I’m Not Going Anywhere

I tripped into David Ramirez and this tune on Billions, Year 3, Episode 6 – “The Third Ortolan”. He’s an American singer-songwriter from Houston, TX, currently based in Austin.

“The best damn songwriter you don’t know yet”. – Paste Magazine

“Soulful, stirring, heartbreaking. David makes you hang on the turn of every phrase”. – The Civil Wars

“He knows no luxury. He wants no satisfaction. All he needs is an acoustic guitar and the words in his mouth to tell the true stories of a wandering man. But to see him live, with only that acoustic guitar in hand, spitting those words into rings of fire, is to experience something real…something that cannot be reproduced.” – Rudyard’s British Pub


Notes: Find David Ramirez’s Album “We Not Going Anywhere” on itunes and Amazon. Find his website here: davidramirezmusic.com.

Sunday Morning

 

From the stillness around you a high glassy sound descends, like first light. Each new sound seems to breathe — emerging from and receding back into the stillness — and the glint of bells, like desert plants, here and there. Almost imperceptibly the music swells and continues falling in pitch. From somewhere above — like a gleam of metal, like sunlight emerging from behind a ridgeline — comes the sound of flutes. You are in a strange landscape. You don’t know how to read the weather or the light. You are unsure how long you will be here, or how challenging the journey may be. “This is beautiful,” you think. “But will anything ever happen?”

You resist. Yet the sound draws you in. You resolve to suspend your impatience, to listen as carefully as you can, as if watching a sunrise. You notice your breathing becoming slower. Falling, still falling…The music continues floating upward, growing more and more distant, until at last it dissolves into a deep and resonant stillness.

~ John Luther Adams, from “What It’s Like to Hear the Desert in Music” in   The New York Times, March 23, 2018)


Photo: saoud with Desert

I’m sure I’m going to pay in the next life.

Richards thinks about how it all started, when he was just a kid dreaming of getting out of his London suburb. “I had no idea I was a songwriter,” he says. “I wasn’t sitting down and trying to be Gershwin. I can’t read a note of music. It’s all in the ears and from the heart—that’s all it is. I can’t believe I pulled it off, really.

“I’ve been so lucky, I don’t believe it,” he continues. “I’m sure I’m going to pay in the next life. Hell is really going to be hell for me. I don’t know why I’ve been given all this. You couldn’t dream it up, man, you couldn’t write it.”

And soon, back to work. More shows to play, more songs to chase. The Rolling Stones must go on, for the generation that grew up with them and the generations that don’t know a world without them.

“Now, there’s the air that you breathe, there’s the water you drink, and there’s the f—ing Rolling Stones,” says Richards. “We’ve been here forever—that’s the weirdest thing, ‘Oh, they’ve always been there.’ Wait till they’re gone, pal.”

~ Alan Light, from The Wisdom of Keith Richards (wsj.com, February 28, 2018)

Nuit Blanche


Thank you Nan Heldenbrand Morrissette for sharing “Nuit Blanche” (Sleepless night) by the Tarkovsky Quartet.

Fleetwood Mac and “Dreams” – A thing of beauty is a joy forever

It has been 40 years (40 years!) since the release of Fleetwood Mac’s masterpiece 1977 album, “Rumours.”  This is a deconstruction of the hit song “Dreams” from the album.  I think it is safe to say that 40 years from now, we’ll still be listening to Fleetwood Mac.  And as John Keats wrote, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you

James Blake sings a cover of Don McLean’s “Vincent” which was filmed and recorded live at Conway Studios in Los Angeles in December, 2017.

TGIF: Perfect Symphony

Sunday Evening


Jóhann Jóhannsson, 48, performs “The Drowned World” with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble in this clip.  He was born and raised in Reykjavík, where he later went on to study languages and literature at university. He started his musical career as a guitarist playing in indie rock bands. In 1999 Jóhann co-founded “Kitchen Motors”; a think tank, art organisation and music label that encouraged interdisciplinary collaborations between artists from punk, jazz, classical, metal and electronic music. His own sound arose out of these musical experimentations.


Note: Find entire music video here. (I’ve clipped the back half above). Find Jóhannsson’s web site here.

Riding Metro North. One Car Short.

Thursday morning.
33°F. Feels like 23°F.
Out the door at 4:50 am to catch the 5:01.

Dark.

Directly across the street: new Neighbors. Young and DINK.  First things first. No curtains up, yet bright, white lights were carefully hand strung and evenly distributed across their bushes. The evergreens throw shadows on the front door. I pause. What was that? That softening, that load lightening ever so slightly. ‘Tis the season.

I board train. No open seats. At 5:01 a.m.?  Conductor announces that the train is one car short and apologizes. $15.25 for a one-way Peak ticket to Grand Central (Yes, Peak at 5:01 am.)  $15.25 and you get the privilege of standing. And standing for 55 minutes. Sigh.

I stand in the aisle, as the vestibule overflows with commuters. I set my bag down between my legs, grab the seat support, being careful not to brush against the passenger sitting in the seat.  I hover over him. He feels it. Nobody likes this.

We’re five minutes into the commute. I’m restless. I’m tired. I’m anxious. I’m not going to make it. [Read more…]

Think of somebody who you adore, who’s no longer here.

I’m listening (half listening) to this NPR podcast titled How Art Changes Us and half surfing.

I pause when I hear a familiar voice.  It’s Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic.

For the next 10 minutes, he has my full attention.

So here’s the instructions:

  1. Listen to 10 minutes (from 40:22 to 50:40) of this podcast How Art Changes Us and then,
  2. For the next 4 minutes (from 12:35 to 16:45), watch this Ted Talk: “The Transformative Power of Classic Music“.

Or if you don’t have 14 minutes, jump Step 1 and move to Step 2.


And here’s a few excerpts that lead into the punch line:

Q: When can you remember a time when you played music for somebody and it had a profound change on what was going on around them?

Benjamin Zander: It’s hard for me to remember a time when I played music when it didn’t have that effect on people because that’s the given. I consider music to be a transformational experience. Mendelssohn said that music is a much more precise language than words. And when you think how easily we misunderstand words, and God knows there is enough evidence of that at this time. Music speaks directly to the heart. It speaks through the molecules. It is irresistible…

All the emotions that human beings are capable of feeling can be represented in music. It’s the music that generates the emotion that releases the human experience. It doesn’t go through the brain. It goes through the molecules…

It’s one thing to hear it in your earphones alone. It is quite another to hear it in a concert hall with 2000 other people who are all experiencing it together, and whose reaction and spontaneous enthusiasm at the end is part of the experience…

And on a tour, when you go from one town to another, you have the sense that people come out of the concerts with a different feeling about life, with a different perspective and with a different sense of being. And that’s why we do it and keep doing it and keep doing it. And as I approach my 80th birthday I have no intention to stop doing it at any point. It’s my life blood. That’s where I get my joy from. It’s the sense that people’s lives are really transformed.

Q: You play this piece by Chopin, but first you ask everyone to do something.

Zander: Yes. “Would you think of somebody who you adore, who’s no longer there. A beloved grandmother. A lover. Somebody in your life who you love with all your heart. But that person is no longer with you. Bring that person into your mind and at the same time follow that long line from B to E and you’ll hear everything that Chopin had to say.

(Now for the next 4 minutes from 12:35 to 16:45, watch this Ted Talk: “The Transformative Power of Classic Music“)


Photo of Benjamin Zander

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