American sax player-composer Travis Laplante, member of the sax quartet Battle Trance, was inspired to compose «Wild Tapestry» after a conversation with the artistic director of the Yellow Barn Music Festival Seth Knopp regarding the relationship and mutual inspiration between two musical luminaries: Miles Davis and German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, More specifically, both discussed the story of Davis citing Stockhausen as a prominent influence for his 1972 recording «On the Corner» (Columbia) and how Stockhausen records were allegedly in regular rotation at Davis’s house during the early 1970s.
This conversation was led to a commission from Knopp to write a composition directly inspired by the music of Miles Davis; particularly «On the Corner», for the Yellow Barn Music Festival. Laplante composed «Wild Tapestry (dedicated to the muse of Miles Davis)» for an eight-musician ensemble (of musicians that he was not familiar with) with himself as the main soloist and it was recorded live at the festival in Putney, Vermont in July 2021. Laplante writes that Davis was one of his greatest musical influences and has been since he was ten years old and «Cookin’» with the Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige, 1957) was the first jazz CD he bought. He played Davis’s «On The Corner» around the clock for several months while composing «Wild Tapestry», aiming for an organic response to take shape throughout his compositional process.
The atmosphere of «Wild Tapestry» is completely different from the post-funk fusion of «On The Corner» or the iconoclast works of Stockhausen, except for its shape-shifting, episodic arrangement. Laplante arranged this 30-minute composition as a chamber, mostly lyrical and introspective meditation on the way David or Stockhausen «given their life to sound», a sound that is mysterious but encapsulates simple, beautiful yet haunting melodies. You can listen to the Laplante’s singular and often experimental saxophone language throughout this composition, incorporating multiphonics, eccentric articulations, and extended breathing techniques.
100% of the proceeds of «Wild Tapestry», both from the musicians and OOYH Records, will be donated to Oceana, an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans on a global scale. Laplante offers the full score (79-pages PDF file) with performance notes and liner notes on the Bandcamp page of Out Of Your Head Label.
Travis Laplante (as), Antonina Styczen (fl), Ansel Norris (tp), Oliver Barrett (tb), Steve Mackey (el.g), Charles Overton (harp), Marcus Elliot Gaved (b), Eduardo Leandro (perc), Matthew Overbay (perc)