As a kid I used to envy creatures that spend their lives underwater.  One of the best feelings in life is floating in the sea, undulating with the waves, and I imagined all fish were ecstatic with the freedom and grace afforded them by their liquid medium.  But those animals end up missing out on many of the other joys in life, one of which is being warm and dry in a rainstorm.  The cool winds have brought spring rains the last few nights, and I’ve cracked my windows to let in the sound of falling water and the smell of growing plants.

I’ve turned to my collection of old ECM albums to provide a soundtrack to these meditative moments.  One of these is Red Lanta, by the duo of Art Lande and Jan Garbarek.  Jan plays flute on most of the album, but “Velvet” finds him on soprano, which is probably the reason this melody stays with me after I listen to the CD.


Art plays a C major as the last chord, I prefer a more augmented sound to add tension before the return to G major.

2 thoughts on “Velvet

  1. Bruce Williamson

    It’s OK to have an opinion on how would have written the song, ending on E/C before returning to the beginning (though I disagree with you), but you should not enter it into your transcription. Save your ideas for your own music.

    1. noteheads Post author

      Hi Bruce, thank you for visiting the blog. I hope you don’t read my notation of the harmony as a “disagreement” with the composer. As I try to make clear elsewhere on the site, I don’t intend to post exact transcriptions, I just like to share with you the same charts I bring to jam sessions with friends. A chord symbol or piece of sheet music is just an abstraction, it can’t create music by itself. An interpreter is needed to bring the idea into the physical world in real time, and that person is free to ignore any and all suggestions written on the page. That’s what I love about music: each instance of its creation is a unique and personal event, not meant to be compared to past and future events. In short, when I perform a piece by Art Lande, it becomes my own music.


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