What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz… LA Composer/Performer? Rebuilding The Original ME.. doing what I do best.

Continuation of the small autobiography below the picture…

In Southern California fall comes late.  Leaves on deciduous trees are falling though winter officially made its subtle entry.  Walking through leaves that pile up and litter the sidewalks is definitely a positive experience.  The sound  walking through fallen leaves produces a musical beat with an undercurrent. This time of year warmer spring and summer like days touch shoulders with cooler cloudy and rainy days and even occasional nighttime frosts.  Early January can seem like the beginning of summer before it bounces back to cool. Fall and winter are sensual alerts. I am guilty of being dulled by the sameness of the weather and steady warm temperatures.  Seasonal changes push my mind to think and react and become more creative.  See the beautiful crepe myrtle  backdropped by an oak standing amongst renewing hollyhocks and inserted here.  The leaves are red and yellow at this time of year decorating the air temporarily. It is not possible to not react to the sight!

Who amongst us have never made a huge mistake leaving us feeling powerless? That is the subject of the song I recently completed. Its title is To Rebuild The Original Me because that is a way I believe someone can recover to move forward. Our political world is in a huge mess.  We got there making some huge mistakes in judgement. Recovering good sense and acting responsibly seems to be a very very slow process in the USA compared to other places facing big and untenable change, too. But more personally To Rebuild The Original Me describes personally what happens when someone has made a huge mistake and must figure how to recover: returning to what feels familiar, testing directions forward and even sideways, interacting with good people while doing familiar things..to feel useful and productive again.  The endgame is feeling happy again.

The premise is found in the first verse: Needing/To turn my tears in the inside/Into a smile on the outside/I dig down/To capture/Who I know is Me/Tossing anything possibly contrived/To rebuild/The original Me.  The chorus describes the coping mechanism until Verse 3 and the Post Verse relate the treatment and result.  I wrote the melody in G major and filled it with some interesting sounds and sound spaces and dissonance reflecting the emotional difficulty being sung about.  Even so, the song evokes comfort and the reduction of conflict with a chorus that can be easily sung and repeated by those who feel like wanting to do just that.  Listening to the song and singing along while it is played on NPR radio seems probable. It was written to be mainstream.

For me interacting with our puppy is a perfect first step to getting back in step and hints at a way to begin to recover and start again doing things to make a personal world more beautiful.  Feeling the love of an animal and giving love back is familiar and solid.  Singing with a group of people who know and appreciate me is familiar and solid too. Walking through the sequoia forest and its odor and its special quiet I carry with me in my mind at all times is familiar and always solid. Having an idea and writing new music with lyrics about it and deciding how to sing it is my getting back in step. It is my familiar and my method to feel solid ground again to get back on track.

Please listen now to To Rebuild The Original Me.  Using earphones will enhance the experience.  I will soon re-record this song with drums.

Hanukkah is here.  Christmas is here and the New Year is almost here. Time cycles experiences.  I try not to let my emotions cycle.  It is hard to not get affected and infected. The goal is to be upbeat, not get shattered by the world, find value in what is simple and pure, and get things done. That is my New Year’s wish for all.  I have been writing music for this blog for 48 months. It is a long time to be consistent and persistent and productive and creative. Writing words with music gives me a lot… not the least, something to hang onto when at times my emotions cycle and I feel powerless. My work writing feeds me and rebuilds me.

FYI: I am preparing a program where I will perform my music.  I look forward to it and will share my experience in a future blog.

Feeling happy for my parents on their 50th Anniversary and my mom on her birthday!!!

Sincerely with music,

THANK YOU for coming to listen,

Joshua Eli

December 25, 2019

Happy Holidays..Happy New Year!!!

Having a new puppy to experience the New Year with has got to be the best experience ever..Energy Energy and more Energy and over the top Love Love and more Love.


Rose adjusting to a new friend? /puppy

Nose to Nose..bridging the age gap..learning how to be appreciated..being shown the rules.

  Herschel…How handsome can he be!

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz.. LA Composer/Performer? Polishing a person

A small autobiography below the picture

When I have been treated abrasively using different grades of sandpaper, I observe that I am polished into a more attractive version of myself.  On nature’s stage that is the performance.  Stones are polished… the effect of sand being thrown against those stones by powerful waves, and large boulders with edges become more interesting and attractive, more smooth, with layers more exposed. I speak as do others using available art forms.  Art  records resistance and sticks around to remind.

We took a week and went to a place in a gorgeous location.   It was not warm. It was heaven’s definition of heaven on earth.  The wind, rain, and the waves were furious one day.  That week rides on my back and uplifts me everyday now.  How to stay solid and harness a life? Get polished, be purposeful, stay connected, embrace peace.

While in that beautiful location and sitting around a period dining table we listened to legislators in Washington speak and knew the end of the torment created by incompetent leadership will find its end.  Listening I felt the fervor to never abandon values because having them is the only way to be strong.

Recently I saw John Leguizamo perform in Latin History for Morons.  He is talented and engaging.  His performance was about sandpaper and polishing, this time regarding Latinos.  In Latin History.. John speaks about himself and the state of Latin culture in America.  He created his one-person art from personal experience, the blessed vantage point.

Then an unusual choice, we attended an opera: The Light In The Piazza.. actually musical theatre turned into opera.  The setting was formal, the audience attendees were dressed for the moment, and the singers had name value and  competency.  The music was not too inspiring..neither were the lyrics, but the experience was different and felt like I was in a place I have rarely entered so my so so interest warmed up. The show had won awards for its score and for the lead female singer.  There was a purpose for my attendance: sitting there I knew my skills are better than what I  heard on the stage and from the orchestra pit.  Sometimes the purpose of attendance is to become confident.

The lyrics for my new song In Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough were mostly written in an art studio while away from LA.  When singing the lyrics to  the music I composed for them, I feel instantly transported there.  I need no photos to place myself there or to gaze at.  The melody with its lyrical story are just enough.   The mark of something’s or someone’s impact is its indelible trace etched in our memory.  This song does not have a chorus.  Instead this time I wrote a refrain. This is a first for me.  I have not used a refrain before when composing.   The refrain should cause you to feel involved and wanting to sing along. It is a signature statement about what is good. I built a driving tempo for it.  Nature creates wonderful feelings and sightings that we can cherish and use to counteract what crops up and is not worthy of our time and energy.  So, here is the REFRAIN:

Blue sea stars,

Sand dollars,

Jelly fish, anemones, crabs and clams,                    

Loons and eagles, 

Otters and whales

Rockfish and octopus, 

Volcanoes, glaciers,


Clear ocean water with gentle waves,

A story of SERENITY 

Between the Beaches.

The song in Verse 2 sings of a significant moment involving three people in a close human relationship… the denouement closing the Bridge is captured in the phrase Earning My Gratitude Beyond Belief .  To accomplish the feeling for this moment, in Verse 2 I used D minor chords; you will also hear a definite alteration in the melody.  In the Bridge I shifted to A minor to B flat chords resolving back to F Major chords. The music composed for the Bridge has a more positive sound and tonal quality because the potentially horrific crisis resolved to a positive outcome. When choosing a title for this song, I thought to use Earning My Gratitude Beyond Belief, but the Post Verse and Outro anchored the song to Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough. At the song’s conclusion I wanted the focus to be the beauty of this place.  I wrote this song in F Major. F Major for me is a non-confrontational comfortable key.  Its calming tonal quality is perfect for imagery. Verse 3, the Post Verse, and the Outro definitely turn toward uptempo using accents in the chords and the accompaniment to hear the traffic sounds in LA and then I calmed the tempo playing down the accents to speak about the quiet star-filled night sky. It is an almost six minute song. It took that amount of time to sing in music and words my feelings.. the feelings I wanted to leave you with. The song Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough beginning to end is about imagery and feelings connected to experiences encountered in just one week but absolutely will live in our minds tons longer.  Once again the power felt of the word “enough” leaps out.

Now please listen to Between The Beaches Is More Than Enough.  Use earphones.  You will hear every word and the sound will be great.

The time between the last blog entry and this one widened because an experience sapped my energy.   Also, I had a cold, and we added a new puppy into our family, and we lost our Adelaide who was a dog-member of our family for 16.5+ years.  Watching a living thing struggle is overwhelmingly sad.  It is also instructive.  I thank you for coming by to listen to the music I compose and the lyrics I write.  You coming to listen definitely lifts me up and keeps me going.  I hope it affects you similarly.   Think of enjoying your Thanksgiving by sharing the food from your table.  The end of the calendar year is always busy.  We need to include everyone close in the joyfulness we create.  Ironically the same period can be a sad time for some…and many have suffered from fires in California.  It would be great if we get some rain soon to drown out the possibility of any new fires. There have been too many natural emergencies this year reminding us how important it is to be mindful for each other and the importance of solid leadership to get us through the “terribleness.”


Joshua Eli

November 17, 2019


Herschel very interested in his image and the piano.

The most gorgeous skies blossom here.

The huge beach and sandbar after the tide went out.  In the background a volcano filled in with a glacier.

je 2:50 pm 



What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer? See a non-typical heart.


A small autobiography below the picture.

I got back into the studio and it felt very good.  There is a friendliness there that just doesn’t seem to be found anywhere else… musicians and artists working with engineers.. together expressing themselves in a very open supportive environment.  Everyone needs to experience that creative and free feeling.  There I re-recorded With Your Secure Touch, the song from my last blog.  You can listen to it updated just below. Use earbuds.  You will enjoy it more.

49% of millennials have tattoos.  The category Millennials refer to individuals ages 22-38.  That statistic got me started on a new song. Other age groups with generation names like Generation X, Boomers, and Generation Z , etc. all contribute to tattoo popularity. Why lots want to write on their body in a permanent way is interesting.  People dress in a particular way and change that style frequently over time, same with hair styles, long to short and short to long, and hair color: brown to red to black to blue.. even who they pair with or marry is frequently changed up over time.  After reading some, it seems to be difficult and painful to remove tattoos even with lasers.  So people know they are generally permanent. They become a permanent record… a picture and word diary for what is important or has been important…reminders of important events or feelings not to forget even if no longer current.  Artistically tattoos are also used to decorate ourselves like ancient indigenous people did or even ancient cultures as with the Egyptians and Japanese and Polynesians or today’s “modern” indigenous people of Africa and South America.  My personal interest in a tattoo is the subject of this song.  I used my interests and what I consider my real treasures and a statement and a goal to create possible tattoo designs for myself.  All of those ideas could be reasons any person might wish to mark and decorate his body permanently.  A tattoo is definitely a personal thing but also shared within a personal world over a lifetime.  Is it a want or need? For some both apply… For some maybe caving to the moment… In all cases the desire to make a statement that perks interpretation applies.

Here is Verse 1 and the Chorus and the Outro for For Forever And Ever:

Verse 1


A non-typical heart.

Drawn inside are

The tips of fingers

Moving on the strings

Marked by frets.

On the opposite arm,

The voice of the piano

Fills the sound spaces

As fingertips select the keys.



Drawn high on a bicep

Are green eyes,

Open windows with no curtains.

There is a sensitive mouth

And ears that purple glasses decorate,

Listening intently

To how the sound plays,

Also sings out.


And in small cursive,

It’s what it’s all about.



An artist’s drawing

Of an artist’s treasures,

There to look at

In technicolor,

Forever and ever..

Forever and ever.       

I wrote For Forever And Ever in D flat major.  I really like the musical sound created for the chorus. The sound, like a captivating siren, directs my eyes to look at that tattoo. My personal appreciation for those treasures is what it’s all about.  The song has a call and response feature that can be used when singing the chorus.  The song’s rhythm is created by the ebb and flow of the words in the lyrics throughout.  I wrote the music using a contrapuntal sound with two distinct melodies, one vocal and one instrumental, clearly obvious in the chorus especially as the choruses progress. The song does bear a resemblance to the music style of the late 80’s and early 90’s especially the band Chicago’s songs: You’re The Inspiration and Hard To Say I’m Sorry. Now listen to For Forever And Ever.

Use your ear buds to hear the best sound.

Fall is finally almost upon us.  The days and nights can’t get any nicer.  Wearing some fleece over a long-sleeve shirt when the evening gets chilly and the sun’s daylight is less intense is wonderful.  Our body has a special communication with sunlight and its intensity and the number of hours it shines.  Shorter days affect our attitude and energy and gives us the rest that we have drained from ourselves trying to keep up with the long hours of sunlight of the summer months.  We can give ourselves the time to read more, rest more, and be better companions.  Rushing out and around seems less important.  Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are coming the end of this month and the beginning of next month.  When I was young they were just religious obligations to act out.  Today it seems different…more like an opportunity to look back and more important, to look forward and attempt change.  If you are celebrating those holidays, Gut Yom Tov!

Music is an excellent healthy way to express feelings.  I write and perform music first for myself and then for you.  It is a gift to feel and understand and express yourself.  I feel your support and want to continue sharing my music and ideas with you.

My dog Rose became 9 this month.  She is a miracle dog.  Rose has spent half of her life coping with more than most will ever face yet she still enjoys music and singing along with it.  Being in a house where music is always in the air contributes to her wellness… music makes her feel happy made obvious when she dashes over to sing with me when I sit down at the piano.  Thanks to all of Rose’s doctors and my family for never giving up!  Our other mini-dachshund Adelaide has become stronger while confronting her late-in-life illness.  Also, thanks to her wunderkind specialist doctor! Their doctors give Rose and Adelaide the promise of improved health and a life of quality!

Sincerely,                            Happy 40 ESD!

Joshua Eli                 

September 28, 2019

Please read the sign pictured below.  When I saw it I knew I had to put its picture  in this blog.


Adelaide being strong!  Her picture will be a constant in this blog until her endgame arrives.




What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz… LA Composer/Performer? A big ‘smile’ landed in my ‘ears.’ With a secure touch you lead me to find a lit thru street.

       A small autobiography beside the picture..

Success is collaborating and exploring, leading to a new capability and feeling the upside of the challenge. The idea for With Your Secure Touch began just that way leading to integrate two instruments into the song I was already writing both of which I would play and use to accompany my voice.  I have a studio to work in but not a high-end professional recording studio.  I have the necessary equipment but could always use more and am now planning an expansion to allow for more personal innovation .  With ingenuity and 3 heads together we engineered our way through the recording of With Your Secure Touch played in G major finding a new kind of success and sense that I can do this and will try doing more of it.  I kept the song shorter than most of the songs I write to focus on the technique, but I did make sure I did not pay short shrift to the song’s message.  The ‘new’ instrument is the acoustic guitar that I have been playing 20 years…I have been on piano almost twice as long and singing in a studied way more than 32 years…actually singing and playing endings for songs since a very young 2 years old. The piano feels like it is part of my body. My hands speak for me when the words effectively can’t.  The guitar not so much, but will likely become a true appendage now that I compose on it. I also play the jazz violin since I needed to learn to play violin for a show I was once cast in.  I was Schlomo in a small Equity tour of Fame. That was about 17 years ago.  The violin now is a part of me. I think it came with my genes.  Some of my own music sounds beautiful when I play those songs on violin; it is seems like it is singing for me only with a soprano and alto voice.  I use the violin to project  romanticism and to produce a string jazz sound.  Both instruments work well with my ears because I have perfect pitch.  I play my Dad’s violin.  My dad and his father likely have/had a version of perfect pitch. They streamed it to me but neither spent too much time as musicians.  My grandfather’s sisters were piano teachers before WW2 in Czechoslovakia but did not escape in time to live a long life, and my father when young and my grandfather also played this violin, now mine to use.  My mother listened and watched me as a small 2 year old child develop my musical skills while I was observing my older brother beginning to study music and started me on a 40 year path of music study, performance, music directing, composing and recording.  People retire after 40 years of work.  My 1st 40 years are the beginning to the 40 years yet ahead.

When With Your Secure Touch came together after adding the piano into the voice and guitar track, it felt like a flower opening…indeed, a big smile landed in my ears.  My next thought was to schedule some time where I record professionally to get that great sound attached to the song.  It will be done. When something like this happens..when a new sound happens..when new choices appear..when the promise of a future filled with new ideas floats through my head and into my ears, it seems like all the work, trial and error and disappointments were for this reason.  Growing requires pain.  The pain seems for a reason and in retrospect wasn’t all that painful.

Here is Verse 1 and the Chorus and Bridge for With Your Secure Touch in G major.  The song’s message with great respect acknowledges those people who have helped me to do what I do.

Verse 1


I just can’t do it

Only on my own.

I need a guide

When I’ve taken

A turn into 

A narrow dark alley.



With a secure touch 

You lead me

To find

A lit thru street,

So I can take over

To lead the way.



The path is clear ahead,

And I’m ready.

People may have doubts,

But you have never doubted me.

You believe in me

Like no one has ever


For the intro and verses I used a simple but clean guitar D major scale with the scale steps out of order to create the song. The pattern is repeated sometimes with a different rhythm: off the beat, sped up, slowed down, even notes removed from the pattern to give each part of the passing line on the guitar a different sound or harmony as opposed to the steady melody sung by the voice.  The bridge features harmony on the guitar.  I drop out the piano accompaniment one time there for a few seconds when it clashes with one of the guitar runs. The outro has some intricate lines on the guitar using very nice moving notes, a fast run emphasizing finger work, then ending with an attractive resolve.  Alluded to above, since a young age I have enjoyed putting myself into the endings of songs. The piano is the complementary instrument to the guitar, not in the forefront for this song.  For the bridge, on piano in the bass accompaniment, I wrote one very nice moving base line.  The style of this song is a cross between folk and pop. The acoustic guitar gives it a really nice feel with a steel string sound.

Now listen to With Your Secure Touch with your earphones.  You are about to hear a musical treat that I know will get even better after recording at my top choice recording studio.

I hope you enjoyed listening as much as I found pleasure writing and arranging and performing this song.  Come back and listen often to the work I post.  You do inspire me to find new ways of expressing myself.  I hope I inspire you to do the same. Why not think to comment on my music?  Using your thoughts I get better in many ways: knowing you are interested and your hearing something or want to hear something I may have overlooked.  I listen to what I compose lots and lots before releasing it, but I can be too close to it that I don’t hear what is obvious.

The season is entering the dog days of summer.  It seems to me that we have moved through summer quickly this year.  For many,  hot weather can be a challenge to cope with.  I prefer cold weather.  I really look forward to the beautiful cooling days of fall and how it feels to be outside during that time.

Sincerely…My goal: That my music will elevate your day..

Joshua Eli

August 17, 2019

our aging Adelaide… stay strong!

thanks for visiting!  je

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer? When you want to hold someone’s hand and she takes yours.

A small autobiography beside the picture and a version of the American Gothic taken in downtown in LA.

Dear blog,

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.

Verse 1

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

With you?


The touch

From one to another

Breathes beauty

Between 2 separate lives.

2 slowly growing closer

As everything seems easier.


Between one and the other


That something

Quite special 

Is beginning to seem right.

Verse 2

Lacing fingers, 


One hand within the other’s,

Says lots 

About the bond

Beginning to blossom,

Then flourishing. 

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

Joshua Eli

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







What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer? My dad said, “Exquisite!”


A small autobiography below the picture.

Father’s Day is almost here. My Dad and I had a Father’s Day moment on June 8, 8 days early.  Three of us are the Be Wild About Music team involved with song writing, performance, recording, music publishing, and production.  My mom is my chief supporter in all things business and artistic with her steady presence.  My dad is still doing his job in colleges in the area and supports with his computer skill and design work fashioning lyric videos.  He also reviews my work.  My mom is also discriminating.. reasoning acutely but with sensitivity.  Her perspective counts. My dad is involved in a different way but opinionated. Yesterday after I finished recording my new song  Better To Forget To Remember, he listened to it with my Sennheissers while viewing the lyric sheet on my music stand and said, ” It’s exquisite!”, his word for better than beautiful. The important thing to know is that the two of us aren’t always in agreement regarding all things.  For me that statement was like getting a professional music award. Special days like Father’s Day should be filled with reciprocal appreciation.  I appreciate my dad’s honesty relating to what is important for me. He has provided financial support when my artistry needed it, but most of all he has never left my side.  That’s my dad. … and I write music so the people I love can enjoy it, too.  They most of all can appreciate its evolution. The pictures at the top of this blog and near the bottom are throw backs from 20-25 years ago. My dad was there when the pictures were taken.  I was just my dad’s and my mom’s kid then.  While doing some spring cleaning to create space for things that were getting crowded out, I spotted the vintage pictures of me that I included in this blog as a compliment to Father’s Day.

Now please listen to Better To Forget To Remember but with earphones because you’ll catch every word, and you will get a great sound.

Walking through the largest room on the top floor at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, there is an oil painting with only words, referred to as text in the art world.  The artist is Ed Ruscha.  Those words stuck me like a pin sticks and are the reason for my new song Better Forget To Remember. Everyone has experiences or thoughts that can relate to Remembering to Forget to Remember or we aren’t human.  The idea expressed in just 5 words is a standout and so I wrote down a chorus on a museum brochure:

When my thoughts/Are rolling in my head/And all I want to do/Is push them away/Because they feel too real/ I have to Remember/To Forget/To Remember.

Then the bridge which in this case is the song’s synopsis:

Remembering/Takes on a life/With its own rules/If not worthy…/Better to Remember/To Forget/To Remember.

Memories can be fleeting, pleasurable and unforgettable, ones we must not forget out of necessity as an actor or artist must, ones we want to forget but can’t because of trauma, and ones that we try to push away if we can.  Memories tend to be engraved and so take real effort to remove like the ordeal of removing tattoos.  They essentially are our story and probably should be removed only with effort.  We have a commitment to ourselves to know our story and improve upon it.. not jumping in and out of it…like the broken parts of something that can be  discarded.  Memories are our legacy and the results of the ways we contribute in a lasting way to the world to make ourselves into something we can be proud of. Still this song speaks of the burden some memories leave us with and the desire to push them away even though it gives no real prescription for doing so.  Maybe the prescription is the space created by letting time roll and lengthen.   I composed Better To Forget To Remember in F min using the music created by using both minor and major chords and the notes corresponding to their scales to create the feeling of an emotional tug and pull and perhaps a release.  I created its melody imagining an evening rowing a boat solo on a lake with the moon lighting the way.. remembering but looking forward.  The chorus has musical undertones of a film score emulating Barbra Streisand’s Papa Can You Hear Me with its Yiddish feel. (More than just a few music professionals compare my music style with Michel Legrand and just once I sat next to Marilyn and Alan Bergman at a workshop..the composers of the score for Yentl. A dream and then a memory: Ms. Streisand will sing my songs with me.) Better To Forget To Remember being reminiscent could be a power ballad in a Sondheim show but without the extreme dissonances he uses in his songs.   While singing at piano,  Better… feels like a prayer that needs to be shared..  but very personal. The bridge departs from the chorus using jazz chords that have a pleasant dissonance …not taking the ear too far into a strange place. The lyrics are reasoned and intelligent yet emotional.  I especially like how the Outro dressed up and finished the song meaningfully.  I have so many memories piled up from my experiences writing and performing music and performing on many stages even from commercial shoots and with many types of people…some of the best and some I would relish to push away.

The next step in the run up to Father’s Day we went out to find a secret beach  located in the direction of Point Dume.  With sketchy directions we went looking for it and in fact had to stumble on it as there is no signage and only word of mouth got us there. It is essentially isolated because of a difficult access allowing its natural untouched rugged quiet yet stunning beauty to be valued as a pristine resident on the southern California coast.  The Los Angeles film industry uses the location… contributing to its isolation and mystery… also supportive of leaving it unmarked.  It was described as a secret beach in a private cove; it felt that way the day we were there.  Arriving purposefully at low tide, we climbed over the sharp angled rocks seemingly piled to refuse the climber from moving forward, to get our first glimpse of the cove. At that first sight, we felt like we were allowed to view a secret.  We then descended after that difficult climb over the rocks wedging our shoes into narrow spaces finally walking on the solid ground of the beach. The beach inside the cove was being rhythmically washed as we walked across the wet sand while capturing with our eyes the setting from many angles and so discovering some table rocks to rest on and where we could set up the lunch we had prepared.  While eating white cheddar and seasoned pureed avocado and green chili pepper and yellow pepper sandwiched in fresh french bread also munching some fresh cucumber and crunchy vegetable straws all washed down with orange Fanta and finished off with Bartlett pear and apricots, we listened and appreciated the ocean entertaining us.  It was a few hours of real contentment sitting outside in the cool air, the ocean’s salty odor providing its special perfume, fressing and talking, and all the while watching the natural performance and sound of the waves and the sea birds flying into the wind and buoyed by it while the tide slowly dragged the ocean closer to our table. We mostly had the cove to ourselves save for a very few in their early 20’s playing ball at the other end of the cove and some rock climbers quietly scaling the promontory at the cove’s entrance.. that monolith along with the sharp rocks you have to climb to get to the cove keep the cove hidden and hard to get to for the public.  We were visiting a beautiful natural place with a private aura about it.  It felt like for those hours it was almost ours to own and perfect for a private celebration.  The pull of the tide pushed us to wrap the day. This memory capped with scaling the rocks again, but easier the second time, to return to a more common world likely will find its way somehow into a new song some day.  Back at the beach parking, an ice cream truck played its song to attract ice cream seekers, and we stepped up to to get some. Tomorrow my brother will be have his shot at doing his thing for our dad.

As every new season begins there are new opportunities to think and write stimulated by the feelings that emerge from seasonal change.  I feel that and my mind records it.  Summer is sun and high temperatures and swimming in hot springs and hiking and climbing while exploring… opportunities to really break routines and freedom from institutional rigors like school and lots of opportunities to listen to music in the plein-air.. and even to make my own music there.

One of our pets is having a difficult battle for her life.  I want her to pull herself through it with the help of her new specialist so that the end will be kicked further away.  This is why we have to stay strong and prepared the whole of our life.  When the challenges come up, stored strength is ready and available like a savings account. We did bring her along on the drive to the beach and later both of our dachshund dogs walked with the breezes off the Pacific Ocean lifting their big ears. That was fun to see as they seemed ready to take off.

To the fathers who read this blog and listen to the music I post on it, thank you for doing those things!  I hope you will listen to your kids speak and love them for the way they are.  They will make you proud for many Happy Father’s Days.  Who knows.. maybe they in time will listen to some of my music and read what I have to say and ask you something about it. Then you will get an additional opportunity to interact with them.

Sincerely,    Joshua Eli                                                                                       

16 June  2019






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

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz… LA Composer/Performer? A Language But Just For Us

There was a wind like I rarely experienced before, and the place was painted with color.  We drove through the wild flower area north of Los Angeles treated to an extraordinarily sight.  California poppies whose seeds were charged up by the winter rains put on a fantastic show.  There were yellow California gold field wildflowers and desert blue bell in wide patches as well.  While there it seemed like a place far away and so different than where we live.  It lifted us up like the feeling of being on vacation.  The entire experience left us satisfied as we ate an evening meal in a local cafe that we spotted while driving up to the area.  The flowers were a gift and the food served at the cafe seemed better than at home..altogether a very nice experience. So a small autobiography above the picture.

The word whisper suggests something emotionally touching and became the idea for my next song.  After finishing the song,  I saw that A Language That’s JUST FOR US could be used for a wedding march because the lyric ideas are suggestive of a lasting commitment.

The chorus:

Your whisper/A quiet thought/Only for me to hear/A delightful look/Only for us/To know its meaning/Gifts that speak of love/Heard and seen and felt/Just for us.  As I was writing these ideas flooded my thoughts: a private look, poetry, soft singing, a silent song, and a whole new languageSo walk with me in the key of B flat major and listen to a new song written for the baritone voice… a song sort of like Lionel Richie’s My Endless Love.. but my own.

I especially like the imagery I was able to write into the lyrics of the Bridge and Verse 3.

The Bridge: Softly sing in my ear/And let the music spin around/Inside my head/It’s intoxicating/I don’t want it to stop/But why would I want it to?/It is from you/For me/To smile and feel ecstatic/And beyond…

Verse 3: The spoken sound/Between us/Is music inside my ears/When the music pauses/And there is silence/A new song begins and intensifies/A silent song/That sings forever/JUST FOR US/And our love for each other.

Most of the Outro is sung only as a vocal to personalize it and not dilute the words. It ends with an emotional jazz riff then a piano/vocal walk off:

A whisper/A quiet thought/Then our eyes do the talking/And we don’t need to say much at all/This is a language/That’s JUST FOR US

My intention is to record this song as a duet.

Above is the song: A Language That’s JUST FOR US.  While listening read my thoughts about the music below and use earphones.  You will be able to hear everything better. In sum it is an intimate love poem communicated between 2 people using shared looks and whispers.. the subtle hints that only they can see and understand and hear.

The verses of the song use a simple B flat open chord that repeats itself then moves to Gmi7, Cmi7 and F major, all open chords, resolving back to a closed B flat chord.  The chording creates a tension in the first half of each verse that is lifted away in the second half using the same chord combination but with the chords more drawn out.  This chord pattern together with each verse’s lyrics creates a feeling of euphoria at the closing of each verse.

The chords of the chorus progress from E flat to F maj to B flat repeating twice then resolving to the progression E flat maj7, E flat mi7, D mi7, C mi7, back to B flat.  These chords ascending and descending have good passing tones and were chosen to create a feeling of romanticism. The chorus is mellow but lilting and uses legato phrasing giving a feeling of comfort and non-tension that the listener can easily accommodate to and even want to sing.  The chorus is SIMPLICITY  with a quiet sophistication that speaks to the heart of the song.

The bridge veers off from the chord progressions of the verses and chorus.  I  also add subtle rhythm to the bridge in the left hand and so it is a bit more driving in tempo.  I repeat D7, D/F#, Gmi7, back to D7 three times then take this route to resolve it: Cmi7, B flat/D, E flat maj7, Fmaj7, E flat maj7 back to B flat maj.  The D7, D/F#, Gmin7 chord progression is used to reveal the moving passion of the chorus’s lyrics.  They assist in embodying the wants and needs of the quiet passion between two people sung about in the lyrics. The music of the bridge builds and descends like a wave going in (It is from you.) and out from shore back to the open ocean (and beyond).  When arriving at the resolve for the bridge where you might think the music should come down.. instead I wanted the vocals to propel the bridge music into the third verse so tying them together… because there is still more to say and the lyric ideas of the bridge are definitely connected to those of the third verse.  Finally I get to the resolution of the song contained in the outro: a whisper…a language That’s Just For Us

The coming week is Passover and Easter.  I hope they are nice and meaningful and nostalgic holidays for those of you who celebrate them.  It is hard not to feel that summer is closing in since the weather is definitely heating up.  For me each season sprouts new feelings producing ideas that I can use to write music.  Thank you for using the search bar to come over to read my blog and listen to the music I write for it and beyond. Please spread information about my blog to your friends and family.  Next month I need to take care of a health concern and will be taking the month off from music writing and performing at the piano… unless I bounce back very fast.  My mind and ideas will not be in a state of arrest though.  I am always thinking about what to say with music.  So until the next time..

Music is my life’s asset,

Joshua Eli

April 14, 2019

Happy Birthday to my Grandma and Grandpa!!!  If alive, they would be 99 and 105.



What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz.. L.A. Composer/ Performer? The Comedy Of Vanity… How Lucky Can I Be!

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,

Joshua Eli

March 17, 2019







What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz.. LA Composer/ Performer? A Beautiful Valentine: It’s Not Something We Get Over, But Something We Work Through


A face.  Its essence are its eyes, its nose and its mouth and ears.  With them my senses heighten pushing me to feel my creative edge.

The big news here is that the weather in Los Angeles this winter is pushing away the drought. Los Angeles is getting the rain totals it needs to keep fires and their destruction and what comes after at bay.  I am attaching to this small autobiography beside the picture the pleasurable sound of the rain falling just outside our home.  Also, while writing I spy the “nose of the Rose”: my dog Rose buried under her blanket with her nose and one eye showing basking in the warmth inside while the outside is being drenched with water from saturated clouds. This is happiness! February in Los Angeles is also a beautiful time outdoors with flowers poking out growing from bulbs wintering in the soil.  First there are tulips and soon after there are iris. Then spring begins to burst with California poppy and nasturtium and lilacs and holly hocks and violas and columbine and alyssum. How lucky we are to have each of them in our yard so we can watch the progression of spring unfold. Next the paperbark maple trees will leaf out spirited along by nature’s rain.

14 seconds of a rainy Valentine’s Day… February 14, 2019 and then a double rainbow

An idea: It’s not something we get over, but something we work through became the pivot point I built my next song around.  The idea led to something unexpected for me because without planning it became a sung Valentine card  to the beings we value and share our lives with.  I find this idea captivating: It is easy to love the parts of a being we agree with, but when we learn to embrace the parts we disagree with, that is when liking turns to loving. (Haemin Sunim, Zen Buddhist teacher).  So… with these thoughts  I began to write.

Use earphones for the best listening experience.

The opening verse: Working through what makes us sad, /Even mad, / Feeling like we’ve struggled /Needing to come out on the other end /Not spent, /That is character and love /And makes us strong/ And humble.  Then the chorus: It’s not something we get over, /But something we work through /It’s up to both of us, me and you, /To make our place /A safe one, /A personal spot to come to /And call it a home. The bridge: We fall/ We get up/ We fall again, / And then we get up/ Now sturdily standing/ Every time we fall/ Learning more/ How not to fall again. Next Verse 3: It’s change/ It’s progress/ It’s happiness/ It’s more peace/ Than we’ve known/ It’s us together, / A beautiful Valentine. Closing with: Joined to each other/ Through struggle/ And the truth, / You finding you/ And me being who I be/ Never far from you.  

Regarding the music, the song is in G major, a “G”entle key, and plays for 4 1/2 minutes, the right amount of time to sing its very real Valentine story. The tempo of the chorus is 4/4 with a slight drive beat.  The tempo of the verses is a looser 4/4.  This song has a pop feel similar to the music of the band Chicago of the late 80’s and early 90’s. The beat in the bridge drives more than that of the chorus, and I modify the song’s chord progression there giving the bridge’s beat and sound a soft rock feel like that of George Michael’s Never Going To Dance With You. If my song were played in the 80’s, it would be on a synthesizer or electric piano.  My style is to favor acoustic piano.  That is the instrument I compose on and play most of my music on although I also play some of my music on the acoustic guitar and violin with a jazz tinge.  I will perform on those instruments as well as on piano in Come To Baltimore, a show I have written focusing on my first album. The 80’s were pure passion and grit. Performers then put their whole being while onstage into expressing the strife they were feeling or the love they were feeling, singing or playing about it, even dressing the part and styling their hair to fit. That way of performing is not done today except in music videos.  However, I do feel it and keep it going my way.  The chord progressions for the verses and choruses of A Beautiful Valentine are: Gmaj, D/F#, G/E, G/D, Cmaj7, G/B, and Ami7.  I add at the end of the chorus the following: G/B, Cmaj7 and C/D for the resolve back to the verse.

I just barely came through in time to publish this blog with its song A Beautiful Valentine though I am not yet back where I’d like to be after a version of the flu. I hope you are staying healthy and keeping warm and will enjoy today’s holiday.  Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you ALWAYS sincerely to the many thousands of you who listen to and have expressed your appreciation for my music. That includes the esteemed John Bucchino who I had the opportunity to perform for.  His comments, ” Your lyrics are poetic.  Your music should be in film. Very well done”.  So while I continue to sculpt more songs, please listen to A Beautiful Valentine posted above near the middle of this blog.


Joshua Eli



Candlesticks from Poland where my grandma was born lit up with Reeses for Valentine’s Day.

…and tulips we brought inside to bring the beginning of spring in.

Thank you for visiting….  Until the next time.  je