Roswell Rudd 1935-2017. I am in a mood to reminisce. Though I did not take these photos here, I write about our inspirations related to my research and works. Name a famous musician who left us last week, who was part of one of Michael Snow’s avant-garde films, lived in Maine, and played the same instrument as someone currently in our program (myself). “Suddenly a clarinet player shows up. Then a guy’s playing piano. My father’s on the drums over there. People start dancing, you hear laughter bursting out, and all kinds of conversation. That sound is what is still in me, and it seems to be inexhaustible.” “What I liked about that music was the fact that the instruments sounded like people talking and laughing, vocal sounds,” he told the website All About Jazz in 2004, reflecting on jazz of the early 20th century. “The music of my contemporaries, when I was in my 20s in New York City, they were calling it avant-garde, but it leaned very heavily on collective improvisation. That’s how I was able to go from one traditional generation to another.” In the mid-1960s Mr. Rudd began working with Alan Lomax, the iconic musical anthropologist, another inspiration to me.
I worked in Augusta after Roswell worked there. They wanted a non-tradiional program there and I was a trombone teacher. I’ve learned so much since then. I also met Kenneth Noland, the color-field artist on Rudd’s LP which is shown below, back while playing trombone for a James Wyeth event in Rockland. All of these artists lived in Maine and inspired me.