A small auto-biography near the picture:
Every song I write reflects on a moment or an experience felt, sometimes personal, sometimes indirectly felt or understood. I can write in many styles about many subjects, but I really like writing comedy e.g. I Just Can’t and There Are Sounds All Around and Because I Can and Stress Will Not Rule My Life are some of my comedy songs you can find posted in the entries of my blog and on my website. I can think of nothing more fun than going out in the evening to a comedy club to listen to clean comedy. When I was performing away from home years ago I would ask my family to send me comedy CDs like that of Seinfeld and Mel Brooks. Listening to them helped me feel not so far away and to feel like at home.
My new comedy song How Lucky Can I Be! took more time than I thought it would take to write and more effort than I thought it would take to get it ready to sing. It felt like a huge task while committing to it. Comedy mostly being situational is found in words and timing and so requires making good word choices and properly placed pauses and speed plus not flinching from facts and real feelings. The moment when my work finally hit the fan, I knew I found the purpose I was looking for and art emerged.
Please listen with earphones. You will catch all that is going on just better.
With How Lucky Can I Be! I have written what I consider a swing jazz “standard” that should be included in a Jazz Fake Book. The explanation is found in the chord chart. The melody follows the vocalese of the singer. It definitely swings from the bridge on… like the 20′-40’s big band era. It is performed in just under 4 minutes. More than 100 words are sung each minute of those 4 minutes. A good typist types about 80 words a minute so maybe you are beginning to see, as I saw when immersed in it, the challenge…speed, excellent diction/accuracy, acting the piece convincingly so that I was satisfied and those I work around felt the same, the instrumental jazz was good and the vocals were at point using the different tempos. It is a patter song. How Lucky Can I Be! is about the topic: vanity. Most modern day women display varying degrees of vanity. So choosing the male gender instead that I could relate to and using comedy put up in NEON the statement: How we look is important. Women need to be appreciated for how they look and be noticed regarding appearance frequently. It seems to be the single most important contributor for self-esteem. Lots should contribute to self-esteem like intelligence, personal emotional and physical strength, individual talents like being a good cook or a good dancer, being a good listener or compassionate letter writer, being a loyalist, being an excellent conversationalist or excellent reader, etc. Instead, physical appearance is what most women feel defines their self-esteem. If they feel it is lacking, all amounts of energy and time and money are spent to improve on it, and too, contributes to driving the economy.
A song about a man earlier in his life feeling inadequate in appearance is an instant elixir for listening. A once insecure now more secure person singing about what it is like to look amazing and seeing it everyday with his own eyes. He sings in the baritone/bass range never passing into tenor i.e. above a G above middle C saying through music choice his feelings are to be interpreted as now strong and self-assured! The song as it fell into place felt like a tongue twister sung while doing a marathon. Music has been researched as stimulating brain development. Coordinating everything: the music and pedaling played with imagination, all the words sung, the importance of it all coming out accurately understood, and acting out the rapid monologue persuasively and effectively seems to validate that research for me. My experience performing the song was an intense brain exercise re: composing the song and then its performance. The best I can compare the experience to is preparing for an Olympic gymnastics or ice skating routine that must be spot accurate plus beautiful to watch. I don’t perform the same piece of music over and over for a year though as an Olympian would, just maybe 50-100 times until I feel satisfied and ready to record it.
My daily non-music related work allows me to have time to be imaginative and make decisions about what I want to focus my music work on. That is a definition for being rich. I am rich because I have people with me and the freedom to make choices.
Our dog Adelaide is soon to be 16. She is healthy and definitely opinionated and affectionate and has the cutest walk! She is a pillar of our animal family.
My dad had a birthday, too, this month. It was time to get out the authentic Italian recipe for Tiramisu, his favorite, and indulge.
Please enjoy my music in E flat posted above near the top of this blog.
The Outro: So/I’m bold/A person to behold/Just stare at the perfection/Of my reflection.
It is nice to sense the spring weather emerging after the cold. California’s orange poppies are decorating the hills and in our yard like an orange and green carpet. It is amazing what the right amount of rain can create. You enjoying my music is the definition of happiness as well as looking at what orange poppies can do to the California hills and desert. For those who listen to my music in Ireland or are Irish no matter where you live, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
I always enjoy sharing my music and ideas with you, just like Fred Rogers would have said. He does live close and inside me.
Until next time,
March 17, 2019