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Issa Music – Featured Selection: (5) “Pace by Pace” May 1, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in fusion jazz, Issa, Issa Legend, jazz, Jesus in India, music, mystic jazz, new age jazz, Saint Issa legend.
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  • (Each month, I will feature a detailed description of one of the thirteen selections from my CD “Issa Music” with a link to the full piece. That link will remain up for one month. After that, the link at this post will be to a one minute clip. One minute clips of all the Issa Pieces are available at my website. Detailed notes on all the pieces are also available there. The full length pieces available with these blog posts are before mastering for CD release. The complete Issa Music CD is available for sale, along with downloads of individual mastered selections.)
  • (“Issa Music” is an East-meets-West mystic jazz CD released inspired by the “Legend of Issa.” Did Jesus journey to India and study Buddhism and Hinduism before his world-changing spiritual mission in Roman-occupied Judea? If so, are West and East spiritually connected in ways we have never imagined? “Issa Music” celebrates this idea with a blend of eastern and western modes and timbres.)

Play this month’s selection: “Pace by Pace”

Background on “Pace by Pace”: This final/seventh piece of Set Two, sixteenth overall, is a melody set over a simple riff basically in a Mixolydian mode, but with a shift to a ♭III chord within the riff, throwing in a variation to the Mixolydian feel. I also had a strategically placed pitch bend in the bass that gave “Pace by Pace” an exotic feel. I was thrilled with the way the flute melody floated nicely over the riff, counterpoint in an intriguing and satisfying way. It seemed fairly simple to wind out a B section from that A section to punctuate the riff and to offer some other options for improvisation. I was so happy with this piece that Carrie and I played it at our wedding as background music before the ceremony began. (I had produced specific music for the wedding ceremony itself.) I worked this through a variety of textures and timbres—with a riff like this, there were many possibilities from Yamaha TX exotic drum sounds to funky clavinet over a jazzy bass and driving drum track. Also, I have long sections of improvisation over a single tonality. I give credit to Greg Christiansen, a fellow musician/student at the University of Pacific (in the mid-70s) for our conversation about Miles Davis—“Bitches Brew” in particular. I said I wondered just how tough it is to improvise over a single tonality. Isn’t it harder to hit chord changes just right? No, he said. Improvising over one tonality is the hardest. Then it hit me—of course it is. The musician has to supply the creativity. There are no chords to act as a catalyst for the improvisations. Improvising over just one basic chord/tonality is challenging—keeping it fresh, moving in and out of that tonality in just the right way to keep it musically interesting, but not so wild that it sounds aimless and pointless. During those long stretches on one chord/mode/tonality, I thought of Greg’s point, and sought to create lines that stayed fresh and caught the mood of “Pace by Pace.” As I said earlier, I was happy with this result.

“Issa Music is Coming” blog post, September 21, 2011.

The story behind Issa Music.

Probable liner notes for the Issa Music CD.

Richard Warren Field music page.

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