Category Archives: music

What Is This (Detuned) Thing?

What Is This (Detuned) Thing? (Jim Funnell)
©2008, 2018 Jim Funnell/Funnelljazz (SACEM/ASCAP)
Recorded live at Conservatoire Gabriel Fauré (Savigny-le-Temple, France) on January 26, 2013. Mixed by Philippe Lopes de Sa and Samuel Bonifait.
Available sheet music: score (PDF)

Philippe Lopes de Sa – tenor saxophone
Jim Funnell – piano
Florent Nisse – double bass
Louis Moutin – drums


Laszlo Gardony, one of my jazz piano mentors at Berklee, hipped me to his “detuning” technique (playing through a tune and gradually moving chords – or sets of chords – up or down a half step), which I applied here to Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?.” I then wrote an angular line over the modified changes (instead of keeping and detuning the original melody, which also would have been an option), and threw in some rhythm section hits here and there. These hits are integrally featured during the head, but can then be played at the musicians’ discretion during solos! And there you have it… What Is This (Detuned) Thing?


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Red Dragonfly (Akatombo)


video



audio



lyrics


The lyrics to the children’s song “Akatombo” are in fact a poem, written by Rofū Miki in 1921: they depict a nostalgic remembrance of a Japanese red dragonfly seen at sunset.

Yûyake-koyake no akatombo.
Owarete mitano wa itsu no hi ka.

Yama no hatake no kuwa no mi o
Kokago ni tsunda wa maboroshi ka.

Jûgo de nêya wa yome ni yuki,
Osato no tayori mo taehateta.

Yûyake koyake no akatombo –
Tomatte iru yo, sao no saki.


sheet music


“Spirit of the Snail” video with melting snowball poem

Spirit of the Snail is a syllable-based melting snowball set to music; the poem is about simply staying present and draws upon shamanic snail symbolism…

When one dawdles sweetly and considers how
calm, stillness, and contemplation reveal
the detailed beauty of slow motion,
obviousness resurfaces.
Slowness seems necessary,
in all simplicity.
No one can lock up,
deep in its shell,
the spirit
of the
snail!