Silent Flute

An unreleased Mickey Hart album, recorded about 1974. Dennis McNally explains the story:
Mickey responded [to the rejection of "Fire On The Mountain"] by making a sound track to a martial arts film called The Silent Flute, written by, among others, Bruce Lee. Martial arts was a Hartian specialty and brought out his greatest intensity. For two weeks he did not change his clothing and had his food left at the barn door. Since he did not even have a copy of the script, he relied solely on his memory of one reading. "Piano. Low frequencies. It was my best work." This, too, was rejected. "They actually walked out on me while I was playing it for them."
This is the description by Bryan Dyke from the Deadhead's Taping Compendium:
Unlike the very enigmatic efforts of Area Code 415 amd Fire on the Mountain, this unreleased Mickey Hart LP is precisely predictable in material. Cryptic, tranquil, naive, and exploratory, this solo effort consists of only three tracks, which represent a bipolar display of delicate genius and arrogant mercurialism. The standard chops are thought out and poignant, the avant-garde material focussed and melodic. And, of course, the percussion contribution is incomparaly dynamic, ranging from serenely silent to the threshold of pain.

Track 1 begins with a distant space segment followed by a brief series of indecipherable quips � la "Seastones." In the background you can hear commanding bellows erupting rather quickly before they fade into silence. Arising abruptly, the tempo of the jam becomes erratic, the pattern like that of a bell curve. Though the ascensions are painstaking, the declines are demonic. Upon the arising, one can feel the motion of the jam flowing through the body. While descending, one can feel oneself being drained, drip by drip. After failing to resolve, the jam is grounded with an eruptive bomb that is as chillingly haunting as the call of the reaper. Without warning, the jam abruptly shifts from possessed to enlightened, leading into a sparingly minimal jam with deep Asian overtones. Precise and refined, the jam meanders to a graceful fade, until all that is left is the uncluttered whispers of the flute, and the silence in between. That's what it must sound like in the presence of the Buddha! Teasing the ascension, Garcia takes the lead with a heavenly solo of innocent inquiry. Rich in delay, each bend in the string seemingly expands the awakening further. The responding jam, which contains a brief lick resembling the "Star Wars" theme, sets the path for the final ascension. Slowly and gently the jam builds, savoring momentarily upon the arrival before once again fading into silence.

Track 2 is backward, and though at a glance it sounds like gibberish (remember "Revolution #9"?), it actually contains a quaint and soothing melody. Unfortunately, the track concludes before its motif can be assumed.

The concluding selection is a Hart-Lagin jam set with a primitive percussion rhythm accompanied by hollow electrosynthesiser-like bombs. Though appealing, this jam reamins set in a specificpattern, and like track 2, it concludes prematurely, thus hampering it's effectiveness.


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