Local Music: All We Ever Have (Jim Armenti)

I caught a listen to this song from a local musician – Jim Armenti — that was supported by our local arts organization. I love how Jim captures our small city’s collective efforts in the Pandemic to stay safe and support each other. I hope yours, does, too.

And then a local arts/dance group made this, too, in the park down the street as a way to help get out the vote.

Peace (singing it),
Kevin

Song Exploder Now on Netflix

I’ve long loved listening to the Song Exploder Podcast, and now the program — which breaks apart songs, piece by piece, deconstructing how a song was written and produced — is on Netflix, too, and I’m enjoying that experience, too. An episode on REM was fascinating as was the one on Ty Dolla $ign (which my teenage son, a music producer, sat down to watch with me).

There are only four episodes right now on the Netflix channel, but the two that I watched were excellent, and the other two — about Lin Manuel Miranda and Alicia Keys look like they could be fascinating, too. Host  Hrishikesh Hirway does a great job of celebrating the music but also probing the creative spirits that helped forge a specific song.

Peace (sounding good),
Kevin

Getting Back to Rock and Roll

Sold Out band

Last night, for the first time since early March, I made my way to my friend’s house to play rock and roll with my bandmates. The Pandemic had shut us down, and as one who will soon be in a building of many people (students and teachers), I am a little leery of being in someone else’s house.

But they all agreed and I was eager, and so we gathered to try to remember some songs we haven’t thought about for seven months, and I tried to get a singing voice in shape (I am a fill-in singer while we look for a lead singer and a bass player, a project also put on the back burner in March).

It felt good to run my fingers along the keys of my tenor saxophone and to get warm sounds into the air. (I had left it there but had an alto here at home). It felt even better just to connect with my friends through music, even if some parts were a little rough. There’s something magical about musical connections.

My voice is a little hoarse this morning, and I hope it holds out for my teaching today. I tried to not overdo it last night, keeping the singing to a minimum, but …. that’s rock and roll for you.

Peace (when music fills the air),
Kevin

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),
Kevin

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),
Kevin

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),
Kevin

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),
Kevin