What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz..LA Composer/Performer? On The Verge Of Being Amazing

A small autobiography below the picture.

I really love forests and the odors they have.  Trails that are solid and compacted with switchbacks through a forest are perfect.   That forests are quietly alive is pleasurable. The different sizes of the trees, the browns and greens, the moss and algae and ferns and tiny wildflowers are satisfying to look at as I walk then climb the trails that are sometimes challenging to navigate since rock has been deposited there by rushing water during storms or snow melt. There are small permanent rivers with rapids fed by runoff and fallen trees because the forest floor is their final bed.  Those fallen trees become food for insects and in decay produce a rich soil where seeds for new trees can get their start.   We recently planted two new twin paperbark maples in our yard.  While on vacation a storm severely damaged weeping birch trees in our yard that my parents planted when I was less than 2 years old.  Those weeping birches were suffering from a no-win boring beetle infestation related to the extended drought in the western USA.  With insufficient rain water and severe restrictions on watering outdoors, many trees became weak and susceptible to insect attack.  Mature trees are dying, not living their complete lifespan. The sadness from losing our trees, then deciding about what next better to plant and later tracking down the new trees and all that while removing the dead birches and their deep roots… left a heavy then hopeful feeling in our insides.  Our birch trees were beautiful and full of grace producing shade for our shade garden and turtle pond.  Their roots were deep and heavy earning our respect when digging them up.  They lived 40 years in the earth. Those roots kept 3 trees standing tall and nourished and looking stunning til near their end and all those years with the help of the earth and water and sunlight.

Trees are a Perfect Nice.. a line from the lyrics for my latest song.   I saw Dear Evan Hansen, actually not expecting what I saw and how I would feel when I left.  Simplistically it relates to social anxiety, a suicide, honesty, finding a sense of purpose, and trees.  It did what it set out to.  I left having a good experience.  Also, the topic tree came up as I already mentioned when we returned from our vacation.  The paperbark maples we chose have beautiful cinnamon-colored bark that peels and leaves that change color in fall.  Their peeling bark should be a standout when they mature. So I have been thinking a lot about trees and their heavy thick roots and their importance and steadfastness and the qualities humans share with them. There are many qualities.  Listen to the lyrics of  my new song titled: On The Verge Of Being Amazing  at least once with that thought in mind. Our two new twin trees will grow and mark the second half of my life.  They will be alive and amazing when I become old and with luck be potentially eternal, and I will in time carve my initials lightly in them so that we have an eternal bond. These thoughts inspired me to write my new song which I wrote in the key of C Major.  I use contrasting music in several places throughout the song.  Look for instances: Eating my seeds and sleeping inside my scars, in verse 2; As I grow, in the bridge; Just about everything is changing, in verse 3, and My life cycle emerging, in the outro. I found using it to be significant and appropriate to my ear.  Also, the lyrics in the bridge beginning with It feels good/ To shelter/And feed.. turned out to feel especially fine.  

Here is the chorus for the On The Verge Of Being Amazing: 

With the sun on my leaves,

My strength 

And presence grow.

I am branching above and anchoring below.

Spring until Fall

My leaves unfold, 

Change color, then fall,

Feeding the Earth,

A perfect nice.

Making me a tree for life.

A small sapling sends out its roots reaching for water and nutrients branching out as it grows upward on top.  As a tree develops, it shades and cools while providing a nesting place and seeds for animals attracted to it.  Its life processes clean the air by removing pollutants. Small energized humans climb over a developing tree and sometimes build an elementary house on and around it.  Usually in the fall a maturing tree drops its cones with its seeds.  As the cones dry, the seeds are lifted out by the wind or transported by scavenger animals.  A few of those seeds drop and are fertilized and then sprout nearby.  Over the next 2 decades and way more, those new saplings root and grow closer filling in the earth spaces between them and protect each other from harsh happenings like breaking winds.  They  loosen the earth when their roots stretch out to find water mixed with nutrients and also cool each other when the weather is hot.  In time a forest is created or stands rejuvenated.  Trees are buffers each protecting the rest.  The forest is a large extended family.  They can’t move around like a human family but they take care of each other just the same and stand resolutely by each other during all manner of extremes keeping the air and ground cool and using their roots to reach out for diminishing water supplies… all nearby trees benefiting.  For humans, they add true visual value and true practical value keeping soil from eroding and breaking strong winds.  As trees age naturally they become increasingly beautiful, often magnificent.  These are some of the ideas that filled my mind while I wrote the lyrics.  Going further, people love visiting and walking in quiet forests. Quiet is beautiful. They plant trees such as redwoods and oaks around their home  bringing trees home to their world.  Trees are grown for their special kinds of beautiful wood and are used to construct homes and furniture; so some are harvested and find direct use in our lives. Some homes stand with their wood contents for hundreds of years like the maturing and aging trees of our  forests. The harvesting of trees carefully done protects our forests and brings the importance of trees closer to us.  Thinking about these things and experiencing  some of them it was easy to feel my love and appreciation for trees and their ancestral home.. our forests.  I decided for this blog I would choose to focus on the evolution of a personal idea into a final set of lyrics. So that is my personal backstory for On The Verge Of Being Amazing.

Hanukkah came early this year and just ended. It celebrated the end of a war with the Syrians 2200 years ago.  There is another war right now in Syria for important freedoms. People everywhere in the world continue to be engaged in conflicts. Anger and hate is festering everywhere as though it is normal.   It is the right time to rededicate ourselves toward serious change.  Hanukkah in translation means rededication.   It is a good idea to plant the idea of serious change in our hearts and let it grow, branching above and anchoring below.

Christmas is almost here as well as New Year’s 2019. I wish Happy Holidays to each of you… hoping for the happiness for everyone that comes from celebrating the holidays in your own way.  This blog marks the third anniversary of its birth.  I published  my first blog December 27, 2015 and more than 54 songs ago. It remains a good ride made special by your presence and appreciation for my music.  Thank you more than you know!

Happy  17 Seymour!!!

Please listen to On The Verge Of Being Amazing  near the top of this blog.

You’ll appreciate the music best if you use earphones.

Sincerely with music in my mind and heart and through my voice and fingers ready to share with you more in the coming year,

Joshua Eli

December 11, 2018