Notes and Sources for Bob Gluck’s “The Musical World of Paul Winter” (Intelligent Arts, 2019)

The Music World of Paul Winter, released in March 2019, is my third book, but my first written with a general audience in mind. Thus, the text is narrative in focus; no footnotes are included. The nature of ebook formats lends itself to text and to images, but it accommodates limited sourcing or bibliographic references. Much of that information may be found in this blog posting, below.

While many articles about Paul Winter have appeared in the press over the years, most focus on specific events. While a number of these include brief quotations, Winter has only periodically given extensive interviews. All Winter quotations in my book draw upon this public record and each of these sources is listed in the bibliography, below. The most significant interviews given by Winter include those conducted and published by Michael Bourne, Duncan Heining, Meagan Meehan, Patty Lee Parmalee, David Rothenberg, and Tony Vellela. I found, while working on the book, that these sources offered a comprehensive public record of Winter’s statements to date regarding his musical development, family history, musical evolution, and life mission.

All quotations from David Darling, Susan Osborn, and Jim Scott are from interviews I personally conducted. Writing this book naturally involved extensive research beyond the first hand accounts contained in these interviews. In addition to searching the public record and published accounts, research included substantial close musical listening and reflections upon my own personal experience of Paul Winter’s musical career. This was in numerous ways, a truly rewarding project. I emerged with even greater admiration for the work of Paul Winter, particularly in the context of these difficult times.

For information about the book and how to access it in your favored eBook format, see:



Preface.  Whale song

use of the term “song” from bird song research

“Spectrographic analysis shows, however, that all prolonged vocalizations occur in long, fixed sequences and are repeated with considerable accuracy every few minutes. Because one of the characteristics of bird songs is that they are fixed patterns of sounds that are repeated, we call the fixed patterns of humpback sounds “songs.” The principal differences between bird and humpback songs are that bird songs usually last for a few seconds, while humpback songs last for minutes; and one song of a bird is usually separated from the next by a period of silence. whereas humpback songs are repeated without a significant pause or break in the rhythm of singing.” Payne and McVay 1971, 590.

Chapter 2.            An aspiring young jazz musician

Winter developed a reputation as a soloist

Soon after taking up the clarinet, Winter and his sister Diane, a pianist who later became a Suzuki piano teacher, began to perform publicly as a duo. A fall 1949 performance was reported in the local newspaper. The Rhapsody in Blue performance as a pianist was preceded by an appearance as clarinet soloist (in “Dizzy Fingers”) in seventh grade; each of these with the high school band.

access to the music and to this community of musicians

Winter adds: “I had the advantage of having a whole city to draw from; and it was a great jazz city, then. Lots of bebop happening; the South Side of Chicago was just roaring with bebop. I spent most of my nights driving from Evanston on the North Side of Chicago down to the South Side, hanging out in jazz clubs. I was just enthralled with that music. And we just had a super little band.”

pianist Warren Bernhardt, bassist Richard Evans, and drummer Harold Jones

Evans was an early member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and then a studio arranger/producer, and professor at the Berklee College of Music; Jones was most notably a five-year member of the Basie band, and band member backing Sarah Vaughn and others. The Sextet was Bernhardt’s first recording credit; subsequently he recorded with folk and jazz musicians (Tom Rush, Tim Hardin, Richie Havens, Carly Simon… and as a band leader.

arrangements were purchased from Jimmy Heath

Others were written by band members bassist Richard Evans and pianist Warren Bernhardt; Winter himself did arrangements for their recordings Jazz Meets the Bossa Nova and Jazz Meets the Folk Song). Winter also loved saxophonist Stan Getz’s Focus: “with strings… you don’t know in those pieces where the improvising begins and the writing stops, you don’t know which is which. That’s my standard.”

In 1961, the band won first place

This victory, in May of his senior year, came as a surprise, although the band’s placed second in the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, a month prior.

Chapter 4.     A new Consort: Road, and Icarus

guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner

In an interview with Mario Calvitti, Towner recalled: “… my mother was a piano teacher but I was such a stubborn child and I refused to take lessons from her, I would just listen to all the piano lessons in the back of the room. I always had this particular gift; composing and improvising is something I did naturally from the very beginning.” He learned jazz standards on trumpet, accompanied by his mother; he learned the music by ear from his brothers’ big band and from Nat King Cole Trio records. He told Anil Prasad: “I played trumpet in Dixieland, polka and swing bands from the time I was seven or eight years old. I would improvise in my little school band during the concerts. It was always during the school songs and marches. So, I could always improvise. That was my strong suit as far as jazz time feeling. It’s a tricky thing to get. You really have to play your way into it, I think.” Towner continues to describe himself as “a piano player who plays guitar. It’s always been my approach to the instrument.” Again, from the Calvitti interview: “[My] improvisational style] comes from being a pianist. My intention was to use guitar as a piano and with the same approach, including being able to play each note in a chord, control the volume of every note (like bring one note out and let the others perfectly even). This is a piano technique, classical, when you play an accompaniment for yourself and you have the main line you don’t play the accompaniment so loud that you can’t hear the theme.”

David Darling

Jim Scott, a member of a subsequent incarnation of the Consort said: “When David Darling plays, the music’s going along and he plays just one note. That’s not necessarily ‘David the virtuoso’; it’s that the music was going along one way and then ‘the cello comes in!’ And he makes that life-changing.”

even though we began playing Ralph’s music

Darling adds: “Ralph wanted us to play more of his music, but there was some resistance from Paul from time to time.”

Winter invited producer George Martin … to oversee the album.

Chris Michie: “The interesting thing about the Paul Winter album was that, when it came back to AIR London for mixing, there were multitracks of the songs from two sets of sessions, done at different times in different studios, edited together, basically bar by bar. They had totally different sounds, so the bass sound would change from one cut to the next. It was mixed edit by edit: they’d set up a mix and mix that section, and then, of course, the tape would run on into the next section, at which point the mix would totally go to hell. Then they’d set up for that next section and try to match the one before and so on, then edit the 2-track tape together at the same point as the multitrack edit. It was a very painstaking process.”

Chapter 6.  Electric Winter

David Darling continued to perform with Winter until 1982

Darling relates: I grew up into life touring with the Consort and raising a family, at the same time. In the very beginning my family traveled with us. When we just had one baby we were on the road together. One, Jessica, when she was four, she was ready to go to preschool. That’s when we settled into a place in Bethel, Connecticut; she went to preschool there. They said at school, they would say “Jessica won’t talk to the other kids, she only wants to talk to us adults.” Jessica, of course, grew up talking to adults all the time.”

Chapter 8.     Winter and Wolves

Bernie Krause invented the term “biophony”

Krause engages in recordings of natural environments around the world; earlier in his career, in 1964, Krause and Paul Beaver worked with the early Moog synthesizer; their work includes The Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music (1967).

This was not a domesticated animal by any means

Susan Osborn: “This wolf’s name was Slick and was born in captivity, so it was never really suited to live in the wild. But it still smelled wild. You could smell, you know, a scent of wild animals. And this was a wild animal and just barely on the side of civilized. I didn’t really ever feel like I was in danger in any way. It was just that this animal was smarter than me in a lot of ways. We had the opportunity to tour with Slick during one season. The thing about this particular wolf is that he didn’t like men, and he really liked women. He would go to women. I always felt that it was scent; there’s some biochemical thing going on, a difference between men and women that the wolf sensed. I didn’t feel like this was a dog in anyway. This was not; the only thing tame about this animal is that it was willing to be on a chain, and would come, you know, would follow his handler. But this was another thing.”

Chapter 10.   Communing with whales

“Celebration of the Whale”

California governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown Jr. hosted the “Celebration of the Whale” on November 20, 1976. Several-thousand people attended what Brown referred to as “[an] opportunity for people to enjoy themselves, to learn, to celebrate” whales. The Governor expressed the hope that “as a mammal, their survival is symbolic of our own.” While the fair, comprised of “exhibits of environmental groups, state agencies and private firms,” was reportedly funded by big businesses, an evening concert at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium “was the real money raiser. Those fortunate enough to obtain a $4.00 ticket were treated to six hours of entertainment which included a beautiful color documentary of whales narrated in person by researcher Dr. Roger Payne. In addition, there was the kick-ass music of Country Joe McDonald, the spirited Paul Winter Consort, John Sebastian, the lamentable Fred Neil, and the headliner, Joni Mitchell.”

For want of a better concept we call it intelligence

For another, non-musical, example of sea mammal intelligence, consider Dudzinski and Frohoff’s observation: “dolphins can recognize themselves in mirrors; only humans, some of the great apes, and elephants have been demonstrated to show this ability with dolphins. In other words, although humans and dolphins lack a common ancestor, they have evolved similar cognitive abilities, possibly for comparable social or communicative reasons.” Joan McIntyre points out that “what we test and recognize is limited by the questions we can devise and our ability to conceive of a system in which those questions are meaningful.”

human music could build upon adapted whale motifs

There are numerous examples of human musical compositions, in addition to those of Paul Winter. Here is a brief description of two of the best known examples, each dating to the early 1970s. Descriptions of Winter’s music based upon whale motifs appears in the Chapter 11.

Alan Hovhaness’ symphonic poem “And God Created Great Whales,” Op. 229, No. 1 (1970) combines unison pentatonic melodies, quartal harmonies, and at 2:40, humpback whale recordings by the Paynes (soon to appear on Songs of the Humpback Whales), joined by rapid melodic figures in the strings. A string and percussion crescendo leads to a grand unison melody in the brass section. At 4:20, there is a brief passage of downward horn glissandi, imitative of whale motifs, followed by a return of the busy string activity. This segues into a full minute of unaccompanied recorded whale song. A brief interlude of orchestral bells and harp provides a transition (at 7:05) to delicate flute and string interplay, and then solo violin glissandi, calling and responding. The whale sounds return at 7:50, soon joined (until 9:45) by quiet, textural violin interplay. A closing pentatonic melody in the strings (10:05), punctuated by sharp sustained tone brass clusters, and (at 10:35), a series of long crescendo alternating with textural passages, presaging (at 10:25) low pitched recorded whale motifs, increasingly joined by busy string and then brass figures. A crescendo of percussion provides a dramatic closing.

George Crumb composed “Vox Balaenae” (“Voice of the Whale), for Three Masked Players (amplified flute, cello, and piano) in 1971. Black eye masks garb the human presence. Like many of Crumb’s works (I have performed several, including “Vox Balaenae”), the composer makes broad use of extended instrumental techniques, among them singing into the flute, strumming and plucking the piano strings, holding down and sliding a finger over the piano strings while playing a note, the use of harmonics on all three instruments, lip whistles. The music is more suggestive than imitative of whale motifs. Pizzicato cello notes slide from one to the next over a ringing drone made by a scraped piano string in the lower register. Ringing, percussive strikes of the piano strings suggest the depths of the sea. Echoing cello harmonics, played simultaneously with descending glissandi suggest sea gulls. The music encompasses a broad range of pitches, suggesting the frequency span of whale song. Overall, this sparse, often quiet work sets an otherworldly mood, maybe one of the depths of the sea.

Chapter 11.   Celebrating the music of whales 

As the composition begins

This writer, a fan of the grainy, at moments broken, timbre of late-period John Coltrane’s tenor saxophone wondered about how similar is the second whale sound (the response) and that of Coltrane.

Rare among Winter’s music, it features a vocal

Other examples include, from the early period of the Consort, “Minuit” and “The Silence of a Candle”; from Common Ground, the title track and “Ancient Voices”; from the late 1970s, the songs associated with Susan Osborn and Jim Scott, among them vocal segments of Missa Gaia; collaborations with the Dimitri Prokofsky Singers and with Pete Seeger; and most recently, songs with gospel singer Theresa Thomason.

“I’m a musician, not a naturalist”

Winter commented in an interview: “…It’s so much more intriguing for journalists to talk about wolves and whales or going to Russia, but these are just things we’re enthused about that happen to be reflected in the music. Most pop music is based on people’s enthusiasm for their lovers. It’s really no different to be enthused about the Grand Canyon. What I’m most interested in is the music itself.”

Chapter 12.   Musical Spectacle

the “Noss Jollity Company” vaudeville troupe

The Times (Philadelphia) announced the vaudeville troupe’s Philadelphia performance: “A bright and sparkling entertainment is announced for the Standard Theatre this week, when the Noss Jollity Company will present for the first time in this city their fantastic musical comedy, ‘The Kodak [in Three Snap Shots].’ As the title indicates, the play is a series of snap-shots at all sorts of people; queer, quaint and curious. The plot, though not featured, is more distinct than is usually found in a farce comedy, and tells a story that will appeal to all.” “[It is a] new fantastic musical comedy… as bright as a dollar fresh from the mint….”

the population of Altoona reached 40,000

Located in south central Pennsylvania, Altoona was, from its inception, a railroad town. Pennsylvania Railroad founded the town in 1849 to house its main train construction and repair facilities. Steam engine trains moved coal, consumer goods, and as the Civil War began, Union troops and munitions. At the time, the railroads and canals, such as the Erie Canal in New York State, vied for dominance as a form of transportation. The town was strategically located near Allegheny Mountain foothills, en route to the expanding American west. The construction of the nearby half-mile-long Horseshoe Curve, in 1854, allowed trains to safely traverse the mountain slopes connecting Eastern and Western Pennsylvania, giving railroads an edge. As train tracks were being laid at a rapidly expanding rate in Pennsylvania, train construction steadily boomed, and with it, Altoona.

The Winter family was civic minded; Paul Sr. joined the Altoona Rotary Club a year after his marriage to Beulah Harnish, and remained a member for the latter 51 years of his century-long life. Arthur was a charter member and served as its 11th president in the late 1920s, and as its district governor in the early 1930s. Many years later, in 2003, their store was recognized as a “Heritage Honoree” of the Blair County Business Hall of Fame honoring companies in business for more than 25 years and showing “a lasting impact on commerce generated from Blair County.” Paul Sr. and his wife, Beulah (Harnish) were involved in their son’s school’s music program.

Winter assembled a 17-member Consort to celebrate Ives’ 100th anniversary

A year after this 1974 “Musical Town Meeting,” Winter brought a second edition, “Para-Desa,” to the Mathews farm. The Ives homestead performance was repeated subsequently at Yale University, at a 1976 American Bicentennial at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C, and taken on tour.

the Indianapolis Symphony

For the third of the Consort’s engagements with the Indianapolis Symphony (a previous collaboration was the final performance of the second Consort), Jim Scott did the arrangements on short notice and limited budget, drawing upon music from Common Ground and Callings. Members of the Consort furiously copied parts at the last minute. Scott recalls young conductor Paul Polivnik giving the orchestra an impassioned speech to rally their spirited engagement; at the time, convincing orchestras to engage with new music could be challenging. In this case, the perceived difficulty was no doubt heightened by the inclusion of recorded sounds from wolves and sea mammals. The concert was ultimately received well by both the audience and by members of the orchestra.

Chapter 13.   Solstice

the Lindisfarne Association

The Schumacher Center for New Economics website, which hosts transcripts of talks given at the Lindisfarne Association, offers this historical background: “In 1972 William Irwin Thompson founded the Lindisfarne Association as an alternative way for the humanities to develop in a scientific and technical civilization. Lindisfarne became an association of scientists, artists, scholars, and contemplatives devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary culture. Lindisfarne began its activities in Southampton, New York, in 1973, then moved to Manhattan in 1976, and finally in 1979 to Crestone, Colorado, where today the Lindisfarne Fellows House, the Lindisfarne Chapel, and the Lindisfarne Mountain Retreat are under the ownership and management of the Crestone Mountain Zen Center. In 1997 Thompson retired from the presidency of the Lindisfarne Association; in 2009 the Association disbanded as a formal not-for-profit organization. The Lindisfarne Fellows, however, voted to continue their fellowship as an informal association of creative individuals interested in one another’s work…”

Canticle of Brother Sun

Scott included within this movement “the Canticle… an instrumental riff that we played with the Indianapolis Symphony. Paul said, ‘what if we use that in there as the melody; can we use that?’ So that ended up being in there.”

Later during the 1980s, Winter Solstice opened with

This particular example is from a December 17, 1988 radio broadcast.

Winter spoke of an early conversation with folksinger Pete Seeger

Paul Winter had become interested in folk music while touring Latin America in the 1960s. He was impressed by Seeger’s music when he sat, at John Hammond’s invitation, in the recording booth for Seeger’s 1964 Carnegie Hall concert. Winter was invited by a friend of Peter Yarrow, Andrew Tracey, to join him as one of three Amadinda (Ugandan log marimba) players at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival. There, he met Pete Seeger. They became long, term friends and, in 1996, recorded and produced the record Pete in Winter’s barn.

as documented on the recording Silver Solstice (2005).

Previous Solstice concerts were released on the recordings Solstice Live (1993), Celtic Solstice (1999), Solstice Gems (2002).


Bibliographic sources

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Altoona Mirror, October 8, 1956, 3. Newspaper Archives: Accessed June 5, 2018.

Altoona Tribune, “Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School Parents’ Music Club,” October 5, 1949, 2.

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John Beyer PP and Dick Fruth PP, “Rotarians in the Blair County Business Hall of Fame.” February 2013, 152-153.

Tim Blangger, “Paul Winter’s Nature is to Change Musical Environments.” The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), September 1, 2000.

Michael Bourne, Paul Winter: One World Music, Down Beat, May 1986, 26-28, 56.

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Bernie Krause, The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places, New York: Back Bay Books, 2012.

Bernie Krause, Voices of the Wild: Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.

Betty Dietz Krebs, “Paul Winter Consort Naturally in Tune No Matter the Season.” Dayton Daily News, September 20, 1991, 25.

Larry The O, “To Sir With Love.” Emusician, January 7, 2009. Accessed June 5, 2018.

John C. Lilly, “Toward a Cetacean Nation,” in Toni Frohoff and Brenda Peterson, ed., Between Species: Celebrating the Dolphin-Human Bond. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2003, 77-85.

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Jeff McLaughlin, “Paul Winter’s Voyages,” Boston Globe. April 28, 1988, 90.

Bill McQuay and Christopher Joyce, “It Took A Musician’s Ear To Decode The Complex Song In Whale Calls” NPR radio interview, August 6, 2015. Accessed October 28, 2017.

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Payne, K., Tyack, P., Payne, R., “Progressive Changes in the Songs of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): A Detailed Analysis of Two Seasons in Hawaii,” Payne, R., ed., Communication and Behavior of Whales, Boulder: Westview Press, 1983.

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Whole Earth Review,” Number 61, “Paul Winter,” 1988, 135.



~ by bobgluck on March 30, 2019.

One Response to “Notes and Sources for Bob Gluck’s “The Musical World of Paul Winter” (Intelligent Arts, 2019)”

  1. Thanks Bob for these explanatory notes and sources..very helpful. I enjoyed the book a lot also! And of course all the references to Paul’s music to get to hear. It puts you way out there in the ocean swimming with those whales, and deep in the woods with those wolves. Thanks a bunch and waiting for that 2nd book!

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