A little history below the picture.. on top of some rusty corrugated metal… becoming beautifully brown because nature’s moist air fed by the ocean sponsored a chemical reaction. Nature signed the art work being the sole decorator.
I love our dogs. I love music and enjoy rhythm and tap. I have a good family. I love getting a haircut when I really need one. That means you, Carolyn. With so much that does not feel right, those things feel right. Over the last month+ I turned toward writing a traditional jazz song. That music genre has always felt right to me. In my mid-teens JoAnn, my teacher, a professional jazz pianist, understood what I needed from music and saw that I had the skills to make it happen. Observing that I could improvise easily, even though young, and that I had a sensitive musical ear, JoAnn began encouraging and teaching me to play jazz. I took off and it was good for me. I was introduced to black culture through the wonderful sounds and rhythm and words sung by jazz artists. My parents took me to New Orleans to hear jazz first-hand and I was bitten. Then we started to go out wherever we traveled to hear jazz performers and groups play their music. I began to appreciate people different from myself learning about their culture, practicing the style of music important to them, then working with them. Not too long after sharing music we shared meals they enjoyed, and I was exposed to how they live. I have worked with black musicians many times leaving me very appreciative of our shared music experience. Early on I wrote a song with lyrics about my experience learning from JoAnn and called it JoAnn to honor her. There is no greater forever honor than to name a song for someone admired. She is the person who fed me the music I needed to play. I love the jazz sound including the angst and the beat and also took to naturally studying the rhythm of tap.
I just have to say this: While living through our pandemic, the importance of culture because of its current absence is so obvious. Artists need to be supported because they are important for what they give us. When the pandemic is behind us or receding, we need to treat artists better and support them better financially like all people need to be. As it turns out that is what is happening in Angela Markel’s Germany now. They are finding money to support the arts. What artists have to say and how they say it contributes to our pulse… the mirror of our heart beat. They create healthy energy and contribute to our mental health like any vitamin or medicine or visit to a therapist could help us. Without music and the arts we cannot adequately relax and think and move and act on our frustrations and celebrate successes.
Notice the words: pulse (the second word of my new song), beat, dancing, tap..those words and the feelings they evoke help with angst. For that reason I used them in the lyrics for Letting Go, my new song. The song is my effort to get a life during a difficult time and to help others to get some lift, too.
Letting Go opens:
Sounds pulse the air
Coming from the souls
Of my feet.
I’m dancing down a side street
It’s lazy jazz in G Major. My right hand at the piano uses a classic technique of jazz: chromatic stepping between the G Major scale and the G blues scale. All three verses use small jazz runs emphasizing them in the bass. The runs are the sounds of a dancer moving around NYC. There is a stride feel in the post verse stopping at one point with “the sound of silence” then finishing off the song with dirty jazz blues like the Viper Song from Ain’t Misbehavin’. The pause in sound at the “the sound of silence” visualize the dancer’s feet and thoughts breathing before the next rhythmic movement. The bridge has a swing soft shoe intertwined with a stride piano feel throughout and closes with a little dirty jazz blues, too. To emphasize the rhythm in our lives, the second verse is a listen to the rhythm in movement of people doing everyday activity. Letting Go was written to find relief using the beat and rhythm and sound oozing from our insides.. trying to find musical sense from within to feel better.
This song was a slow write. Sometimes I feel tired. It seems to be what lots of people are dealing with. I do feel like I need some time off to do regular things. Actually, I have been working on two songs but slowly. Taking a vacation is not to be. Taking life easier seems like an answer for now. I am writing but slower.. but writing. I am thinking about using the new regimen as my new routine when things ease. I think I may find increased authenticity in my music composing and lyric writing while taking my time like Fred Rogers would interject. Time allows sound and words to become more flavorful by percolating.
My brother’s birthday was last month. Good that you are Becoming. This is the time. HBX8!
IL, HB! This isn’t the easiest year to celebrate but I want to hope by this time next year there is relief worldwide and your birthday and my brother’s will occur in the middle of it.
Take a listen now to Letting Go. Each of us tries letting go often as we age. Sometimes it seems like it is the only way to go. Use your earphones. It’s a good way to listen.
Thank you for coming over. Today music is more important than ever. There are few other things that can be counted on to be always available, calming us when needed and energizing us when little else can. Some recent few I have found to help are the Space X program and just today Joe Biden choosing Kamala Harris to be his VP. Music, Space X, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and Black Lives Matter are sources of energy that give us HOPE. They uplift us while we are living in a twilight zone and our security is being pulled away and a terrible disease surrounds us that can take anyone down.
Space X Dragon returning 8.02.2020
A gorgeous fall joined with Indian summer should be arriving soon! We really need to see it and feel it.
Attach yourself to music. You will always feel better.
August 11, 2020