The Pat Metheny Group’s “Yolanda, You Learn” video featured psychedelic travelogue postcards

By on August 29, 2018

Take Off to Animation III” features videos using different types of animated effects, including the Pat Metheny Group‘s “Yolanda You Learn,” which was directed by Su Huntley & Donna Muir, the London-based artist duo collectively known as Huntley Muir, who dramatically psychedelicized colorful touristy travelogue postcards and the group’s tour photos to create a unique animated effect.

Watch this inspired episode — which originally aired on June 1, 1985 — on Night Flight Plus.

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In late 1980, after working together on and off for a year or two, Su Huntley (b. 1949, Oxford, England) — who had been working as a freelance illustrator and art lecturer, later working as a design director with Wolff Olins, Ltd., London — founded a studio with fellow artist Donna Muir (b. Toronto, Canada).

Together they formed Huntley Muir, their trail-blazing multi-disciplinary, multi-award-winning illustration and design partnership.

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Since then, they’ve collaborated in a wide variety of creative mediums, including digital imaging, multimedia collaboration, painting, drawing, graphics, illustration, 3D design, video animation, set design and installation, creating inspired designs for record companies — including Sting’s Bring on the Night and cover art for reggae artist releases for Island Records — as well as designs for book publishers, newspapers, magazines, advertising and design groups.

They’ve received many awards and honors for their work, including a Grammy nomination for Joan Armatrading’s The Key.

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Their latest project involves creating animated digital cards for Huntley Muir Cards, an e-card website. You can also check out their Tumblr page here.

As far as we know, Huntley Muir are still based at The Barbican in London.

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Read more about Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays below.

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“Yolanda, You Learn” — written almost entirely by Lyle Mays, although he shares the songwriting credit with Pat Metheny — appears on 1984’s First Circle, which was the Pat Metheny Group’s final album for ECM.

The album version of the track fades out towards the close of the video, before Metheny’s final solo guitar section.

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Mays was considered, as one writer aptly described it, “the harmonic and metric backbone of the group’s musical signature.”

He plays trumpet on the track, as well as synthesizer. Mays plays trumpet on “Forward March,” and piano, organ and bells on other album tracks.

What really drives “Yolanda, You Learn,” however, is Steve Rodby’s sinewy electric bassline; in mid-80s concert performances, Rodby would often start off playing his solo bass part against a fine aural mist of Mays’ synth notes, providing an alternative to Paul Wertico’s propulsive drumming intro, which is how the album version begins.

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First Circle — recorded February 15-19, 1984, at NYC’s Power Station — reflected Metheny and his band’s continuing interest in South American-based polyrhythms.

It also featured, for the first time on any of the group’s recordings, Argentinian percussionist Pedro Aznar, who played guitar and sang on the record.

As always, Metheny was credited with playing the album’s guitars, synclavier guitar and guitar synthesizer.

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Lyle David Mays (b. November 27, 1953, in Wausaukee, Wisconsin) first met Patrick Bruce “Pat” Metheny (b. August 12, 1954 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri) in 1974.

By then, Metheny had already been playing guitar for twelve years as a teenage prodigy. He would go on to become the youngest music teacher at Miami University (at age eighteen).

He also taught classes at the Berklee College of Music, under the guidance of jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton, who was signed as an artist to ECM records, an independent record label founded by Manfred Eicher in Munich, Germany.

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Metheny also signed a contract with ECM records, releasing his first album — a collaborative effort with Jaco Pastorius and drummer Bob Moses, called Bright Size Life — in 1975, at age 21.

His second ECM album, Watercolors (1977) featured pianist Lyle Mays, bassist Eberhard Weber and drummer Danny Gottlieb.

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Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb

Metheny — along with Mays, Gottlieb and bassist Mark Egan — formed their jazz fusion combo, Pat Metheny Group, releasing their self-titled Pat Metheny Group album in 1978.

After a major tour with Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorius (Shadows And Light), 1979 would see the release of a Metheny solo album, New Chautauqua, which landed in the US Top 50.

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Within a short period, Metheny was ECM’s top artist and one of the most popular of all jazzmen, selling out stadium concerts.

In 1979, the Pat Metheny Group released a new album, American Garage, which charted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz chart, and Metheny, Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden and Dewey Redman would also release a more traditional jazz double album, 80/81.

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Mays and Metheny paired up again for a gorgeous album of their own, 1981’s As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls, which followed by their group’s 1982 ECM album Offramp — featuring bassist Steve Rodby and Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos — the first Metheny group recording to win a Grammy Award.

Their next releases were the albums Travels (1983), First Circle (1984) and the soundtrack to The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), which contained a UK Top 20/U.S. Top 40 hit, “This Is Not America,” Metheny’s single with lead vocals provided by David Bowie.

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Lyle Mays & Pat Metheny’s professional relationship has spanned over twenty-five years and fifteen albums.

Mays has won eleven Grammy Awards with the Pat Metheny Group and been nominated for four others for his own work; Metheny has won twenty Grammy awards, several of them with the Pat Metheny Group.

Take Off to Animation III“– which also features videos by Cyndi Lauper, Randy Andy, Machinations, Will Powers, George Clinton, What Is This, Donald Fagen, the Residents, Missing Persons, and Jean-Luc Ponty — is streaming on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.