In January, Art Garfunkel told the Miami Herald he “can’t imagine that world,” one in which he and former music partner Paul Simon get along.
So much troubled water under that bridge — metaphorical and otherwise.
But Garfunkel’s world remains filled with talk and music. And harmony.
On Sept. 26, Garfunkel releases “What Is it All but Luminous (Notes From an Underground Man)” (Knopf, $27), his autobiography told in prose form.
A few weeks later, on Oct. 15, Miami Book Fair presents a conversation with Garfunkel at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. There, the singer/actor will read from his book and, presumably, engage with his audience.
And on Jan. 18, Garfunkel reprises his intimate Art Garfunkel: In Close Up Tour with a concert performance at Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse that will merge his musical and literary endeavors.
That show should resemble the concert he performed in January this year at The Seminole Theatre in Homestead.
Garfunkel, 75, was backed by a pianist and guitarist. The singer delivered Paul Simon songs from the Simon & Garfunkel songbook such as “The Boxer,” “The Sound of Silence,” “April Come She Will” and an abridged version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The latter worked well at the Homestead show even without the bravura closing note that Garfunkel, then 28, soared with on the original 1970 recording.
Garfunkel also performed solo material like “Bright Eyes,” a No. 1 hit in Europe in 1979, but ignored in North America, he said from the stage. “A Heart in New York,” a tune he first performed live at the historic Simon & Garfunkel reunion concert in Central Park in Sept. 1981, and the more recent “The Perfect Moment,” also featured.
“Can you believe I’m still doing this?” Garfunkel said to applause as he strolled out of the curtains on stage right to begin his Close Up concert.
Interspersed with the gentle, melodic music, Garfunkel told tales of growing up in New York, fatherhood and family, show business and of Simon.
He skirted the 2015 feud that played out in the press and that most likely rendered Simon & Garfunkel into history. But he spoke graciously of Simon, naming him as one of his favorite songwriters and “a friend.” Before singing the duo’s “Scarborough Fair,” he spoke movingly of losing his live-in girlfriend Laurie Bird to suicide in 1979.
As in Homestead, and for the coming Parker Playhouse and Miami Book Fair appearances, Garfunkel said he hopes to make his brand of poetry accessible.
“I try and serve these poetic pieces,” he told the Herald in January. “People are intimidated by the word ‘poetry.’ They think dense language. I try and be palatable and be interesting.”
Garfunkel’s contributions to Simon & Garfunkel in the 1960s were his angelic tenor and producing and arranging skills. He left the songwriting to Simon. But in writing his memoir and structuring a concert tour around the book, he taps into the grace and rhythmic songwriting language with which Simon composed timeless material like “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Still Crazy After All These Years” and “Graceland.”
Garfunkel explained his writing process in the Herald interview.
“I wrote the first line as a grabber. If I got their interest on the first line, what wants to come next?” About a dozen of these passages “float through the show, weave in and out of the songs. When I finish one of these prose poems, it kind of sets up the next song I’m going to do.”
If you go
What: Art Garfunkel: In Close Up, a concert performance
When: 8 p.m. Jan. 18, 2018
Where: Parker Playhouse, 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale
Tickets: $44.50, $64.50, $100. On sale 10 a.m. Aug. 25
What: Art Garfunkel talks about his memoir, ‘What Is it All but Luminous (Notes From An Underground Man)’ at a Miami Book Fair presentation
When: 4 p.m. Oct. 15, 2017
Where: Miami Dade College, Chapman Conference Center (Building 3, second floor, room 3210), 300 NE Second Ave., Miami
Tickets: $29.71. If you purchase Garfunkel’s book from Books & Books you will receive a voucher that serves as entry for two