Band X lives on, now released on Riding Easy Records as vinyl. Lots of history on this link…
Craig’s record label, ‘Uyslla‘ is releasing a compellation of his music called ‘OverFlight‘ that runs a thread through his professional music life. Now available after a few years of hard work putting together playlists, artwork, etc. Please fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the links/articles below, with ‘OverFlight‘, a 50 year timeline of Craig’s career.
The Fusion Years 1975-1981
The NYC Producer Years 1981-1987
Craig the Survivor 2000-Now
Craig Peyton, “Be Thankful for What You Got”
The Bloomington label Ulyssa understands the art and utility of the mixtape as a means to expose the stranger corners of music. It has released a Soundcloud rapper anthology, crate-dug streaming curiosities and doubled down on whatever “toe jazz” is. On the surface, Craig Peyton doesn’t seem to fit Ulyssa’s usual oddballs and outsiders: He wrote scores for PBS and BBC shows, was a regular musician on BET, produced house and R&B songs in ’80s NYC. (He was also the Flight Ambassador to the Bahamas?!) But from wonky fusion and smooth-prog to vibrant new age and some straight up elevator jazz, it’s like, who is this guy?! Here’s my favorite jam of the bunch, in which Peyton turns William DeVaughn’s smoove, two-chord hit “Be Thankful for What You Got” into a motorik, Giorgio Moroder-style groove.
Ban Ban Ton Ton is a music website / blog, run out of rural Japan. “Ban” ( バン) and “Ton” (トン) are Japanese onomatopoeia – like “Bang” or “Crash”, the sound of a child hitting a drum. The name is also a reference to “Zang Tumb Tuum”.
12/23 90 min Peyton Radio Interview on WFHB about the Uyssla ‘Overflight’ release: https://archive.org/details/ur-139-pv
2023 Super selection by Cal Gibson: https://banbantonton.com/2023/12/26/2023-a-few-favourites-by-cal-gibson/
Climate documentary 2021
Review for ‘Code Red’ Universal Cinema Film and TV Journal
‘Code Red: My Southwest Overflight’ is an aerial photography film directed by Craig Peyton showcased at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival of Cift (TIFFC) and has also been officially selected in several other film festivals, including a category for climate change. His film became a semi-finalist in the Advertising Coverage category at TIFFC. The film uses a 360-degree 5K VR wing camera to film himself flying his small plane to the four corners of the Southwest United States in Arizona and Utah.
Craig Peyton is a musician and transitioned himself to film production. He has contributed to many Hollywood film productions like “Along Came Polly” with his aerial photography. Craig is a 6,000-hour rated pilot who founded “EarthFlight.com” so he can combine his passions for flying, music, and film production, which led to this project. In addition, the idea of this particular film came about due to the challenges of flying in several extreme climate conditions of heat and fire in Southwest US has given him a reason to film a particular topic he can focus on and share his experience during his flight.
Craig’s inspiration came from flying his personal plane across New York to Los Angeles during the summer of 2021, where he witnessed drought, forest fires, and heat waves as high as 110°F that he discovered in several areas across the land. His passion gave him a purpose to create some awareness of the ever-changing climate and voicing his thoughts and concerns by educating the viewers with what he can show from his 360-degree camera.
His approach to making this film relies on his flight with the 360-camera mounted on the wing of his plane. He produced his own music and used it as the backdrop for the film as the viewers enjoy the aerial views of his flight. His own commentary is sprinkled throughout the film to help describe what he is showing during his flight as well as sharing some heart-filled advice on what he has learned in his life. Think of this as an extended artistic music video and documentary combined as one, sharing his observations of the world, experiences in his life, flight knowledge, and technical aspects of his aerial filmmaking.
All the commentary from Craig was clearly straight from the heart, whether or not if it was scripted. His views are well articulated from his life experience to provide the authenticity and empathy he exudes from his adventures. Some of the amazing sights he filmed included the Red Rocks and Lake Powell in Arizona and the Monument Valley, Navajo Tribal Park in Utah.
Craig’s philosophy to aerial photography is “that it is better to capture ugly than to capture beautiful”. In a way it sounds like a complete opposite idea of what one may think about capturing aerial photography, it is likely an effective approach to filming. This likely means that it gives him the opportunity to relax any rules and fundamentals of getting the “perfect shot” and just let the 360-degree camera do the work. This allows raw unedited scenes to extend a little longer to increase the immersion of his flight experience. And not that many aerial photographers have this sort of opportunity to do something as unique as what Craig had the fortunate chance to film. This also gave him the opportunity to showcase the neat “tiny planet” effects that the 360-camera is capable of doing.
If anyone was to do a film like this, Craig was the right person to take this initiative. He has the flight experience and talent to pull off something that is captivating and different for viewers to enjoy and learn at the same time. His humble and wise voice-over commentary is a great blend to his filmmaking, which speaks volumes to how much of a passion project this was for him. And more importantly, he did this with good intentions of creating awareness for climate change. His closing statement for this documentary is that “it’s always the best time to do the right thing and protect our little blue planet. Thanks for being on board”. If you would like to see more of Craig’s work, be sure to visit his website http://www.earchflight.com.
by: Trevor Brooks
Check out the music side of Code Red, full play with the link above.
Here’s a full length video of my flight from NY to LA, through the Southwest. It was a record heat wave which turned the flight into a very different experience. The music is mostly hand played vibes, xylosynth, drums, and a zoom pedal. My friend, Alain VanAchte, did audio narration & music mixing. His super ears greatly contributed to CR. Code Red was entered in a few environmental film festivals has won an awards at the Toronto Cift Film Festival, Colorado Environmental Film Fest, and Global Conscience World Film Fest . Code Red info site here: https://filmfreeway.com/CodeRedMySouthwestOverflight
Craig Peyton Group Music Videos
Once again Marcelino has thrown down and written a great upbeat fusion piece. This is installment #2 of the NYC Toe Tappers… we all had fun cutting tracks and sending in our parts from different parts of the world. Seems like the Toe Tappers just might keep evolving.
Here is a quick flight using a 360 cam, giving a unique perspective (bird-like) on flying. It’s a tool I’ll be using a lot more in the future. The music, ‘Watercolors‘ I wrote and arranged a while back, using my Fairlight III production computer. That difficult box (all commands in DOS!!) was used many times on earlier music productions you hear on my R&B comp.
‘Kong‘ (above) is a fusion jazz performance with Craig Peyton Group founding members, Marcelino Mt, John Putnam, and Ray Marchica. While working out the details, we renamed the group, ‘The NYC Toe Tappers‘ (at least for this one)
Here’s a video made with my old Latitude partner, Ben Verdery. Check his site, he’s had a massive career. He organized a wonderful YouTube concert featuring many of his music collaborators.
In the more aerial/solo music department, here is a slow groove to watch purple clouds. Take a quick flight with me into purple cloudscapes and the beautiful Hudson Valley. Play ‘Hudson Valley Heartscape’
Between the Clouds
The New Craig Peyton Album, featuring Michael Levine
In 1975 Craig Peyton & Michael Levine were friends attending Berklee College of Music. The combination of Electric Vibes & Electric violin led to some interesting gigs together as they both entered the dynamic NYC music scene. Some 40 years and careers later, they collaborated in this contemporary sonic, covid-19 driven music adventure, ‘Between the Clouds’. Ambient, electronic, atmospheric… Listen (free) right now
Videos of 2 popular tracks6:13 Love in the Time of Corona (video) Craig Peyton & Michael Levine
7:01 High Altitude (video) Craig Peyton & Michael Levine
4:42 Hypoxia Craig Peyton & Michael Levine (feat. Ray Marchica
5:05 Between the Clouds Craig Peyton & Michael Levine
7:17 Past Neptune Craig Peyton & Michael Levine
7:38 Troposphere (feat. Ray Marchica) Craig Peyton & Michael Levine
4:26 The New Normal Craig Peyton & Michael Levine
|Craig Peyton: keyboards, synths, vibes, xylosynth, production, mixing
|Michael Levine: Violin, Electric Violin, Ciola
|Ray Marchica: Electronic Drums, Hypoxia & Troposphere
|Stephen Ang: Fretless Bass, Between the Clouds
|special thanks: Toby Rosser, cover, website design, & lifetime friendship. George Heussner, valuable feedback and project title. Mirette Seireg, marketing opportunities and publishing. Ada (quiet cloud) Lau, putting up with CP during the ‘process’.
|“Between The Clouds” now available on all your favorite streaming sites, or download on iTunes, Amazon etc.
Get ready to have your limbic system squeezed. “Between the Clouds” is an unearthly trajectory into a different dimension provoking a vast range of emotions. Electronic vibes sing with the violin creating an eerie, seductive sound with the bass and drums rolling it into perfection. The music is primal, sometimes caressing you and sometimes taking you out of your comfort zone. It both foretells of a time to come yet harkens back to the primordial ooze making us nostalgic for “the time before the mask” – a very special collection. — Liz Shaker-One Globe Music
Between the Clouds album is great. An organic percussive track woven into the Melody. If music imitates life, you are re-evaluating internal dialogue and expanding your comfort zone. Your rhythmic breath feels different. This is all good.
Stephen A- Light Perspectives
“Back in the day, a jazz-fusion quartet with electric vibes, electric violin, bass, and drums was an oddity. Today, maybe even more so. Audiences didn’t quite know what to make of us but they thought we were cool. Playing with Craig (and Ray and Marcelino) remains one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had as a performing musician, one that pushed both my technical skills and creativity to the limit just to keep up.
So when, after a brief hiatus of 40 years, I found my self playing with Craig again it was less of a trip down nostalgia lane than an exciting adventure into the unknown.
Like always. I hope people enjoy listening to this music as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Read your (above) post this morning.. much better than coffee. Very beautiful thoughts! Amazing times in the rearview, and what a great experience creating BTC. While working on the project, I kept having stage flashbacks when I would hear your signature riffs. Thank you Michael for your brilliant playing, gentle production nudges & second chances. In this unique way, we have left an audio map of a very challenging, troubling time we’re in…personal and national.
Yes, it was a long haul. I entered an experimental program with very low chances, and was able to survive.…
Hi Mr. Peyton, Did you survive stage 4 esophageal cancer? My husband was stage 3 and suffered many hospital complications…
Awesome you should think of sontmhieg like that