Wyld Ryce

S3 E29 | FULL EPISODE

May 14, 1980

All artists face the same question. Do they have what it takes? We'll bring you a writer, filmmaker, a group of poets and two musicians and show you their special qualities.

AIRED: May 14, 1980 | 0:28:37
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

FOR WYLD RYCE IS PROVIDED BY A

GRANT FROM THE DAYTON HUDSON

FOUNDATION.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> THIS IS THE TWIN CITIES

WEEKLY ARTS MAGAZINE.

IN THIS EDITION OF WYLD RYCE,

WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT A WHOLE

VARIETY OF DIFFERENT ARTISTS,

A WRITER, A ROCK 'N ROLL FILM

MAKER, A GROUP OF YOUNG POETS

AND TWO MASTERS OF THE DOUBLE

BASS.

HELLO.

I'M VERN SUTTON.

I'M A PROFESSOR OF MUSIC AT

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA,

AND I SING WITH THE MINNESOTA

OPERA COMPANY.

WHETHER THEY'RE MUSICIANS OR

ACTORS OR PAINTERS OR WHATEVER,

ARTISTS FACE THE SAME QUESTION

AS EVERYONE ELSE.

DO THEY HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO

MAKE IT IN THE CAREER THEY'VE

CHOSEN?

IT TAKES MORE THAN TALENT AND

EVEN MORE THAN LUCK.

IT TAKES A SPECIAL QUALITY

THAT'S HARD TO PUT INTO WORDS.

OUR FIRST SEGMENT IS ABOUT

WRITER TOM WOLFE, WHO JUST

PUBLISHED A BOOK THAT DELVES

INTO THIS WHOLE QUESTION, AND

HE CALLS THAT SPECIAL QUALITY

THE RIGHT STUFF.

HIS BOOK IS ABOUT THE

ASTRONAUTS IN THE AMERICAN

SPACE PROGRAM, BUT IT'S ALSO

ABOUT WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE IT

TO THE TOP OF ANY PROFESSION.

WOLFE HIMSELF IS PRETTY GOOD

EVIDENCE THAT IT TAKES A

WRITER WITH THE RIGHT STUFF TO

TELL THE TALE.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> IN THE MOST GRAPHIC WAY

POSSIBLE, WHAT IS BEING

DEMONSTRATED THAT THERE ARE

SOME MEN WHO HAVE WHATEVER IT

TAKES AND IS NEVER DEFINED,

UNTIL THIS DAY IS NEVER

DEFINED, WHO HAVE WHATEVER IT

TAKES TO KEEP ASCENDING THESE

LEVELS.

>> WORDS FROM TOM WOLFE, THE

ACIDLY SHARP JOURNALIST AUTHOR

RECENTLY PUBLISHED A BOOK

ABOUT THE EARLY ASTRONAUTS,

MEN WHO WOLFE IDENTIFIED AS

HAVING THE RIGHT STUFF.

THE RIGHT STUFF IS THE QUALITY

WHICH ENABLED SOME FLYING MEN

TO SURPASS OTHERS ON THE WAY

UP TO PILOT'S PYRAMID, FROM

COMBAT FLYING OVER KOREA TO

FAST LANDINGS ON SLICK

DETECTION AT SEA, COMBAT ACE

TO TEST PILOT CLIMBED THE

FRATERNAL MOUNTAIN BY RISKING

THEIR LIVES AND MAKING IT.

IN THE EARLY '50s, THE BEST

MEN WITH THE RIGHT STUFF WERE

THE TEST PILOTS, SCREAMING

OVER THE CALIFORNIA DESERT IN

ROCKET PLANES AT EDWARDS AIR

FORCE BASE, BREAKING SOUND

BARRIERS, THE STUFF OF SCIENCE

FICTION, MEN LIKE CROSSFIELD,

WALKER, AND CHUCK JAGR.

FOR MANY MILITARY PILOTS THE

CLIMB UP THE MIR MID --

PYRAMID BEGAN IN A T-6

PROP-DRIVEN PLANE.

>> IN THESE EARLY STAGES,

THERE'S ALWAYS AN INSTRUCTIVE

TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT

SOMEBODY HAS THIS UNNAMED IT,

THIS QUALITY WHICH I FINALLY

HAD TO GIVE A NAME TO BECAUSE

PILOTS CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT,

WHICH IS MAINLY THE RIGHT

STUFF TO KEEP ASCENDING THIS

PARTICULAR PYRAMID.

>> WITH THE SUCCESSFUL

LAUNCHING OF SPUTNIK IN 1957

AND OUR OWN KAPUT IN THIS CASE,

SHORTLY THEREAFTER, THE

CREDENTIALS FOR MEMBERSHIP IN

THE LOFTYEST OF PILOT CIRCLES

BEGAN TO CHANGE.

IF BARBARIAN RUSSIA COULD BE

THE FIRST TO LOB HARDWARE INTO█

SPACE, AMERICA, THE RIGHTEOUS,

MUST BE THE FIRST TO PUT A MAN

INTO SPACE.

IT WAS COLD WAR GAMESMANSHIP.

AND THE U.S. EFFORT TO CLOSE

THE SPACE GAP WAS CALLED

PROJECT MERCURY.

PROJECT MERCURY WAS RUN NOT BY

THE MILITARY BUT BY A CIVILIAN

AGENCY, THE NATIONAL AIR

NAUTICAL SPACE ADMINISTRATION,

NASA.

NASA WAS GOING TO USE

ASTRONAUTS TO RIDE INTO SPACE.

ASTRONAUTS, NOT PILOTS.

>> THEY WERE NOT AT THE TOP OF

THE PYRAMID AND DIDN'T PRETEND

TO BE.

THEY WERE CHOSEN NOT BECAUSE

THEY WERE THE SEVEN HOTTEST

PILOTS IN AMERICA.

THEY WERE CHOSEN REALLY FOR A

MEDLEY OF REASONS.

SOME OF THEM WERE SUPERB

PHYSICAL --

>> MOREOVER, ARMIES OF

TECHNICIANS AND ENGINEERS

ARMED WITH COMPUTERS WOULD

PILOT THE CAPSULE.

THE ASTRONAUTS WOULD MERELY GO

ALONG FOR THE RIDE, LIKE SO

MANY WHITE RATS IN A LAB TEST.

>> AND THIS LED TO AN UNSEEN

CONFLICT THAT WENT OBJECT

FOR -- THAT WENT ON FOR YEARS

IN WHICH THE FLYERS AT EDWARDS

OF THE JAGR STRIKE BEGAN TO

REALLY, AT THE FIRST, LOOK

DOWN UPON THE SEVEN MERCURY

ASTRONAUTS AS ROOKIES WHO HAD

YET TO PROVE THEMSELVES.

>> PROJECT MERCURY, LIKE THE

ILL-FATED VAN GUARD PROJECT,

BEGAN ON A LESS THAN

IMPRESSIVE NOTE.

FIRST, A MISFIRE.

AND THEN A MONKEY, HAM.

>> THAT WAS THE TAUNT, YOU

KNOW, THE TAUNT WAS, EDWARDS,

WAS THAT A MONKEY IS GOING TO

MAKE THE FIRST FLIGHT BECAUSE,

IN FACT, A MONKEY WAS GOING TO

MAKE THE FIRST FLIGHT.

>> TWO MONTHS AFTER HAM LANDED

SAFELY, THE RUSSIANS

SUCCESSFULLY ORBITED.

A FIGHTER PILOT.

>> IT WAS -- SEEMED LIKE A

TRULY CRITICAL MOMENT IN

AMERICAN HISTORY.

AND IT REVIVED A KIND OF

SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IN THE

SINGLE COMBAT WIRE THAT HAD

DIED PROBABLY 1,200 YEARS AGO.

>> ALAN SHEPHERD BECAME

AMERICA'S FIRST DAVID TO THE

RUSSIAN GOLIATH.

BUT HIS FLIGHT WAS ONLY

SUBORBITAL.

COLD WAR AMERICA NEED AID SHOT

IN THE ARM, AS DID KENNEDY'S

NEW FRONTIER, WHICH HAD BEEN

SHARPLY EMBARRASSED BY THE

ABORTED BAY OF PIGS INVASION

IN CUBA.

>> OF LANDING A MAN ON THE

MOON AND RETURNING HIM SAFELY

TO THE EARTH.

>> BY 1959, WHEN THE

ASTRONAUTS WERE CHOSEN, BOTH

OF THE SOVIET UNION AND THE

UNITED STATES HAD THE ATOMIC

BOMB.

AND THEY REALIZED THAT AN OPEN

PITCH BATTLE WAS NOW -- WOULD

BE POSSIBLY CATASTROPHIC TO

THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE.

SO, THAT WAS WHY SPACE WAS

SEEN AS A SINGLE COMBAT AND AT

THAT TIME, THAT WHOEVER WON

THE SPACE RACE WOULD BE

OMNIPOTENT IN THE WORLD.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> WITH JOHN GLEN'S ORBITAL

FLIGHT, ROCKET PLANE PILOTS

LIKE CHUCK JAGR BECAME

UNIMPORTANT, AT LEAST TO THOSE

OUTSIDE THE FRATERNITY.

>> IT REALLY WAS NOT UNTIL

1963, AT THE VERY END OF THE

MERCURY PROGRAM THAT FINALLY

THE RESIDENTS OF OLYMPUS

FINALLY SAID, WELL, THESE GUYS

REALLY, YOU KNOW, ARE NOT BAD,

BUT IT WAS AN UPHILL FIGHT.

AND I THINK WHAT INTERESTS ME

ABOUT ALL OF THAT IS THAT TO

THEM, FROM BEGINNING TO END,

THE APPROVAL OF THEIR PEERS

WAS ABSOLUTELY PARAMOUNT

IMPORTANCE.

♪ I WAS ROLLING ON THE MOON

ONE DAY ♪

>> AMERICAN OBSESSION IN SPACE

LASTED THROUGH THE FIRST FEW

MOON LANDINGS BUT WANED AS

NOVELTY GAVE WAY TO HARD

SCIENCE AND DAY TONIGHT IN THE

HEAVENS.

>> NO LONGER SEEN AS PROTECTED,

NO LONGER SEEN AS SINGLE

COMBAT WARRIORS, NOT DAVID

FIGHTING GOLIATH.

THEY THEN BECAME REALLY

COURAGEOUS -- THEY WERE SEEN AS COURAGEOUS PEOPLE, BUT

PEOPLE INVOLVED IN A

TECHNOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT.

AND THAT DOESN'T BRING TEARS

TO PEOPLE'S EYES.

YOU COULD MAKE UP THE CASE

THAT THERE'S THE RIGHT STUFF

IN ANY FIELD.

BUT IT ONLY APPLIES, I THINK,

WITH ANY MEANING TO A FIELD

WHERE IN THE ROUTINE

PERFORMANCE OF YOUR JOB,

YOU'RE ACTUALLY RISKING YOUR

LIFE.

WRITERS MAY OCCASIONALLY CHOKE

TO DEATH ON A CHUNK OF CHATEAU

IN AN EXPENSE ACCOUNT

RESTAURANT ON THE EAST 50s IN

MANHATTAN, BUT THAT'S NOT

QUITE EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

>> EVERYONE'S TRYING TO CLIMB

HIS OWN PYRAMID.

WHEN THE ASTRONAUTS MAKE IT TO

THE TOP OF THEIRS, THEY'RE

NATIONAL HEROES.

MOST OF US ARE WORKING AT

LOWER ALTITUDES.

BUT IT'S STILL THAT SPECIAL

QUALITY THAT MAKES ALL THE

DIFFERENCE.

TAKE CHUCK STATER WILL, FOR

EXAMPLE.

HE'S MADE AN INTERNATIONAL

NAME FOR HIMSELF IN THE RATHER

SPECIALIZED FIELD OF FILMS

ABOUT NEW WAVE ROCK 'N ROLL

BANDS. I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I DON'T

FIND THE MUSIC VERY

INTERESTING.

BUT THE WAY STATLER MAKES IT

VISUAL, THAT IS SOMETHING

SPECIAL.

>> WE WORK IN A FASHION NOT

UNLIKE A LOT OF DOCUMENTARY

FILMMAKERS.

WE DON'T DO A LOT OF STAGING,

AND BECAUSE WE USE THE

ELEMENTS THAT ARE ON HAND AND

NATURAL, I SORT OF CONSIDER

MYSELF AND THE CREW AS, LIKE,

DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS.

SO THAT'S WHAT INTERESTS ME

AND THAT'S A REAL SERIOUS

CONSIDERATION, HIGH MOTIVATION

FOR ME, EXPLORING DIFFERENT

TYPES OF MUSIC AND CULTURES.

I TRAVEL WITH THREE OTHER GUYS,

JOHN HARVEY, THE SECOND CAMERA,

ASSISTANT CAMERA MAN, DALE

KRUGER, WHO'SED EDITOR, AND

REALLY RIDES HERD ON ALL THE

CONTINUITY WHILE WE'RE

SHOOTING AND PAT CLAUSE, WHO'S

THE -- WHO'S THE SOUND MAN.

SO THERE'S THE FOUR OF US AND

OUR GEAR AND WE RUN A WAGON

AND WE'RE OFF.

WE TRAIPSE AROUND WITH A BAND

AND CATCH WHAT WE CAN.

AND MOST OF US -- MOST OF IT'S

ON THE RUN, TOO.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> WE MET IN ADDNIS, WHICH IS

A RELATIVE NEW BAND.

I THINK AT THAT POINT THEY'D

ONLY PLAYED OUT AND ON CLUB

CIRCUIT FOR ABOUT EIGHT

MONTHS.

THEY JUST FINISHED RECORDING

THE ALBUM, AND THEY WERE

REALLY IN A PRETTY TIGHT

SCHEDULE.

SO, THAT WAS ONE OF THE GROUPS

THAT WE WENT ON TOUR WITH.

AND WE DID FIVE DATES WITH

THEM.

IN NORTHERN ENGLAND.

AND THE BASIS OF THEIR MUSIC

IS THE SKY AND BLUE BEAT,

WHICH IS REALLY JUST DANCE

MUSIC.

IT'S REAL RHYTHM MUSIC AND A

LOT OF THE FOLLOWING THAT THEY

HAVE ARE AVID DANCERS.

SO, WE BUILT BOTH OF THE FILMS,

WE DID WITH THEM, AROUND THE

DANCE AND THE DANCE MOVES.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> OKAY.

THIS IS THE LAST CUT.

>> HEY, YOU.

WATCH ME.

THIS IS THE HEAVY HEAVY.

SO, WITH YOU COMING OFF THE

STREET AND YOU'RE BEGINNING TO

FEEL THE HEAT, WELL, LISTEN,

YOU BETTER START TO MOVE YOUR

FEET.

TO THE ROCKINGEST BEING ROCK

STEADY BEAT.

ONE STEP BEYOND.

[ ♪♪ ]

[ ♪♪ ]

♪ ONE STEP BEYOND ♪

[ ♪♪ ]

♪ ONE STEP BEYOND ♪

>> I DO HAVE A VINYL HABIT.

LISTEN TO A LOT OF MUSIC, AND

I HAVE, YOU KNOW, FOR A NUMBER

OF YEARS.

THAT'S WHY IT JUST SEEMED

LIKE -- THE FIRST FILMS I

STARTED TO PUT TOGETHER IN

SCHOOL, NOW, THE EASY THING,

YOU KNOW, ASSEMBLIZE, YOU

COLLECT THE FOOTAGE, WHEN YOU

GET YOUR FAVORITE RECORD,

START TO LAY IT DOWN, SO, IT

WAS JUST, LIKE, THAT'S ALL I'M

DOING NOW.

I JUST GET PAID A LITTLE MORE

FOR IT.

YOU KNOW?

>> YOU KNOW, ACTUALLY, HE HAS

A LOT IN COMMON WITH TOM

WOLFE.

THEY BOTH CHRONICLE SOMETHING

OUTSIDE THEMSELVES.

IT'S THEIR ARTISTRY THAT MAKES

THE SUBJECTS COME ALIVE AND

THEY BOTH LOOK SO WRONG FOR

THEIR PART.

YOU'D NEVER MISTAKE TOM WOLFE

FOR AN ASTRONAUT.

AND IF I MET CHUCK AT A PARTY,

I DON'T THINK I'D EVER GUESS

THAT HE MADE FILMS LIKE THAT,

HE LOOKS SO UNPUNK.

BUT BACK TO THE PYRAMIDS.

OUR NEXT PIECE IS ABOUT A

GROUP OF YOUNG, VERY YOUNG

POETS.

ARTISTS WHO ARE JUST TAKING

THE FIRST STEPS UP THEIR

PARTICULAR PYRAMID.

AT THIS STAGE IN THE GAME,

IT'S HARD TO TELL WHETHER

THEY'VE GOT THE RIGHT STUFF OR

NOT.

BUT THEY CERTAINLY HAVE CAUGHT

THE IDEA.

THEY'RE FINDING POETRY, POETRY

IN THE WORLD AROUND THEM, AND

THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

>> I'VE COME TO THE CONCLUSION,

NOW I'VE COME TO KNOW, YOU

CANNOT BUILD A SNOWMAN IF YOU

HAVEN'T ANY SNOW.

[ Applause ]

>> IT WAS A GATHERING, A

CELEBRATION, AN EXPLOSION OF

WHITE PETALS.

THE POETRY PUBLICATION READING

AT LANDMARK CENTER, AFTER

ANTHOLOGY OF POEMS WRITTEN BY

STUDENTS, WHEN A POET CAME TO

THEIR SCHOOL FOR A WEEK OF

RESIDENCY.

>> ALL OF THE STUDENTS ARE

SITTING IN THE FRONT ROW.

ARE YOU A LITTLE NERVOUS?

I FEEL A LITTLE NERVOUS MYSELF,

AND I SOMETIMES THINK THAT'S

PART OF WHAT POETRY IS.

SOMETIMES WHEN I'M WRITING, I

FEEL A LITTLE SWELLING AND IT

TURNS OUT THAT IT'S THAT

NERVOUS ATTENTION THAT COMES

THROUGH PAYING ATTENTION TO

DETAILS AND THINGS THAT ARE

IMPORTANT.

AND THIS EVENT IS IMPORTANT.

THE NAME OF THE BOOK OF POETRY,

WHICH WE'RE CELEBRATING TODAY,

IS A BOOK CALLED AN EXPLOSION

OF WHITE PETALS.

HERE'S THE BOOK.

AND WHEN I WAS THINKING ABOUT

THE TITLE, I WAS THINKING

ABOUT THAT WONDERFUL SENSE OF

THE PETALS OF WHITE FLOWERS

AND ALSO OF THE SHEETS OF

PAPER THAT THE STUDENTS HAVE

IN THEIR HANDS TODAY AND ARE

GOING TO READ FROM.

I'M SURE THAT IT WILL MAKE A

DELIGHTFUL EXPLOSION.

>> MY BROTHER'S A LITTLE RACK

ON.

HIS HANDS REACH INTO

EVERYTHING.

RACOON.

I'M A HUNTER, I COME, I AIM.

BUBBLE GUM.

GIVE HIM A SECOND CHANCE.

>> THE NAME OF MY POEM IS

FEELINGS.

I HEARD A SONG THAT OPENED MY

HEART.

I TRIED TO GO WITH IT TO ENTER

MY SECRET DREAMS.

WITH JOY I FLEW INTO THE

DISTANCE.

BRING ME TOWARD ITSELF.

THEN MY JOY TURNED TO ANGER

AND I DROPPED LIKE A STONE

INTO THE DARKNESS.

>> SONGS OF DREAMING, I WAS IN

MY SILENT HALL, MY CAT WAS AS

SOFT AS A FUR COAT HANGING IN

THE CLOSET.

AS SHY AS A STRANGER WALKING

BY.

THE RUG WAS SO STILL I THOUGHT

I WAS DREAMING.

THE CHAIR WAS PEACEFUL AND SHE

THOUGHT IT WAS A STATUE.

THE DOOR WAS WHISPERING TO THE

TV SO QUOTE SHE THOUGHT THEY

WERE DAYDREAMING.

THE SPICES ON THE SHELF WERE

HIG OF PEACEFUL DREAMS.

SHE THOUGHT THE TABLES HAD

WITHDRAWN BECAUSE THEY WERE SO

QUIET.

THE SPIDER CRAWLING ON THE

WALL WAS AS SILENT AS A DREAM.

SHE WHISPERED TO HER CAT, VERY

SOFTLY, I LOVE YOU AND VERY

PEACEFULLY WENT TO BED, AND

THEN THE WHOLE HOUSE WENT

DROWSYLY TO SLEEP.

>> THIS IS --

[ AUDIO UNINTELLIGIBLE ]

ROUGH AND HARD.

THIS IS LIKE WALKING THE

ELEPHANTS BIG AND BULKY.

VISIONS ARE LIKE SPLITTING THE

FLOOR DULL AND BLANK.

VISIONS ARE LIKE A MASSIVE

IRON KEEPING YOU AWAY FROM THE

OTHER WORLD.

>> LOOSEN YOUR HANDS AND

SLEEP.

LOOSEN YOUR DREAMS IN

TWILIGHT.

TAKE THE PATTERN OF NIGHT AND

SLEEP EASY.

GATHER THE SILENCE, TURNING ON

THE WIND.

GATHER THE FACES OF HAPPY

ONES.

SING IN THE NIGHT, AGAINST THE

WIND.

FLOAT ALONG THE BEAUTIFUL SKY

AND SLEEP EASY.

>> DREAM OF THE DREAMS THAT

NEVER WERE.

DREAM OF THE DREAMS THAT NEVER

WILL.

DREAM OF THE GYPSY DANCING IN

THE NIGHT.

DREAM OF MY HANDS ENDING THE

YEARS AND SLEEP EASY.

>> NIGHTTIME DREAMS.

ADD MIDNIGHT, THE OLD MEN

REMAIN ALONE WITH THEIR BITTER

THOUGHTS IN DARK AND DISCAN I

REMINISCES.

THEY BECOME YOUNG AGAIN.

THEY RELIVE THEIR LIFE.

FROM THE PLAYGROUND TO LAW

SCHOOL, THEY DON'T TALK.

THEIR MINDS ARE TOO BUSY TO

SPEAK.

THEIR SELF-CONSCIOUS TAKES

OVER FOR THE NIGHT.

BECOME ALIVE, WEARING COLORFUL

CLOTHES, HOLDING THE WORLD IN

THEIR HANDS.

LET THE -- BUT THE WORLD FALLS

APART.

DARK CLOUDS STORM IN THEIR

MINDS.

THE STORM TEARS THEIR MINDS.

THEY LEAVE THEIR BODIES TO

WANDER.

HAVE NOT OTHERS WHO FEEL

HAPPY.

THE FINE -- FIND PEOPLE WHO

ARE WORSE THAN ME, WHO ARE

TROUBLED OVER DOING SIMPLE

CHORES.

THEY'RE ASHAMED.

THEY TURN BACK TO THEIR BODIES

AND AWAKE TO START ANOTHER

DAY.

>> THE TITLE OF MY POEM IS

MOUNTAIN VALLEY WALK.

A SWEET WHISTLE OF GOODS KEEP

MY EARS AND THOUGHTS.

FLUTTERING CYSTALS OF A DAINTY

MOUNTAIN STREAM CATCH MY EYES.

A COOL CALM OF BREATH OF WIND

GENTLY MASSAGES IN THE CHEEKS.

I COME ALONG A GLITTERING

PASTURE.

BIRDS ARE DRIFTING.

SLOWLY, SILENTLY.

FOREVER IMPRISONING MY HEART.

>> TITLE OF MY POEM IS THE

BLACK RIVER.

THE BLACK RIVER RAGES

ENDLESSLY ON, OVER THE STONES,

CHUCKING UP TREE BRANCHES,

PULLING THEM DOWN TO ITS

DEPTH.

RUSHES DOWN A VALLEY WHERE

HORSES QUENCH THEIR THIRST.

THE MOON IS COVERED BY FROST

AND A SINGLE STAR SHINES.

THE BASE OF A MOUNTAIN -- THE

FACE OF THE MOUNTAIN SUDDENLY

STARES INTO THE RIVER.

A SMALL TREE, UPROOTED AND

THROWN INTO THE RIVER FLOATS

ON.

AS THE RIVER RUNS OVER THE

ROCKS, THE REEDS BOW TOWARDS

THE ROAD AS THE RIVER HURRY

RIS ON.

AS THE PEDDLER STOOPS TO DRINK,

THEY'RE SUCKED INTO THE RIVER.

HE CRIES OUT IN AGONY.

THROWS HIMSELF IN AFTER THEM.

THE NEXT MORNING, THE TRAVELER

FINDS HIS OWN.

[ Applause ]

>> ARE AVAILABLE FROM St. PAUL

COMPASS, A SPONSOR OF

MINNESOTA POETS IN THE SCHOOL.

>> DID YOU SPOT THE NEXT P.S.

ELLIOTT?

ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

AND NOW LET'S END WITH A LOOK

AT TWO REMARKABLE PERFORMERS

ON THE DOUBLE BASS.

IT MAY BE A SMALL PYRAMID AS

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS GO, BUT

RON CARTER AND GARY KARR ARE

RIGHT AT THE TOP.

THEY NOT ONLY HAVE TECHNIQUE,

BUT THEY'VE GOT A SPECIAL

VISION OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR

INSTRUMENT THAT GOES WAY

BEYOND WHAT'S CONVENTIONAL.

I KNOW TOO MANY PROFESSIONAL

MUSICIANS WHO HAVE GOOD

TECHNIQUE BUT JUST DON'T HAVE

THE VISION.

THEY WILL NEVER GO TO THE

FRONTIERS THE WAY THESE GUYS DO.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> THIS IS JAZZ BASSIST RON

CARTER.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> AND THIS IS CLASSICAL

BASSIST GARY KARR.

BOTH MUSICIANS HAVE BROUGHT

THE BASS FROM THE BACKGROUND

TO PREEMINENT SOLO POSITIONS.

WE SPOKE WITH BOTH MEN ABOUT

PLAYING BASS AND LISTENED AS

THEY PERFORMED.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> IF THERE WEREN'T THESE

CONSERVATIVE ATTITUDES IN THE

CLASSICAL FIELD, I WOULD BE

ONE VERY POPULAR MUSICIAN.

BUT I DON'T PLAY THE VIOLIN,

WHICH IS A TRADITIONAL

INSTRUMENT.

THE BASS GOES BACK 400 YEARS.

AND IN 400 YEARS, I THINK THE

STRANGEST OF ALL THINGS IS THE

FACT THAT IT NEVER ATTRACTED

TALENTED PEOPLE.

IN THE 1940s, THE BIG JOKE WAS

THAT YOU CAN LEARN TO PLAY THE

DOUBLE BASS, YOU CAN GET INTO

THE JULIARD SCHOOL IF YOU CAN

MAKE IT THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR

WITHOUT HITTING THE INSTRUMENT

AGAINST THE FRAME.

THE ONE THING JAZZ HAS DONE

FOR THE DOUBLE BASS IS THE

INSTRUMENT HAS ALWAYS SORT OF

BEEN RELEGATED TO THE

BACKGROUND.

AND IN JAZZ, A LOT OF

ATTENTION IS BROUGHT TO THE

DOUBLE BASS PLAYER.

HE RECEIVES AWARDS.

PEOPLE LISTEN.

HE TAKES ON A SOLO.

OCCASIONALLY.

SO THE DOUBLE BASS IS NOT

NEARLY AS STRANGE AN

INSTRUMENT IN THE JAZZ

CIRCUMSTANCE AS IT IS IN THE

CLASSICAL CIRCUMSTANCE, IN THE

CLASSICAL, ORCHESTRA, FOR

INSTANCE, THEY'RE ALWAYS VERY

VISIBLE, THEY'RE THERE BUT NO

ONE EVER REALLY HEARS THEM,

NOT MUCH ATTENTION IS FOCUSED

ON THEM.

THE JAZZ BASS PLAYERS MADE THE

BASS PLAYER GO UP THIS MUCH IN

THE PAST FEW YEARS IN THE

TECHNIQUE ALONE, BUT THEY'RE

NOT AWARE OF IT, BECAUSE

THEY'VE UNAVAILED THEMSELVES

TO THIS ARENA, TO THIS

CLASSICAL MUSIC COMPETITION.

>> I THINK JAZZ IS A WAY OF

LIFE.

MORE THAN CLASSICAL.

YOU LIVE JAZZ.

JAZZ IS A VERY CREATIVE,

SPONTANEOUS TYPE OF

COMMUNICATION.

IN CLASSICAL, IT'S VERY

CREATIVE AND VERY SPONTANEOUS

BUT YOU'RE VERY MUCH AN

INTERPRETER.

AND, SO, YOU SING IN CLASSICAL

TO GET INTO OTHER PEOPLE'S

MINDS AND BE CREATIVE WITH

THAT.

>> BASICALLY WHEN I WAS

PLAYING JAZZ, WHEN I WAS A

CLASSICAL PLAYER, CLASSICAL

ENSEMBLES, I'D LIKE TO SAY IT

OCCURRED TO ME THAT -- BUT

THAT'S NOT REALLY THE FACT --

I WAS TOLD BY PEOPLE WHO

THOUGHT THAT MAJOR ORCHESTRAS,

AND BY BEING OBSERVANT, TOO,

YOU KNOW, THAT THE CLASSICAL

SITUATION THEN AS NOW ARE NOT,

WERE NOT RELATED TO HIGHER --

A GIFTED BLACK PLAYER, WHETHER

HE PLAYED BASS OR VIOLIN, IT

DIDN'T MATTER.

AND THAT HASN'T CHANGED, BY

THE WAY.

[ ♪♪ ]

[ ♪♪ ]

>> THEY CERTAINLY HAVE THE

RIGHT STUFF.

IT'S HARD TO DESCRIBE, BUT YOU

CAN'T MISS IT.

NEXT WEEK ON WYLD RYCE, WE'LL

GET AN EXTRAORDINARY

PERSPECTIVE ON THE MINNESOTA

LANDSCAPE, SEE SOME FABULOUS

ORIENTAL ART, AND MEET FLUTIST

JEAN PIERRE, DON'T MISS THAT

EITHER.

I'M VERN SUTTON.

[ ♪♪ ]

>> Announcer: MAJOR FUNDING

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