Without Understanding

My name is Jeremy Platt. I make music. Examples can be found through the above links and my albums can be accessed through the Releases page. I write poems and essays and my short story “Playing Bass at A Wedding” is available in Dreamcatcher magazine issue 40.

This is a place where I share music, words, thoughts and ideas.

Rediscovering Stevie Wonder

15 October 2022

(Citation needed but) almost everyone who operates in the field of popular music believes that Stevland Morris is one of the greats. People remember the classic tunes with love and reverence but he’s such a seminal figure that you perhaps begin to take him for granted. A return to a long remembered Stevie Wonder classic after time away has a visceral effect. “Too High” for example. Forget the fact that it’s got an outrageous groove, duelling harmonicas and synth bass which communicates with body and mind and just look at the structure and the harmony. The parallel chords which come in after three, not four, bars, descending over a dominant pedal. The repetitions of “too high” which come after three, not four, beats, the chorus built on 13th chords starting a semitone below the main key of the tune, the unexpected harmonic excursions in the verse. All of these point to a specialist or minority interest music but this is a well known pop song. From where is it coming?

Melodica Music

12 October 2022


Download (right click)

I recorded this tune "The Enveloping Sky" at the Swing Ting studio in Manchester. It was one of two and I'll post the second one later. I've been playing melodica for a long time. I've found that it gives me freedom to concentrate purely on a melodic line. When playing piano, the left hand advances the harmonic situation and affects where the right is going. On melodica, it's more freeing - at least that's how it feels to me. You can achieve a similar feeling by soloing with right hand only on piano but you still don't have the control over note duration and expression that a wind instrument gives you. I've noticed a small amount of online disapproval for the melodica. For some reason it seems to generate strong feelings. I'm reminded of the time when an audience member came up to me before a gig and asked me if I was going to be playing melodica. I said that I wasn't. "Oh good" he replied "I hate that!"

If you'd still like to listen after that non recommendation, please do. It's not available anywhere else and is downloadable here.