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Thomas Park- Always Beginning Again [treetrunk 740]

I Googled “African American Composers”, and learned quite a bit. First of all, there are not very many of them, at least that have been recognized. Some consider Scott Joplin to be a Classical Composer. The most popular point suggested that jazz might be “Classical For African-Americans”. It occured to me that the rules of Classical are among some remaining that are out of date and, in my opinion, too narrow. Terry Riley’s tape loops are Classical, but Acid Jazz is not and is mainly for parties. Steve Reich’s drum pulses are Minimal, but live Drum Corps improvisations are not. It is ok to define a Classical piece loosely and allow improvisation (such as with “In C”, and others), but a variation if “Blue In Green”, with varying solos, is exempt from the Classical Canon. I guess in the end I walk away from such rules shaking my head, sometimes a bit sad, sometimes laughing in a certain way. What makes us happy? That turns out to be the main point, I think, and that, of course is subjective. For the first time in perhaps its whole course of evolution, my Generative music is making me happy. Branching out into variable phrases has made a big difference, and a positive one. I am glad to share these Generative pieces with the world– whether they are filed under Ambient, Light Jazz, New Age, or whatever– I hope they also please you.”

–Thomas Park, 2022

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