I recorded Forplay in Oberammergau, a tiny village at the foot of the Alps--the town is so small that the local phone numbers need only three digits. I would drive in from Munich with Andi Slavik, who produced the album, in the late morning, and we would meet up with Michael Strowig, the engineer, for a nice coffee, and maybe some pastry or cold cuts at the local cafe before heading over to the little Bavarian cottage that housed the studio.
All of the tracks were done in single takes. Most of them are improvisations based on sketches drawn in notebooks during the preceding several months.
In Song of Solomon, Solomon promises God that he won’t look for love outside his own people. But he can’t help it, he’s into exotic women. A complex, conflicted soul.
Queenie’s Wild Night is about booze, dancing, sex, and murder. It is based on J.M. March’s “The Wild Party” (1928), a Jazz Age narrative poem in syncopated verse. At first I thought of setting the text to music, but instead decided to tell my own version of the story on the cello, riffing off of the spiky rhythms of the words.
(2. Queenie Enters the Room, 3. Black Cuts In, 4. Later That Night)
Blonde tells the story of how I met my wife, at a tango concert.
(5. Having Gone To See Cello Tango, 6. On the Slow Side, 7. Five A.M. Fax, 8.Even Slower)
Psychotic Duck was inspired by Larry Giannetino’s photograph of a tiny plastic duck, blown up to huge size, with a frozen facial expression that makes it look like he might flip out at any moment.
The first chord of Iberian Rhapsody carries a special color and resonance, reminding me of flamenco, of Debussy and Ravel, blues and purples...The music combines modernist cello with Spanish guitar.
(10. Prelude, 11. Meditation, 12. Finale)
Elegy evokes Baroque lute music, pared down with very little ornamentation, using just a single chord progression that moved me.
Prayer is a search for something between Chant and Celtic folk melody, or possibly something Scandinavian.