What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz..LA Composer/Performer? On The Verge Of Being Amazing

A small autobiography below the picture.

I really love forests and the odors they have.  Trails that are solid and compacted with switchbacks through a forest are perfect.   That forests are quietly alive is pleasurable. The different sizes of the trees, the browns and greens, the moss and algae and ferns and tiny wildflowers are satisfying to look at as I walk then climb the trails that are sometimes challenging to navigate since rock has been deposited there by rushing water during storms or snow melt. There are small permanent rivers with rapids fed by runoff and fallen trees because the forest floor is their final bed.  Those fallen trees become food for insects and in decay produce a rich soil where seeds for new trees can get their start.   We recently planted two new twin paperbark maples in our yard.  While on vacation a storm severely damaged weeping birch trees in our yard that my parents planted when I was less than 2 years old.  Those weeping birches were suffering from a no-win boring beetle infestation related to the extended drought in the western USA.  With insufficient rain water and severe restrictions on watering outdoors, many trees became weak and susceptible to insect attack.  Mature trees are dying, not living their complete lifespan. The sadness from losing our trees, then deciding about what next better to plant and later tracking down the new trees and all that while removing the dead birches and their deep roots… left a heavy then hopeful feeling in our insides.  Our birch trees were beautiful and full of grace producing shade for our shade garden and turtle pond.  Their roots were deep and heavy earning our respect when digging them up.  They lived 40 years in the earth. Those roots kept 3 trees standing tall and nourished and looking stunning til near their end and all those years with the help of the earth and water and sunlight.

Trees are a Perfect Nice.. a line from the lyrics for my latest song.   I saw Dear Evan Hansen, actually not expecting what I saw and how I would feel when I left.  Simplistically it relates to social anxiety, a suicide, honesty, finding a sense of purpose, and trees.  It did what it set out to.  I left having a good experience.  Also, the topic tree came up as I already mentioned when we returned from our vacation.  The paperbark maples we chose have beautiful cinnamon-colored bark that peels and leaves that change color in fall.  The peeling bark should be a standout when they mature. So I have been thinking a lot about trees and their heavy thick roots and their importance and steadfastness and the qualities humans share with them. There are many qualities.  Listen to the lyrics of  my new song titled: On The Verge Of Being Amazing  at least once with that thought in mind. Our two new twin trees will grow and mark the second half of my life.  They will be alive and amazing when I become old and with luck be potentially eternal, and I will in time carve my initials in them showing that we have an eternal bond. These thoughts inspired me to write my new song which I wrote in the key of C Major.  I use contrasting music in several places throughout the song.  Look for instances: Eating my seeds and sleeping inside my scars, in verse 2; As I grow, in the bridge; Just about everything is changing, in verse 3, and My life cycle emerging, in the outro. I found the use of it to be great and appropriate to my ear.  Also, the lyrics of the bridge turned out to be especially meaningful.  

Here is the chorus for the On The Verge Of Being Amazing: 

With the sun on my leaves,

My strength 

And presence grow.

I am branching above and anchoring below.

Spring until Fall

My leaves unfold, 

Change color, then fall,

Feeding the Earth,

A perfect nice.

Making me a tree for life.

A small sapling sends out its roots reaching for water and nutrients branching out as it grows upward on top.  As a tree develops, it shades and cools while providing a nesting place and seeds for animals attracted to it.  Small energized humans climb over them and sometimes build elementary houses on and around them.  Usually in the Fall a tree drops its cone with its seeds.  As the cones dry the seeds are lifted out by the wind or transported by scavenger animals.  A few of those seeds drop and miraculously are fertilized and then sprout nearby.  Over the next 2 decades and way more,  those seedlings root and grow closer filling in the earth spaces between them and protect each other from harsh happenings like breaking winds.  They  loosen the earth when their roots stretch out to find water and minerals and also cool each other when the weather is hot.  In time a forest is created or stands rejuvenated.  Trees are buffers each protecting the rest.  The forest is a large extended family.  They can’t move around like a human family but they take care of each other just the same and stand by each other during all manner of extremes keeping the air and ground cool and using their roots to reach out for diminishing water supplies helping all nearby trees to benefit.  For humans, they add true visual value and true practical value keeping soil from eroding and breaking strong winds.  As trees age naturally they become increasingly beautiful often magnificent.  These are some of the ideas that accumulated in my mind while I wrote the lyrics.  Going further, people love visiting and walking in  absolutely quiet forests.  They plant trees around their home such as oaks and redwoods bringing trees home to their world.  Trees are grown for their special kinds of beautiful wood and are used to construct homes and furniture; so some are harvested and find direct use in our lives. Some homes stand with their wood contents for hundreds of years like the maturing and aging trees of our  forests. The harvesting of trees carefully done protects our forests and brings the importance of trees closer to us.  Thinking through and experiencing  these things I feel my love and appreciation for trees and their ancestral home, our forests.  I decided for this blog I would choose to focus on the evolution of a personal idea into a final set of lyrics.

Hanukkah came early this year and just ended. It celebrated the end of a war with the Syrians 2200 years ago.  There is another war right now in Syria for important freedoms. People continue to be engaged in conflicts over religious freedom, free speech, racial and gender equality, the right to vote, the right to quality healthcare and a quality education, the right to migrate and seek asylum when things are bad. Anger and hate is festering everywhere towards all kinds of people as though it is normal.   Could it be the right time to rededicate ourselves toward change?  Hanukkah in translation means rededication.  It could become a lit  inspiration for change.

Christmas is almost here as well as New Year’s 2019. I wish Happy Holidays to each of you with the happiness that comes from celebrating the holidays in your own way.  This blog marks the 3rd anniversary of its birth.  I published  my first blog 12.27.2015 and more than 54 songs ago. It is a good ride made special by your presence and your appreciation of my music.  Thank you more than you know!

Happy  17 Seymour!!!

Please listen to On The Verge Of Being Amazing  near the top of this blog.

You’ll appreciate the music best if you use earphones.

Sincerely with music in my mind, heart, voice and fingers ready to share with you more ideas and music in the coming year,

Joshua Eli

December 11, 2018

What is up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer? Honesty makes you Spiritually Whole

A Small Autobiography With A Few Pictures

I detached myself from the news cycle and from everyday activities while I visited a beautiful rugged coastal site and a special small city.  We hiked several times in different places in a rain forest populated with Sitka Spruce with unbelievable ocean lookouts where we ate a snack when it was the time and visited a bog and read that people are destroying these important wetlands that naturally restore our atmosphere, enjoyed the wonderful and perfectly

cool weather, drank two fantastics teas, Joie de Provence and Rose Congon Emperor, while eating small finger sandwiches and scones, spoke with a very nice Australian couple celebrating an anniversary and a woman visiting from Oregon and a young woman from Brittany who loves Alaska and the Yukon, wandered through an out-of-this world garden wonderfully kept and visited a living butterfly  garden and insectarium and enjoyed the ocean and its tides and also the aesthetics and activities of the inner harbor and admired many huge totem poles and a  beautiful 150 year old coastal redwood tree (my favorite tree because of its appearance and longevity) on the grounds of the BC Parliament with branches like an octopus and ate some excellent fish tacos better than I have ever eaten and ate a blackened red snapper burger and excellent Chinese food in the oldest Chinese community in Canada where there is a very narrow passageway made to order for a movie with intrigue and ate extra creamy caramel and vanilla gelato several nites until we finished it and cooked in our apartment some food like at home to break the cycle of having to eat out the entire time allowing us to experience the normal and interesting side of Canadian life shopping in a grocery Co-op and enjoyed some time in an antique shop where I found a wool suit coat for a good price made in Canada and perfect for my music performances also picked up a small collectible bronze clown that fit into my closed palm then walked (always walked here) to pick up a BC flag at a flag store and saw and liked First Nations artwork and sent a little of Canada home and woke up to see the ocean and the tide out our window also standing on our deck in early morning and sunsets splash the sky at night as US baseball playoffs took place practically every evening.  My team won.  That was exciting.  It was a good vacation and birthday present. That the weather was cool and the season definitely Fall was the best present.  This on purpose run-on paragraph describes the highlights. It is the best way to impart the impressions and enthusiasm I felt there..all  running together.

Though No One May Believe It... Ten years ago no one would believe the USA would be living through unsettling and corrupt turmoil and sometimes hell that is streaming east to west, north to south throughout our country.  Honesty and the truth are out the window politically and unfortunately often amongst our many people.  The situation seems to exist worldwide, too, finding residence in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, the UK, France,  Italy, Austria, Poland, Hungary, the Philippines, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea, Nigeria, Somalia, the Sudan…. It is pretty frightening to write this list that is no way complete.  Human relations have deteriorated in so many ways so that it is easy to feel like we are being sucked into a terrible mire and maligned by many we associate with.

I wrote Though No One May Believe It  feeling it was a necessity and in reaction to our times.  Please read the complete lyrics I am putting below and listen to the song above.  It is the first spiritual I have written.  A spiritual..  The dictionary definition is  ” relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul.” There is an angst overhead driving this song to become spiritual.  Writing it and performing it pulled a lot out of me, lots of highs and lows, but it was worth it.  The message is good and singing it felt good.  Spirituals have a personal and community style.  I finished writing the lyrics 5 weeks ago, but it took 5 weeks for the music to age and evolve.  The music is written in B flat major.  B flat to E flat back to B flat to D9#5, G min7th, C7, F7, B flat to E flat back to B flat is the chord progression used for the verses.  B flat, C min7, B flat/D, E flat is the chromatic whole step progression in the chorus.  The sound is classic Gospel style with a bit of funk style/rock beat in the bass created in different octaves especially using the lowest octave on the piano and the octave above that..all common to gospel especially when played on a Hammond organ.  The music has a constant pulse throughout.  There are a couple of my instrumentals on piano included, but it’s the lyrics that take this song golden. The melody is driven by the voice.  The runs that go though the piano music in the song are in a jazz or varied blues scale style. The music is not in time. That is a characteristic of some of my songs.  That style is called playing free time or rubato allowing for interpretation.

Think about singing Though No One May Believe It along with me.  I bet you’ll  feel something. Writing music is one of the best things I’ve ever done.  I don’t need anyone’s approval to write it or sing it or think it.  I feel like a millionaire… totally independent: Truth and honesty/ Must dictate life and later Feeling free/Like it is easy to say/What you want to say …my thoughts right out of the lyrics.

The month of November is important.  We are voting in the USA today.  Please vote. Take as many people as you can to vote with you.

Thanksgiving completes the month.  I hope after the election we will have even more to give thanks for.  Happy Thanksgiving from me  to you.  Share your holiday meal so someone won’t be hungry and don’t forget to turn on the music.  Music, too, feeds the soul.  Here are the lyrics for Though No One May Believe It:

Truth and honesty 

Must dictate life.

Faced with the facts

That are sometimes not nice,

Out of fear

We lie!

 

Be honest.

It feeds your soul,

Makes you feel

Spiritually Whole.

It’s hard to look someone in the eye

And reveal the truth

Though no one may believe it.

 

The truth hurts

Even paired with remorse.

It doesn’t sugar coat

Yet brings resolve,

Leaving what is not clear

Crystal clear     

Often time feeling

Pierced by a spear.  

 

Be honest.

It feeds your soul.

It makes you feel

Spiritually Whole.

It’s hard to look

Someone in the eye

And reveal the truth

Though no one may believe it.

 

Feeling free

Like it is easy to say

What you want to say,  

Knowing that people can trust you,

Is the only way to be.

Respect will come

With

Honesty.

 

The truth is therapeutic.

You must get it all out

And not feel afraid

Of what someone might think

Or say.

Don’t shy away

Just let it out!

 

Be honest.

It feeds your soul,

Makes you feel Spiritually Whole.

It’s hard to look

Someone in the eye

And reveal the truth

Though no one may believe it.

 

Be honest.

It will feed your soul,

Make you feel

Spiritually Whole.

 

Sincerely and thank you for coming over to visit and listen,

Joshua Eli

November 5, 2018

 

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz… L.A. Composer/Performer? You Loved Me When I Was Just A Regular Anyone

Dear Blog…..I wrote a story in music, long ago seeded for me by the play Parfumerie written by Miklos Laszlo and later adapted for film as The Shop Around The Corner then later put to music by Bock and Harnick as She Loves Me and lastly in 1998 updated for film with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks as You Got Mail directed by Nora Ephron.  I think the music of She Loves Me is just about perfect.  I first heard it and then performed the song She Loves Me a long time ago in a solo competition in Fullerton while in high school.  This is a recollection of a distant memory: Years ago while in NYC walking on the Upper Westside, I passed by where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were shooting a scene from You Got Mail.  That was on a visit in the fall, late September…the best time of the year to be in NYC.  The above is an introduction and small autobiography next to and around my picture.

You will enjoy the music at its best if you use earphones

This leads me Dear Blog (as in dear diary in She Loves Me)  into my song: You Loved Me When I Was Just A Regular Anyone.  It is about the strange way we can fall into love.  After completely writing the song just mentioned, remembrances of the story of She Loves Me and its several renditions surfaced in that important space between my eyes.  Though not entirely similar to the story of my song, the storyline of She Loves Me and the mystery of falling for someone who seems illusive is an exciting one and probably affected my writing vicariously.  My song became like the plant to all those previous works that only flowers every 25 years laying dormant until its botanical alarm goes off.  I also like treasure hunts.  Together those several ideas in addition to personal experience built my song.  Every writer I know draws from their personal experiences and moves out and around to create more of them to write about.  I wrote You Loved Me When I Was Just A Regular Anyone in the key of F major.  It is sung and played out of rhythm because that is how we think and speak, and doing that makes the song seem human and real.  I also liked very much the phrase a regular anyone  because regular people need to find success and be loved just like any pool of fancier people. It is pure fact that most people are regular and struggle a lot to get what they need and where they want to be.   The chorus is infectious and easy to sing and repeat like choruses you may have sung around a campfire in your favorite national park.  And left me a note….It said/ Go to the shop/By the park/Across from the bridge/There I’ll be waiting for you/You are someone/I see everyday/And can’t forget/I know I love you/You will become someone/I’ll be there. The soliloquy that is this song is a happy one.  And it is true everyone needs someone who believes in him and sticks by him over the long haul.  When I Was Just A Regular Anyone  is near the top of this blog.  Please listen to it.

The current Supreme Court stomp and someone messing with some people I know led me to write a song about truth and honesty… my next song.  Just like my song Waste No One’s Life Anymore, that budding song idea needed to be written  to benefit the current situation and beyond.  The season just turned to fall and is without a doubt a really beautiful time of year.  Coming there will be Halloween and Thanksgiving and a birthday to measure time and maybe even time to escape and rejuvenate.

Thank you, everyone.

Writers and performers of music need listeners and you are mine!

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli

October 2, 2018

Happy Halloween from 2 of my always favorite character people.  I am part Charlie Brown and not any part Lucy!

 

 

 

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz..LA Songwriter/Performer? To be a pioneer, you have to be willing to go where others haven’t, or simply won’t.

A small autobiography below the picture:

The art of the moving image in color together with the human form is beautiful and meaningful.  The result with sculpted eyes tied in spectacularly with the song I wrote. Read below and then listen.  I went to the Henson exhibition for one thing and discovered other things.

Joshua Eli

The sound is tops if you listen with headphones

Composing music and lyrics is always a discovery for me.  Everything I do becomes a discovery.  I went to see the Jim Henson Exhibition that was organized by MoMI. It connected with my early roots and was a true discovery.  From a post: “the [museum] will highlight how Henson’s characters and stories represent individuals and communities of diverse backgrounds and abilities, inspiring the public to look beyond differences and cultivate a more compassionate, inclusive world.” In 1969 the creative world of entertainment and psychology married for all to benefit. Of that marriage Sesame Street was born. At the exhibition I saw Grover, lovable and full-size. Remember when Grover did not succeed it never broke him or his ability to keep going or gut his optimism or his I will help spirit because he was super Grover.  I smiled ear to ear seeing full-sized Bert and Ernie. They were real friends and so different.  Both accepted the other as he was and they laughed and always had room to forgive when it was time for that, too.  I am now starring at Kermit.  I brought him home with me. Jim Henson’s voice was Kermit the frog.  Kermit sitting near where I work is like a personal psychologist reminding me my appearance isn’t all that I am, encouraging me to accept myself and speak out. It is not hard to appreciate the message of free speech and the importance of mental health and equality in all its forms including abilities and the importance of compassion taught to children starting at an age before bias and discrimination have a chance to set in.  We are those grown children needing to return to our roots to refresh our memories and to speak out and to speak up before too much is lost and our successes of the last 50 years erode for the sake of money and power. That is a  big discovery.  A few years ago I was handed a big disappointment.  I needed to become a pioneer in the words of Joan River: “To be a pioneer, you have to be willing to go where others haven’t, or simply won’t.” I believe I have become a pioneer in my own work and that all of us must become pioneers to repair our world today.   I recently finished a song called Where I Want To Be.  I was inspired to write a song that had the feeling of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s song 16 Tons. He was not the composer but he was the one who resurrected the song and made it very famous in the mid 50’s. I wrote Where I Want To Be before I even thought to see the Jim Henson Exhibition.  The song does express the grit required of a pioneer. Here is the first verse. Times were tough/I was down on my luck/Couldn’t find a job/Or anyone to take a chance on me/Or loan me a buck/So I got up and said/”I’ve got to do it/I know I can.”/And packed it all up in a moving van.  The chorus: Moving/Moving on/Loading up/Getting out/To a new place/To a city that has/A heart/I’m on my way/And I won’t look back. I wrote this song to explore the male bass voice singing as low as the E an octave below middle C and as high as the F above middle C.  Those parts of the scale serve as scaffolding when constructing a multi-part vocal sound, but this time those notes stood on their own to be appreciated for their distinct beauty and depth.  The song almost sounds religious with its emotional magnetic message.  It is hard and beautiful to sing  bass notes well.  Life Is About What You Do With What Happens To You, another song I have written and will appear on my new album:  Joshua Eli…In His Element, is definitely a relative to  Where I Want To Be. I wrote Where I Want To Be  in the key of  A minor with jazz chords.  16 Tons had no jazz chords just a bass line.  When it was placed in Ross’s Forever Plaid in October 1992, 16  Tons  became a hit again.  I was an understudy in that show in 2000 when Jason Graae directed it.  Someday……..While recording this song I had a summer cold and struggled a bit with the bass sound, but all “tuned”out well.  I wrote this song because of contentment not for acceptance or money or anything else.  I don’t even know where I will find to use it, but it definitely tells a good story and is my version of 16 Tons. I could have titled the song I won’t look back because I believe pioneers need to press forward trying hard not to look back but not forgetting to remember.  It is good to feel good and today I feel good like Kermit and Grover would.  Yesterday I was contacted about a music arrangement I wrote for Kander and Ebb’s song And The World Goes ‘Round and that I played and performed in the show by the same name.  P N  wants to perform and sing my arrangement in a cabaret show in DC.  That request was a surprise and a present. Thanks to pryorv in Indiana for listening to Waste No One’s Life Anymore and The Simple Things For You And I and Hello and I Just Can’t. Each of those songs leaves me with a significant message after performing them.  At the top of this blog you can listen to Where I Want To Be. Thanks to each of you for coming by and listening and hopefully thinking about the messages in this blog.  Please invite your friends to come over. We are in those funny feeling days closing out the summer. Wouldn’t it be nice if we would have a beautiful cool fall to look forward to?

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli          August 21, 2018

Kermit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                             Grover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burt and Ernie with Richard Hunt and Jim Henson and Frank Oz  (L to R)

 

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer? Finding happiness is a forever job.

A little autobiography beside the picture.  I have been trying my hand at arranging some of my music for several voices.  The results are good. Next I have decided to try orchestration.  It will be meaningful work.  Last week I was at a convention where I attended workshops in music composing and other fun stuff just to taste it and let myself grow.

The sound is great if you listen with headphones

They Belong Together is a jazz experiment.  I wrote three songs Because I CanI Just Can’t, and Stress Will Not Rule My Life at different times over the past two years.  Because I Can and I Just Can’t are found on my website joshuaelimusic.com, one on the Home page and the other on the Original music page and Stress Will Not Rule My Life is found in the March 21, 2018, blog post linked to my website. The blog’s address is joshuaelimusic.com/blog and where you are right now just look through the index for the name of the blog entry. After writing the three songs their existential relationship popped.  They seemed to live or fit together. That idea was the seed for writing a new arrangement for them: putting the three songs together in a new way.  It also was a chance to experiment using my own material.  At first the original melodies stuck in my head, but it didn’t take long to open the compression door, use my feeling for jazz, and then go for it.  Since I wrote the original songs myself and hold the copyrights, I was free to go wherever I wanted to go.  Each of the songs is a different slant about someone trying to find himself.. a very hard place to be.  Knowing we are born expressing ourself vocally and loudly, I have come to understand we long for that place again after being internally shutdown by life experiences like passing through a formal education and interacting with people and doing all kinds of jobs in many settings with all types of responsibilities.  Those markers tug and really pull people out of round.  In search of a comfortable happiness, my life trek moves and meanders looking for my true self.  I see that happiness takes work and is my forever job. I was born from joy and need to grab that state again so I  can live my dream of happiness.  They Belong Together has no chorus.  I have written only one song before with no chorus: Near To You Is What I Want that I wrote tapping quickly into my heart. When my mentor Chris J at that time heard the song he liked it a lot and was impressed but reminded me that music listeners like choruses.  I have taken that suggestion ever since but now.  I think a chorus would have bogged down this song and took away from its compound construction.  Those who are familiar with all 3 songs or have recently listened to them will see that echoes of the music and lyrics of the original songs are like a familiar chorus connecting the “verses”  together. I adjusted the key because the keys for all three songs did not match. From G Major and C minor and C Major and listening a lot to the original songs, I did some mental transposing placing the song in C Major with a distinct sexy-pulled-out jazz sound that seems to answer the piece’s objective: finding a path toward happiness and feeling easy about it.. falling into a Diana Krall feel.  I liked the groove and professional sound that came came from my musical ideas. The same feeling is also suggested in the instrumental intro where I took my time to get the song started and then the opposing force of the closing lines where “in your face” internal conflict still resides: But I just can’t. But I just can’t. I just can’t/Oh shit! But I can…Because I Can … doubt is the sister of change. So listen to the original 3 songs and then listen to the compound permutation. It felt good working it out. In parts of the song towards its closing I really enjoy hearing my fingers “clicking” on the keys because it sounds so real in more ways than the obvious. Find They Belong Together near the top of this blog.  If you are in the mood tell me what you think.  Thank you to Paul Faltusz in Australia for your demonstrated loyalty then now listening to Any Part Would Be Enough and It Will Be A Great Day WHEN  and I Broke Out And Broke Through… good songs for their positivity.  Barbara Hellerman, a frequent listener, listened to She’s Got A Way.  Omsteadsonerie from Canada also a devoted listener listened to Not An Ending After All.  It is a song about beginnings! My brother whose birthday is in a few days wrote the lyrics with me when he was undergoing a beginning.  Danielle Walters from Wisconsin listened to Waste No One’s Life Anymore  and And Then You Were Gone, both heartfelt songs.  Ryan Gleason liked I Just Can’t and Any Part Would Be Enough. Those two songs seem to find a sweet spot with lots of people.  Jim Armein from Texas chose to listen to She’s Got A Way and Any Part Would Be Enough.  Both are special for me.  Jennifer Godfin and Todd401 played Waste No One’s Life Anymore!  Here, Here! That Makes You Beautiful And I Want You To Be and Life Is About What You Do With What Happens To You are real good songs to listen to  and Zoeupchurch14’s did just that.  Cemcculloch, in South Carolina and one of the the first to listen to Waste No One’s Life Anymore, decided to tap into the inspiration of On The Sunny Side Of  The Street..a song I have loved since I was 5 years old and always lifts my spirits up. Well, hello, rhowardjunk in my home state of California.  Thank you for checking out We Need To Live In The Arch Of A Rainbow and There Are Sounds All Around. There Are Sounds.. is my shortest song yet one of only a special few I consider my most meaningful songs. Then reading Mcelvain’s comment, “…truly made my day, “after he listened to my song Invisible on my blog post, Have you ever felt invisible? That comment made that day for me, too.  And horikoshi’s comment, “good stuff,”  about Wad-ing And Wait-ing, a song I wrote and put up on my April 25, 2018, blog post, is why I write: to be appreciated.  Thank you, everyone!

July ends with a few significant birthdays.  To those of you, enjoy and be happy.  It is your time and your chance to be happy so go for it!

Stay close to music.  It will improve your day.

We must find a way to keep cool.  The current hot spell the weather is dishing out is a challenge!

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli

July 28, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz… LA Composer/Performer? On The Open Road…

 

 

Small autobiography under the picture:

Pictured I am preparing to record That Is My Promise Always.  That song  and I Know What My Heart Was Looking For will be released prior to the release of my album.   For me there is no greater pleasure than being in a recording studio making music and listening to the results.  Collaboration is an important part of my artistry.  Thanks to Eric, my engineer, the crew at Clear Lake Recording Studios, Roc, who assists me with transcribing, and my collaborating and producing and publicist family.  I know I have a village.

Try using earphones.  You will hear the song best.

Two experiences of the past week: “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self” (Fred Rogers).  On Father’s Day we watched a documentary about Fred Rogers.  It is called Won’t You Be My Neighbor. The experience was “special”.  We grew up with the wisdom he shared.  The film will cause you to feel good and feel proud and cry some.  Growing up we felt the oversized impact of this gentle man.  Because he was different some people did make fun of him.  I understand all about that, too.  More than a few  would find meaning and reassurance sitting down for 1.5 hours to watch the best neighbor you’ll ever meet.

Allison Ikley-Freeman, a LGBT bi-racial woman, was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate representing west Tulsa.  She is a mental health professional.  She speaks openly about who she is and her life of struggles.  Her election is a remarkable event. It connects with the message of my last song: Waste No One’s Life Anymore. You can listen to that song on my last blog.  Because of her personal decisions and her ability to act on them she will  be an asset for a political system that needs lots of reworking.

Being happy with who we are is what must be.   I wrote On The Open Road about the rush and feel of freedom while exploring on the open road.  Willie Nelson furnished the seed then I took it from there.  I wrote the song for a job.  Matching up with someone else’s expectation and desires is a tall order.  ‘The music writing as a job experience” begins with a discovery, then requires invention, and finally the hoped for success depends on luck.  On The Open Road has country and subtle honky-tonk rhythms for the blue collar or white collar or any collar person.  It was written in C Major.  I used push beats plus a short quiet space.  You should be able to find and appreciate them as I do.  The song sings to how it feels to chase a dream. The lyrics begin: I am driving on the open highway/In my Chevy pick-up/With the wind  in my hair/As I rev my engine/Loud!/The sound echoes off the mountains/While a deer stops to look/As I come to a screeching halt/In the middle of the road. And then the chorus: The sun comes up/And the sun goes down/As I drive my Chevy pick-up/Town to town/On my way to places/Often unknown using Highway 5/To get my fix/From the open road. That makes for a very pretty picture. Hopefully everyone will hit the open road sometime so that kind of freedom can brush against your face.

Thanks to all of you who are dedicated to listening to my music.   Steve Sewell from Chattanooga, Tennessee became my fan listening to Will You Love Me Tomorrow and Barrett Gruige wrote me saying he sees ‘… enthusiasm within the work I write.” Nice. I do like what I am doing.  Ralph Farrish wrote, “You are a very capable person.” Much appreciated to read that. It took a lot of time and lots of  experiences to get here. I am ready for a whole bunch more so I can learn more.  Benita Thompson in the Netherlands became my fan after listening to I Just Can’t.  Yes!!  I have some devoted listeners: Alex Boncher in Illinois, Benjamin Heronimus in Colorado, Mr. Shaigood in Maryland, Faith Hawley in New Zealand, Danielle Walthers in Wisconsin, Gayle Merchant, Ryan Gleason, cemcculloch in South Carolina, Paul Faltusz in Australia, Marian Bradshaw, beauvdjeanwilbert, onsteadsmerie in Canada, and Jamie Ramos in Portugal.  Your interest in my music is shown by your regularly listening to it.  We don’t talk but your interest is my kind of talking and feels very good. An appreciative thank you to Gayle Merchant and cemcculloch and Jason Graae and Jonas Sills and Paul Wong for listening to Waste No One’s Life Anymore.  It’s a song that cries out: listen.

US Independence Day is coming soon.  Why not exercise that independence feeling and strike out en masse to start correcting the many problems that are causing our country to show signs of real wear.  We need real Independence for the Masses.   We must get stronger and speak louder and act like it counts for the benefit of all but especially the young and elderly, the poor and down on luck, the disabled, immigrants and all racial populations, and people of all sexual orientations and religions. We must expect equality of opportunity and compensation in all ways for everyone no matter gender, color, religion or abilities! We Need To Live In The Arch Of The Rainbow. (Check out my blog post about a Beautiful Umbrella posted February 2016.)  Roc and I recently took some time and arranged that song for choral work because Theresa, a former student of mine, suggested I do just that. Maybe before or on July 4th go out and see RBG. You will be inspired.

Please listen to On The Open Road near the top of this blog.

Thank you for visiting.

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli

June 21, 2018 … the first day of summer and an opportunity  to try something new and different

Music is important.  It is an informed art form!

 

 

 

 

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz.. LA Composer/Performer? We can’t waste another life.

Today is May 18, 2018.  I awoke to the news of a high school shooting once again… this time in Houston, Texas.  The horror of these moments is stuck in the minds of everyone.  Less than a month ago I put into lyrics and music what I feel about these atrocities.  I jump started this song ahead of other projects because today is its moment and purpose.  As a nation of diverse people we just don’t seem able to move our feet out of cement and live up to our heritage.  We are an independent nation of caring intelligent free thinkers and innovators.  We need to demonstrate we are that nation composed of those people now! How about singing along with me to the lyrics below. The song is accessed at the middle of this blog. It is melodic, has a message, and could play over and over in your head.  It needs to.  It is also written in an easy key: C Major.  The moments in the song where there are no music are highlights along with the reality of its lyrics. In the Post Verse, Waste No One’s Life Anymore slows down in tempo with an impassioned pIea and exhibits more varied dynamics than in the previous verses and choruses, a fitting way to end the song.   If ever there was a time to examine our attitudes about mental health, it is now.  If ever there was a time to make a serious effort to remove gun access from our people, young and older, it is now.  I am grateful for your loyalty and your interest in my work.  Your interest does inspire me to look deeper and try harder. Thank you. Tomorrow the world will celebrate two individuals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, coming together as a pair working to make a better life together.  That spirit is a good one.  We all need to do the same and come together as a whole to make all of our lives together better. It seems hard but it must happen!

Please try using earphones.  It enhances the listening experience!



Waste No One’s Life Anymore

                                                                                                                             
Come closer and listen, please.                     

No longer can we be pacified

Or satisfied with empty talk       

From leaders       

Who do nothing..   
   

To take up the plight

By beginning the fight

To live our lives

Without guns.                 

We should not be afraid,

Instead, feel protected

From those who have been rejected

And are ill

Wishing blood to spill

To be noticed.

Would it not be better to give everyone the help they need?


No more bad leaders

And old terrible laws.

Vote them away.

Change the laws.

Help those who choose crime.

This is not the criminals’ time.

We need good solutions

For everyone.


To take up the plight

By beginning the fight

To live our lives

Without guns.

We should not be afraid,

Instead, feel protected

From those who have been rejected

And are ill

Wishing blood to spill

To be noticed.

Would it not be better to give everyone the help they need?


A Gun Free World Needs To Be,

So no one will die from a bullet needlessly. 

The people who do these things 

Need our care

So they do not feel forced to do ugly things

To act out their rejection.


The solution is simple.

Don’t use guns as tools for fear

Or to hunt

Or to retaliate.

Use words

And kindness

And help those in need.

Close up the makers of weapons

That help people act out their

Prejudice and aggressions,

And better times will be.


To take up the plight

By beginning the fight

To live our lives

Without guns.

We should not be afraid,

Instead, feel protected

From those who have been rejected

And are ill

Wishing blood to spill

To be noticed.

Would it not be better to give everyone the help they need?


Let’s take up the fight

And step out into the light

To make our world safe

Without guns.

Give everyone the help they need.

We won’t need to be afraid anymore.

It’s going to be different.           

We must make it happen.  

Not waste anyone’s life    

Anymore


Make it happen.

Waste no one’s life anymore.


Listen, please. 
       

Single Chord

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli

May 18, 2018

This time a little autobiography below the blog. My family made our way out to see the 100th Anniversary of the Tutankhamen exhibit traveling from
Egypt and celebrated Mother’s Day with my mom. The day was fine, the picnic excellent,  and the art exceptional.  All of the art forms nourish and heal.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz… LA Composer/ Performer? Wad-ing And Wait-ing

 

A little autobiography by the picture…

We have experienced a pretty spring re: the weather.  How nice.. for a change.. to speak of the weather that way.

Lots of other changes need to happen. If they could happen, they would lift our spirits.  They are just overdue.  Don’t forget to vote in the primaries and join in to demonstrate for change.  I am writing with vigor  expressing the stuff that I need to say..with hope..and purpose. I have lots of songs yet to be published and recorded.  For me feeling creative and needing to express myself is like eating and exercising..all terribly important!   Joshua Eli

 

For the best listening, try using earphones.

Wad-ing And Wait-ing/Exploring and enjoying/What we all want to find/What that is/We can’t be totally sure/That’s what makes us go after it/Because of its allure/Each step ahead/More promising than the next. I am that kid who grew up watching Fred Rogers while wad-ing and wait-ting.. very slowly discovering myself.  Fred left a huge impression on me.  Wad-ing And Wait-ing is a grown up song influenced by Fred Rogers with musical reflections of Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Newley.  I realized those connections only after I finished writing the song. The connections just welled-up and surfaced. They gushed and filled the broad beautiful desert valley made even more beautiful with wild flowers and rimmed by mountains that populated my mind and then my fingers started to fly across my piano.  The first verse: Walking and wondering/Into a hopeful and kind place/Taking our time/Getting there at our own pace/Not needing to rush/Relaxing while we go comments I believe Fred would deeply appreciate.  When people close to me listen to this song, they are drawn to it…like a magnet.  Performing it is also very relaxing and fills me with a feeling of ease.  Recording it on my home studio was not a challenge at all. The bridge: Don’t over-think/Just step/And dip your toe in the water/That can sometimes be chilly/Or try jumping with both feet first/Because what you will find/To your surprise/Could be oh so satisfying.  The third verse: Don’t say No/Just Go!!/See no red lights/Just green/Nothing holding you back/From anything/So much wonder and beauty ahead/To reach out and grab. And the post verse: Wad-ing and wait-ing/Each step../Exploring and enjoying/What it is/We all want to find/Creating a common bond/With all human kind/And taking our time. There is little more that I can add to these ideas because they stand on the own like pillars to walk between.  So I started with a walk in F Major and I blew myself away with my music discoveries:  My conversation with Sondheim dissonance and contrasts and A. Newley Pure Imagination-like lyrics and music ideas for the bridge were a successful experiment. They spawned something beautiful even ending it with a beautiful musical inflection.  Take a listen to Wad-ing and Wait-ing at the top of this blog. Lots of people to mention: Dmitry Savinkia in Ukraine enjoyed Any Part Would Be Enough and Work Moves Me On.  Faith Hawly in New Zealand liked One Penny Is All I Need and Misty.  There Are Sounds All Around and I Should Have Said Good-bye Long Ago caused Alaina Beavers in Ohio to perk up.  Ashley Bowen returned and listened to Any Part Would Be Enough.  In Australia Paul Faltusz picked up on There Are Sounds All Around and Hello.  Marian Bradshaw was affected by Misty and I Just Can’t. Then Contiu Adina in Romania also chose I Just Can’t and It Will Be A Great Day WHEN.  Do you know how all of you make me feel..that you are listening to what I wrote and coming back to listen again?  That is like someone saying for the first time I love you. It makes your head spin and lifts you off the ground!  Thank you.  Creatively there is nothing better than you who appreciate what I do!

Until the next time while looking forward,

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli

April 25, 2018

Today my grandfather would have been 104! I wonder what he would say about a lot of things.. He always read and wrote and spoke out…

LS.. Keep Wad-ing  toward  a hopeful and kind place.

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz.. LA Composer/Performer? Stress Will Not Rule My Life!

 

A little autobiography beside the picture.

Taking the subway to a concert hall to attend a concert makes for a special experience.  The crowded subway with its chatter adds to the experience as does walking out of the subway and up the hill with the crowd towards the hall entrance.  The privilege of sitting in a theatre or hall and listening to live music makes for just the best evening and justifies the effort and expense.

Stress Will Not Rule My Life

A Tribute To Mr. Rogers!

To hear the music the best, try using earphones.

Have you ever felt manipulated?  Have you ever wanted to push back and then escape to a personal protected place? There are ways to deal with a stressful state.  Many write music as a process for expressing and working out all kinds of things.  My compositions are my musical diary.  I also escape to places for a release to take my mind off the indignation.  I attended a concert whose music program was called the Erroll Garner Project. The music of Erroll Garner re-produced by the late jazz pianist Geri Allen on 3 pianos was exquisite and demonstrated for me the real and positive good in music and the people who compose and play it like Gerald Clayton, Christian Sands, and Russell Malone.  Erroll’s jazz compositions were played on three grand pianos, a guitar, stand-up bass, and drums.  I loved it and for one hour all that I was feeling was far away.   I can bring it out of my memory at anytime now like meditating and push away the bad things that people sometimes like to do. Erroll Garner is the composer of one of the songs on my upcoming album.  The song is the beautiful composition: Misty. 

So I am writing a song about stress.  It is a universal topic.  The song is  a recipe for all of us who feel the wrath of someone or something and need to move to a better place.  From the post-verse: I am gone/I moved myself miles away/Stress will not rule my life/ Any day! I felt better just putting the lyrics and music down.  Singing the song kept my thoughts mind-centered refusing to let myself stray from my resolve and the relief I have found! I now walk around with a glorious pair of  glasses that improves my vision 1000%.  I let stress fly away/And it did. Despite the reason for the song, it actually turned out to be an interesting piece to perform because I layered it with my voice like a good actor should. When I finished recording it, I felt better without taking a pill or drinking anything stronger than a cold glass of water.  Once it was completely written after countless iterations of how to say and perform how I felt, I recorded it fast needing only a few takes. My ideas had been tracking in my brain for more than a month and delayed my finishing this blog entry. But when something is true and felt, that is how recording it happens for me:fast.  When finished I felt relief and satisfaction from what felt like the completion of a creative job. I wrote it in the key of C minor with a tango/bossa beat to counter the anxiety emphasized by the heartbeat.  A song with that depth should not be written in a major key.  The song opens with 14 seconds of a heart beating. The beating of my heart runs through the song and ties the verses together effectively and actually. Have you ever heard your heart beat in your ears? So my heart beat in 4/4 is the cadence for the song until it speeds up to 6/8 and then relaxes back to 4/4 as I resolve my stress. The contrasting bridge was written to have trumpet hits when it is orchestrated. I plan on arranging this song along with two other songs I have written into a song cycle. The other two songs: I Just Can’t and Because I Can.  Why the three?  Because they all deal with insecurity and are very interesting to listen to and/or perform.  After the fact and unintentionally they seem to fit together. That is the creative syndrome that surfaced.  I think the cycle could turn out to be a gem and be one that male a cappella group composed of strong voices and good actors would perform well and enjoy doing. Just a final thought and I think true for many in creative fields: thankfully my music and writing serve like therapy and a sedative when the need arrives.

Mdearing in Pennsylvania became a FAN once again after listening to And Then You Were Gone.  Koichi Muranishi in Japan found meaning in I Broke Out And Broke Through and also with And Then You Were Gone.  Rob bic in Texas climbed on the wagon after listening to And Then You Were Gone and then also enjoyed its opposite On The Sunny Side Of The Street.  Thanks to Joel1361 for your continued loyalty and listening to Misty. Barbara Hellerman in Israel connected with A Game I Shouldn’t Have Played Along With and also with And Then You Were Gone.  And Then You Were Gone seems to have found a respectable niche this past month in some good people’s hearts.  Krsmith34262 in Texas discovered That Makes You Beautiful And I Want You To Be and the comedy and reality in I Just Can’t.  Thanks to all of you and the almost 6000 listeners who have tuned in to listen to my music.  The publishing of all the music on my album is almost complete.  Roc, my collaborator in transcribing, shot me an email regarding the final song Not An Ending After All saying it was “.. meaningful..a Grand Finale in every sense of the phrase..” Thanks.  His comments mean a lot because he knows my music inside and out and  how it all meshes together.  When we are working together he quotes words and phrases back from my songs that left an impact on him.

Fred Rogers would have been 90 today.  His show, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood that I watched as a child, is 50 years old.  I loved that show!

Listen to my new song Stress Will Not Rule My Life at the top of this blog.  Also, you can hear a Mr. Roger’s tribute.  Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers and also H B, Dad!

Sincerely.. with my wishes to all of my friends who visit with me (as Mr. Rogers would have said) for a Happy Spring and Happy Passover and Happy Easter,

Joshua Eli                                

March 20, 2018                    

A Lego trolley into the land of make-believe in Mr. Roger’s world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz..LA Composer/ Performer? You Are MY Peach.

 

Small autobiography under the picture:

I’ve been to NYC over the last 25 years maybe 8 times. Each time seems new because it is. NYC is always remaking itself keeping what is old and that has character but finding new spaces to squeeze in or build something new. For a composer and musician there is really no better place than NYC. New Yorkers are a cultured lot. I have thought I could live there, but this people magnet out-prices all of us who are average and is too busy for the regular breathing of my soul.

Please listen with earphones.  You’ll enjoy it more.

I decided to write a song for a spec job.  It is a Diana Krall type song.. and wholly appropriate for February 14.. Valentines’s Day.  I liked writing it and putting it down because the jazz genre is freeform and allows for innovation.  Composing and lyric writing is a good fit for me because I can do things the way I want, and I enjoy doing it at the same time.  That this song is jazz is why playing and performing the song fills my face with a smile.  Once I discovered how good it makes me feel to play jazz, it is where I spend and have spent my time training.  The spec job requirement was to write a sensual art song that uses food in the lyrics.  It was to be performed by me in an intimate 60 person setting in a 5 star restaurant while a chef prepared food dishes ostensibly suggested  by the song. In return my song and name would be ferried on social media.  I liked the given prescription for writing the song and how it was to be used. The lyric ideas are not a 100% description of me but show that I am a flexible composer who can write for different view points. The song title: You Are My Peach. I just happen to love peaches. Here is the first verse: A sweet peach/ To sweeten my drink/As I knock back one or two/Is like the right woman I think/A special sweet sauce/With a bit of a kick. Then the chorus: Bring me a peach/Tickle my nose with the fuzz/Juicy and so ripe/Round with curves/Sweetness galore/Pulling me onto the dance floor/For a night of bliss/Sealed with a kiss/It’s you/You are my peach. So what do you think?

The song had to be in C Major. No other key would do.  It’s a 4/4 Jazz Bakery song or a couple improv seductive dance. In the lyrics there is a drink with floating peach shreds, a peach pie, an apple, peach melba originally concocted at the Savoy in London to honor an Australian soprano named Nellie Melba, and creme brulee, divinity, and  peach liqueur.  Those foods are perfect to sip and eat with your peach by your side.  Every time I now eat a peach I am dreaming and waiting for my girl to pass into view so we can share some delicious moments.  It is amazing how a marketing idea can elevate an entire class of food.. in this case fruit. So whether you like honeydew or pineapple or a tangerine that peels easily or slippery mango slices or tart cherries that cause your lips to pucker or melons that gush and are juicy or sweet strawberries bathed in fondue chocolate and whip cream etc. it is easy to see that a musical allure built around some tasty fruits can be very stimulating.  I didn’t even have a peach in the house while I was writing the song, but I sure was stimulated to go  get some.

I thought I would work on this blog idea on my off-time while in NYC since  I  started writing it in Los Angeles.  NYC is a diverse environment that inspires but it was not a good place for me to write. The NYC pace is exhausting.  To write I need to relax.  NYC is all about moving about and rushing.  I like observing and then taking some time to think and feel.  There is plenty to observe in NYC but it is not a place to relax and shut things out for a while.  At the end of the short cold days and after sipping music and culture I was nothing but tired.

Lots of people to thank: tohunbo.adewale123 from Texas for becoming a FAN after enjoying And Then You Were Gone..definitely one of my personal favorites because it is pure jazz.  Yu-riNoda from Japan lined up behind That Makes You Beautiful And I Want You To Be and Work Moves Me On..both upbeat and positive and Hello, a terribly honest piece about real sadness. Thank you.  Admin from California, definitely one of my devoted supporters, also listened to And Then You Were Gone and We Need To Live In The Arch Of The Rainbow. I am writing a choral arrangement for We Need To Live In The Arch…, a great song loaded with meaning! Joel361b in Michigan enjoyed She’s Got A Way and Life Is About What You Do With What Happens To You..two ends of the spectrum and then I Just Can’t. Kristy Cameron in the UK:  she listened to A Game I Never Should Have Played Along With several times and I Am Happy You Never Stopped Thinking About Me and There Is No One I’d Rather Travel With But You.  I appreciate that you focused on the honesty in my writing! Litsvaps@sengi.top “admired the lyrics”  in Hanukkah in LA….she is still in the holiday mode. Religious freedom is always in vogue. And just as I was writing the finishing touches for this blog Samia Rabia in Algeria became my FAN after listening to Near To You Is What I Want, the first song I wrote for someone I once fell in love with.  I am honored that you loved the song just a day before Valentine’s Day!

Let me say once again, when you listen to my music, you encourage me to see and feel more and then write more.  I am happy to be back home now.  After returning from NYC I was tired but definitely more knowledgeable and sensitized than before I left.

Please listen to You Are My Peach near the top of this blog.

Have a nice Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to include some music. I studied tap dance when I was a young guy and still do.  My teacher then was named Carol H. She loved Valentine’s Day more than all the holidays.  She was warm and loving and very supportive.  When Valentine’s day rolls around she is the first person that comes to mind.  Valentine’s Day is a day to continue to tell and show important people how much you care about them, and she did that.  Her students were important to her. She was very proud that I auditioned for a performing arts school and got in. She was dedicated.. not someone I could forget.  Carol danced until she could no longer dance.

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli

February 14, 2018

*** I didn’t get the job, but I enjoyed writing a song that I probably never would have written… a hidden surprise.

 

 

A kiss is the best Valentine present.

The Kiss by Edvard Munch at the Met Breuer.

 

 

Below see the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from our room just after a late night snowfall.

A Valentine’s Day window display in Polish Greenpoint.

A cap I picked up to remember The Band’s Visit..a special musical that is sure to get people standing up.