THE SEASONS: AUGUST - MARK TURNER
Mark Turner has been a huge influence on myself and countless others, both in his approach to music and to life. Through many years of dedication and study, Mark’s artistry has transcended the theoretical monotony of practice itself, and transformed into something of true beauty and depth.
As I was writing the piece for Mark, I found that every time I tried to add harmony or a second voice, it felt forced – the music wouldn’t let me. However, when I started to think about how Mark plays, I realized that the singular unison line of the piece reflects his meditative, patient and understated approach to music. For those who know Mark, this particular duo is a direct expression of his language and intervallic technique.
Mark is known for not fretting over recorded takes - he honors what comes out in the moment and doesn’t question it. When we finally recorded this piece, we did only two solo passes – the least of any duet in this series. When performing with him, I learned not only a great deal about Mark’s musicianship but also saw a direct example of his philosophy on documenting music.
On a side note, though many people may think of Mark as a serious type, he is actually quite funny and ended up suggesting the unlikely opening of this video. I can assure you that a nonchalant meeting in a café leading to a performance of an unrehearsed highly complex saxophone duo does not happen in NYC or anywhere else!
I would like to give a huge thanks to Matthew Garrison and Fortuna Sung at ShapeShifter Lab for providing such a beautiful venue. Finally, many thanks to Mark Turner for this duo, and for inspiring me and many other musicians on the artist path.
For more about Mark: www.markturnerjazz.com