Category Archives: Video

Song Writing Part 2

In a post last week I said that I was working on a new song.  Well, I finished it over the weekend.  It started with a little part I wanted to record so that I would remember it.  From there it turned into a real pop song. Yeah, with words and everything!

A few quick comments before I turn you lose with this.  Although parts of this recording are “finished”, this is very much just a quick demo, or, if this were one of my stories, this is a rough, first draft (don’t worry – if you have read a story on my blog, it was a rough draft….).  I can hear many things I will change if I decided do this a little more seriously. And I might.

Continue reading

Song Writing…

So after spending too much time doing that old craft of setting Bach to Moog Synthesizer, I have started to actually write my own music again. Sort of… But there are consequences.

I have written about this many times, but I have a difficult time being deeply involved in more than one art (craft). If I am deep into visual arts, and I mean really studying it, not just a few quick sketches or creating a book cover for my latest, I am not deep into writing or writing new music. The same with writing a book. The deeper I am into it, the less time I have for music.

Continue reading

Music Video – Electronic Little Fugue in G Minor (Bach)

One of my recent projects has been recording JS Bach’s Little Fugue in G Minor with a synthesizer. I will post the video here in case you you want to hear it but don’t want to read about it. Be aware that I did a few fumbles, but I think overall it worked well.

(Click here if you don’t see the video)

(Note – I replaced the original video with a newer version November 1, 2021 – below is still about the old version. Click here for info on the new)

OK, a little bit about it, then…

Continue reading

Dido’s Lament – Music Video

Last week I worked on a little music project, arranging and recording an electronic version of Henry Purcell’s great aria Dido’s Lament (technically it is named “When I am laid in Earth” but everyone knows it as “Dido’s Lament”) .

Quick back story – Henry Purcell was a 17th century English composer and is regarded as one of the greatest English composers of all times (until he 20th century, no other English born composer compared since Handle was not born in England). One of his most famous works was the opera Dido and Aeneas, based on the Aeneid.

After escaping the downfall of Troy, Aeneas ends up in Carthage. Dido, the queen of Carthage, falls in love. He would happily spend the rest of his life there, but destiny calls; he has to found Rome, you know. So he leaves, and Dido commits suicide.

The opera ends in three pieces: a recitative to introduce the aria, the aria itself, and then a choral part in all of its Baroque counterpoint glory. The recitative (Thy hand, Belinda) is often performed with the aria while the chorus isn’t, but to me the chorus caps it all off greatly… But that aria, called Dido’s Lament, is what most people know.

Have you ever taken a music appreciation class (talking Western Classical music here)? If so, you most likely have heard this before. It does a great job of demonstrating a few Baroque techniques, such as ground bass (that part you hear from beginning to end). It is also often called one of the saddest songs in Western Classical music.

Continue reading

First Impressions – Sequential Prophet Rev 2

I picked up a Sequential (DSI) Prophet Rev 2 polyphonic analog synthesizer a couple of weeks ago. After two weeks of playing, I decided to make a recording and talk about it.

First a few terms. “Analog” means that the sound is created by electronics as a continuous electrical signal which is then manipulated by other electronics. I know,obtuse, but that definition is a contrast with “digital”, which means the sound is created and manipulated by a computer. Most of the first commercial synthesizers were analog.

I said it was a polyphonic synthesizer (poly-synth). In this case “polyphonic” means more than one note can be played at once, sort of like a piano, with each note being distinct. The distinct note is called a “voice” – my Prophet Rev 2 is an 8 voice synthesizer (16 voice Rev 2s exist – more about this later). The way this works is that each voice is played by a completely different synthesizer! In the late 1970s, Dave Smith perfected a way for a computer to store values for a synthesizer so that all of the different voices (synthesizers) could have the same sound though the user only has to set up the sound once (one set of controls). It also let the user save sounds. This instrument was the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5. It helped to revolutionist the music industry and, actually, music itself.

Continue reading

The Weekly Smile for the 16th of November, 2020 #weeklysmile

Hi! I hope you all had a good week. I had a good week. Yes, there were ups and downs, but mostly good, at least on a personal level.

One of the things I smiled about this week was a new synthesizer. I’ll mention the name, even though I know it is meaningless for 99.99% of you: A Sequential Prophet Rev 2. It is an analog polysynth. Got it?

No matter, it is great sounding instrument and I had a lot of fun playing it and creating new sounds. At one point I took out my phone and did a quick recording. The sound was in stereo, with the different parts swirling around (not capture with my phone!) and there was a deep, rich bass (also not captured with my phone) and it was so much fun to just play. Oh well, so my cheap phone couldn’t quite capture it, but I hope you smile hearing this attempt:

Continue reading

The Weekly Smile for July 6, 2020 #weeklysmile

weeklysmile2a

It was an odd week, though for the most part good, and plenty to smile about.  But one thing stood out.

Some of you may know that I post music on occasion.  When I say “music”, I mean my music.  Sometimes people are enthusiastic about it.  Sometimes I get a yawn ;)

I hadn’t posted anything new in a while, so I dug out the first movement of my Piano Sonata in g minor, did a quick video, and put it up.  You know, just as a place holder while I come up with some new music.

The response has been surprising. Continue reading

Video – Piano Sonata in g minor, 1st Movement

Piano keyboard

First, here is the video:

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

Years ago I studied classical composition.  After fiddling about for a year or so, I took lessons with an established composer.  As part of my lessons I wrote a little “classical sonata”.  It was more or less in a Mozart style, though perhaps it was closer to Clementi.  If you don’t know Clementi, look him up!    Although there are shining moments on this “sonatina”, I wasn’t satisfied. Continue reading

Yesterday (A Parody) -Music Video

mask

Last week I posted a parody of the Beatles’ song, Yesterday.  Well, I decided to make it into a video:

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

Now do you see why I usually sing with a vocoder instead of with my natural voice? ;) And, yes, I was trying to look and act a bit silly in the video – it was not supposed to be serious at all!

I tweaked my original parody a little, but not much.  Here is what I sang: Continue reading