronics and jazz piano. I love electronic music and I love jazz. I've tried to combine the two in the past but one always seems to suck the energy out of the other. A visit to Risa's page shoes us how to do it, with rhythmic drive, fresh original sounds, awesome technique and a real sense of the dramatic. Her piano on this track is wonderful, whether soloing or vamping.
    Please take the time to visit the soundcloud pages of these amazing musicians…
    This is fourth time I have associated a Louis MacNeice poem with music and it won't be the last. I have many real-life associations with this poet and the places and experiences he describes. This is not a depressing poem for me. The immensity of time and space always fills me with awe and wonder, not horror…it helps me keep my perspective on life. As usual, Louis Mac Neice says it so much better than I ever could and the tune “Maiden Voyage” with its beautiful modal changes just feels like it could keep on expanding and opening out for ever…perfect for this poem.
    Forty-two years ago (to me if to no one else

    The number is of some interest) it was a brilliant starry night

    And the westward train was empty and had no corridors

    So darting from side to side I could catch the unwonted sight

    Of those almost intolerably bright
Holes, punched in the sky, which excited me partly because

    Of their Latin names and partly because I had read in the textbooks

    How very far off they were, it seemed their light

    Had left them (some at least) long years before I was.

    And this remembering now I mark that what

    Light was leaving some of them at least then,

    Forty-two years ago, will never arrive
In time for me to catch it, which light when
It does get here may find that there is not

    Anyone left alive

    To run from side to side in a late night train

    Admiring it and adding noughts in vain.


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