Friday, October 31, 2008

The History & Appreciation of Classical Music

First there was Bach. Then came Mozart. And later, there was Beethoven. And a bunch of other guys were thrown in among them. Brahms and Paganini, most notably.

In all of western music, only jazz comes anywhere close to classical’s ability to hear and translate the voice of God, though in the best jazz, it’s more the voice of the Devil, yet no less sublime. Paganini and Mingus were fluent in both languages.

When you go to a symphony concert, don’t try to sit up front: those seats are reserved for the people with too much money to need to really hear the music. The front row of the first balcony is the best: here the sound is at its most full and balanced. And no one will be able to turn around and see your tears.

And always remember: Cabernet for pieces in a F, C or G; and Merlot for D and B-flat.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tribute to Patrick

The Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra's Tribute to Patrick Flynn: dear friend, comrade, fellow-traveler, inspiration. ...

The world lost an important part of the Song with his passing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Rwanda" by Faruq Z. Bey & The Northwoods Improvisers

There are lions and oribi roaming through the savannah during the opening mystery of this song. Dark birds of prey follow their movements.

Mike Gilmore, Nick Ashton and Mike Johnston create a percussive landscape filled with shadow and flashes of light. The flutes of Faruq Z. Bey and Mike Carey begin the journey like winds over the tall grasses and rolling hills, heading toward the volatile waters of Lake Kivu.

When the bass of Johnston thunders into being, you are moving across the surface of the lake, feeling each crest and trough of the blue-black waves of Kivu. The flutes are now calling the barefoot fishermen to dance, dreaming of barbel, catfish and tilapia.

The Tenor Sax of Bey first, and then Skeeter Shelton, pull you into two worlds: you’re still on that deep and dangerous African lake, but at the same time, you are now viewing the streets of Detroit from the backseat of a slow-moving Buick. It’s late summer and the windows are rolled down. The tires hiss and the streetlights flash across your face.

Gilmore’s marimba solo brings you back to that Rwandan plain. Though now you are the lion, stalking the oribi. The saxes come back in, this time with Carey joining the drive and leading the expedition.

Finally, your are returned to the opening mystery. The bass and percussion dissolve the water and land into ethereal winds, and those dark raptors rise in widening circles until they disappear into the silence.

[Faruq Z. Bey & the Northwoods Improvisers Website]

An excerpt of this song is featured in the book trailer for The Moon Cracks Open:

Find more videos like this on Book Marketing Network

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Process Release Performance DVD

Michigan's highly-acclaimed and long-lasting "rock-reggae madmen" are back again with another release of their unique and masterful musical energy. Scanning my shelves, I count eight CD's from these guys. You can find most of them on CD Baby (watch out for other bands using the same or similar name), but if you've never had the chance to witness the mind-blowing, highly theatrical stage show; you won't know what you're missing. This DVD should help fill in the gap. ...

[The Process Website]
[The Process at MySpace]

from The Process' blog on MySpace:

For Immediate Release:

Reggae rock group THE PROCESS will release it's live DVD
"THE PROCESS: LIVE VASSAR THEATER", filmed at the historic venue last March.

The release party will be held at Whites Bar (2609 State St Saginaw, MI 48602),
Saturday October 11th at 9:00 PM.

The DVD features blazing performances of some of the groups best known songs,
as well a a spectacular film and laser light show.

Opening the event will be guests Ben MacArthur and Friends.

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