How I work with the Yellow Bell Concept

As the Yellow Bell Legend redefined the foundation tone upon which everything else was based, I attempt to redefine my musical direction with each project by using a unique combination of instruments. I listen for the next piece of music to form within each new orchestration. The great majority of what you will hear on these recordings come from years of training, the musical experiences of a lifetime, and the ability of the musicians to make something happen during a musical conversation with each other. I like to refer to it as "informed improvisation". Each piece has a unique sound and approach. Naturally, this requires musicians who can function in an improvisational format with a minimum of direction from me. We agree on a framework for the piece and from there we work together often playing in a totally free context. There is sometimes a "role" I discuss with a player - sometimes something written down - usually no more than a few bars. It is as if we agree to have a discussion about the movement of clouds in the sky. As the clouds shift we might end up talking about almost anything.

You can hear how I combine different instruments from varying cultures if you'd like to download free samples on the CD pages. You can also read about the instruments used with each CD project, and find out how and why each CD was made. For example, on a piece called Dizi Gigue on the Yellow Bell CD Svadharma, I combined a melody reminiscent of an Irish Gigue on Chinese bamboo flute (Dizi) and violin, a percussion style from India on Tablas drums, with a Jazz vocal scat solo, played in a time signature of 14/4.

All the musicians who have taken part in Yellow Bell have my deepest gratitude and respect for their efforts and abilities. Many of them have their own groups and musical projects. They are all world class musicians and I am honored that they took part in Yellow Bell. It could never happen without them. Check the About Us page for some of their Bios and the Links page to get in touch with them. I hope you enjoy listening to this music as much as we enjoyed playing it!

Read more about my connection to the Yellow Bell Legend and the history and philosophy of Chinese Music in relation to the Yellow Bell Legend.