What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer? I will never be perfect, but an apology has to be.


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 feel

To want

To need

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:

Being human,

Who doesn’t try and fail?

Who doesn’t do wrong

To another?

Who doesn’t want

To undo

What became wrong?

That is our

Recurrent Story.


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 are a 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.


    Joshua Eli                                       

February 23, 2020

l s … for you, a happy and healthy birthday and many healthy ones in the years beyond. je


2:10 pm je



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