Saturday, February 28, 2009

Unknown Artist, Unknown Album



Firing up Station TSCOT. I told you he was the Moon Man. Always interesting to me is the concept of reversal. The moon is generally thought to be the sign for the feminine, and the Sun--male. In our case, Scot is the Moon and I am the Sun. Opposite, but still in balance.

Tonight’s track is a real treasure (although the track came up as “Unknown Artist, Unknown Album). I’m beginning to realize that with the commitment I’ve made, I have to save some good stuff for the end, but tonight, I give you a gem. This track (in my opinion, a the quintescential Scot Halpin original)--“Rocket to the Moon” --is another demo recording made in the mid-eighties, in which Scot is playing on all the tracks. The Rockabilly thing was a good fit for him.

Just got back from Urbana, Illinois, where I heard the world premiere of “Halpinism.” I’ve been wanting to talk about this all week, but I’ve saved it for today. Our friend, Simon Rowe (let’s hear it for him) gave the first of two PhD jazz recitals today in Room 25 of Smith Hall, on the University of Illinois-Champagne/Urbana campus. As he pointed out in his performance today, Jazz and recital kind of don’t really fit, but he did a brilliant job of making those worlds meet. Simon and Scot, to me, were unexpected, but fast friends.

They were both extreme musicians, but from two different worlds. I told you before, the only reason Scot would teach himself the names of the chords every two or three years, was so that he could communicate with the musicians he wanted to play with. On the other hand, Simon has lived the life of a virtuoso jazz musician, since he was 16, and if you want to talk to him about 19th century French musical structure, he can talk to you about that, in French. Needless to say, hearing the world premier of “Halpinism,” was quite a thrill.

About the visuals, please notice the rainbow. Also please notice, this time the Sun is in the boat? This is a scan of a hand-colored dry-point engraving, done in say, 1999.

Once again, the movie is on hold for me in the other room. We are watching “Six Degrees of Separation” –a weird play/movie. It’s all about this guy who ingratiates himself into people’s lives by impersonating the son of Sidney Poitier. The thing that struck me as we were watching this is that as they were talking about Sidney Poitier, and what I great and totally amazing actor/human-being he was. This alleged son of Sidney Poitier had figured out a way to hitch a ride on a rocket. They just kept defining Sidney Poitier as this amazing human being and about how he had crashed all these borders--strictly by being such a super focused and super genuine artist. I think they were probably querying the lack of an antagonist or a flaw. All I could think about was Scot, wondering, can you have an interesting story about a guy who left this world as angel?








2 comments:

Anbaric said...

I was thrilled to read about the world premiere of "Halpinism" and your trek to Urbana for Simon's tidal recital. Thanks for picking now to release "Rocket to the Moon"--a favorite around our house for a long time now...

Robin Halpin Young said...

Who are you that you know Rocket to the Moon?