Release Date: 2022
Softcover, 84 pages
Carnival Cocoon is a poetry collection and album by singer-songwriter-pianist Scottie Miller. Inspired by the beat stylings of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, and drifting beautifully through classics like Yeats and Eliot. The book features poems he selected himself and is arranged into five, vibrant chapters that revolve around the human condition. Free verse, ekphrastic, narrative, lyrical, beat and classic styles spring to life in each section: music; interaction with nature; greed/abuse of power; romance; and tales from the musician’s life spent on the road. The book pages are filled with deeply emotive, full-color illustrations that convey the vulnerable content. The collection empathizes with addiction, recovery, mental illness, inequality, homelessness, wrongful imprisonment and the divisiveness of the world. The beehive activity of Berklee College of Music in Boston and the warm, welcoming light of an Irish tavern, all told here with strength, experience and hope. From the gum-spotted sidewalks of New York City to the frozen streets of “nordeast” Minneapolis, the ringmaster recites haunting, romantic stories and hazy memories of wild times spent in Mexico.
A poetry collection and musical masterpiece in both book and audio format, this ambitious body of work triumphs with select poems that are set to music, and featured on the album version of Carnival Cocoon. The music, often completely improvised, charges ahead bravely with 23 poems from the collection arranged for blues, jazz and rock combo. Scottie’s classical influences are discovered too, with lush, string quintet compositions, always with a spotlight on Scottie’s shining piano and voice. Both spoken and sung word take you where the beat poets gather, as if you’re listening in on a discussion of the human condition over a coffee, or a whiskey with Tom Waits or Willie Nelson; where Kerouac might stand next to Steve Allen on piano, while the youthful energy of Peanuts’ Vince Guaraldi blends with a taste of Beethoven.