Paul Horn and Ann Mortifee at Sacred Space

ann and paul -reading

In this video from an afternoon presentation at The Sacred Space, Paul plays flute as Ann reads from the book, In Love with the Mystery.

Music and Time

Paul Horn with flute

Excerpt from the interview, Paul Horn: Music and Time

Q: Your use of space between played notes, as Miles Davis practiced, is present in your playing. Is this approach something you developed?

PH: Exactly. Well he was my main teacher, good fortune for me, I had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with Miles, and we became close friends. And every time he came out to Los Angeles and played with his band, whatever band that was at the time, his great band with John Coltrane and Miles, we’d hang out a lot and I was very influenced by him. In many ways, as a person and as a musician, and he would always talk about space.

Anytime we’d go into some other club to listen for some other player, that I was impressed with, I’d say, “What do you think of that, Miles?” because the guy had a great technique and he was executing his ideas well and Miles was not impressed, he said, “He’s playing too many notes. “ That’s all he’d say. “Too many notes, too many notes.” Then it got me to think that, most musicians think that way. You know if you have a lot of technique and you work years and years and years to develop your technique, it’s pretty hard not to use it. So the challenge is- less is more.

And that’s a sign of maturity. I don’t think that when you’re very young that you’re ready for that yet because you’ve got too much energy. You’re like an athlete, you can’t tell an athlete to run slow. But when you’re playing an instrument, a musical instrument, it definitely is muscular as well as other factors, so it’s hard when you want to slow down, you want to move fast. You’ve worked hard on your technique to play a lot of notes, but all you’re doing is playing a lot of notes.

The challenge is to play the right note, in the right place, in the right sequence of notes and leave space around it so it can breathe. And the day came when that really sunk in, and I think it’s very important.

And if you had that, if you had that in mind, when you listen to records now or any live performance, you become very aware of the person that is performing and if that person is using space at all, and if so, is it used well? It’s a very important part of the music I think.

Link here for the full interview:

Ann Mortifee

Ann and Paul on Black 1

Paul Horn and Ann Mortifee - 1973 and 2010

Paul Horn now shares his life and work with Canadian vocalist and arts-and-culture leader Ann Mortifee. They bring together their unique and shared life experiences in their music, performances, workshops and presentations in the US and Canada.

Paul and Ann at Sacred Space

One of their Esalen workshop descriptions states:

“To become fully alive in all our humanness and vibrant in our spiritual essence, a merging of opposites needs to occur,” write Ann and Paul. “Strength with vulnerability, active with receptive, known with unknown. Through music, story, improvisation, meditation, and work with the wheel of integration, the intention for this workshop will be to stabilize and free the body, expand yet focus the mind, and awaken and embody the spirit.”

Paul Horn and Ann Mortifee

Their latest project is the recently published book and CD In Love with the Mystery

In Love With the Mystery

In Love with the Mystery

Music by Paul Horn, Miles Black and Edward Henderson

Vocals and spoken word by Ann Mortifee

This exquisite book is accompanied by music from accomplished musicians and improvisers. Just as the writing in IN LOVE WITH THE MYSTERY was spontaneous and inspired, so also was the creation of the accompanying CD. It is not simply an audio version of the book, but instead is a creative musical expression of the ideas and meaning behind the words in the book. Selected for their evocative power, phrases and passages are spoken and sung within a rich musical environment; the musicians created a resonant sphere in which the meanings and images in the writing could find full expression, often in an active interplay beyond, around and above the words.

Companion CD included in the book

On the companion compact disc, recorded live with her husband, Paul, Ann’s voice transports the listener to places where one can meditate on the wisdom within one’s own heart. This inspired musical offering, a marriage of two visionary souls traveling together, is an added gift to be experienced alone or in union with the book.

The listening experience is enhanced through refined professional recording and mastering using state of the art facilities and craftsmanship. Playable as stereo 5.1 for full surround sound, it is also a super audio disk (SACD), providing extraordinarily superior sound quality for those who have the capacity for SACDs on their players. This CD also sounds beautiful on any normal CD player.

  • Length: 46 min
  • Instrumentation:Vocals, spoken word, flute, guitar, piano
  • Stereo and Surround Sound 5.1

For more info, go to In Love with the Mystery official site.

Available in the US from at HERE

And in Canada at HERE

BOOK WITH CD: $28.95 CDN (plus tax+shipping) Also available at fine booksellers on request.

Music for “Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness”

Bhutan DVD Cover

DVD available at Amazon

Paul Horn and Jigme Drukpa were featured in the music, “The Middle Path,” by Christopher Hedge, for this beautiful hour-long documentary about Bhutan, its people, its culture and its practice of finding happiness on the middle path. (With narration by Ann Mortifee)

For more on the music in this video, link here.

Produced and directed by Tom Vendetti, the film Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness was a winner of 2 Emmy Awards.

Sacred Tibet Film

A film about a sacred pilgrimage ending at Mount Kailash, Sacred Tibet, the Path to Mount Kailash is a Tom Vendetti film featuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama, multi-Grammy Winner Paul Horn and Lama Tenzin – narrated by Kris Kristopherson and Paul Horn, with music by Paul Horn and Christopher Hedge.