Five Chapters. 84 pp.
Poetry Collection, (book) edited by author/editor Candelin Wahl. Burlington, VT.
Carnival Cocoon is a poetry collection and album by singer-songwriter-pianist Scottie Miller. The book features an eclectic mix of his original poems which he arranged into five, vibrant chapters that revolve around the human condition. Inspired by the beat stylings of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, and classics like Yeats, Eliot and Poe. Free verse, ekphrastic, narrative, lyrical, beat and classic styles spring to life in each section: music; interaction with nature; greed/abuse of power; romance; and tales from the musician's life spent on the road. The book pages are filled with deeply emotive, full-color illustrations that convey the vulnerable content. The collection empathizes with addiction, recovery, mental illness, inequality, homelessness, wrongful imprisonment and the divisiveness of the world. The beehive activity of Berklee College of Music in Boston and the warm, welcoming light of an Irish tavern, all told here with strength, experience and hope. From the gum-spotted sidewalks of New York City to the frozen streets of “nordeast” Minneapolis, the ringmaster recites haunting, romantic stories and hazy memories of wild times spent in Mexico.
A poetry collection and musical masterpiece in both book and audio format, this ambitious body of work triumphs with select poems set to music on the album version of Carnival Cocoon. Scottie’s original compositions, often completely improvised, charge ahead bravely with 23 poems from the collection set in blues, jazz and Americana. Classical influences are discovered too, with lush, string quintet compositions. Always with a spotlight on Scottie's shining piano and voice. Both spoken and sung word take you where the beat poets gather, as if you're listening in on a discussion of the human condition over a coffee, or a whiskey with Tom Waits and Willie Nelson. Imagine Kerouac recordings with Steve Allen on piano, (except Scottie does both simultaneously.) His piano playing portrays the youthful energy of Peanuts' Vince Guaraldi with a taste of Beethoven.
Welcome to Scottie Miller's Carnival Cocoon.
Solo piano, trio and string quintet
23 poems set to original, often completely improvised musical composition. Blues, jazz, classical, experimental, rock and Americana.
RUNNING TIME: One hour, five minutes
Album recorded, mixed and mastered by Steve Kaul at Wild Sound Studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Words and music composed by Scottie Miller.
Strings arranged, scored and directed by Cierra Alise Hill.
*Special guest RUTHIE FOSTER. Vocals and co-writer on “Stay.” Ruthie Foster appears courtesy of Blue Corn Records.
Poetry/Piano Performance Art
Piano and strings, or full-ensemble production featuring band, strings, dance and special FX
From the poetry collection and the Album Carnival Cocoon
Poetry collection and musical masterpiece in book and audio format, this ambitious body of work triumphs with select original poems from Scottie Miller’s forthcoming poetry book, set to music. It charges bravely over a vast landscape of 23 pieces of music with blues, jazz and rock combo, string quintet and Scottie's shining piano and vocals.
Both spoken and sung word are found here, where the beat stylings of Jack Kerouac and Steve Allen come to mind, as they might discuss the human condition in a coffeehouse or bar with Tom Waits or Willie Nelson. Free verse, narrative and lyrical, beat to classic, tells true tales of everything from addiction and recovery to homelessness to the welcoming light of an Irish pub with conviction and hope.
From the gritty sidewalks of New York City to the frozen streets of “Nordeast” Minneapolis, the ringmaster recites haunting, romantic stories as well as hazy memories of wild times spent in Mexico.
This is a massive endeavor that encapsulates Scottie’s broad musical upbringing. As he says, this is “the most liberating project I’ve ever pursued.” The composition, piano playing and accompanying musicians answer the call of each poem with improvisation and precise, reactive performances.