Hey there! So nice to see you! This time you probably thought it was the end of The Red Flower Press and I don´t blame you for that at all. With that said, I would like to inform you that I have the best excuse ever: I was improving my website! I am sure that even if you do not have a site (yet), you understand that making changes to our virtual home-sweet-home is the sort of thing that can consume a lot of your time and basically all your patience.

And what´s new? First of all, I added three (yep, three!) new pages. Let´s check?

Interviews: They ask, I answer.

Research: Talking about music, comics, visual arts and more (includes a link to download my PhD thesis).

And last, but not least, a new podcast: 10 Minutos de Jazz com Geisa Fernandes. The idea was to talk about Jazz to a general audience in three short episodes of ten minutes each. I am specially proud to announce that this podcast is part of 2021 International Jazz Day official events. So, if you understand Portuguese (or would like to learn it), check it out!

If you check the new pages, you will see that I´ve been quite busy lately, talking to fellows from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico… meaning that I had to stay a really long time seating in front of a notebook screen. In order to do some stretching, from time to time I would stand up and do some house related activity, like cleaning, cooking or, the most challenging of all… baking cakes.

If you are one of the happy few that think baking is easy, a piece of cake, so to speak (sorry, I couldn´t resist), my suggestion is that you stopping reading this post, for now I am talking to you, my dear sister or brother in arms in the eternal fight for a cake that goes right. You, that cannot understand how can your cake look (and probably taste) so different from the one in the picture or video tutorial. I get you. I am with you. My last failure was a lemon cake. A simple, foolproof (so they said) lemon cake recipe.

Watching the result of my attempt, I realized that baking cakes has a lot to do with classical music. Ever thought of that? Each ingredient (instrument) must be added respecting a predetermined order and treated in a specific way. Try to use a bit less sugar or a bit more butter and the whole thing is ruined. Eggs are a separate chapter. Same thing when we talk about the temperature of the oven. The result depends on this beautiful perfect balance.

Now think about jazz, a genre that has improvisation in its DNA. A totally different creative process. As beautiful as, but different.

And suddenly, there was a light. That´s it! I finally understand my problem with baking cakes and it is not a problem at all, just a matter of style: I cook like jazz.

Be seeing you!

G.F.

p.s. My next try in the baking field will be a pumpkin and coconut cake. I´ll keep you informed.

Are you a cat? If you are anyhow related to the jazz world, or even if you are not, you probably heard this slang before. Like many others from the same origin (“gig” comes immediately to mind) it belongs to he current mainstream vocabulary and has such a broad use now, that basically describes anyone who plays or likes very much jazz music. If you read my previous post, you already know that I am into animations and if you are a regular Red Flower Press enjoyer, you might even know about my researches in the visual arts field.

My first step towards becoming a cat had the help of many animated animals, among them the cats from the US sitcom Top Cat. Produced by Hanna-Barbera, the adventures of a gang of Manhattan alley cats leaded by T.C. had jazz almost as an extra character. From the main title theme to the looks of the cats, the jazz vibe is everywhere and I loved to watch it in the afternoon reruns.

The show forged my taste in many ways and it belongs to my fondest childhood memories. I remember being specially fascinated by the way the cats turned the alley into a multi-functional space. The police box phone was the highlight of their creativity and it has a lot to do with the way I deal with decoration, using objects for multiple purposes, alley style.

I never had music classes as a child, neither was taken to concerts and had even less contact to jazz, what makes those visual references so important to me. Gloria Wood singing The Woody Woodpecker song, Louis Prima´s I wanna be like you from The Jungle Book (check out the very nice story behind his participation), Henry Mancini and The Pink Panther theme, among many others, were more than an important part of my musical background, they were my first music lessons. Music will always find a way.

Be seeing you!

G. F.