Your weekly listen for the week of September 15 is Greg Patillo, a native of Seattle, now touring internationally with his mesmerizing combination of beatbox and flute:
Greg started putting beatbox and flute together when he was busking in the subways in New York. (A former busker myself, I have extra respect for someone who got his start playing on the street and subsequently rose to greatness!) And yes, he is really making all those sounds with just his mouth and his flute!
Several folks I showed this video too postulated that one of Greg’s musical influences was likely Ian Anderson, the lead singer, writer and flautist from the legendary folk-prog-rock band Jethro Tull, (“right down to the eyebrows”, one friend observed).
So, let’s take a listen to Ian Anderson next, performing live in 1976. Right around the 53 second mark I do believe you can catch your first glimpse of the signature maniacal raised eyebrow. Keep listening and you’ll hear a fantastic array of sounds and see a whole lot more wild facial expressions. What a great performer!
Cool, huh? You can see the similarity. Two great artists, two musical generations. One picked up on the style of the other, and at the same time, took his music to a whole new place with the incorporation of modern beatboxing. So your message for the day, music students, is don’t be afraid to emulate artists you admire (imitation is after all the highest form of flattery), and especially, don’t be afraid to explore a direction that is totally new and different.
Even cooler: Greg Patillo comes to the Northwest this November. He has shows confirmed in Eugene, Portland and Walla Walla, WA. Chances are he’ll be adding some more dates and will try to book something in Seattle, so keep your eye on his tour schedule here: http://whatisproject.org/home/Schedule.html.
‘Til next week – keep listening!