NIGHT RIDERS / The audio manifestation of the book

NIGHT RIDERS —- The audio manifestation of the book

I read a lot of anthropology books, that’s my thing, curious about what came before, and what came before that. I already wrote about this tendency of mine previously on the essay regarding the chapbook NIGHT RIDERS. Favorite authors like E.O. Wilson, Brian Fagan, Barry Cunliffe, Colin Renfrew, Alison Wray, Robin Dunbar, Clive Finlayson on Neanderthals; Stephanie Dalley on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; Paul Kriwaczek on Babylon and Yiddish Civilization; Karen Armstrong’s STORY OF GOD; Jean Manco’s ANCESTRAL JOURNEYS; always Herodotus, Homer, and Hesiod; a half dozen books by Ian Tattersall (the curator of ancient man at American Museum of Natural History, NYC); Stenton’s ANGLO-SAXON ENGLAND(1943); Tom Holland’s fabulous PERSIAN FIRE; Thomas Cahill’s series on Greeks, Irish, Desert Nomads; Dee Brown’s important HEAR THAT LONESOME WHISTLE BLOW; Anna Diorio on Lennie Tristano (when are you going to publish this, Anna?!); and the monumental foundational HISTORY BEGINS AT SUMER (1956) essential by Samuel Noah Kramer; and so many others, even a book on the history of concrete! Books on Indo-Europeans, Ancient Zimbabwe, Masada, horses, Minoans, trees, linguistics, Mesopotamia, India, Rachel Carson, Vikings, turtles, the poet priestess Enheduanna, The Beverly Hillbillies (Hey, what’s this doing on that shelf? Never mind . . .), ancient Syria, Ottoman Empire, 6 books on Cleopatra, Beowulf ten times over, Phoenicians, the Genome Project, Denisovans, The Jerusalem Bible, The Dhammapada, map books, Patanjali and his yoga sutras, Sutton Hoo, Julius Ceasar’s journals, National Geographics by the yard, Comanches, Time, and I like Norma Lorre Goodrich’s take on King Arthur, Sleep, THE GOLDEN BOUGH, Dorothy Hoard’s GUIDE TO BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT (!), Peter Farb’s WORD PLAY (I’ve had forever, I reread often, he died much too young, victim of cancer), ANCIENT MEXICO by Frederick Peterson; and this study my anthropologist friend Rosalind Hunter-Anderson pointed me to by Leslie A. White THE SCIENCE OF CULTURE(1949), on & on & on, and so many many more. I get real excited talking about these books, so, don’t get me started.

All this is to say that these histories of our planet and humanity are what filters through into these poems I call NIGHT RIDERS.

Others that helped with production in great big ways were Cal Haines, John Breckow, Ellington Peet, and Janet Simon. And as always, thanks to Cal and Klaus for laying out this page, grooming the photos, sequencing, editing, and brainstorming, and for their expertise, always always. We released the CD in October 2019 in an edition of 500 copies.

POEM 18 (track 7 on the cd)

I instantly knew, as if
I had been here before
Ever since crossing that river
Everything seems familiar —-
Who was that shadow who
Came to our fire
And taught us about numbers?
He said mysteriously that counting
Will someday be useful to us
He spoke of this distant place called
The future where legends will
be born
That
we live now on the other side
of mythology —-
The borderlands —- He also said
We shouldn’t go much further

Listen to Track 7 from the CD Night Riders

Michael’s method: First he takes the poem, word by word, and gives each letter a note value according to where the letter is in the alphabet (see top of this page for equivalences) ---- This is Poem 6 in the NIGHT RIDERS book

Michael’s method: First he takes the poem, word by word, and gives each letter a note value according to where the letter is in the alphabet (see top of this page for equivalences) —- This is Poem 6 in the NIGHT RIDERS book

Then Michael puts the assigned notes onto the staff and decides where the bar lines should be, he jiggers the phrases one way or another, adding rests and so forth, to turn everything magically into lyric phrases

Then Michael puts the assigned notes onto the staff and decides where the bar lines should be, he jiggers the phrases one way or another, adding rests and so forth, to turn everything magically into lyric phrases

Listen to Track 11 from the CD Night Riders

Michael Vlatkovich (trombone), Bobby Bradford (cornet), William Roper (tuba) ---- at New Zone Studio ---- June 18, 2o18 Los Angeles (Santa Monica before gerrymandering) ---- These are the actual positions each musician was located during the trio session, except Michael would be standing where the camera is in this shot, and Wayne Peet would be at the console, and I was in the isolation booth across the way ---- photo by MW

Michael Vlatkovich (trombone), Bobby Bradford (cornet), William Roper (tuba) —- at New Zone Studio —- June 18, 2o18 Los Angeles (Santa Monica before gerrymandering) —- These are the actual positions each musician was located during the trio session, except Michael would be standing where the camera is in this shot, and Wayne Peet would be at the console, and I was in the isolation booth across the way —- photo by MW

Michael Vlatkovich --- June 18, 2o18 ---- photo by Mark Weber

Michael Vlatkovich — June 18, 2o18 —- photo by Mark Weber

Pianist & engineer on NIGHT RIDERS Wayne Peet ---- June 18, 2o18 ---- photo by MW

Pianist & engineer on NIGHT RIDERS Wayne Peet —- June 18, 2o18 —- photo by MW

William Roper and Bobby Bradford at Wayne’s studio ---- Los Angeles June 18, 2o18 the day we recorded the trio tracks for NIGHT RIDERS ---- photo by MW

William Roper and Bobby Bradford at Wayne’s studio —- Los Angeles June 18, 2o18 the day we recorded the trio tracks for NIGHT RIDERS —- photo by MW

November 19, 2018 NYC session at Ratzo & Francesca’s flat in Inwood ---- Ratzo Harris and I were members of Connie Crothers Quintet around 2003-2005 and this poem we finally laid down this evening was something we’ve had in our repertoire since we first performed it at Connie’s Memorial concert at Roulette on November 13, 2o16 ---- photo by Francesca ---- Ratzo is one of the most staggering musicians I have ever worked with (we recorded on a Zoom H5, can you believe that?) --- We recorded a bunch of stuff that session but this Poem for Connie was especially for the last track on NIGHT RIDERS

November 19, 2018 NYC session at Ratzo & Francesca’s flat in Inwood —- Ratzo Harris and I were members of Connie Crothers Quintet around 2003-2005 and this poem we finally laid down this evening was something we’ve had in our repertoire since we first performed it at Connie’s Memorial concert at Roulette on November 13, 2o16 —- photo by Francesca —- Ratzo is one of the most staggering musicians I have ever worked with (we recorded on a Zoom H5, can you believe that?) — We recorded a bunch of stuff that session but this Poem for Connie was especially for the last track on NIGHT RIDERS

The Indispensable Chris Garcia ---- When in performance I almost always stand by Chris, to hear everything from the drummer’s vantage ---- February 3, 2o18 photo by Mark Weber

The Indispensable Chris Garcia —- When in performance I almost always stand by Chris, to hear everything from the drummer’s vantage —- February 3, 2o18 photo by Mark Weber

February 3, 2o18 rehearsal for the Open Gate performance the following evening ---- maestro Bill Masonheimer stepped in magnificently on tuba as sub for William Roper, who had been waylaid by an inattentive auto who almost ran him over completely (several months later William made the trio session, on his cane) ---- That’s Chris Garcia and we’re in his studio on San Fernando Road (near Glendale) ---- This is the first rehearsal I attended, they’d already had read-throughs and rehearsals before I flew in from Albuquerque ---- photo by MW

February 3, 2o18 rehearsal for the Open Gate performance the following evening —- maestro Bill Masonheimer stepped in magnificently on tuba as sub for William Roper, who had been waylaid by an inattentive auto who almost ran him over completely (several months later William made the trio session, on his cane) —- That’s Chris Garcia and we’re in his studio on San Fernando Road (near Glendale) —- This is the first rehearsal I attended, they’d already had read-throughs and rehearsals before I flew in from Albuquerque —- photo by MW

Bill Payne(clarinet), Bill Plake(tenor), Michael Vlatkovich(trombone) ---- February 3, 2018 ---- (Note the Grande Mothers Re:invented poster on the wall ---- Chris is in that band) ---- photo by MW

Bill Payne (clarinet), Bill Plake (tenor), Michael Vlatkovich (trombone) —- February 3, 2018 —- (Note the Grande Mothers Re:invented poster on the wall —- Chris is in that band) —- photo by MW

Tea time at the Norton Simon Sculpture Garden ---- February 3, 2018 ---- Michael and Janet ---- photo by MW

Tea time at the Norton Simon Sculpture Garden —- February 3, 2018 —- Michael and Janet —- photo by MW

Michael and Mr Masonheimer ---- February 3, 2o18 ---- photo by MW

Michael and Mr Masonheimer —- February 3, 2o18 —- photo by MW

The incomparable Carol Liebowitz did the CD design and here she is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC (she’s the very same pianist you know from my radio show) ---- September 30, 2019 photo by Mark Weber

The incomparable Carol Liebowitz did the CD design and here she is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC (she’s the very same pianist you know from my radio show) —- September 30, 2019 photo by Mark Weber

Wayne Peet laying down his piano tracks ---- As much work as Wayne put into this project, it more correctly should have been called The Mark Weber – Michael Vlatkovich – Wayne Peet Angelinos ---- February 6, 2018 at NewZone Studios (aka Kill Zone once upon a time) ---- photo by MW

Wayne Peet laying down his piano tracks —- As much work as Wayne put into this project, it more correctly should have been called The Mark Weber – Michael Vlatkovich – Wayne Peet Angelinos —- February 6, 2018 at NewZone Studios (aka Kill Zone once upon a time) —- photo by MW

POEM 21 (track 2 on the cd)

If it were so, and
it most likely was, then
kinship stretches further up river
than
hitherto believed, belief around
the fire at night grew quiet
as we listen’d to the traveler
tell of generation after generation
moving up this river, the Danube,
all the many thousand miles not
so much in boats but more often
on foot following the valleys —-
An earlier people, gentle but scarce,
larger than us, not our kin, taught
us which plants could save you and
which were cursed and when
the moon came close
to hold our babies up to the sky

Listen to Track 2 from the CD Night Riders

Bill Plake and Michael Vlatkovich at Tomsonics, L.A., December 17, 1995 recording session for my cd TIME ZONE DIFFERENTIAL ---- photo by William Roper

Bill Plake and Michael Vlatkovich at Tomsonics, L.A., December 17, 1995 recording session for my cd TIME ZONE DIFFERENTIAL —- photo by William Roper

Alex Cline and Chris Garcia in their drum booths during session for TIME ZONE DIFFERENTIAL ---- photo by William Roper

Alex Cline and Chris Garcia in their drum booths during session for TIME ZONE DIFFERENTIAL —- photo by William Roper

Ratzo Harris w/ Kazzrie Jaxen Trio ---- Kazzrie(piano), Charley Krachy(tenor) ---- September 21, 2009 @ The Singer’s Forum rental rehearsal space on 24th Street, Manhattan ---- photo by Mark Weber

Ratzo Harris w/ Kazzrie Jaxen Trio —- Kazzrie (piano), Charley Krachy (tenor) —- September 21, 2009 @ The Singer’s Forum rental rehearsal space on 24th Street, Manhattan —- photo by Mark Weber

Connie Crothers & Bill Payne in duet at The Stone, Lower East Side, NYC ---- September 17, 2009 ---- photo by Mark Weber

Connie Crothers & Bill Payne in duet at The Stone, Lower East Side, NYC —- September 17, 2009 —- photo by Mark Weber

Ratzo Harris at Connie’s studio in Williamsburg NY ---- September 18, 2005 ---- photo by MW

Ratzo Harris at Connie’s studio in Williamsburg NY —- September 18, 2005 —- photo by MW

Bill Payne and Bill Plake at the quintet session (they were talking about how much they admire Yusef Lateef’s exercise book) February 5, 2018 ---- photo by MW ---- Bill Payne is the only guy on this project who doesn’t hail from Los Angeles, he drove in from Las Vegas, Nevada, although, he & Danise lived in L.A. for a couple years in the 80s (his recording duet with Frank Strazzeri is an artifact from that time) (And Ratzo, he’s a San Franciscan who has lived in NYC for years)

Bill Payne and Bill Plake at the quintet session (they were talking about how much they admire Yusef Lateef’s exercise book) February 5, 2018 —- photo by MW —- Bill Payne is the only guy on this project who doesn’t hail from Los Angeles, he drove in from Las Vegas, Nevada, although, he & Danise lived in L.A. for a couple years in the 80s (his recording duet with Frank Strazzeri is an artifact from that time) (And Ratzo, he’s a San Franciscan who has lived in NYC for years)

Michael Vlatkovich ---- February 4, 2018 ---- photo by Mark Weber

Michael Vlatkovich —- February 4, 2018 —- photo by Mark Weber

Breakfast with Bradford in Pasadena ---- Bobby Bradford & Bill Payne ---- February 4, 2018 ---- photo by MW

Breakfast with Bradford in Pasadena —- Bobby Bradford & Bill Payne —- February 4, 2018 —- photo by MW

February 5, 2o18 ---- This shot is from behind Wayne at the console of Michael with Bill Plake in the video monitor ---- Quintet session (actually the quintet was minus William Roper this day as he was recuperating, so he over-dubbed his parts June 18, 2018) ---- photo by MW w/ Olympus 35RC rangefinder

February 5, 2o18 —- This shot is from behind Wayne at the console of Michael with Bill Plake in the video monitor —- Quintet session (actually the quintet was minus William Roper this day as he was recuperating, so he over-dubbed his parts June 18, 2018) —- photo by MW w/ Olympus 35RC rangefinder

I’ve known these guys since forever, they’re my homies, and I can always count on them ---- Reading at PEARL magazine’s party for the publishing of my chapbook THE BONES OF AN ANCIENT THESAURUS (Pearl Editions) ---- September 18, 1993 Long Beach, California ---- Chris Garcia(drumset), Anders Swanson(bass), Bill Plake(tenor), William Roper(tuba), Michael Vlatkovich(playing glock on the floor), MW, Rob Blakeslee(trumpet) ---- photo by El Paso poet Lawrence Welsh

I’ve known these guys since forever, they’re my homies, and I can always count on them —- Reading at PEARL magazine’s party for the publishing of my chapbook THE BONES OF AN ANCIENT THESAURUS (Pearl Editions) —- September 18, 1993 Long Beach, California —- Chris Garcia(drumset), Anders Swanson(bass), Bill Plake(tenor), William Roper(tuba), Michael Vlatkovich (playing glock on the floor), MW, Rob Blakeslee (trumpet) —- photo by El Paso poet Lawrence Welsh

Mark Weber ---- April 15, 1990 Salt Lake City ---- photo by Gloria Johnson

Mark Weber —- April 15, 1990 Salt Lake City —- photo by Gloria Johnson

MW on top of Mt Lassen ---- California ---- a solo hike (I set the camera on time-release shutter) and it were cold! Even on June 17, 1986

MW on top of Mt Lassen —- California —- a solo hike (I set the camera on time-release shutter) and it were cold! Even on June 17, 1986

Download the chap book NIGHT RIDERS in format PDF by clicking here please…

It’s for FREE !!!

2 Comments

  1. Mark Weber

    Our original idea for this chamber group sound was to include Harry Scorzo on violin and Lisa Polisar on flute, but Harry had recently moved down to San Diego and wouldn’t be able to make the rehearsals, performance, and recording session, it’s a several hours drive up to L.A. these days with all the congested California traffic. And Lisa, up in Oakland, couldn’t get away (she considered it) as she was deep into graduate work. Lisa was in my MW Poetry Band 1996-2006 and would have nailed these parts standing on her head. This was very much a reading ensemble. (The trio was the other side: purely improvised on the moment.) So, then, for a minute we had Bill Plake all set for the flute parts, then I came to my senses and realized that Bill being one of the greatest tenor players on the Coast, let’s put him where he belongs: in the tenor chair with that deep warm centered tone.

  2. Christopher Garcia

    VLATKOVICH “METHOD”

    It is one thing to have “a method” or several methods to “compose
    Another thing to be able to MAKE MUSIC out of whichever method you choose
    consistently and at a very high level

    Michael continues to write great music

    Kinda like an exploded Chinese (MUSICAL) box that has been turned into a mobile
    with pieces of various sizes, colors and fragments, spinning counter clockwise,
    where, depending on your vantage point,
    you glean these amazing reflections
    to be in the midst of that surrounded by the musicians
    he surrounds himself with is always an amazing EXPERIENCE

    Have had the great pleasure to play this mans music since 1990

    actually spoke to him yesterday
    called him and the first thing he said,
    instead of HELLO,
    was KISS ME BABY………

    learned a lot about MUSIC from Michael
    Composition
    Improvisation
    Band leading

    And how to trust and who to trust to invite
    to have that music come to LIFE

    And understanding that
    YOU GOTTA KNOW THE TUNE
    As opposed to playing whatever you want

    “Nice solo, wrong tune………”
    THELONIOUS MONK

    at the clinic once at a
    MAJOR UNIVERSITY
    the students are instructed to use the written notation
    as the improvisation
    
e.g.,
    
there are several fermatas throughout the tune,

    and they are instructed to play the melody
at a different quarter note
    and different dynamic each time they play it

    it is the only piece where there is specific instructions
    in regards to the vernacular of the improvisation

    one of the students decides to “blow” over the top

    
the instructor looks down and shakes his head and looks away

    when the piece is finished the student hands the music back and asks

    STUDENT
    “I don’t know if you noticed(?)
but I didn’t follow your instructions
    
and I blew over the top of it”

    VLATKOVICH
    “I noticed”

    STUDENT
    “That was okay right?”

    VLATKOVICH
    “No, because that was the only piece with instructions in regards to the improvisation”

    STUDENT
    “Isn’t that the beauty of improvisation?”

    VLATKOVICH
    “No, that’s the destruction of a composition………”

    Have done at least a couple of hundred concerts with VLATKOVICH
    Duo, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, octet, BIG BAND and NO NET

    an original person, thinker, being, musician
    Not because he is trying to be different
    He just IS

    Honored, and privileged to be asked to MAKE MUSIC with him
    Any time the stars line up
    I am there……….
    for you too, MARK

    GRACAS Y ABRAZOS all the way around for these catz

    NIGHT RIDERS INDEED

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2020 Mark Weber

Theme by Anders Noren adapted for M.etropolis by RavanHUp ↑

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart.

Continue Shopping
%d bloggers like this: