Performed upon my vintage 1930's Hohner Regina VI accordion, a 4/5 reed instrument in LMMM configuration. Two previous videos have featured improvisations which explore impressionistic themes associated with this canyon. "Lyric Poem for Accordion" posted 2/6/2014 with my vintage Iorio (video length 8:34) and "Fanfares & Reveries for Vintage Hohner" posted 9/13/2011 (video length 5:08)
This video provides another example of what I call "painting with reeds" or imagining space, form, line, rhythm and color via the impressionistic music of a vintage accordion. Arizona is a special place for outdoor adventures including hiking, sightseeing and day-trips. Years ago I was brought face to face with an extraordinary canyon just north of Tortilla Flat, Arizona. A friend who once worked as a Forest Ranger showed me this location and we spent the entire day exploring the majesty of the Arizona landscape. Improvisation gives the musician an opportunity to record feelings and impressions which may otherwise be inexpressible or unsearchable. In this music I am recording both the majesty and the wonder of this remarkable area, utilizing the reeds of the instrument as my orchestra. There is often a pulse or breath of life which animates the scenery and vistas of a particular location, a sense of Divine handiwork which captures our imagination and may hold our interest for hours or days afterwards. In this case, I am remembering the vast perspectives and colorful details as seen from both below and above the canyon's corridors, as if the entire picture could be displayed via the textures and phrases of music. Manufactured in 1938, the Hohner Regina VI features a unique sonic signature which often reminds me of the power and characteristic versatility of a large pipe organ. I owe a debt of gratitude to my friend Jerry who tuned and restored this instrument, replacing worn parts and adjusting the inner mechanism to achieve remarkable results. Here is a 76 year old instrument which still speaks in a rather poetic and artistic manner, allowing the musician to "paint" via a set of extraordinary German reeds, providing a picture which remains indelibly etched in one's visual, tactile and sonic memory.