Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of super strong Dark Roast, a cuppa tea, some hot cocoa or other beverage. It will be a nice day out there, at least relatively speaking. The ground has a deep snow blanket that is getting a bit crunch on the surface and the thawing/freezing snow is causing ice patches, but still, a beautiful day is a beautiful day. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire.
I didn’t post last weekend because i was in Ohio visiting family. My dad turns 90 at the end of the month so we had a surprise birthday party. Pretty much everyone (minus two spouses) was able to make it.
That is my father in the photo above. Here is my mom – the photo that got more likes on FaceBook than any other five combined ;)
I just posted a new video. Yeah, after several months of nothing I am doing a new one every two weeks or so… This one is in ways an extended synth solo, similar to For Her Heartbreak (see blog post here). Anyway, here is the video so you can listen while I talk about it:
Similar to the recent The New Year’s Song *, I was playing with the acoustic percussion instruments, my new cajon, tambourine and cabasa. I also put in an electronic drum sound from my Prophet Rev 2. Most of the sounds on this are the Rev 2 except those percussion instruments I mentioned and the solo. I used the minimoog clone, the Behringer Poly-D for the solo.
(*Note about This compared to The New Year’s Song – TNYS is a real song with what I think is a catchy melody. This is a quick jam.)
Two of the photos of Tiberius on my mixer (one also used at top of page) are new and he is on my new mixer while the photo at the end is over a year old and he is on my old mixer. He does look more like a kitten in that old photo! And he no longer wears a collar.
Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of strong dark roast, a cuppa tea or some hot cocoa. It is pretty cold out, but not frigid. We had a little wet, sloppy snow yesterday, so it is all frozen this morning. It will warm up a little during the day, so hopefully snow and ice removal will be easier. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire (NH).
I returned to NH from Cape Cod Sunday morning. The week started off great with runs and exercise, but went down hill – it was just so super busy and the weather was awful. So.. Well, today I will pick it back up again.
Work was, well, it was trying to cram four weeks of people having vacations into one week. Ugh. Enough said.
I played with my camera a little, taking mostly indoor photos with a lens I do not use enough. Here is Grace:
I wrote and recorded a new song earlier this week. Don’t worry, I don’t sing! lol. I did write lyrics, but.. Anyway, I will post it first, so go ahead and click “play” and then I will talk about it. Oh, and there are Scotland photos!
Yesterday morning I was playing breakfast music for the dogs on the piano. Yes, I do that every day – Idina sometimes refuses to eat unless I play the piano for her! Anyway, I started to improvise an accompaniment for a waltz. I whistled along and discovered I was whistling Greensleeves! So I went up, turned on my music equipment and recorded it. OK, I had three meetings and wrote a report while I was recording (!) so it took several hours, but it was less than an hour on the keyboards from the idea to finished recording. i.e., no rehearsal, just picking a sound and recording.
(No singing, so no terrible voice in this one ;) )
Part of my ride home from Cape Cod on Saturday was in the cold pouring rain. There were Christmas songs by indie rock bands on the radio. I thought “I need to write a Christmas song!”
In the mean time, there were so many jerks on the road that evening, and one super huge jerk tailgating me for miles. At times I could see his ultra angry face. I really thought he was going to pull out a machine gun and start shooting at any moment.
By the time I got home I had all of the words and the melody for a new, dark, Christmas song.
I played around with it Sunday morning and then recorded all of the instrument parts Sunday afternoon and evening. I recorded the vocals after work on Monday and did the video Monday evening.
OK, a lot of issues – it was a rush job! Truthfully, I don’t know if I can sing any better – my voice is always bad, so… Anyway, here it is Tuesday and I am sharing it with you. (It is dark, but with hope at the end.)
Did you see the cover reveal for my upcoming book of short stories, It’s Cold Outside? Take a look here if you haven’t.
Why am I bringing it up?
I had started with a drawing I had made in an art class that I thought was perfect, but I couldn’t get it to work, so I started over with a different image, a drawing I had made from a photo, one I have used many times on the blog. I really liked how it come out :) But then, the day before my cover reveal, I went back tot he original drawing of the first image and played with it. Darn, I actually liked what I came up with! After passing it by several people, we all decided that I need to stick with what I used. It fits better. Anyway, a few changes in format, here is the alternate version:
On Friday I post a new song onto Youtube. This was a pop/rock tune, which might be good after posting several classical pieces in a row. A quick comment – in this song “Ariel” refers to the moon of Uranus (in a way), not a person of that name – just wanted to point that out since I do know some Ariels and this song is not about any of them. OK, here it is:
Anyway, a friend/music mentor had been asking for a fugue since I had started my serious study of “classical” music. This person owned an art gallery and had earlier, before I studied composition, commissioned four (4) pieces of music from me over a handful of years. I recently posted the first piece he commissioned, Sortes Vergilianae (The Fanatic), to YouTube and thought I did a post here, but can’t find it. Hmm, maybe I will some day. Anyway, click on that name if you are interested.
Back tot he story, Gary wanted a fugue, but I hadn’t studied fugue in depth, so I kept telling him “no”. Unfortunately, he passed away before he got his fugue. So I decided to write a fugue in the fourth movement here in his memory. Well, almost. I still hadn’t studied fugue and, though I understood how they worked, I didn’t have the form exactly right. So the middle of this is filled with fugue-like sections (fugato), though I think a purist wouldn’t call it “fugue”.
I do like the huge contrasts of super simple and super dense passages in this.
Some of you may have seen my posts on the 1st Movement and the 3rd Movement of my Piano Sonata in c# minor that I have posted recently. I wrote the four movement sonata in 2007 when I was in the middle of my classic composition studies. It was the first, and one of the few, pieces that I wrote because I was inspired to write, not to answer a challenge or to use as a study.
So, now is time for the 2nd Movement, the adagio. Here it is: