Tag Archives: Music

Music and (Gasp!) Records

I want to talk about records.  I don’t mean those emails that need to be saved because they are “important records”, nor those receipts you keep in an old shoebox for your taxes.  I’m talking about those funny vinyl disks you might run into in an antique store.  You know, you place them on a spinnie-thing, place a needle in a groove and music comes out! 

Yeah, I know, old people and random memories.

Anyway, I was watching a Youtube video and some people were talking about the future of music and they brought up this important part of the past.

There once was a time when you would go to a person’s house and the first thing you would do is look through their record collection.

When those vinyl disks might cost a significant part of your super limited disposable income, you only bought music that was important to you.  What a person chose to spend those precious pennies on said a huge amount about them. Even if they had a largish collection, it said a lot. 

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She Talks Each Night to Ariel – Music Video

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:

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

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Piano Sonata in c# minor 1st Movement

A couple of weeks back I posted a video for the 3rd movement of my Piano Sonata in c# minor. After thinking about it, I have decided to put up the entire sonata, one movement at a time. So, without further ado, here is the first:

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

A little background. Well, a very little, since I already wrote about this piece of music, here. Anyway, long story short(er), As I was working my series of 24 piano preludes, I was posting them to a music forum. A lot of people told me to make a longer version of the prelude in c# minor, so I did. I wasn’t quite satisfied with ending there, so I renamed it “1st movement” and went on from there, not calling it complete until I had the four movement piano sonata completely written.

At the time, late 2007, I was very much in a learning stage and every piece of music I wrote served a purpose in my musical education. Until this piece. Yes, I was still learning, and tried to push my boundaries, putting new ideas into practice, but the big thing here was that this was the first piece of music that I wrote in my “classical phase” “just because”. It was the first piece of this time period that was written because I was inspired to write.

Because this was something composed because i was inspired instead of because i was learning something new, it has a special place in my heart. Of course I also like it better than most of what I wrote in that time frame.

Anyway, I hope you like it too!

Piano Sonata in C# minor 3rd Movement – Scherzo (Video)

Back in 2007 I was working on a series of 24 Piano Preludes. As I finished each prelude I would often post it on a music forum. The Prelude in C# minor got a lot of attention, and several people said I should expand it and make a larger piece out of it. And so I did. But after that, I decided to continue and create an entire Piano Sonata.

This piano sonata is one of the best things I did back in my “classical” days. The 24 Preludes, when taken as a whole, and The Hamlet Symphony are the only other pieces that in the same league, though I do like my “classical” sonata in g minor.

Of the Sonata in C# minor, the 3rd movement, the Scherzo, is a favorite. Compositionally it isn’t as good as the other movements, but it is a heck of a lot more fun – Scherzo means “little joke”, and this was a joke all around.

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Viral Video! (For Me) House of the Rising Sun Repeat

Back in July of 2017 I posted a cover of The House of the Rising Sun on Youtube. My vocals were awful, so I redid it as an instrumental and posted that. This second video did OK (for me) but soon drop off the radar as most of my videos do.

Last year I started to see some views on this video. Not a lot, but they trickled in. And then I started see at least one a day, and sometimes four or five. And then I started seeing four or five, and occasional a dozen! By the end of 2021 I was averaging about 10 views a day of this video. I received more views of this the last 90 days of 2021 than all other videos combined.

But the numbers kept growing!

In the last 48 hours I have had almost 120 views of this video.

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If We Were Having Coffee on the 22nd of January, 2022 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hello and Welcome! Come on in (close the door quickly!) and I’ll get you a nice large mug of steaming dark roast, a piping cuppa tea or a (very) hot cocoa. By my adjectives you may understand that it is a wee bit chilly out there. I think it was -8 F/ -22 C when I got up this morning. But don’t worry, it has warmed up significantly! Yep it is now a balmy -1F/ -18 C! OK, it is early and it might hit 22 F/-5.5 C later in the day. So, yeah, come on in and warm up a little. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire.

I drove back to New Hampshire Saturday evening, cutting my trip to Cape Cod a little shorter than usual. I had a few things to do Sunday, so…. We had snow on Sunday night into Monday, but it rained all Monday morning. Yuck. Several inches of slush. It was wet and nasty to clean up, and then it all froze. So, yeah, it’s pretty icy out there.

My wife took the dogs up to Maine for the week, but I still did a few walks a day on my own. That being said, I didn’t get as much exercise as I would have liked. I had an appointment Tuesday morning. Work was super busy. The cats needed a lot of cuddle and play time.

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Covering The Sparks – Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth (Video)

In early December I watched a documentary on the band The Sparks. Don’t know them? They have been around for about 50 years and have helped change music several times. The band is really two brothers, Ron and Russell Mael. They have a distinctive look (Paul McCartney did an impression of Ron on his Coming Up video. Russell sported a new hair cut in the late 70s that was copied by everyone, from Duran Duran to Depeche Mode) and a distinct sound (usually odd!). All of their songs have a twist or a joke to them. I would say that they are much easier to enjoy if you get the joke…

I have always known about the band but rarely heard them. In fact, I think I heard their Propaganda album twice when I was a teen and based most of my knowledge of the band on that, even though they are the truest musical chameleons of all time.

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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.

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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.

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Review Behringer Poly D

I have had the Behringer Poly D analog synthesizer for a couple of months now and have done a major project, so I want to do a quick review of it.  First, as always, I need to give a quick history lesson.  Why?  The Poly D is a Minimoog clone (sort of, in a way…).

(Skip to the review if you don’t want to read all of this, or the videos at the bottom)

The Minimoog was released in 1970 and was the first synthesizer that you could pick up in a normal retail music store.  It was one of the earliest synthesizers aimed at stage musicians and was extremely popular.  Even though Moog soon had a lot of competition in the portable synth market, such as the EMS Synthi (used by Pink Floyd*) and the different Arps (used by many, including Genesis), the Mini was so huge that most people used the terms “Moog” and “Synthesizer” synonymous.  And it did find its way into pop, rock, r&b, dance, jazz and beyond through the 70s.  Even in the 80s, it was the main synth on the Thriller album and was used by most of the early Technopop bands.  In the 90s it helped create the emerging electronica and electronic dance music. 

In other words, the Minimoog is one of the most iconic synthesizers of all times.

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