Thursday, May 14, 2009

Michal Urbaniak - Ornithology

I’m always listening for something new – or slightly different. Today – when I heard Ornithology by Michal Urbaniak – I completely recognized it … except … isn’t that a violin? Who’s ever heard of a jazz violin? (okay I’ve searched all over for a link – but none of them are working for me – maybe you’ll have better luck.)

The original composer of this song is Charlie (Bird) Parker (get it – ornithology and “bird”?) So just imagine all the sax parts with a violin.

Michal Urbaniak was once Poland's most promising imports in the jazz-rock 1970s . Like many Eastern European jazzmen, he would incorporate elements of Polish folk music into his jazz pursuits, and his other heroes range from the inevitable Miles Davis to Polish classicist Witold Lutoslawski. His electric violin was often filtered with a gauze of electronic modifying devices, and on occasion, he could come up with an attractively memorable composition like "Satin Lady."

Urbaniak began playing the violin at age six, followed by studies on the soprano and then tenor saxophones. His interests in jazz developed chronologically from Dixieland to swing to bop as he grew up, and he studied at the Academy of Music in Warsaw while working in various Polish jazz bands and playing classical violin.

Kind of inspiring what you can do with "something different". Also to know that although jazz wasn't his a part of his original training - his quest to learn, grow, and progress led him to discover music outside of classical and rock.

Last night the writing group met for the first time. Just three of us – space for 2 more. We each have different goals. One writer wants a completed first draft by our last session in July. Another is going to look at her story - and be brave and go for the all-out comedic story that keeps interrupting her manuscript. I'm going to work on story structure – and narrative elements. I’ve decided I’m going to have to introduce a narrator to the story – to give all the social, political, and engineering background details so I can free up my characters to just be “characters”. I dunno – maybe this makes no sense.

Next weeks assignment is to discover what happened in Josiah’s childhood/adolescence that prompts him to move in a direction opposite his family wishes – and makes him want to control things (engineering) around him. I sure hope my subconscious is busy with this – because I sure don’t have a clue.

One more day – (after today) and then it’s the weekend. I think that’s good. I have a lot to do – company from France arrives on Wednesday and the house is a disaster zone.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Stéphane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, Jean-Luc Ponty . . .