What’s up with Joshua Eli Kranz…LA Composer/Performer? Nothing Comparable Like It or Her!

A little autobiography under the pictures..

Each of us has many faces we call up as our mood changes. The three pictures above are different messages about who I am and what I can be like.  With my changing moods reflected on my face and in my thoughts, I write and feel musical sounds using my instruments and my lips and vocal cords. I also draw and paint or sculpt clay to say things.  All that I mentioned are outlets and prescriptions for good health.  Like no other time, Trump and his people try  to smash what we have built hoping to make us feel sad and unhappy.  Music and art and the words put down in connection with them expose what is in our heart and personally matters.  Those things can’t be torn down and smashed into pieces because they live in the music and art produced and reside in a place no one can touch.  They are memorialized and guarded with passion in our mind and near us tucked away in our residence..far from interlopers.  During times like these we need to build a personal space that can’t be invaded or broken into to protect ourselves from the mental abuse of the President and his enablers.

It has never been any hotter than it was on September 6, 2020.  Los Angeles, September 5, 6, & 7, 2020, felt like being flown into Death Valley, a very beautiful place known for its 3 seasons of heat.  I have never before observed 114 degrees on my home thermometer or read that a city in the San Fernando Valley close to me had a daytime temperature of 121 degrees.  These extremes of heat and in increased frequency seem to be our future.  We must worry how we are affecting the climate and do everything to undo it.  On September 6, I spoke with a tech person in Phoenix, AZ.  The saguaro cacti Phoenix is famous for are dying from the heat!

 

My newest song is called Nothing Comparable Like It.  A reviewer pointed out to me that there are 2 ways to pronounce comparable both having the same meaning. To my ear one sounds pretty formal.  I chose the other. The movement associated with physically and emotionally interacting with another is like ballet.  Nothing Comparable Like It describes a ballet enticing and meaningful.  Our current world seems threatening.  We need moments to escape and feel closeness instead of feeling dread and disgust daily. My next song in G major gushes like a mountain spring with feelings not necessarily using words but certainly using music. I consider the chorus and bridge as the song’s highlights.

Chorus

Lips together

Mouth open,

Touching your smile,

Feeling the grit

And the tension

In your face,

Being in such a personal space

That is intimate and different,

Two right there

Face to face,

Nothing like it.

 

Bridge

Sense it.

Taste it.

Don’t waste even a minute.

Explore

With a desire to know and feel

And have

A complete sensory

Experience.

 

I especially like a few lines in Verse 2:

Drawn to where tension

And passion reside.

It is communication

Inside.

 

And then a few lines from the Outro:

Two people right there

Totally aware

…..

…..

Nothing comparable like it.

It’s a song demonstrating sensitivity that becomes bolder in verse 1 at plus, at explore in the bridge, and on before in verse 3.  The melody repeats in each chorus, the most melodic parts of the song. I wrote the lyrics of each verse so that each has its own dynamic ebb and flow.  After listening carefully to the chording and bass notes of the song there are flashes of music styling similar to Billy Joel.  The bridge takes a more hard driving approach in the vocals with a backbeat syncopated sound coming to a head midway reaching upward with a high G.  The sound then quiets ending with an inverted A dim/A moving to an inverted C min/D. In the outro I took the music out of rhythm to allow it to feel freeform and rely less on chords and more on the melody and dynamics as the words are sung out. The song closes with a nice pop riff on nothing like it nothing comparable like it. 

The music for this song did not just pop.  Nothing Comparable Like It was planned to move into a different song space for me.  The lyrics for this song are different.  I wanted to try something new for me that could sit comfortably next to music written for the radio world.  Tell me what you think. Listen up now to Nothing Comparable Like It.  Use your earphones you will enjoy it more!

Living in the US for the last 3.5+ years challenges our sanity.  Aggression sanctioned out of Washington D.C. is consuming many.  Everyday we walk a path with a steep plunge in sight. With no sensible climate plan, the West is burning.  I fear the future will not be there to build out and look forward to; so Vote Early….. so change will happen.  Be a poll worker.  In some states voting began today.

I think we should apologize to Hillary Clinton for the poor choice made by the people in the USA in 2016.  No person is an angel, but January 20, 2017, she would have stepped up to become a whole team of angels looking out for us and the USA and our interests. She said Trump was not fit for office.  Why didn’t people listen?  She is very intelligent and experienced.  Why do people fall for what seems to glitter and looks like gold?  I prefer silver.  Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be our silver angels.  They will bring our democracy and country back from the edge of destruction and insanity to become what they need to be and were once.  J & K will lead us and show us how to be. The USA needs to reflect the values of its singularly diverse people and watch out for their well-being in their entirety. The corrupt must be pushed to plunge over a cliff.  I hope Hillary Clinton forgives the unforgivable rock thrown at her.  A few times I had a rock thrown at me.  I know how it can sting and cut.   She is smart and very strong and was able to get back up.  She will be there to advise and will rise to the occasion just like tonight when I heard her speak about Ruth Ginsberg.  Amen.

Today, September 30, 2020, we see on BuzzFeed that adults are finally becoming more mature!

The following appeared on BuzzFeed:

Referring to the September 29, 2020, presidential debate and people tweeting about it: … A recurring theme running through the tweets were public apologies to Hillary Clinton. Jill Filipovic,” Will you shut up, man” is the line of the night.  I feel for Hillary right now because I’m positive she wanted to say that and couldn’t. “ From Chasten Buttigieg..“Has anyone checked in on @HillaryClinton? Girl, I’m so sorry.” After all, she accurately predicted many of Trump’s worst scandals back in 2016, and yet, her advice went unheeded. But Hillary not wanting any pity wants something more important and says, “Thanks, I’m fine. But everyone better vote.”

So let’s sing the beautiful melody from Mame for her plugging in: Let’s get out and vote together.. put Trump and his enablers to shame.  We need Joe and Kamala and their team and Hillary to make the USA rise again.

Probably the most important thing we need to do right now is to stay well  and protect each other and follow the science of public health.   Thinking musically positive we’ll find our way through this.

This evening begins Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year. Ruth Bader Ginsberg was Jewish as I am. She passed on a day that is holy and significant. The title of my song modified slightly and certainly with no intended disrespect applies to her distinctly: There Was Nothing Comparable Like Her! May Ruth rest peacefully knowing that she is remembered and honored by people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, religions, ethnicities, political persuasions, and those with disabilities as everyone’s honorable protector of equality among all people! She pushed for equality of opportunity.  Her known qualities of grace, honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion, respect, devotion..mirror those of the biblical Ruth.  Her mother properly named her for the role she was going to play. Discovering another woman who will take up her vision seems like an impossible challenge.  Probably best to be thankful we lived when Ruth Bader Ginsberg was alive and on the Supreme Court, and we were able to benefit from her intelligence.

Sincerely,

Joshua Eli  and                         

September 18, 2020

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

 

Receiving a well-spoken apology after a tumultuous experience just doesn’t happen except in literature or in a script for a play or film.   What could receiving or giving a truly meant apology feel like?  I have received apologies on a few significant occasions. Not one of those apologies has come close to feeling memorably sufficient given the premeditated hurt. Recently I read an expose’ saying that an apology needs to be more than words. That discussion led me into writing my next song.  Music is more than the lyrics of a song.  Musical notes are pitches used to concentrate feeling using tempo, dynamics, a musical key, chords and arpeggios. When put together in characteristic patterns, musical notes create music styles that speak in idiosyncratic ways. Playing musical notes on an instrument with a personal touch speaks without saying a word. With these thoughts I began to develop a song with strong lyric feelings relating to an apology and where the instrumental sound is integral in developing the feeling.  If you have read my blogs before, you would have read that the weather affects my work.  I enjoy the feelings and moods that weather spawns and incorporate them into my music composing and lyric writing.  We are currently experiencing in Los Angeles a beautiful weather phenomenon.  Those positive feelings put me in the right place  to sit and write An Apology Has To Be Perfect.  

Starting with Verse 1:

 

I will never be perfect,

But an apology has to be.

Regretting what turned out,

Talking about my part

For what went dark,

Driven by a desire

To be forgiven,

Ever searching for the way.

 

and the Chorus:

It’s the moment

To feel

To want

To need

To find a way

To be forgiven

Without further delay.

 

then Verse 2 that speaks in poetry of the Recurrent Story humans find themselves in:

Being human,

Who doesn’t try and fail?

Who doesn’t do wrong

To another?

Who doesn’t want

To undo

What became wrong?

That is our

Recurrent Story.

 

The song plan is now laid out.  The bridge and Verse 3 are conversations about forgiveness. Finally, the admission in the outro speaks of penitence:

I was wrong.

I feel the weight of it…

The music for this song must express emotion and the lyrics must be earnestly sung from a mind-joined-to-heart place.  I chose G minor with its B flats and G flats to create the sound. The music starts very simple in my mind imagining the sound and feel of a single string instrument or a solo flute. By contrast the bridge has a different feel imagining the agile sound that can be produced by the string section in an orchestra.  The vocals use heightening and softening accents to emphasize emotion.  I held out some vocal notes because emotional pain does string out as we experience it.  The outro could be played by a single cello or violin producing a classical sound.  Traditionally emotion is classy.  The Bergman composing team would feel at home with the sound of this song because it is cinematic.  When writing the lyrics I was thinking of how universal the topic of this song is and that everyone will identify with it.  I am hoping this song will find its way onto an independent screen and say in music with accompanying visuals what words alone can’t convey.  After watching the Las Vegas presidential debate and after seeing Sting’s Last Ship a week earlier, in both incidences the message projected was You are the things you choose to do.   Both experiences would have benefited from the message sung about in An Apology Has To Be Perfect.

Please now put on your earphones and listen to An Apology Has To Be Perfect.

A small autobiography below the blog..

I wonder if you know what writing this blog and the music I put in it means for me.  The task is to focus on skills I own: joining my words with musical ideas and then using them to perform. In the blog I write about my real thoughts. I often make use of what I am reading or my in-the-moment thinking or conversations or what is being discussed in media or an impromptu experience or meeting or a planned attendance at a show or event or something I never have really thought about but fell into.  The last mentioned often turns out as the best contributor of all and is the reason the song in this blog came to be.  When it is compelling,  I research a topic to fill in around the edges and minor holes in my thoughts making  what I write more true to the topic.  I try to discover the special hook for the song I am writing that will set it apart from other songs written. In the case of the song in this blog it is the sentence: I will never be perfect, but an apology has to be and later in the song, I feel the weight of  it. While composing, the song I am writing is definitely a work in progress that evolves over several weeks culminating in final lyric edits and final music editing until I make the final recording in my home studio using professional equipment. Before that time I record the sound of what I am writing on a very good hand held recorder so my ears can hear from a distance what I am thinking and singing and playing.  For me the lyrics come first but can be edited until just before sitting down to record to make sure the music fits the lyrics or vice versa. They both need to be at once together like two soft made-to-fit gloves. The actual recording and the mixing is done as a team and can take 1-2 days or even longer trying to achieve a high level of satisfaction. There are many collaborating moments in my work from the seed to the completed song.  It is because of that collaboration that I am where I am and I am grateful. The absolute final recording occurs in a professional recording studio when I feel ready and after the song has properly vegetated in my head and when my voice and hands are ready to perform it there. Other instruments I play can also be brought in there and isolated or another good instrumentalist added in. The song placed in the blog is the copyrighted song recorded in my home studio. In short,  I have a professional focus built into my life by choice and ambition each month.  I gave myself this job and can modify the job description to my liking. The job description assures that I retain complete artistic freedom to compose my music and own it. I do not wait for work or anyone’s accolades.  I decide on the work and work to satisfy myself much like an artist who paints. My work allows me to develop ideas and experiment with sound instrumentally and vocally to get ready for music opportunities as I discover them or when they are pitched my way. Keeping rigorously to this schedule isn’t the easiest thing. Observing the progress I have made committing to this regimen, I am hopeful that I will arrive at where I want to be. When I do get there I will never forget what it took for us to get myself there.

Gracias, merci, toda, grazie, mahalo, arigato, efharisto, tak, …to each of you who follow my work in your far away places. Thank you.  You are a blessing for me that translates into mental nourishment. You are my driver who encourages me to discover more about myself and my relationships with others and other significant things, then to put it down on paper and give voice to it in music with my hands and ears and voice.

Sincerely,

    Joshua Eli                                       

February 23, 2020

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

   

2:10 pm je