Kei Akagi synth solo transcription + video

Every once in a while I come across a solo that just overwhelms me, to the point where I have to stop whatever i'm doing and figure it out. How is it that in a world where we are constantly presented and showered with an endless variety of music, something stands out, grips you and demands you pay attention to it? I tried to trace the source of this solo and what made it so compelling to me, so that I can try and create music that has that grabbing quality and that makes people stop what they're doing and listen. Maybe its not in the content; maybe its the feeling from which this music emerged that has the power to draw the listeners in, to stand out from the mundane and familiar musical landscape. Below is the original recording by Miles Davis from the album Live around the world. The track is called Wrinkle and it features one of Miles's keyboard players, Kei Akagi, in a wonderful solo. One of my greatest teachers and mentors, Adam Holzman, who is another wonderful keyboard player from the same band and is on the same album, told me he loves this solo and gives credit to Kei for using the melody in such a playful and idiomatic way. I included a transcription and a video of Kei's solo,  Hope you enjoy this and hopefully learn and recreate the same compelling feeling!

Music in Speech

Every time we open our mouths and speak,  we are in fact making music, whether we know it or not. The fascinating relationship between rhythm, melody, harmony and space in the use of language has been explored by many, yet I'd like to share this small poem I've come across by the famous poet Lucille Clifton. I tried to follow Lucille by putting notes to her words, and by doing so to mimc her "playing" or her phrasing. When Lucille recites her poem, "Homage to my hips", she uses short, robust and rhythmic phrases to describe her glorious hips and their many deeds. The words are carefully selected and placed, and the lines progress and build on one another, but Its her economic choice of words, the shape of the phrases and the dramatic climax at the last sentence that make this poem so compelling, at least from my point of view. I think this poem and many others can teach us a lot about music and about expression, and go beyond their actual content, thanks to their unique esthetics and textures. See if you can analyze a speech, a poem of even yourself talking and see if you can learn something new about yourself and music!


The original poem:

My Transcription: