The other two are:
1. "Is it flutist or flautist?"
To which I reply "Either (pronounced ee-ther) or either (pronounced eye-ther)!"
and 2. "Play some Tull, man!"
Some think Silver Nightingale is the name my parents gave me - it's not! Here's the true story of:
The story of how I got my name is part of the larger story of the development of my solo flute act. When I lived in Syracuse (my college years and after), I played in lots of eclectic rock/blues bands (Laura and the Legwarmers, Friends, Felicidad, and No Sense of Humor were some of the more interesting names), folk/rock duos, and also started to play solo for yoga classes, spiritual retreats, food coops, anti-nuclear rallies and such. I really enjoyed the freedom and creativity playing solo allowed me, as well as the meditative qualities of the music. During this period, I started composing solo flute pieces, as well as music for my bands. Listeners liked what I was doing, and many people told me they found my solo music peaceful and healing. Receiving a great response to my new solo work, I decided to focus on doing a solo act in the fairly unusual configuration of solo flute, and with the help of local guitar legend and producer Mark Doyle, made a demo tape in his living room.
Shortly thereafter, at the end of 1986, I left Syracuse for New Orleans, feeling it would be fertile ground for a full-time music career. While there, ex-Laura and the Legwarmers bandmate Diana Trifoso (also a jewelry designer and face-painter) passed through town to work some festival or other, and we spent an afternoon sitting on the floor of my David St. apartment uptown, brainstorming a name for my new act.
I wanted to create an image suggesting elegance, opulence, upscale dining, and light, airy, fluid qualities. I wanted silver in the name to suggest the silver flute, the silver used with fine china, silver coins, silver jewelry (I have always preferred silver jewelry to gold). I also wanted to conjure the melodic, "singing" qualities of the flute. We sat on the floor and made a list of 58 names - I still have that list! Some of the also-rans were Silver Sonata, Liquid Silver and Silver Dreams. I don't know which one of us thought of Silver Nightingale - it was a joint effort!
photo by Larry Hoyt
Diana Trifoso and I back in Laura and the Legwarmers days in Syracuse
She was painting my face before a gig while someone interviewed us for, hmmm, a local music radio or TV show maybe?
After that, I started gigging in New Orleans under the name Silver Nightingale. In December 1987, I moved to South Florida, with my new name, my demo tape, and my concept, and bit by bit started bringing into reality the idea I had conceived in Syracuse. Now, a dozen years later, the name Silver Nightingale is starting to be known far and wide around Florida and beyond. The demo Mark Doyle made for me really helped me get started here. Since then, I've used newer demos recorded by Zach Ziskin, Billy Livesay, Sally Townes and others, and have released Sarabande, a solo CD/tape engineered by Jeff Lehmann. I've been able to bring my act to a broad range of venues, from commercial to spiritual, and people everywhere respond to the heart-touching qualities of that solo flute voice. I've even played solo, with great response, at unlikely places like progressive rock clubs Squeeze and Button South. I've also found a calling playing for people at the end of life, where my solo music seems to be of special service.
From what I hear, Mark Doyle is still going strong in upstate New York. The always exotic Diana Trifoso surfaced at the Vizcaya Renaissance Fest a few years back, then moved to Hawaii and owned a store called Bead Heaven for several years. Then I heard she moved back to Syracuse and opened a combination art gallery and bead store, Ohana Gallery and Bead Heaven, in my old neighborhood on Westcott St. Then she travelled between the coast of Oregon and Scotland for a while, and recently relocated to the Florida Keys for an undetermined period. I look forward to returning to Syracuse someday to share the fruits of the creative idea I conceived there with many friends who still live there.Without their support at the beginning of my professional career, I wouldn't be where I am today, which is:
I currently live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and perform solo all over South Florida and increasingly around the state, as well as with beloved colleagues in duos, trios and quartets specializing in Brazilian, Celtic, pop, jazz, original, World, new age and eclectic music. My heart still belongs to rock and roll, even though it's not a big part of my repertoire in my current ensembles, and I love to rock out with friends like Scott Avery and Cyndi Rapp whenever I get a chance. My solo flute music has received national radio play, and continues to hold a special place among the diverse facets of my musical life.