Ross Daly on Modal Music and much, much more.

Rubinchik's Orkestyr (z"ll)
In 1996 I had the pleasure of taking my little Yiddish music band from Austin TX all the way to the south of France for a short tour and a series of performances at Le Nuits Atypiques de Langon. It's an amazing festival, curated not just musically but socially, and the musicians I interacted with there have informed much of what I know about music as a living culture. I had been there before, in 1993 as bassist for Santiago Jimenez, Jr., and was primed for this festivals tradition of purposeful admixture and cultural dialog. One of the featured artists in '96 was Ross Daly

I was really struck with him and his approach to music and collaboration. There was a young cellist from NYC who had been hired by Daly to come and perform with him, yet he had never met him before in person. The cellist, the very talented Rufus Cappadocia confessed to me how spooked he was to show up to a major event unrehearsed and just play with the featured act. But I saw the initial duet set between him and Daly that was frankly incredible, natural and real; some of the best music making I had ever encountered to that date. 

Daly showed up at the festival with a group of musicians from varied back rounds, including among others a Persian Zarb player who had at one time played for the Shah of Iran and then Khomeni after the revolution, and presented what was to all the world a very cohesive and musical presentation. A very deep cat, who I enjoyed hanging and conversing with quite a bit the week we were there.

I was just reminded of him today when a pal forwarded me his TED talk, in which he hits many of the notes that I personally have had a hard time expressing. I'm including this lecture as core material to my music students and recommend you take the short bit of time to check him out. Ross is kinda droll in his approach, but hang in there as he makes some observations that really ring true to my experience in music making and cultural connections.

Ross Daly on Modal Music: