Upon The Pendulum Swings Hope

I had been working on a music track with hope in my mind when I learned of the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, so I quickly pivoted the song to honoring her and her words, and her voice. The Hope image comes from my friend, Sheri Edwards, and the colorful spectrogram running behind Sheri’s art was created from the audio track itself. Some of us in CLMOOC are working to create pieces of art related to the theme of Hope.

Peace (and hope),

Music of the Pandemic: Sitting On Horizon

I am not sure if this new song — Sitting On Horizon — is part of my Notes from a Quiet Corner project of music written and produced during and about the Pandemic …. Maybe it’s a late add to that mix … the lyrics are inspired by thinking about the days ahead and the unknowns of that waiting …

Sitting on Horizon

Everybody’s waiting
‘cause nobody knows
today’s hesitation
is where tomorrow always goes

We walk around in daydream
sink me like a stone
We’re fingers on the touchscreen
but in the slipstream, there’s no flow

You can take me
when you need me – I’ll go

I’m writing you this letter
from somewhere in the past
I hope you can forgive me
with the shadows fading fast

I’m stuck inside the story
with the place gone mad
It’s not as if you lost me
it’s the world we used to have

you can find me
when you want me -I’ll go
You can call me
when you need me -I’ll go

maybe when we’re older
when time turns slow
we’ll sit on the horizon
and remember what we don’t know

‘Cause everybody’s waiting
but nobody knows
today’s hesitation
is where tomorrow always goes

You can take me
when you need me – I’ll go
you can find me
when you want me -I’ll go
You can call me
when you need me -I’ll go

Peace (in the listening),

Music of the Pandemic: Long Walks Off the Beat

This short instrumental track is a new one to my collection of songs I have been writing and recording for this time of the quarantine, in a collection entitled Notes from a Quiet Corner. I still have a few tracks I am working on before I pull them all together. This beat track is inspired by the long walks we are now able to do, as we are home and can take frequent breaks from work to stretch the legs and get some air.

Peace (sounds like),

Music from the Pandemic: Connect With You

I wrote and shared the first draft of this new song with my students, as a message staying connected in the time of isolation and as an avenue to peel back the process of writing.  I have a handful of students who are writing songs, too, and sharing with classmates in our closed spaces. I wanted them to get a glimpse of how I go about writing a song.

In the first video (below), I showed students my scratched-up, penciled lyric page, and then played the song on acoustic guitar. The more polished version (above), which I am sharing today, was done over a series of days, and I like the rock/pop feel to it.

Peace (keep connected),

CLMOOC Poetry: On the Matter of Collaboration

collaboration flickr photo by mrmayo shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

(Note: this poem is for the CLMOOC February poetry writing. Today’s theme is collaboration. I had the first lines of this poem in my mind yesterday, and then later, I started a piece of music that I hope represents the idea of collaborative instrument voices, weaving together. The rest of the poem came from writing the song)

We are not
disparate parts

empty hooks
inside the heart;

The song, collides;
the map, it charts

the place I end is
the place you start

Peace (in together),

The Noise is the Story/ The Story is the Noise

NoiseVember BandCamp

For all of November, I took part in something called NoiseVember over on Mastodon — creating small soundtracks of music. Some of my pieces were intentionally noisy. Some were not. I experimented across a variety of different platforms to make the music — from Soundtrap, to WolframTones, to Garageband, to Thumbjam, to Google’s Music Lab, and more.

In my head, I had a vague, loose idea of what connected the tracks, a slow threading over the month. I could glimpse the music telling the story of a walk through a place — woods, or forests, or something. But it was only at the end of the month, as I listened again to the entire batch together, all of them unfolding, and finally gave discrete titles to each of the tracks that I began to “see” the story as a whole through the “listening.”

Maybe next up is the writing of the story itself …

It’s possible only I can “read” this story this way because I composed the music and that no one else can envision it. That’s OK, too. But all the tracks are up in Bandcamp, free for download or for listening, and if you are interested, I invite you to wander over. You could even write the story, too.

Listen to NoiseVember: Each Path A Story

Peace (what the story sounds like),

Making Music and Noise in November

Noise flickr photo by AILAVIU. shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

Sometimes, I will stumble upon something that sparks my interest and feeds my creative spirit, in small bursts. Many times it is writing or poetry. But for November, I saw a call for small pieces of music making over at Mastodon, and decided to dive into NoiseVember, creating small pieces of music across many different apps and platforms, and sharing each day in that federated networking site.

I view what I am doing with NoiseVember as merely experimental, and I am mostly determined to be spending about 15 minutes or less on each track. Many of short — less than a minute long. I keep the “noise” aspect in mind, but also seek to bury melody lines and maybe interesting angles and aspects to the compositions. Some of the tracks, as a result, come out better than others. Some are just plain odd.

Here are the first nine tracks I have done for NoiseVember. Another day, I’ll post more about the places where I am making the music that I am gathering and sharing out.

Peace (sounds like noise),