Forest Dance: Gary Stroutsos and Tony Garone

  • Immanuel Retreat Center & Stone Church Arts 12 Church Street Bellows Falls, VT, 05101 United States

Gary Stroutsos' Forest Dance Artistic Statement

I am honored to have worked with Tony Garone on this special project. It extends the range and scope of the music and lyrics that Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull created during their most prolific early years (1967-1971).

Tony arranged the music for me to improvise over first takes on all the tracks with my selection of flutes, including a 100-year old Haynes wood concert C, silver alto, and Chinese bamboo Xiao flutes. Tony also has a wonderful voice and did not try and emulate the iconic early vocals of Ian Anderson. I was very impressed with Tony’s new arrangements on “Forest Dance." He took on the challenge to create new arrangements seldom done before with the music of Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. The new arrangements left open space for me to create new solo improvisations on songs that never included flute parts from Ian Anderson originally. In addition, Tony's acoustic guitar playing has its own unique feeling bringing the music forward in a new light, thereby creating new sonic landscapes for our time. While Tony has a long history of playing and performing this music in its traditional formats, I couldn't be more excited to be part of his new arrangements that you'll hear on these pieces.

We both shared a joint passion to recreate this music beyond mere tribute or covers; why would anyone want to do that? In a recent interview, Ian Anderson himself stated how he wants to hear his music done in new musical context. Well here it is, Mr. Anderson!

As a world flute artist of many genres and someone who has had unique opportunities throughout his musical career, I would offer that it is about the spirit of the music that can create positive bonds among us. We can make a better world through music, sounds, and dreams.

I hope everyone enjoys our new interpretations of this iconic music which we are both very proud of sharing with you.

Gary Stroutsos
Seattle, Washington
May 2016