You may have noticed that with my new start/emphasis in music, I have been digging through old things I have written and recorded. Here is one I just listened to and want to bring up again. Yes, “again”: I have posted this twice before! I am going to combine those two posts into one here.
Real quick (I’ll go into depth later ;)), this is part of a song cycle about Acilleus that I planned on writing when I was doing “classical” music. It never happened, but I later did a “light-prog-rock” version. The song, “Brisies: That was Yesterday”, takes place just after Agamemnon, in the ultimate political slap down, takes the woman Brisies away from Achilleus by force. Achilleus knows he can’t fight the whole Greek army who he has sworn allegiance to, so he stands by and lets the Trojans kick some Greek butt. In this song he realizes that he is in love with the woman who started out as a spoil of war.
English keyboard player Rick Wakeman, performing on stage, circa 1977. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Richard Wright – Image found on Google. I claim no rights to photo.
When I was a teenager or in my early twenties, everyone knew that my favorite band was Yes. I mean, I have a very positive personality, and how much more positive can you get than ‘Yes’? Not ‘No’ or ‘Maybe’, but ‘Yes’! Their music is full of shimmering light and high fantasy. Sure, you could say the same about the Prog-Rock era Genesis, but there was something about Yes that just pushed that positivity in a way that Genesis didn’t. There was also a big emphasis on Musicianship and showmanship. Something that their keyboardist (at least for a few ‘classic’ albums) Rick Wakeman had in spades.
Rick Wakeman had a style that could go from very hardcore, if showy, flowery, rock to pretty little filigrees and flourishes. Outside of Yes, listen to some early David Bowie, like ‘Life on Mars?’. Also listen to Cat Steven’s ‘Morning has Broken’. Listen to the flash of the playing. It is pretty and complex at the same time. Virtuosity was what Rick Wakeman’s playing was (and still is) about. Continue reading →
Last year I posted a song, “Briseis: That was yesterday”, which is based loosely on The Iliad. I had at one time written a poem/song cycle based on Homer’s great work but seen from the eyes of Achilleus, or, using the better known Roman version, Achilles. The song cycle would have been called, and may still be if I finish it, “Songs of Achilleus”*. Continue reading →
Several years back, during the darkest hours of the US’s involvement in two wars, I revisited an ancient war. I reread The Iliad. I don’t know if it was because of the political atmosphere or a more mature outlook, but my interpretation of the poem was completely different from any I had had or seen before. Continue reading →
Heh, heh, we sure did have fun back then, didn’t we?
Hey, that reminds me: I pulled out a few tapes of the band the other day. I had almost forgotten how great we were. Do you remember playing The Forum back in the spring of ’82? Nobody could touch us. Nobody. Not even the big boys.