“The more unexpected something is, the more there is to learn from it,” Michael J. Fox. Those words led me to write Now Everything I Do Matters More. I know people who feel those words every day. Most of us have been touched by that feeling at least once. Many live with sudden disability or have plunged themselves into a downward spiral and need to pull themselves upward just to float. The flight upward is mighty and unsteady requiring real tenacity to stretch a mind and body toward goals that function like lifesaving buoys. A big need is the support of caring people near us. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. All of us trying to survive today’s pandemic understand Michael J. Fox’s words and are reminded of their truth every day. Holding onto our health that could at any moment challenge and crush us is our current job. Helping others to hold on and make it to the other side is another consuming job. Supporting humanity and working toward healthy goals are what must point us forward and be our dream job.
Now Everything I Do Matters More begins with Starting with a shocking/Totally unexpected occurrence/While seeking an answer/The puzzle was solved/But not the answer to why/Now it’s how to cope/And where to find hope. Then the chorus, I try to be smart/Hoping time will be kind/Yet even if not/There are some I trust/Who care/And will be there/While I step in small steps/And rev up/To walk a little faster/Over a path of pebbles/Even if I slip or trip/I can’t let myself break down/And they won’t either. Next a little bit of the bridge, My life’s picture is blurred/I am not sure how/The painting will look when done… and some from Verse 3, I have been given/Decades to cope/Everything I do is hard/But everything now/Matters more…Trying hard to not let the sun/Fully set/Until my goals have been met. Without every detail you get the song plot. What’s happening to everyone now side by side along with the stories of the many who deal with all kinds of disabilities became my song. All of us are lining up because of today’s strife. All of us need to be supportive of the millions who struggle with disability and don’t get the help they need because they are different or live on the fringe of what is popular. If it is hard now, imagine how hard the life of someone living with a disability is now… big time hard.
I wrote Now Everything I Do Matters More in D flat maj. The song lasts about 5 ½ minutes. It piles a lot of sentiment in those minutes. The five minute song is fast becoming my standard. For the first time I am uploading into my blog a video performing the song I wrote for this blog. I made a recording of the audio but right now seemed like the time to go beyond that. The times we are living through are pushing us to do things different and be real. This song is about HOPE and finding and holding onto consistency. The verses use part of the chromatic scale for D flat major to create the melody for the vocals sung over the steps of the D flat major scale. That formula exists across the verses of the song. The chorus feels like the right and left hand are having a musical conversation, the left hand being the melodic voice and the right hand being the harmonic voice. The dynamics contribute to that sense. Placing the melody in the left hand is a writing style that I don’t typically choose. The left hand too has strong push beats. There is a definite samba rhythm in the chorus that drives it and helps to give the feeling that stuff is getting better. The bridge has a syncopated rhythm in both hands that settles out when reaching the middle of the section. The musical sound and rhythms are built on B flat minor and D flat major to distinguish it as a contrasting sound just for the bridge. While writing the bridge I pictured a car struggling to mount a steep hill, then slowly coasting down the other side. My fingers bounce heavy over the keys and then I slow down and coast as I exit the bridge into a music interlude. There is a small warm hint of country in the melody for the words ‘ when done.’ The outro mimics the musical interludes between the verses and choruses and the bridge. There is a stop rhythm at the word ‘More’. Closing there are a couple of arpeggios and a D flat scale with the steps out of order. The final chords are a 3rd root position chord in D flat in the right hand with that chord moving up an octave and a half but eliminating the 3rd.
Now watch the music video. Please use your earphones for the best sound.
There is no feeling we are winning the Covid-19 fight yet, but I am very very thankful that I live in Los Angeles. We have an excellent Mayor Garcetti and an-over-the-top Governor Newsom who both are smart and get things done.. helping and protecting all of us from the bottom up!! We are the lucky ones this time. Many Americans need to think about what they are not doing to help each other then cultivate patience. We need a much better and generous government for everyone so everyone can stay home and stay alive and then give back.
Listening to music is perfect during these times for coping and settling-in and for partnering with while we try to get healthy again. Come by and listen and bring others virtually with you. I never stop observing and thinking and writing and desiring to perform wanting to make the next song the best of all.
Happy Mother’s Day! Without the support of a mother, life would be dismal.Angel’s Trumpet
This blog is about a week late because a major technical problem stymied us. This isn’t the time to get repairs done quickly, but we put heads and hands together and got it done. Thank you to everyone.
Be well and help others to stay well by staying home.
We took a walk with our dogs today and we wore masks and gloves. It is, Saturday, March 21, 2020, the first day of spring. The weather is as good as anyone could wish for, cool and sunny. There were few cars and few people. We walked onto a freeway overpass. It was not a holiday, just an ordinary Saturday. There were almost no vehicles on the freeway. In Los Angeles last Thursday evening we were instructed to shelter in place, but we could take a walk for exercise as long as we remained separated by 6 feet. The coronavirus pandemic experience feels out of body hovering in the twilight zone. The global world is worried about staying well in juxtaposition to the threat of personal mortality. People are very concerned how they will live because they can’t work to pay their rent or mortgage and bills including health insurance and utilities and worry how they will get and pay for the food and basics they need to survive while at home for a long time. The US economy as well as ‘the global economy is going through chemotherapy’. There are shortages of medical supplies and medical equipment and hospital beds for really sick people trying to fight off the disease and food supplies are challenged by hoarding and inconsistent supply chains. Almost the worst: within each state in the USA there is a feeling of being on our own because unbelievably our powerful government has fallen down miserably. States are requesting the military be brought in to help build temporary hospitals to increase the number of hospital and ICU beds and to manage hospital ships brought into service. In the United States TODAY there are 25,400* confirmed cases of coronavirus and 307* deaths and those numbers will get larger tomorrow. Globally, TODAY the confirmed cases exceed 300,000* and 13,050* have died from coronavirus. We are told we should prepare for lots worse. This feels like living in a war zone where nothing is secure and all could blow in any moment. Hope feels empty. Everyday feels like a new catastrophe. Listening to Rachel Maddow and her colleagues and guests report and discuss daily events is like listening to a terrorism story, but her reporting is needed because of the truth uncovered. The work is worthy of a Pulitzer. It is also true the past 3.5 years have been pretty catastrophic. The killing off of the world’s population seems horrendous and too much to endure but almost like an intended result. Aren’t pandemics associated with climate change? Climate change and the ravages that go with it are what cause hellish bacteria and viruses to spawn and grow and Republicans in government refuse to acknowledge any of it. “The White House is a ghost town of scientific preparedness,” aptly said by Ed Yong. The health and care of our country’s people have not been important to our leaders in the federal government during the last 3.5 years. What seems to be driving the federal response is the personal wealth of our President and his loyalists. Much of the damage can be attributed to unskilled and under prepared leadership and uneducated and blind-sighted-supporters. As I am finally reviewing the copy for this blog before thinking about publishing it, comparing the stats I included a week ago with today’s stats, the United States now has 101,000* confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 1588* deaths. The world has more than 597,185* confirmed cases and 27,359* deaths. FRIGHTENING. The health situation in the USA would be better managed and more under control if we didn’t have a President who is a hoax. That’s the name and description he gives to everyone who speaks up about his bad judgement. Becoming educated and prepared and serious and concerned about each other is what each of us must demand of ourselves. We are really all equal now.
Just before midnight at the end of the first day of spring 2020 our conure Seymour died. It was sudden. Seymour was drinking peach juice just before being put into his cage for the night. He fell from my dad’s shoulder after his cage was cleaned for the night. His end occurred in minutes. There was no time for suffering. Life can end with a flourish as it began. Certainly, there is an in-between-lesson to be found there: focus on living with special attention to the warm moments of living. The suddenness of an ending reminds that the in-between-time is where value is found. Seymour lived 18 years and 4 months. He will find the soul of Fritzie, his long ago relative, in the somewhere where conures lite. Seymour was the ‘green feather cook’ getting to the kitchen riding on a shoulder. He liked to be in the kitchen when meals were being cooked where he got to taste some tidbits and share in the busy moments.
I am nervous. Nervous is about being anxious. The things we can do are to continue to work on good things in the confines of our home and exercise and eat carefully and be good to each other and do what we can remotely for others.
There is another kind of nervousness. One produced by an expectation of something good. That is the subject for my new song. I wanted to write something positive to lighten the weight of today’s misery. Collecting together other positive feelings: the pictures at the top of this blog express a feeling of genuine warmth so I placed them there and there are two visually pleasing garden pictures representing the current spring. The message of spring is a new beginning and we do need that. Also, my family says in this blog Good-Bye to Seymour. He was always beautiful and never seemed to age. His picture in this blog was taken only 2 months ago. He was a good friend to the animals and people in our home, so our Good-bye resolves into good memories. He was with us a long time. I like to draw and paint sometimes, so I am painting something outside with my interpretation of Seymour’s likeness. I always wanted to play the role of Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors. I got close years ago when I understudied the role and then years later I was asked to musically direct the show. Seymour was named for my illusive dream and kept my dream alive just by being around.
Here is the chorus of You Make Me Feel Nervous In A Good Way.
You make me feel amazingly light
Like I am in flight.
You make me feel just right.
You make me feel like
I don’t have to try too hard.
You make me feel like
I don’t have to journey too far.
Feeling these things
Makes me nervous
You are there.
While singing and playing the chorus, I do feel good. Words properly chosen and backed up do make me feel good and right. I enjoyed mixing tempos e.g. I don’t have to journey too far. Feeling these things. The chorus has a country/folk sound mixed with pop, a mixed sound I usually don’t use. The sound in the bridge is my musical theatre moment. I use music interludes mirror imaging the intro to tie the song together musically.
The words of the outro:
You being there
Makes me feel nervous.
Gives me pause,
But in a good way,
Gives me pause
There are some interesting sounds included in the outro and then it winds down like a music box that is wound up and plays until it runs out of music.. using the music of the intro. The song winds down with the same music it began with. Most of us love music boxes. In the past I have given boxes with music to some special people. After using the key to wind it up, it is unbelievably wonderful to open the box just before falling asleep and then close my eyes while listening to the music playing especially if the song is meaningful. I believe a dose of something happy can help a little bit now. You Make Me Feel Nervous In AGood Way is written in G major.
Finishing up my music work and writing for this blog has been hard this month. Losing Seymour suddenly was a blow. What’s happening to our world is an enormous blow. It is impossible not to feel sad. It’ll take a long while to move out of the funk though the stuff of this time will never be forgotten. My grandfather always spoke of the Depression of 1939 that way. He lived during it. His memory of it shaped his habits all of the remaining years of his life. I need to keep moving ahead to bring quality into my life and help others do the same so we can be together.
Please take a listen now to YOU MAKE ME FEEL NERVOUS IN A GOOD WAY and use your earphones if they are nearby.
Until the next time we talk music…
If it’s your turn, please vote. Do it for the WORLD. We must not have another 4 years like the last 3.5.
Before we next get together…Happy Passover and Happy Easter and a BIG PRAYER that science will find a vaccine to push COVID-19 into the history books and we will each of us help each of us to prepare for that happening by following the rules so we will get there and benefit!!!
During Passover we dip greens into saltwater like free men and eat bitter herbs. Doing those two things directs us to a cause. We must rise up for those who are struggling to live and overthrow the leader with his tyrants who tries to enslave us for his own personal sake. On Passover we read the ancient text and we cry saltwater tears vicariously when we dip parsley in salt water. We must muster our personal strength to right today’s wrongs and not look back, remembering that the people of Israel escaped Pharaoh’s ways and crossed the Red Sea with only unleavened matzoh to eat but their freedom was on the other side of the Sea so they rushed. We must always share these stories with children so they and eventually their children and then their children will not ever forget.
It was only 102 years ago that there was a worldwide pandemic. Most today don’t know about it unless a family member died from the flu then and then later maybe as children or adults we were told about it. My father’s mother lost 2 sisters then. She talked about it because the experience changed everyone. Also, only 80 years ago one man tried to take over the world. Too many have forgot about that, too, even when we see it happening again before our eyes in many places in the world, even in our own country. History has a way of repeating itself especially when we don’t educate ourselves and then prepare for the inevitable just like the pandemic.
Sincerely and my wish for your continued good health,
March 28, 2020
March 29, 2020
142,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in USA with 2493 deaths
722,000 cases worldwide with 34,000 deaths
March 30, 2020
163,800 confirmed cases in USA with 3000 deaths
April 1, 2020 @4 PM
200,000 confirmed cases and 4300 deaths in USA
921,000 confirmed and 46,840 deaths in the World
I hope we get through this together learning the lesson that we must all be concerned about each other and take care of each other and enjoy and value what each of us brings to our world!!! Music is good medicine for coping and enjoying..also for being creative. Thank you for coming by!
Following Anne Frank: Hoping for the day when there is nothing to report (:
April 4, 2020
305,341 confirmed cases in USA with 8283 deaths
1,187,798 confirmed worldwide with 64,084 deaths
April 6, 2020
347,000 confirmed cases in USA and 10,300 deaths
1,290,000 confirmed cases worldwide and 70,000+ deaths
April 8, 2020
427, 824 confirmed cases in USA and 14,721 deaths
1.5 million confirmed cases worldwide and 90,000 deaths
April 11, 2020
500,000 confirmed cases in USA and 18, 693 deaths Los Angeles without people around noon. People are listening. That almost seems un-American.
1.69 million confirmed cases worldwide and 102,000 deaths
April 12, 2020 EasterSunday
Courtesy of Johns Hopkins
547,681 cases in USA and 21,600 deaths
1,835,373 cases worldwide and 113,362 deaths
April 17, 2020
671,425 confirmed cases in the USA and 33, 200 deaths
2.1 million confirmed cases worldwide and 146, 055 deaths
Above information was provided by Johns Hopkins.
The growth in cases and deaths since March 21, 2020 is terrible. (:
April 20, 2020
771,980 confirmed cases in USA and 40,500 deaths
2.4 million confirmed cases world wide and 165,000 deaths
April 22, 2020
839, 675 cases in the USA and 46,583 deaths
2,561,050 cases worldwide and 176,982 deaths
Everyone MUST get tested and then re-tested to contain this scourge!
880,000 cases in the USA and 50,373 deaths
2,780,094 cases worldwide and 194, 664 deaths
May 1, 2020
1,075,600 confirmed cases USA and 63,109 deaths !!
3,278,546 confirmed cases worldwide and 234,020 deaths !!
May 4, 2020
1,175, 005 confirmed cases in USA and 68,533 deaths
3,500,000+ confirmed cases worldwide and 250,000 deaths
May 7, 2020
1,266,785 confirmed cases in USA and 75,193 deaths
3,856,396 confirmed cases worldwide and 266,470 deaths
May 18, 2020
1.5 million confirmed cases in USA and 90,000 deaths
4,857,311 confirmed cases worldwide and 316,500 deaths
We and our government need to do better, lots better!
Even beautiful flowers can hang down seeming to express real time sadness. This is an Easter cactus blooming late.
May 26, 2020
1,658,785 confirmed cases in the USA and 98,078 deaths
5,495,052 confirmed cases worldwide and 346,230
In REAL NEED OF SOME FLOWERSto blossom amidst all the thorny public stuff we are being fed and living through! Stay well.
Receiving a well-spoken apology after a tumultuous experience just doesn’t happen except in literature or in a script for a play or film. What could receiving or giving a truly meant apology feel like? I have received apologies on a few significant occasions. Not one of those apologies has come close to feeling memorably sufficient given the premeditated hurt. Recently I read an expose’ saying that an apology needs to be more than words. That discussion led me into writing my next song. Music is more than the lyrics of a song. Musical notes are pitches used to concentrate feeling using tempo, dynamics, a musical key, chords and arpeggios. When put together in characteristic patterns, musical notes create music styles that speak in idiosyncratic ways. Playing musical notes on an instrument with a personal touch speaks without saying a word. With these thoughts I began to develop a song with strong lyric feelings relating to an apology and where the instrumental sound is integral in developing the feeling. If you have read my blogs before, you would have read that the weather affects my work. I enjoy the feelings and moods that weather spawns and incorporate them into my music composing and lyric writing. We are currently experiencing in Los Angeles a beautiful weather phenomenon. Those positive feelings put me in the right place to sit and write An Apology Has To Be Perfect.
Starting with Verse 1:
I will never be perfect,
But an apology has to be.
Regretting what turned out,
Talking about my part
For what went dark,
Driven by a desire
To be forgiven,
Ever searching for the way.
and the Chorus:
It’s the moment
To find a way
To be forgiven
Without further delay.
then Verse 2 that speaks in poetry of the Recurrent Story humans find themselves in:
Who doesn’t try and fail?
Who doesn’t do wrong
Who doesn’t want
What became wrong?
That is our
The song plan is now laid out. The bridge and Verse 3 are conversations about forgiveness. Finally, the admission in the outro speaks of penitence:
I was wrong.
I feel the weight of it…
The music for this song must express emotion and the lyrics must be earnestly sung from a mind-joined-to-heart place. I chose G minor with its B flats and G flats to create the sound. The music starts very simple in my mind imagining the sound and feel of a single string instrument or a solo flute. By contrast the bridge has a different feel imagining the agile sound that can be produced by the string section in an orchestra. The vocals use heightening and softening accents to emphasize emotion. I held out some vocal notes because emotional pain does string out as we experience it. The outro could be played by a single cello or violin producing a classical sound. Traditionally emotion is classy. The Bergman composing team would feel at home with the sound of this song because it is cinematic. When writing the lyrics I was thinking of how universal the topic of this song is and that everyone will identify with it. I am hoping this song will find its way onto an independent screen and say in music with accompanying visuals what words alone can’t convey. After watching the Las Vegas presidential debate and after seeing Sting’s Last Ship a week earlier, in both incidences the message projected was You are the things you choose to do. Both experiences would have benefited from the message sung about in An Apology Has To Be Perfect.
Please now put on your earphones and listen to An Apology Has To Be Perfect.
A small autobiography below the blog..
I wonder if you know what writing this blog and the music I put in it means for me. The task is to focus on skills I own: joining my words with musical ideas and then using them to perform. In the blog I write about my real thoughts. I often make use of what I am reading or my in-the-moment thinking or conversations or what is being discussed in media or an impromptu experience or meeting or a planned attendance at a show or event or something I never have really thought about but fell into. The last mentioned often turns out as the best contributor of all and is the reason the song in this blog came to be. When it is compelling, I research a topic to fill in around the edges and minor holes in my thoughts making what I write more true to the topic. I try to discover the special hook for the song I am writing that will set it apart from other songs written. In the case of the song in this blog it is the sentence: I will never be perfect, but an apology has to be and later in the song, I feel the weight of it. While composing, the song I am writing is definitely a work in progress that evolves over several weeks culminating in final lyric edits and final music editing until I make the final recording in my home studio using professional equipment. Before that time I record the sound of what I am writing on a very good hand held recorder so my ears can hear from a distance what I am thinking and singing and playing. For me the lyrics come first but can be edited until just before sitting down to record to make sure the music fits the lyrics or vice versa. They both need to be at once together like two soft made-to-fit gloves. The actual recording and the mixing is done as a team and can take 1-2 days or even longer trying to achieve a high level of satisfaction. There are many collaborating moments in my work from the seed to the completed song. It is because of that collaboration that I am where I am and I am grateful. The absolute final recording occurs in a professional recording studio when I feel ready and after the song has properly vegetated in my head and when my voice and hands are ready to perform it there. Other instruments I play can also be brought in there and isolated or another good instrumentalist added in. The song placed in the blog is the copyrighted song recorded in my home studio. In short, I have a professional focus built into my life by choice and ambition each month. I gave myself this job and can modify the job description to my liking. The job description assures that I retain complete artistic freedom to compose my music and own it. I do not wait for work or anyone’s accolades. I decide on the work and work to satisfy myself much like an artist who paints. My work allows me to develop ideas and experiment with sound instrumentally and vocally to get ready for music opportunities as I discover them or when they are pitched my way. Keeping rigorously to this schedule isn’t the easiest thing. Observing the progress I have made committing to this regimen, I am hopeful that I will arrive at where I want to be. When I do get there I will never forget what it took for us to get myself there.
Gracias, merci, toda, grazie, mahalo, arigato, efharisto, tak, …to each of you who follow my work in your far away places. Thank you. You area blessing for me that translates into mental nourishment. You are my driver who encourages me to discover more about myself and my relationships with others and other significant things, then to put it down on paper and give voice to it in music with my hands and ears and voice.
February 23, 2020
l s … for you, a happy and healthy birthday and manyhealthy ones in the years beyond. je
If ever we needed a role model with high morale fiber, that time is now. Eleanor Roosevelt between her mid 30’s through her late 70’s was an activist who supported women’s rights. The rights and defense of the black community were close to her heart and she acted in their behalf. During WW II she spoke out for Japanese Americans being housed in interment camps. She stood for the human rights of all and America’s promise of opportunity for all. She worked with and FORR her husband Franklin when he could not. She was chosen by President Truman to be the first US delegate to the United Nations and then later reappointed to that post by President Kennedy. She broke ground wherever she went and with whatever causes she chose to include herself in. She wrote a syndicated column 6 days a week called My Day and hosted her own radio show and spoke out against the use of glorifying crime and violence in movies. It did not matter if the causes were popular only that they seemed right to support. With great respect for her and how she chose to live her life, I decided to write a song inspired by two of the things she believed: No one will ever make me feel inferior withoutmy consent and You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ” I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” With the unfolding of a new decade and at the time of the New Year 2020, it seems appropriate to be Ready To Take On The Next Thing That Comes Along, the title of my next song. Adlai Stevenson who ran for president against Eisenhower said of Eleanor at her passing: ” What other single human being has touched and transformed the existence of so many? She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.” That statement slightly reworded is also what music does for the world. It does seem that the contributions of Eleanor R. and what music can accomplish can find a home together in the special world that serves humanity.
People can say
What they may,
Nice or otherwise,
But no one Eleanor R.
Will ever make me
Without my consent.
That ain’t gonna happen.
And the Chorus..
Don’t punch me in the stomach
I will not let you land that surprise.
With my passion
I plod toward a future
In my own peaceful way.
It is not hard to see,
Stitching a heart
To a mind
Can forge a plan
Mostly to please
But also those FORR me.
and skipping to the..
From all this
I feel strong,
Ready to overcome
And take on
The next thing that comes along.
The next thing that comes along,
..that comes along
The lyrics can sound personal and contemporary, but Eleanor Roosevelt felt similarly. Expression in the 40’s and 60’s was different but she would have expressed herself meaningfully though I am not sure of her exact talent with poetry and music. She was a writer and communicator. She spoke up when women were not expected or allowed to be that way.
The key for Ready To Take On The Next Thing To Come Along is B Major. B Major is not a common key choice because it has 5 sharps and therefore uses lots of the black keys of the piano. However, all the black keys contribute to the ease of remembering and playing a song in this key. I love the feel I came up with for the chorus, always an important part of any song because it is repeated to reinforce its sound and meaning and begs the listener to repeat it aloud for himself/ herself. The chorus’s syncopated melody reminds me of boxing in the gym slowly hitting a speed bag faster and faster, the bag moving with a force and pulse, but controlled, in “my own peaceful way.” With the opening verse, I am having a conversation with you the listener. It is sung the way a conversation would sound with pauses and thought and a pause before the conversational retort,”That ain’t gonna happen.” The second and third verses indicate a backstory and how I put it into action. That action is like the music of a runner’s legs seeming to just go by themselves with complete adrenaline to the finish line. The bridge speaks of the uneven path along the run to the top of the hill. It is the best part of any experience but only realized long after. The duo: “in my own peaceful way” and Eleanor’s “ready to overcome the next thing that comes along”, own the song and make my composing effort worth it. The end of the song has a sweeping feel yet no set ending awaiting for “the next thing to come along.” It is not a long song time-wise, but in that short time the words pack significant wisdom. Eleanor Roosevelt, not one remembered for physical beauty, beautified the world with wisdom and tolerance. She was considered the most admired living woman among Americans from 1948 thru 1961. Please now listen to Ready To Take On The Next Thing That Comes Along and then after that another song I wrote last year, A Beautiful Valentine that was introduced in my blog dated February 14, 2019. Finally, a throw back to one of the first songs I recorded about 48 months ago, Misty! I recorded it because someone I knew loved that song.
Please use earphones to listen to the following songs. You will enjoy the experience more.
Happy Valentine’s to each of you!!! For the past 48 months you have shown your affection returning to read my blog and listen to the music I write and perform. Thank you. I have now completed my training to become a composer and now move forward with my passion. Please continue to come back so can we continue together. The picture at the head of this blog is me celebrating!
Continuation of the small autobiography below the picture…
In Southern California fall comes late. Leaves on deciduous trees are falling though winter officially made its subtle entry. Walking through leaves that pile up and litter the sidewalks is definitely a positive experience. The sound walking through fallen leaves produces a musical beat with an undercurrent. This time of year warmer spring and summer like days touch shoulders with cooler cloudy and rainy days and even occasional nighttime frosts. Early January can seem like the beginning of summer before it bounces back to cool. Fall and winter are sensual alerts. I am guilty of being dulled by the sameness of the weather and steady warm temperatures. Seasonal changes push my mind to think and react and become more creative. See the beautiful crepe myrtle backdropped by an oak standing amongst renewing hollyhocks and inserted here. The leaves are red and yellow at this time of year decorating the air temporarily. It is not possible to not react to the sight!
Who amongst us have never made a huge mistake leaving us feeling powerless? That is the subject of the song I recently completed. Its title is To Rebuild The Original Me because that is a way I believe someone can recover to move forward. Our political world is in a huge mess. We got there making some huge mistakes in judgement. Recovering good sense and acting responsibly seems to be a very very slow process in the USA compared to other places facing big and untenable change, too. But more personally To Rebuild The Original Me describes personally what happens when someone has made a huge mistake and must figure how to recover: returning to what feels familiar, testing directions forward and even sideways, interacting with good people while doing familiar things..to feel useful and productive again. The endgame is feeling happy again.
The premise is found in the first verse: Needing/To turn my tears in the inside/Into a smile on the outside/I dig down/To capture/Who I know is Me/Tossing anything possibly contrived/To rebuild/The original Me. The chorus describes the coping mechanism until Verse 3 and the Post Verse relate the treatment and result. I wrote the melody in G major and filled it with some interesting sounds and sound spaces and dissonance reflecting the emotional difficulty being sung about. Even so, the song evokes comfort and the reduction of conflict with a chorus that can be easily sung and repeated by those who feel like wanting to do just that. Listening to the song and singing along while it is played on NPR radio seems probable. It was written to be mainstream.
For me interacting with our puppy is a perfect first step to getting back in step and hints at a way to begin to recover and start again doing things to make a personal world more beautiful. Feeling the love of an animal and giving love back is familiar and solid. Singing with a group of people who know and appreciate me is familiar and solid too. Walking through the sequoia forest and its odor and its special quiet I carry with me in my mind at all times is familiar and always solid. Having an idea and writing new music with lyrics about it and deciding how to sing it is my getting back in step. It is my familiar and my method to feel solid ground again to get back on track.
Please listen now to To Rebuild The Original Me. Using earphones will enhance the experience. I will soon re-record this song with drums.
Hanukkah is here. Christmas is here and the New Year is almost here. Time cycles experiences. I try not to let my emotions cycle. It is hard to not get affected and infected. The goal is to be upbeat, not get shattered by the world, find value in what is simple and pure, and get things done. That is my New Year’s wish for all. I have been writing music for this blog for 48 months. It is a long time to be consistent and persistent and productive and creative. Writing words with music gives me a lot… not the least, something to hang onto when at times my emotions cycle and I feel powerless. My work writing feeds me and rebuilds me.
FYI: I am preparing a program where I will perform my music. I look forward to it and will share my experience in a future blog.
Feeling happy for my parents on their 50th Anniversary and my mom on her birthday!!!
Sincerely with music,
THANK YOU for coming to listen,
Happy Holidays..Happy New Year!!!
Having a new puppy to experience the New Year with has got to be the best experience ever..Energy Energy and more Energy and over the top Love Love and more Love.
Rose adjusting to a new friend? /puppy
Nose to Nose..bridging the age gap..learning how to be appreciated..being shown the rules.
When I have been treated abrasively using different grades of sandpaper, I observe that I am polished into a more attractive version of myself. On nature’s stage that is the performance. Stones are polished… the effect of sand being thrown against those stones by powerful waves, and large boulders with edges become more interesting and attractive, more smooth, with layers more exposed. I speak as do others using available art forms. Art records resistance and sticks around to remind.
We took a week and went to a place in a gorgeous location. It was not warm. It was heaven’s definition of heaven on earth. The wind, rain, and the waves were furious one day. That week rides on my back and uplifts me everyday now. How to stay solid and harness a life? Get polished, be purposeful, stay connected, embrace peace.
While in that beautiful location and sitting around a period dining table we listened to legislators in Washington speak and knew the end of the torment created by incompetent leadership will find its end. Listening I felt the fervor to never abandon values because having them is the only way to be strong.
Recently I saw John Leguizamo perform in Latin History for Morons. He is talented and engaging. His performance was about sandpaper and polishing, this time regarding Latinos. In Latin History.. John speaks about himself and the state of Latin culture in America. He created his one-person art from personal experience, the blessed vantage point.
Then an unusual choice, we attended an opera: The Light In The Piazza.. actually musical theatre turned into opera. The setting was formal, the audience attendees were dressed for the moment, and the singers had name value and competency. The music was not too inspiring..neither were the lyrics, but the experience was different and felt like I was in a place I have rarely entered so my so so interest warmed up. The show had won awards for its score and for the lead female singer. There was a purpose for my attendance: sitting there I knew my skills are better than what I heard on the stage and from the orchestra pit. Sometimes the purpose of attendance is to become confident.
The lyrics for my new song In Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough were mostly written in an art studio while away from LA. When singing the lyrics to the music I composed for them, I feel instantly transported there. I need no photos to place myself there or to gaze at. The melody with its lyrical story are just enough. The mark of something’s or someone’s impact is its indelible trace etched in our memory. This song does not have a chorus. Instead this time I wrote a refrain. This is a first for me. I have not used a refrain before when composing. The refrain should cause you to feel involved and wanting to sing along. It is a signature statement about what is good. I built a driving tempo for it. Nature creates wonderful feelings and sightings that we can cherish and use to counteract what crops up and is not worthy of our time and energy. So, here is the REFRAIN:
Blue sea stars,
Jelly fish, anemones, crabs and clams,
Loons and eagles,
Otters and whales
Rockfish and octopus,
Clear ocean water with gentle waves,
A story of SERENITY
Between the Beaches.
The song in Verse 2 sings of a significant moment involving three people in a close human relationship… the denouement closing the Bridge is captured in the phrase Earning My GratitudeBeyondBelief . To accomplish the feeling for this moment, in Verse 2 I used D minor chords; you will also hear a definite alteration in the melody. In the Bridge I shifted to A minor to B flat chords resolving back to F Major chords. The music composed for the Bridge has a more positive sound and tonal quality because the potentially horrific crisis resolved to a positive outcome. When choosing a title for this song, I thought to use Earning My Gratitude Beyond Belief, but the Post Verse and Outro anchored the song to Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough. At the song’s conclusion I wanted the focus to be the beauty of this place. I wrote this song in F Major. F Major for me is a non-confrontational comfortable key. Its calming tonal quality is perfect for imagery. Verse 3, the Post Verse, and the Outro definitely turn toward uptempo using accents in the chords and the accompaniment to hear the traffic sounds in LA and then I calmed the tempo playing down the accents to speak about the quiet star-filled night sky. It is an almost six minute song. It took that amount of time to sing in music and words my feelings.. the feelings I wanted to leave you with. The song Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough beginning to end is about imagery and feelings connected to experiences encountered in just one week but absolutely will live in our minds tons longer. Once again the power felt of the word “enough” leaps out.
Now please listen to Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough. Use earphones. You will hear every word and the sound will be great.
The time between the last blog entry and this one widened because an experience sapped my energy. Also, I had a cold, and we added a new puppy into our family, and we lost our Adelaide who was a dog-member of our family for 16.5+ years. Watching a living thing struggle is overwhelmingly sad. It is also instructive. I thank you for coming by to listen to the music I compose and the lyrics I write. You coming to listen definitely lifts me up and keeps me going. I hope it affects you similarly. Think of enjoying your Thanksgiving by sharing the food from your table. The end of the calendar year is always busy. We need to include everyone close in the joyfulness we create. Ironically the same period can be a sad time for some…and many have suffered from fires in California. It would be great if we get some rain soon to drown out the possibility of any new fires. There have been too many natural emergencies this year reminding us how important it is to be mindful for each other and the importance of solid leadership to get us through the “terribleness.”
November 17, 2019
Herschel very interested in his image and the piano.
The most gorgeous skies blossom here.
The huge beach and sandbar after the tide went out. In the background a volcano filled in with a glacier.
I got back into the studio and it felt very good. There is a friendliness there that just doesn’t seem to be found anywhere else… musicians and artists working with engineers.. together expressing themselves in a very open supportive environment. Everyone needs to experience that creative and free feeling. There I re-recorded With Your Secure Touch, the song from my last blog. You can listen to it updated just below. Use earbuds. You will enjoy it more.
49% of millennials have tattoos. The category Millennials refer to individuals ages 22-38. That statistic got me started on a new song. Other age groups with generation names like Generation X, Boomers, and Generation Z , etc. all contribute to tattoo popularity. Why lots want to write on their body in a permanent way is interesting. People dress in a particular way and change that style frequently over time, same with hair styles, long to short and short to long, and hair color: brown to red to black to blue.. even who they pair with or marry is frequently changed up over time. After reading some, it seems to be difficult and painful to remove tattoos even with lasers. So people know they are generally permanent. They become a permanent record… a picture and word diary for what is important or has been important…reminders of important events or feelings not to forget even if no longer current. Artistically tattoos are also used to decorate ourselves like ancient indigenous people did or even ancient cultures as with the Egyptians and Japanese and Polynesians or today’s “modern” indigenous people of Africa and South America. My personal interest in a tattoo is the subject of this song. I used my interests and what I consider my real treasures and a statement and a goal to create possible tattoo designs for myself. All of those ideas could be reasons any person might wish to mark and decorate his body permanently. A tattoo is definitely a personal thing but also shared within a personal world over a lifetime. Is it a want or need? For some both apply… For some maybe caving to the moment… In all cases the desire to make a statement that perks interpretation applies.
Here is Verse 1 and the Chorus and the Outro for For Forever And Ever:
A non-typical heart.
Drawn inside are
The tips of fingers
Moving on the strings
Marked by frets.
On the opposite arm,
The voice of the piano
Fills the sound spaces
As fingertips select the keys.
Drawn high on a bicep
Are green eyes,
Open windows with no curtains.
There is a sensitive mouth
And ears that purple glasses decorate,
To how the sound plays,
Also sings out.
And in small cursive,
It’s what it’s all about.
An artist’s drawing
Of an artist’s treasures,
There to look at
Forever and ever..
Forever and ever.
I wrote For Forever And Ever inD flat major. I really like the musical sound created for the chorus. The sound, like a captivating siren, directs my eyes to look at that tattoo. My personal appreciation for those treasures is what it’s all about. The song has a call and response feature that can be used when singing the chorus. The song’s rhythm is created by the ebb and flow of the words in the lyrics throughout. I wrote the music using a contrapuntal sound with two distinct melodies, one vocal and one instrumental, clearly obvious in the chorus especially as the choruses progress. The song does bear a resemblance to the music style of the late 80’s and early 90’s especially the band Chicago’s songs: You’re The Inspiration and Hard To Say I’m Sorry. Now listen to For Forever And Ever.
Use your ear buds to hear the best sound.
Fall is finally almost upon us. The days and nights can’t get any nicer. Wearing some fleece over a long-sleeve shirt when the evening gets chilly and the sun’s daylight is less intense is wonderful. Our body has a special communication with sunlight and its intensity and the number of hours it shines. Shorter days affect our attitude and energy and gives us the rest that we have drained from ourselves trying to keep up with the long hours of sunlight of the summer months. We can give ourselves the time to read more, rest more, and be better companions. Rushing out and around seems less important. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are coming the end of this month and the beginning of next month. When I was young they were just religious obligations to act out. Today it seems different…more like an opportunity to look back and more important, to look forward and attempt change. If you are celebrating those holidays, Gut Yom Tov!
Music is an excellent healthy way to express feelings. I write and perform music first for myself and then for you. It is a gift to feel and understand and express yourself. I feel your support and want to continue sharing my music and ideas with you.
My dog Rose became 9 this month. She is a miracle dog. Rose has spent half of her life coping with more than most will ever face yet she still enjoys music and singing along with it. Being in a house where music is always in the air contributes to her wellness… music makes her feel happy made obvious when she dashes over to sing with me when I sit down at the piano. Thanks to all of Rose’s doctors and my family for never giving up! Our other mini-dachshund Adelaide has become stronger while confronting her late-in-life illness. Also, thanks to her wunderkind specialist doctor! Their doctors give Rose and Adelaide the promise of improved health and a life of quality!
Sincerely, Happy 40 ESD!
September 28, 2019
Please read the sign pictured below. When I saw it I knew I had to put its picture in this blog.
Adelaide being strong! Her picture will be a constant in this blog until her endgame arrives.
Success is collaborating and exploring, leading to a new capability and feeling the upside of the challenge. The idea for With Your Secure Touch began just that way leading to integrate two instruments into the song I was already writing both of which I would play and use to accompany my voice. I have a studio to work in but not a high-end professional recording studio. I have the necessary equipment but could always use more and am now planning an expansion to allow for more personal innovation . With ingenuity and 3 heads together we engineered our way through the recording of With Your Secure Touch played in G major finding a new kind of success and sense that I can do this and will try doing more of it. I kept the song shorter than most of the songs I write to focus on the technique, but I did make sure I did not pay short shrift to the song’s message. The ‘new’ instrument is the acoustic guitar that I have been playing 20 years…I have been on piano almost twice as long and singing in a studied way more than 32 years…actually singing and playing endings for songs since a very young 2 years old. The piano feels like it is part of my body. My hands speak for me when the words effectively can’t. The guitar not so much, but will likely become a true appendage now that I compose on it. I also play the jazz violin since I needed to learn to play violin for a show I was once cast in. I was Schlomo in a small Equity tour of Fame. That was about 17 years ago. The violin now is a part of me. I think it came with my genes. Some of my own music sounds beautiful when I play those songs on violin; it is seems like it is singing for me only with a soprano and alto voice. I use the violin to project romanticism and to produce a string jazz sound. Both instruments work well with my ears because I have perfect pitch. I play my Dad’s violin. My dad and his father likely have/had a version of perfect pitch. They streamed it to me but neither spent too much time as musicians. My grandfather’s sisters were piano teachers before WW2 in Czechoslovakia but did not escape in time to live a long life, and my father when young and my grandfather also played this violin, now mine to use. My mother listened and watched me as a small 2 year old child develop my musical skills while I was observing my older brother beginning to study music and started me on a 40 year path of music study, performance, music directing, composing and recording. People retire after 40 years of work. My 1st 40 years are the beginning to the 40 years yet ahead.
When With Your Secure Touch came together after adding the piano into the voice and guitar track, it felt like a flower opening…indeed, a big smile landed in my ears. My next thought was to schedule some time where I record professionally to get that great sound attached to the song. It will be done. When something like this happens..when a new sound happens..when new choices appear..when the promise of a future filled with new ideas floats through my head and into my ears, it seems like all the work, trial and error and disappointments were for this reason. Growing requires pain. The pain seems for a reason and in retrospect wasn’t all that painful.
Here is Verse 1 and the Chorus and Bridge for With Your Secure Touch in G major. The song’s message with great respect acknowledges those people who have helped me to do what I do.
I just can’t do it
Only on my own.
I need a guide
When I’ve taken
A turn into
A narrow dark alley.
With a secure touch
You lead me
A lit thru street,
So I can take over
To lead the way.
The path is clear ahead,
And I’m ready.
People may have doubts,
But you have never doubted me.
You believe in me
Like no one has ever
For the intro and verses I used a simple but clean guitar D major scale with the scale steps out of order to create the song. The pattern is repeated sometimes with a different rhythm: off the beat, sped up, slowed down, even notes removed from the pattern to give each part of the passing line on the guitar a different sound or harmony as opposed to the steady melody sung by the voice. The bridge features harmony on the guitar. I drop out the piano accompaniment one time there for a few seconds when it clashes with one of the guitar runs. The outro has some intricate lines on the guitar using very nice moving notes, a fast run emphasizing finger work, then ending with an attractive resolve. Alluded to above, since a young age I have enjoyed putting myself into the endings of songs. The piano is the complementary instrument to the guitar, not in the forefront for this song. For the bridge, on piano in the bass accompaniment, I wrote one very nice moving base line. The style of this song is a cross between folk and pop. The acoustic guitar gives it a really nice feel with a steel string sound.
Now listen to With Your Secure Touch with your earphones. You are about to hear a musical treat that I know will get even better after recording at my top choice recording studio.
I hope you enjoyed listening as much as I found pleasure writing and arranging and performing this song. Come back and listen often to the work I post. You do inspire me to find new ways of expressing myself. I hope I inspire you to do the same. Why not think to comment on my music? Using your thoughts I get better in many ways: knowing you are interested and your hearing something or want to hear something I may have overlooked. I listen to what I compose lots and lots before releasing it, but I can be too close to it that I don’t hear what is obvious.
The season is entering the dog days of summer. It seems to me that we have moved through summer quickly this year. For many, hot weather can be a challenge to cope with. I prefer cold weather. I really look forward to the beautiful cooling days of fall and how it feels to be outside during that time.
Sincerely…My goal: That my music will elevate your day..
A small autobiography beside the picture and a version of the American Gothic taken in downtown in LA.
I think I have written a definition for love that for some is hard to put into words. While writing my song lyrics for That Something Quite Special Seems So Right it fell right from my hands. Coincidentally after completing the lyrics, I saw the drama Indecent in moments musicalized with Klezmer-style music. During that experience the feelings expressed in my lyrics sang before my eyes. Indecent takes up the story of a group of actors doing the play God Of Vengeance first in Europe then in the USA in 1907. It speaks of same-sex intolerance and taboo in the Jewish orthodox religious community. There is a highly evocative scene acted in the rain, as beautiful a scene of desire as Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene, where two Jewish lesbian women, one a prostitute, perform their beautiful expression of their love for each other through their delicate touching of each other’s face and hair while actually being rained upon on stage. It has been said that ‘the purpose of theatre is to wound our memory so we can remember.’ Well, it is so and did and the same can be said for music. It was totally serendipitous that writing my song and attending this performance came on each other’s heels. The feeling of getting it right was unavoidable. A few weeks later I attended a Tony Bennett concert at the Hollywood Bowl and my heart was touched in another way. Tony is 92… 93 in a few weeks. I wanted to see him perform since the chance could evaporate. He sang for about one hour, accompanied by his absolutely outstanding 4-piece combo, 20+ of the most meaningful love songs of the last 60 to 70 years. Tony’s voice and movement demonstrated the ravages of time and his historical bout with various demons that he overcame. Even so his performance was totally endearing. There was nothing faked when he was singing. At the moments end it did not seem like he wanted to leave the stage because he was enjoying the audience’s love for him as though he was saying that maybe this could be his last time performing for the huge crowd at the Bowl. The crowd was not only populated by people 60 and beyond. There were younger people there as well and everyone stood to show their love back. We were touched by his performance and his endearing love for those who came to see him and the memories we all attach to those songs. To hear so many songs from the American songbook sung in one hour was memorable…just doesn’t happen. One of the first songs out was George Gershwin’s Someone To Watch Over Me. 32 bars of that song was my audition song when I applied for The Hamilton Music Academy. It was there I entered an upstart and started to become professional. We were touched to listen to a jazz icon who still could leave a crowd touched by his choice of music and his warmth even though he occasionally dropped words from an introductory verse and as a professional dealt with it. Even those slips were endearing. We all left happy because we were touched on a lovely outdoor evening with the love he just spent an hour singing to us about while catching us up with our hearts and giving us a moment to open our hearts for him. His skill and his longevity and humanity earned our respect unequivocally. I hope we all get to have a moment like this when we reach 92.
And… that some of my songs will find their way into the American songbook… respected enough that someone in his 90’s will want to sing them and an audience will fill the Hollywood Bowl wanting to hear him sing them.
Here are the beginning lyrics from That Something Quite Special Seems So Right written in C Major. How about a song about love with a modern Shakespearean feel.
When you want
To hold someone’s hand,
And she takes yours.
How real does that feel!
Do your insides tell you
Something is so good
That she wants to be there
From one to another
Between 2 separate lives.
2 slowly growing closer
As everything seems easier.
Between one and the other
Is beginning to seem right.
One hand within the other’s,
About the bond
Beginning to blossom,
Finally, living 2 separate lives
Is no longer an option.
The chorus for this song is one of the most beautiful I have written. With the verses I use back phrasing when singing them. When writing the music for Verse 2, I wrote in more rhythm for it to align it with the chorus tempo. This time the bridge states the song’s theme instead of its usual placement in the first verse. I wrote the song with a pop/slight Irish sound ending it serenely to evoke the magic feeling of a couple’s march down the aisle. More is definitely derived from less behaving similarly in intent to Marvin Hamlisch’s LookingThroughThe Eyes Of Love. He is an inspiration and a persona several compare me with. Thinking back after the fact regarding the lyrics for that song, Reaching out to touch you and How it feels to touch you, his lyricist used a similar vehicle for expressing love.
As I end this blog, last evening we attended a fundraiser for the Actor’s Fund at the Catalina Bar and Grill with entertainment by the cast and back stage crew of The Play That Goes Wrong. There was comedy, we laughed out loud, and good ballads sung out some by baritones and counter baritones for our ears to enjoy and our minds to think about. We were touched again by their good will and the support of the audience and the talent and the promise to help talented artists in all the entertainment fields including dance, actors, musicians, composers, book writers, stage and company managers and all the behind the scene staff during times of need. We were touched. It was another lesson in how important touching in all its forms is for the inner self.
Please now listen to That Something Quite Special Seems So Right. Using earphones will make listening seem so right.
Thank you, as always, for coming by and listening to my music and reading what I am inspired to write about. Please tell people who might like to do just that to come by, too. July is a busy month. There are 2 birthdays, one my brother’s, and a wedding for a friend and daily lots to think about and write about and our dog Adelaide to think about with hope. Regarding her health, she is fighting valiantly. It is hard to accept, but she is showing us how to do it.
Sincerely, Through the eyes of the beholder
16 July 2019 For me, a 20 year anniversary of a work experience that affected my life forever.
Our green house orchid porch today…a birthday picture for July Happy Birthday celebrants. May the days between your birthday this month and the next birthday contain moments of joy and quality experiences that will hang in your mind as you enjoy 365 days of good health. je
Father’s Day is almost here. My Dad and I had a Father’s Day moment on June 8, 8 days early. Three of us are the Be Wild About Music team involved with song writing, performance, recording, music publishing, and production. My mom is my chief supporter in all things business and artistic with her steady presence. My dad is still doing his job in colleges in the area and supports with his computer skill and design work fashioning lyric videos. He also reviews my work. My mom is also discriminating.. reasoning acutely but with sensitivity. Her perspective counts. My dad is involved in a different way but opinionated. Yesterday after I finished recording my new song Better To Forget To Remember, he listened to it with my Sennheissers while viewing the lyric sheet on my music stand and said, ” It’s exquisite!”, his word for better than beautiful. The important thing to know is that the two of us aren’t always in agreement regarding all things. For me that statement was like getting a professional music award. Special days like Father’s Day should be filled with reciprocal appreciation. I appreciate my dad’s honesty relating to what is important for me. He has provided financial support when my artistry needed it, but most of all he has never left my side. That’s my dad. … and I write music so the people I love can enjoy it, too. They most of all can appreciate its evolution. The pictures at the top of this blog and near the bottom are throw backs from 20-25 years ago. My dad was there when the pictures were taken. I was just my dad’s and my mom’s kid then. While doing some spring cleaning to create space for things that were getting crowded out, I spotted the vintage pictures of me that I included in this blog as a compliment to Father’s Day.
Now please listen to Better To Forget To Remember but with earphones because you’ll catch every word, and you will get a great sound.
Walking through the largest room on the top floor at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, there is an oil painting with only words, referred to as text in the art world. The artist is Ed Ruscha. Those words stuck me like a pin sticks and are the reason for my new song Better Forget To Remember. Everyone has experiences or thoughts that can relate to Remembering to Forget to Remember or we aren’t human. The idea expressed in just 5 words is a standout and so I wrote down a chorus on a museum brochure:
When my thoughts/Are rolling in my head/And all I want to do/Is push them away/Because they feel too real/ I have to Remember/To Forget/To Remember.
Then the bridge which in this case is the song’s synopsis:
Remembering/Takes on a life/With its own rules/If not worthy…/Better to Remember/To Forget/To Remember.
Memories can be fleeting, pleasurable and unforgettable, ones we must not forget out of necessity as an actor or artist must, ones we want to forget but can’t because of trauma, and ones that we try to push away if we can. Memories tend to be engraved and so take real effort to remove like the ordeal of removing tattoos. They essentially are our story and probably should be removed only with effort. We have a commitment to ourselves to know our story and improve upon it.. not jumping in and out of it…like the broken parts of something that can be discarded. Memories are our legacy and the results of the ways we contribute in a lasting way to the world to make ourselves into something we can be proud of. Still this song speaks of the burden some memories leave us with and the desire to push them away even though it gives no real prescription for doing so. Maybe the prescription is the space created by letting time roll and lengthen. I composed Better To Forget To Remember in F min using the music created by using both minor and major chords and the notes corresponding to their scales to create the feeling of an emotional tug and pull and perhaps a release. I created its melody imagining an evening rowing a boat solo on a lake with the moon lighting the way.. remembering but looking forward. The chorus has musical undertones of a film score emulating Barbra Streisand’s Papa Can You Hear Me with its Yiddish feel. (More than just a few music professionals compare my music style with Michel Legrand and just once I sat next to Marilyn and Alan Bergman at a workshop..the composers of the score for Yentl. A dream and then a memory: Ms. Streisand will sing my songs with me.) Better To Forget To Remember being reminiscent could be a power ballad in a Sondheim show but without the extreme dissonances he uses in his songs. While singing at piano, Better… feels like a prayer that needs to be shared.. but very personal. The bridge departs from the chorus using jazz chords that have a pleasant dissonance …not taking the ear too far into a strange place. The lyrics are reasoned and intelligent yet emotional. I especially like how the Outro dressed up and finished the song meaningfully. I have so many memories piled up from my experiences writing and performing music and performing on many stages even from commercial shoots and with many types of people…some of the best and some I would relish to push away.
The next step in the run up to Father’s Day we went out to find a secret beach located in the direction of Point Dume. With sketchy directions we went looking for it and in fact had to stumble on it as there is no signage and only word of mouth got us there. It is essentially isolated because of a difficult access allowing its natural untouched rugged quiet yet stunning beauty to be valued as a pristine resident on the southern California coast. The Los Angeles film industry uses the location… contributing to its isolation and mystery… also supportive of leaving it unmarked. It was described as a secret beach in a private cove; it felt that way the day we were there. Arriving purposefully at low tide, we climbed over the sharp angled rocks seemingly piled to refuse the climber from moving forward, to get our first glimpse of the cove. At that first sight, we felt like we were allowed to view a secret. We then descended after that difficult climb over the rocks wedging our shoes into narrow spaces finally walking on the solid ground of the beach. The beach inside the cove was being rhythmically washed as we walked across the wet sand while capturing with our eyes the setting from many angles and so discovering some table rocks to rest on and where we could set up the lunch we had prepared. While eating white cheddar and seasoned pureed avocado and green chili pepper and yellow pepper sandwiched in fresh french bread also munching some fresh cucumber and crunchy vegetable straws all washed down with orange Fanta and finished off with Bartlett pear and apricots, we listened and appreciated the ocean entertaining us. It was a few hours of real contentment sitting outside in the cool air, the ocean’s salty odor providing its special perfume, fressing and talking, and all the while watching the natural performance and sound of the waves and the sea birds flying into the wind and buoyed by it while the tide slowly dragged the ocean closer to our table. We mostly had the cove to ourselves save for a very few in their early 20’s playing ball at the other end of the cove and some rock climbers quietly scaling the promontory at the cove’s entrance.. that monolith along with the sharp rocks you have to climb to get to the cove keep the cove hidden and hard to get to for the public. We were visiting a beautiful natural place with a private aura about it. It felt like for those hours it was almost ours to own and perfect for a private celebration. The pull of the tide pushed us to wrap the day. This memory capped with scaling the rocks again, but easier the second time, to return to a more common world likely will find its way somehow into a new song some day. Back at the beach parking, an ice cream truck played its song to attract ice cream seekers, and we stepped up to to get some. Tomorrow my brother will be have his shot at doing his thing for our dad.
As every new season begins there are new opportunities to think and write stimulated by the feelings that emerge from seasonal change. I feel that and my mind records it. Summer is sun and high temperatures and swimming in hot springs and hiking and climbing while exploring… opportunities to really break routines and freedom from institutional rigors like school and lots of opportunities to listen to music in the plein-air.. and even to make my own music there.
One of our pets is having a difficult battle for her life. I want her to pull herself through it with the help of her new specialist so that the end will be kicked further away. This is why we have to stay strong and prepared the whole of our life. When the challenges come up, stored strength is ready and available like a savings account. We did bring her along on the drive to the beach and later both of our dachshund dogs walked with the breezes off the Pacific Ocean lifting their big ears. That was fun to see as they seemed ready to take off.
To the fathers who read this blog and listen to the music I post on it, thank you for doing those things! I hope you will listen to your kids speak and love them for the way they are. They will make you proud for many Happy Father’s Days. Who knows.. maybe they in time will listen to some of my music and read what I have to say and ask you something about it. Then you will get an additional opportunity to interact with them.