Tone Roads ... Tune Roads ... Road Tones
In the past few years, Wild Asparagus has put many miles on those tunes... no, tunes on those miles... no, miles on the road. Let's just say that all of the above are true.
Each tune presents us with a path to follow. One can think of each note as a stepping stone to the next, hence the name, "Tone Roads." This is also a pun on the term "tone rows." In modern music, there is a style of composition where all twelve tones of the scale are arranged in a sequence called a "tone row." A tune may also be like a train of thought; one gets on at a certain place, then progresses through mood changes and harmonies and rhythmic variations. Or it might be like a doorway which opens into another world, a fantastic world in which the contours are rhythms and harmonies, the rivers are streams of sound, where people speak through their instruments, and emotional storms play themselves out just like the weather.
This recording, our third, is an album of snapshots, glimpses of some places we have gone in our musical wandering. Many of our tunes are Irish or Scottish in origin, learned from friends and from favorite recordings, but others don't fit into this category. There is a set of French Canadian tunes, for instance, and two Scandinavian tunes, a reinlender from Norway and a schottish from Sweden, each with its distinctive sound. Some recently composed tunes from the United States have caught our fancy. Wissahickon Drive, written by the Chicago-based Irish fiddler, Liz Carroll, is a sinewy tune like the highway it's named after. Further removed from the old country but retaining an Irish feel in both mood and name is Paddy on the Landfill, which our friend, Rob Hayes, wrote a few years ago. The hit single Come Along Jody, is "almost but not entirely unlike" a British Isles tune. It was composed by rocket scientist and fiddler, Tex Logan, from Louisiana. Friends of ours wrote two of the waltzes. Guitarist and tunesmith, Larry Unger, composed The Dancer, which propelled us in a Latin direction. Bass and guitar player, Peter Jung, wrote Far Away, a piece that invited a jazzy, intricate arrangement.
- David Cantieni, October 1990