What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer?.. My Moonshot

A small autobiography beside the picture.

I visited a wonderful modern art museum that’s been around for a few years. I didn’t know about the museum until I went searching some place special to go for Mother’s Day.  Each piece of modern art was exciting to see and sometimes feel and even interact with as we moved on to the next and the next.  The nicest things about this  prize is that the artists are Los Angeles artists or have transported themselves here permanently from elsewhere and the art was created in the last 30 years. So the art is contemporary to my lifetime.  There is quality in the art displayed by the benefactors of this museum.  Plus, they take the huge initiative to share it with the  residents of Los Angeles who could appreciate it the most.  Admission is at no cost.  How often does that happen!

My life is not what I planned. How about a statement like that for realism.  I saw J. Lapine’s Falsettos and that was its story,  possibly true in varying degrees and with a multitude of scenarios for most of us.  I was listening to a favorite of mine, Rachel Maddow, do a complete historical background discussion for a political roadmap she was laying out.  JFK and his goal of walking a man on the moon was part of that discussion and how he motivated the people of the USA to understand why it was a good thing to do and accomplish Not Because It Is Easy But Because It Is HardHe was a flawed man but a motivator who inspired people to do big things to move the world ahead.  What would it be like if he or someone like him were around today? Just hearing that expose’ became the inspiration for a song I decided to write.  I put the lyrics down quickly, refined them, decided on how the music should sound, and recorded the whole song in my home studio before I had to settle into a less active mode after surgery and while healing my left hand. I am still in a healing state that is improving daily except that my fine motor movement is still uncomfortable especially when holding my violin and guitar.  I wrote the song Not Because It Is Easy But Because It Is Hard without a chorus that is usually standard, instead using an echo.  The verses use a repeated vocal line: Not Because It Is Easy But Because It Is Hard to focus on its importance and to reenforce the thought throughout..a motif that I have not ever used in any of the songs I have written so far.  For balance each verse uses a slightly different vocal music pattern with the piano repeating that vocal sound in the accompaniment and then the vocal line is sung a second time becoming an echo.   None of the verses sounds just like the other.  Point of fact, I have not written a song with six verses before either.   The ideas of the song on piano are not complex but effective. This song could be played along with a bass and drum combo playing on the back beat like a slow R&B gospel song. A feeling: When I stretch myself into something new, it is very stimulating. The words: Not Because It Is Easy But Because It Is Hard is a statement about much of what I do.  Those words echo throughout my life.  Also, James Lapine’s Falsettos message: My Life Is Not What I Planned is my second descriptor. The two form the launchpad for my moonshot.  I wrote Not Because It Is Easy But Because It Is Hard in the key of B flat, one of my favored keys because of my vocal range.  The raw emotion found in some of the lyrics and thus in some of the music walk through a borderline gospel door but do not use a fast upbeat feel like gospel sung in an African American church.  I focus the music and chords on the bass component of the sound. The message of this song could be owned by participants in The Special Olympics and The Invictus Games and easily could become the mantra for both of them.  The final thought: We need to be fierce with our talent and brave in spirit to push ahead to make a difference in our life and for others, too, to benefit and move forward.  So and indeed, kindness needs to be part of the equation.  The one thing I have learned as I age is that kindness is a rare gem to discover in others.

From Verse 4: Not because it is easy/But because it is hard/I will make a difference/For others like me…From Verse 5: I will show those/Who don’t believe/There is a way.. From Verse 6: It is my destiny/A frontier/I will crack..

Listen to the song included below.  Using earphones will give you the best audio.

To all mothers, already, including my own, new and becoming, who listen to my music and read my blog, I hope your Mother’s Day was a grand day. I  KNOW my mom enjoyed the day. To each of  you, a big thank you for finding time in your busy day to listen to my music.  There is a half birthday to celebrate today.  A day could not have been more beautiful than the one we are experiencing today!  Next time we speak my hands should be fine, busily working.

Sincerely.. I enjoy sharing my music with you! Ask someone to listen with you.

Joshua Eli

May 17, 2019