RSSCategory: music

Charles Glenn Continues to Earn the Spotlight

May 4, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently featured this article on Charles Glenn, best known these days for singing the national anthem a cappella at Blues games. He has a strong clear voice even now, in his early 60’s. I applaud his successes for many reasons. He is genuinely an upbeat generous man, a dedicated dad with a wonderful sense of humor and unrelenting creativity.

Back in the 1970s, when we were mere teenagers, Charles and I were co-leaders of the 8-piece St. Louis jazz-rock band “Ego.” I was the guitarist and Charles was lead singer (of course), which he excelled at while playing a full set of drums. I’m really proud of what we accomplished. And I continue to celebrate Charles Glenn’s many successes.

[caption id="attachment_28180" align="aligncenter" width="602"] Ego, Circa 1974[/caption]
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“Mercy,” short violin-piano piece by Max Richter

March 1, 2017 | By | Reply More

I’m loving this musical offering by Max Richter (performed by Hilary Hahn and C. Smythe). So short, sweet and deep.

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On the stealing of jokes and cryptonesia

December 26, 2016 | By | Reply More

What is a trope? The website TV Tropes explains:

A trope is a storytelling device or convention, a shortcut for describing situations the storyteller can reasonably assume the audience will recognize. Tropes are the means by which a story is told by anyone who has a story to tell.

How often have you watched a new movie or TV show and noticed that it is drenched in tropes? I notice this constantly. TV shows and movies resemble other movies and shows so often that some have written, tongue in cheek, that there are actually only an extremely limited number of plots. Are there only seven plots? Are there only six plots?

[More . . . ]

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Waters of March – Video

October 15, 2016 | By | Reply More

I love this tune and this video.

The male singer is “Tom Jobim,” who is also the composer of that beautiful celebratory tune and many other classic bossa nova tunes, more often known in the U.S. as Antonio Carlos Jobim. I had never before heard him sing until I saw this video. The female singer, Elis Regina, melts me with her charm and voice. This must have been a tough tune and they seemed delighted to get this one in the can so beautifully intact. My girlfriend insists that there is no way to sing this song well without dancing while one is singing it. I agree.

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How well do you keep a steady beat?

August 16, 2015 | By | Reply More

Whether or not you play a musical instrument, how well can you keep time while tapping? This website will give you the opportunity to test yourself.

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Amanda Palmer encourages us to ask

April 2, 2015 | By | Reply More

I stumbled across this inspiring talk by musician Amanda Palmer. She gives considerable insight into the economics of the music industry. But she gives even more insight into human connections and the importance of asking as the prelude to those connections.

I’m including both her TED lecture and beneath it, a video of her performance of the “Bed Song.” There is a direct connection between these two performances.

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Ed Sheeran’s Energy

December 3, 2014 | By | Reply More

Ed Sheeron is boundless creative energy. Singing, guitar playing and looping, he does it all.

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On writing and performing songs

December 2, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More

I’ve played guitar and keyboard for many years. I’m quite experienced and confident in my playing, but my performances at local coffee shops have consisted entirely of playing “covers,” and it’s getting a bit embarrassing that I haven’t yet written my own songs (even though I do my own arrangements of the songs I sing). As I’ve forced myself to actually start writing songs with lyrics, I’ve become fascinated with the process. This interview with James Taylor offers lots of food for thought.

There is far more out there for those, who like me, are just now venturing into the world of music with lyrics (here are several basic approaches; Here is another good source of basic ideas.)

At this point, I’ve written two songs with lyrics. I do like the result, but it has taken dozens of hours to get these tunes to a point where I find them acceptable. I don’t know whether there is any way to speed up the process. It does feel, though, that I’m a the beginning of a compelling adventure.

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Piano lesson by Oscar Peterson

October 21, 2014 | By | Reply More

Oscar Peterson was one of my favorite musicians. He could do it all, from soft ballads to fiery solos. In this clip, he demonstrates some of the styles of other piano greats as well as some of his own techniques.

Here’s more on Oscar’s life and music.

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