Jem7VWH - “FLO”
Steve with Co de Kloet
Orchestrated by David Kole
How The Song Came About:
I was working in the studio on something and I always keep a portable DAT around. I was taking a break and meditating for a moment when this melody came into my head. I reached for the DAT and sang the melody into it while searching for the right chords to accompany it. I was reflecting on my previous state of mind.
When the opportunity came up to work with Joel Thome and the Eastman school orchestra in Rochester New York, I did an orchestration for the piece. It was not a bad arrangement but I knew that my friend David Kole would do a very special job. I gave him the piece to orchestrate for the Metropole Orkest in Holland. I will let my good friend Co de Kloet tell you a bit about the Aching Hunger project for which Lotus Feet was performed:
Dear Steve Vai Fan (and one can hardly blame you) and vai.com reader.
My name is Co de Kloet. Recently Mr. Vai sent me an email in which he asked me to write a few lines about myself and an orchestra project we did here in Holland. It’ll cost him a jar of Fire Garden Honey but here we go…..
I am a radio producer and creative catalyst for NPS in Holland (Netherlands Programme Service). I produce as many programmes with good music as possible, convinced that music is a healing force in an aching world. One of the highlights in my day to day work are the projects I am allowed to do with the amazing Metropole Orkest (Dutch for Orchestra). My collegue Frits Bayens produces an wonderful jazz oriented series with the band and I can do the “other” stuff. In 2000 I produced an evening’s worth of music by Frank Zappa, performed by the Metropole with Bruce Fowler: I can send the set list if you like…..I also did projects with Brian Eno, Mike Keneally, Terry Bozzio, Napoleon Murphy Brock and with Maestro Vai himself. NPS commissioned him to write an evening’s worth of music called The Aching Hunger and this music was first heard on May 22, 2004 in Groningen, to be played again the following two days in the Amsterdam Paradiso. As we speak, talks about concerts on July 1 and 2 this year (2005) are in progress.
For me it was a dream come true: to be the first radio person to let the orchestral composer/animal within Vai get out there and have a good time. Mind you, in the first 40 minutes or so SV wasn’t even on stage. He created an atmosphere as a composer in which hard-core guitar fans were completely silent while listening to a long violin cadenza that deserves a place in contemporary classical music.
Pieces like Frangelica, Helios & Vesta, Theadolite and Is It Over Yet? were premiered and like I said on stage: the people who witnessed it will once say: “I was there!”.
Of course there were also arrangements (mainly constructed by Chris Opperman and Tom Trapp) of classics like Answers and For The Love Of God. And!!!!!!!!……. LOTUS FEET. Besides the three live performances we recorded a version during one of the Paradiso soundchecks: Steve took it home, played on it, tweezed it and sent it back to be worldpremiered in my show 4FM here in Holland. It is the only orchestral tune on the new album. It is shockingly beautiful. The nice “normal” ballad turns out to be a vehicle for Vai to play a creative and mad scientist-type solo that is just unbefuckinglievable. Check it out!
He let me hear the whole album and it was worth waiting for.
By the way, you may not believe this but the Metropole is under threat: cutbacks in budget are seriously influencing the very excistence of the orchestra. If you think that it is important for new music like Vai’s to be created and performed on a high level, let me know on my e-mail address email@example.com.
We will tell the authorities that culture is of the utmost importance in a world full of tension and fundamentalistic crap. Your support is appreciated!
So, to round it up I say: buy the new album, make sure you will be in Holland for the next orchestral Vai experience, support good music and beauty and wildlife organisations, stay away from fundamentalism in whatever form and don’t throw stuff on the stage (hey SV, how’s that for an inside joke….what?….you think they’ll get it?…well in that case: when come dee drumzzzzzzzzz….????)
Co de Kloet
What Was I Thinking:
The album liner notes:
Although this song was not recorded with the Breed and it’s a live track on a record of studio pieces, I was compelled to put it on R.I. as it fit the story and I felt it made for a sweet 7th song.
Playing this melody lifts my spirit. When I’m not thinking of the notes or the tone or bla bla bla, and I’m just humbly begging God for himself with every note, that’s when being able to play becomes the greatest gift in the world.
OK, OK, I know some of you must be getting tired of my spiritual meanderings but I’m just trying to let you in. One can still enjoy this music without all the personal stuff.
Guitar/Amp: Flo through a Legacy and that’s all folks.