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 Looking Through The 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