Tag Archives: music video

The Weekly Smile for July 6, 2020 #weeklysmile

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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

Country Dance – Music Video

Daffodils

Years ago I followed a music forum.  One thing we did was a “Composition Challenge“.  The winner of the last challenge would present a theme and people would create a composition based on that theme.  Most of the themes had been difficult and produced more “modern” music, but the winner of Challenge 13 put up a very simple phrase.

OK, I decided to play a bit of a joke.  I wrote a ground bass or passacaglia (think Pachelbel’s (misnamed) Canon in D minor) done with strings in 4-4 time, a Sousa style march done in brass and percussion – in “cut time” and a simple country dance (almost waltz) done with a small woodwind ensemble (I think flute, clarinet, english horn and bassoon) in 3-4 time.  I then had them all playing simultaneously but ending together on a huge C major chord. Continue reading

Child’s Play – Music Video

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Last week I created a new music video.  Before we go any farther, just start it up.  It is only a little over a minute long (1:17 to be exact).

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

OK, is it playing in the background?  Great.

I took two of the miniatures from my composition “Child’s Play” and rearranged them a little.  Actually the biggest rearrangement is making the super simple starting piece, “Happy Feet”, a little more complex by having it modulate from the key of G to the key of D.  When you hear it again at the end, that is how it is in “Child’s Play, Book 1”.  Actually, that piece, “Happy Feet”, is based on one of the first things I ever wrote, back when I was a Freshman or Sophomore in college.  I broke a few counterpoint rules at the time, which were fixed when I added it to “Child’s Play, Book 1”. Continue reading

Dark Echoes – Video

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Last weekend I was just playing around, improvising on some electronics.  I decided to make a quick recording.  The big thing is that I was using two different echoes set at different times to create a rhythm.  This created the backbone of the ditty.  I then improvised over it.  Not great, and very rough, but I like it… (hope to do a better recording later, but…)

(If you don’t see the video below, please click here) Continue reading

The Weekly Smile for the Tenth of February, 2020 #weeklysmile

weeklysmile2a

Last week was a pretty good week.  I felt well all week and things all seemed to go how they were supposed to.  But was there something special for a weekly smile?

I seem to repeat that last paragraph all of the time.  I feel like an echo.  Hey, echo!  That’s it.

(And since this is an echo, some may realize that I posted about this on Tuesday)

Last week I picked up a guitar pedal  that’s a digital recreation of a tape echo.  No I don’t play guitar, but I do play synthesizer. Real quick, an echo repeats sounds that were played into them.  Tape echos were hugely popular in the late 60s, and the 70s, particularly with the prog rock crowd.  You can read all about it hereContinue reading

Some Fun With Echoes… Video

Korg ARP Odyssey

I just picked up an Echoplex effects pedal.  A what?  OK, I know, something only hard core music geeks have heard of.  I will give a quick explanation, but I won’t blame you if you skip down to the video ;)

(start of technical part…)

An “echo” (AKA, “delay”) is just what the name implies – you put in a sound and you get a repeat of the sound.  You hear it all of the time in “modern” music (post-1950s) without hearing it.  In the late 60s and 70s a lot of artists pushed it so you did hear it – it became part of their sound (Pink Floyd) or was used on special occasions (the weird synth solo in the Styx song “Come Sail Away” starting about 3:15 in).  Continue reading

Video – Winter

Snow field

One of the reasons I have been off line for the last few days is that I have been working on some music.  I now have something to share with you :)

Quick background – I studied classical music composition in the mid naughts (00s).  To hear the music I was composing, I used a product called GPO. You can hear this on some of the videos on my video page.  Sounds pretty realistic, if not exactly like a live orchestra.

As some of you may have seen, lately I have been playing with old-school analog modular synthesizers.  What?  OK, that sounds odd, but this is the type of synthesizer they used in “the old days”, synths that sounded like synths.  The “modular” part means that I pretty much create a new instrument using patch cords every time I make a sound.

Lately I have had the idea to recreate some of my old music using this even older technology.  It won’t sound as realistic, but perhaps it will add something. Continue reading

The Coventry Carol – Video

Notre Dame

I have always like The Coventry Carol.  I’m into dark, medieval music, particularly Christmas music, which seems like it should be bright, not dark.  So I decided I wanted to record it.  But I needed a little research first.  I was surprised at what I found, and this led to the video (hint, read this before listening)

The carol was part of a “mystery play” that went back to the 14th century.  The words were written down in the early 16th century and the music in the late 16th century, some believe in a bid to try to get it performed again (it wasn’t).  This song is about the slaughter of the innocents.

Yes, The Coventry Carol is a lullaby sung by the women of Bethlehem to try to calm their frightened babies as they wait for Herod’s men to murder the babies. “Bye bye, lully lullay.” Nice, right? So “the little tiny child” in the song is not the baby Jesus, but some poor, doomed child.

The words and music survived as much by accident as anything, as such things do, and was revived again in the 20th century.During The Battle of Britain in WW2, the Germans bombed Coventry on the 14th of November, 1940.  On Christmas, 1940, the BBC played The Coventry Carol live as it was being sung from the bombed out ruins of the Coventry cathedral.

So the song went from the poor woman resigned to their fate when brought up against powers beyond their understanding to the women shaking their fists at the sky when brought up against these powers.  You may bomb us and kill our children, but we will rise from the ashes. Continue reading