I walked across the Appalachians.; Perfect undulations, amber waves of joy; Ridge to ridge – four and a half miles. Terrestrial corduroy.
– Art Garfunkel
A “minimal band” of two members allows Art Garfunkel space to be “nuancy” during his performances.
“It leaves a lot of air that makes room for sound, and what’s left is me,” said the musician/actor/poet.
Garfunkel appears with his acoustical guitarist Tab Laven and pianist Dave Mackay at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 10, at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center.
With his fellow musicians singing harmony, Garfunkel can employ his haunting tenor on a few oldies from the Simon and Garfunkel years.
“I’m not going to be coy and leave out ‘Sounds of Silence’ and ‘Scarborough Fair,’” he said from New York City earlier this week. “But I’m a singer who loves to sing.”
He has plenty of material, having crafted 12 solo albums since 1973. He also will include a few songs from George Gershwin and Randy Newman.
Michael Grady, marketing and communications specialist with Yavapai College, said when it comes to Art Garfunkel, “There’s no disputing his name and there’s no discussion as to whether he’s a good idea. The conversation generally moves around, ‘Can you get him?’”
Garfunkel’s familiar, intimate voice has led to international fame – he recently returned from touring Italy and France. His poems, some of which he calls “philosophical musings,” take center stage in his performances. About a third of his European shows are recent short pieces that will appear in a book later this year.
On stage in foreign countries, he said stopping for the translator to relay those musings sometimes interrupts the natural flow where his poetry would move into song.
“It’s a bit of a dodgy game. A poem is in its language, and to translate into another language is a loss. All you can retain is the content, the meaning of a concept,” he said.
That won’t be a problem in Prescott.
Garfunkel is a list maker and posts his reading inventory on his website; it is about as wide-ranging as can be. He’ll read Shakespeare, Thoreau or Dostoevsky one month and follow those with something more contemporary, like John Updike, Zora Neale Hurston or the late Carrie Fisher (he attended Paul Simon’s and Fisher’s wedding).
“How I love history and all the disciplines. It’s a multifaceted thing, life on earth,” he said. “I am thrilled to be here. I have really fallen in sync with myself.”
The 75-year-old, in addition to his musical career, also acted in movies (“Catch-22,” “Carnal Knowledge” and others), taught mathematics, and earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Columbia University.
Yet he began life as a shy person. How does he explain how that trait affects his life on stage?
“Schizophrenia. We are more than one person,” he said. “I’ve always been shy, reserved and somewhat insecure all my life. At showtime, I know I can sing. I fall into that first song. I immediately connect with that resting place, the start of the song. And there is no shyness.”
Still entranced with being here, Garfunkel said, “When I hit the stage, I have a wonderful feeling of appetite. I do love my show.”
For tickets ($36-$76), go to ycpac.com or call the box office at 928-776-2000.