Music, Pop Culture

“Nights In White Satin” by flutists Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara

Dizzying in a way that moves the listener to another time, another space – the new track “Nights In White Satin” by flutists Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara, along with pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti, flutters about like a dancing butterfly. On the wings of these instruments are delicate sonic blends that erupt into an emotional blanket big enough for all. “Nights In White Satin,” The Moody Blues’ signature song, feels just as fresh as it did back in the late 60s. Markoff and Lazzara dazzle in this warm blend of colorful, rich tones. It’s another example of how these flutists have taken flight.

Soaring above the piano, the flute sound is present for nearly the entire song. The opening lines are piano only – setting the stage for the listener to immediately open their heart and mind for an emotionally-enriched experience. I think I’m open-minded enough to lose myself into the throws of an instrumental track just as much as a modern pop song. What I experienced in this  version of “Nights In White Satin” is a charming array of pastels and rays fixated across a bold music bed. As the title suggests, there’s a feeling of night time and dreaming.

As a listener I got caught up in the effervescent-like tones of the flutes. There’s something almost Shakespearian happening with the flute’s arrangements. Perhaps I’m thinking too much of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and trying to tether these two together. The flute’s windy sound echoed in my heart and in my mind for hours. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I’m a big fan of the original song, and this instrumental is worthy of all its forthcoming praises.

The parts where the words and I love, yes, I love, oh, how I love you, oh, how I love you, would be, are instead portrayed by the two flutes. It felt boundless, energized and transformative all-the-same. I think, too, when you hear a song like this, one that is so etched into memory, it’s hard to imagine any other version. I even found myself singing the words when there obviously weren’t lyrics to sing. It’s a song that when it’s all said and done that you feel fulfilled and excited by the opportunities it afforded to you.

And where the lyrics, breathe deep the gathering gloom, watch lights fade from every room, the flutes trickle along like light cascading into the morning light. Or even escaping the day for the night, the flutes take the listener on such a vibrant, enchanting journey. I wanted to keep peeling back those layers, keep exploring that connection between the flutes and the piano keys.

Markoff and Lazzara are New Jersey-based. “Nights In White Satin” is from their third album, By Request, a follow up to 2021’s Romances In Blue and 2019’s Timeless – Hits of Love and Hope From Pop, Rock & Soft Rock. Additional songs on By Request include “Collide”, “Layla”, “When I Was Your Man” and “Don’t Dream It’s Over”.

Cleopatra Patel

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