A native of Seattle Washington, Paul Scott graduated from Harvard University with Honors in Folklore & Mythology (Ethnomusicology). While at Harvard, Paul Studied classical cello with Stefan Popov at the New England School of Music, played in the Bach Society Chamber Orchestra, argued with Leonard Bernstein about the conciousness of music and spent Thursday afternoons listening to E. Power Biggs Rehearse. Paul collected Northwest Native American Music, played blues, rock and roll, Gamelan, and studied Bunraku and Noh Drama. He studied with professors Nketia, Albert Lord, John Ward, and Evon Vogt, corresponded on topics of Native American Ethnomusicology with David Macallester and Helen Roberts, and studied American Folk Song and Seis. He also swam backstroke on the Harvard Swim Team (and was on the 1969 & 1970 High school All American Swim Team.). While at Harvard Paul sailed his Finn sailing dinghy as much as humanly possible.
Following Harvard, Paul joined the faculty of The Evergreen State College where he lectured and taught Ethnomusicology and Anthropology, and conducted the school's orchestra. He worked at the Washington State Capitol Museum, researching and collecting Northwest Native American Music. He attended graduate school at the University of Washington, studying Ethnomusicoloy, Systematic Musicology, the Psychology of Music, and Neurophysiology to understand the biochemical aspect of music. He played with Thai and Laotian groups, sat at the feet of Usted Ziamuddin Dagar, and concertized with the Imperial Court Orchestra of Nepal while he contnued his classical cello studies. He studied the Ch'in with Master Tao. At the U of W, Paul started to play with another Ethnomusicology graduate student, Scott Cossu, and they recorded an album called Still Moments, which wound up on the Windham Hill Label. One of the cuts on Still Moments was one of the first New Age FM hits, although Paul really thought at the time that he was involved in the New Acoustic Music Movement (David Grisman, Oregon, Paul Winter, etc.). Paul went under the name Paul Scott-Sevilla back then. He also recorded two albums with David Casper, Tantra La, and Hear and Be Yonder on the Hummingbird Sound Lab label. He also windsurfed as much as humanly possible.
In 1980, Paul sustained serious injuries in an auto accident, and was unable to play the cello for many years. In 1990 he got his body healthy, resumed playing, and inspired by the movie Tous le Matins du Monde, built a recording studio in his home. In 1996 he released his first solo album Essays. In 2003, he released his second solo album Nightvision, but you'll have to look on the Nightvision page to learn about that one.
You can find Paul, his wife, and westie out on Puget sound on their wooden cruising sled Amati, which Paul sails as much as he possibly can.
Paul's day gig for the last 36 years has been as a piano tuner. He has tuned for the Seattle Opera for 20 years, he tuned for KING FM for 10 years, represented many piano manufacturers both technically and as a concert station technician, been head technician at 4 piano dealerships in the Seattle area, and has tuned for 100's of recordings, and many movie soundtracks, as well as his private clientelle.
(I am now changing my narrative to the first person.)
My cd, Essays, develops a mosaic, or field approach to the music in it, as it presents many different World Musics in synthesis in each piece. That's why I call what I do
An explanation of this equation!
The world is (well, it was) covered with sophisticated high art music. This is apart from Western Classical Music, but since most of these high art musics
are now in the past, or have been subsumed by our one world media, I think of them as Classical in nature, as they required a lot of training and effort to master, just as Western Art Music does. So I consider every high art form 'classical' including the West's. That's what the word Classical means in the equation.
The word World in the equation means the world, and what's going on (or what has gone on) in it musically in a general sense, outside of the high art scene. I also mean everything else outside of music too. In ethnomusicology, we call this the 'extramusical event', but that sounds a bit dry, no?
The word ambient means a lot of things, but basically it means here the reality we swim in every day, physically, psychologically, spiritually, politically, etc., as well as my music being ambient.
On the inside cover of Essays, I have a short sentence;
"The past becomes a texture, an ambience to our present. What was worthy of intense concentration becomes an unconcious assumption of background."
which pretty much sums up what I'm trying to do in Essays- It is ambient background music/sound, but if you really want to concentrate on it, there is (I hope) a lot to dig in to. Or just to dig. It's fundamentally a headphone mix, but sounds great on speakers, and I've recieved some good feedback from the audiophile crowd about the cd.
The Album- (all pieces are my compositions, except for the Bach Cello Suite, and all the pieces include the cello.)
1-The first piece is Nana. Cello/synth/samples. The background is a complex wall of sound of about 50 sounds ranging from Bhuddist Chanting to Industrial to Electric Rhythm. From my liner notes:
A Lullaby. A mother's Sorrow. The Pieta.
"the Spectre is the Reasoning Power in Man & when separated From imagination and closing itself as in steel in a Ratio of the Things of Memory. It thence frames Laws & Moralities to destroy the Imagination the Devine Body by Martyrdom & Wars"
- William Blake, Jerusalem III 74
The drone, the wall of sound is intended to be the Spectre.
Techno Industrial, Mediterranean Lullaby, Euro Romantic.
2-The second cut is And God Wept at Nagasaki. Piano and Cello:
entrance of the dead:
a dance, the maze
Christians, before 1000A.D. used to dance in church, following intricate and beautiful mazes painted or inlaid on the floors of the churches they worshipped in. Since thousands of Japanese christians were killed by the bomb at Nagasaki, I thought this might be an effective approach as far as a musical/historical/moral context. I think of God looking on to this, the souls entering, dancing through the maze.
Medieval trance/Gregorian Chant/15C Morality play imbedded in a Northern Indian improvisational approach.
3-The third cut is the Bach Suite for Solo Cello (the first suite of six Bach wrote). I'm approaching this from an ethnomusicological point of view, rather than a formal Western Music approach, so I'm using the Anna Magdelena Manuscript, which is handwritten. I'm trying to reject the notion of this Bach piece as 'literature'. Rejecting printed editions of this work brings very intimately the intense individuality of the handwritten manuscript and the piece to our dissolving literate world. If you think about it, though, Bach's time was in many ways as far into what was a new literate world as we are going out of it now. Essays as an album is intended to be a musical analogue to The Gutenberg Galaxy by Marshall McLuhan. The suite consists of dances with complicated steps, interplay between the dancers, courtship, love, and rejection:
These are no religious pieces, and this one seems to written when Bach was young man.
Euro court/Euro folk/dance
-The last cut is Castleswreath. Cello/synth
I have heard of a castle's ruin outside London
where lover's would picnic during the Battle of
Britain. sometimes (during the daylight campaign)
while the battle was joined above. Some were
pilots soon to be flying in that high-altitude hell.
I started to wonder what those lovers felt
whether any ghosts lingered over the spot perhaps
forming a circle an invisible garland of remembrance;
a castle's wreath of lover's goodbyes.
Very lush Celtic/English folk/20C tonality
Essays has been well recieved, having been broadcast on KING FM Seattle, and Ultima Thule in Australia. Despite hardly any organized PR on my part, it has sold a couple of thousand copies in the Seattle area, primarily at Barnes & Noble and Borders, as well as some local bookstores. I've sold cd's in Australia, Japan, Canada and Europe through my website. A dance class at Western Washington State University used And God Wept at Nagasaki as the basis for a choreographed dance piece. My website (in the links section) backs Essays, and has a bit more info. I'll try to get more of my liner notes on this site in the future.