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My Unusual (Yet Fun) Valentine's Day! 

My Unusual (Yet Fun) Valentine’s Day!
Current mood: sore
Category: Parties and Nightlife


Okay, so let me start by thanking all of you who remembered me this V-Day with cards, texts, emails, phone calls and flowers - you're all very sweet and your thoughts were very much appreciated. Especially since my initial plans were going to be quite simple… the saga begins...

So it was around 10:30pm Valentine's evening. I had already taken my shower and was in my "Felix the Cat" PJ's. I was just getting all snuggly with my two "real" Valentine's boys (yes, Maxi & Dino) and had just started to watch one of my "Soprano" episodes (I was gonna spend a night wit da "Family" - if ya know whud I mean). About 10 mins. into it, my phone rings. It's a friend who I haven't talked to in about a month and a half and he wants me to go out with him and a few other people we know (yes, all single).

After hearing him out, I tell him that, as much as I appreciate his offer, I really didn't feel like going anywhere. Especially to a trendy Hollywood Club (I'm not really into those places to begin with). That's when he added that we'd also be getting into the club's after hours room. Again, I wasn't overly excited.

At that point, he said to me, "Didn't you say you were going to be putting out more in 2008?" My response was, "No, I said I would be putting myself out there more in 2008. There's a bit of a difference!" He didn't necessarily agree so we "agreed to disagree". However, I did say that, so I decided I should go and proceeded to get ready. A girlfriend of mine, who I hadn't seen in a while, was also going so that helped motivate me.

So we get to the club and as we're just about to enter, the bouncer says that we need to have our scorecards and pick up lines ready. I thought this was a joke, but then he handed me a scorecard and proceeded to tell us that they were having a contest for the best pick up lines with cash prizes. The idea was to go up to every person you could and use your pick up line on them. You'd be judged by the line itself and your delivery. Well I remembered a really stupid line and decided to use that (but changed it so that a girl could use it). I'm sure the line sucked but my delivery was definitely good (even if I do say so myself).

Okay, so here goes…. "Would you give me a nickel if I tickle your pickle???"

Yeah… I know it's totally stupid but I couldn't think of anything else to say at 12:15am! I'd been up since… well, 9am... and that doesn't really sound that early but I wasn't planning on going out either so let it go!!! Well to make that part of the story short - I wound up winning $100 for my stupid line. Unfortunately some of those I had used it on thought I meant it and kept trying to get my phone number, so I had to lie and tell them that I had just gotten out of jail for stalking and stabbing my X. I ended the lie with... but really... I'm feeling much better now... ! For the most part it worked.

Next, by 2am, those of us "special enough" were getting ushered to the after hours room. I'm not sure but I think my friend had to have a secret password or special hand shake or something like that. It was all very mysterious and frat-like!

So we get into this room and there are about 50 other people (total) by the time they shut the doors. It was a pretty cozy, yet eclectic place (a combination of a Motown love den and a cowboy bar). There were red lights and silk curtains and black couches with sawdust on the floor - WHAT?!?!?! Oh well, it was different. The one thing I didn't notice right off the bat was the mechanical bull in the back. Apparently they were giving away more money for whoever could ride the bull the longest.

Unbeknownst to me, my friend (feeling I was on a lucky streak due to my earlier winnings) decided to put my name on the mechanical bull list. OMG - REALLY???? I had just started my third drink when I heard a bunch of people yelling my name.

At that point my friends were screaming, "Go show 'em how you ride!". So, I took a huge gulp from my drink and said, "Why not!" I was feeling pretty good at this point and definitely confident in my abilities!

So I get on this bull, the guy shows me where and how to hold on and then says, "Just don't let go or fall off until the bull stops". So I say, "Okay". And that's what I did. It didn't seem all that difficult really - there were a few "whiplash" moments but nothing too serious. So I get off the bull and they say, "Don't leave because you're going to have to ride one more time to see who wins". I say, "Okay."

At this point, out of all the people who rode the bull (about 17) only 4 of us didn't fall off (or didn't fall off until the end) so now we had the final match. This is where they apparently take that sweet little bull that I rode in the beginning and increase his AMPAGE by about 2,000,000 VOLTS! Fortunately, my friend warned me that they might do that so I was somewhat prepared.

We all drew straws to see what order we'd ride in and I was the lucky one (or unlucky one) who got to ride last. One by one, I watched those brave souls get flung and thrown off this now "evil mehcanical bull". And I'm thinking to myself, "What the fuck am I crazy?!?! I use my body to make a living!!! And I'm self-employed - without disability insurance!!!!" OMG!!!

Well regardless of all the sanity that was actually running through my mind, when my name was called, all logic left me and I went up to face my fate. I would not be beaten by this evil bull! (Dr. Seuss version of this part: "I would not be beaten by this evil bull. I could not, would not let him win, this evil bull with legs of tin". Yeah... I know... my brain is very random. But the Dr.'s tell me to go with it or I might implode.) Anyway, my competitive nature kicked into overdrive and I sobered up fast once that guy hit the start button. At first it wasn't too bad (it seems there's a bit of a delay in time as the speed increases). I only had to stay on 2 mins. 43 secs. to win - that doesn't sound that long, right?

As the bull started to buck harder and faster I knew, at that point, that I shouldn't have stayed celibate for so long! However, as I continued to hold on, it was nice to know that I hadn't lost my touch! (I guess it's true - it really is like riding a bike!) However… I digress.

Anyway, I was expecting the guy running the bull to stop it when I had stayed on for 2 mins. 43 secs. however, that was not the case. I started thinking that this was the longest 2 mins. 43 secs. of my life! My legs were starting to get weak and it felt like my head was going to be snapped off my body. I had a horrible vision of my head flying across the room and my face landing right in some nasty guys lap! Why wasn't the damn bull stopping! It had to be at least 3 mins.!!!

What I didn't realize was that he was waiting for me to fall off to see what my record would be (would've been nice if somebody told me that ahead of time!). The bull finally stopped and I had to sit there for a min. while the room stopped moving and while I got my land legs back. When I got off the "now beaten bull", I was awarded the $200 (is that it?! - Really?!?) and was told that I stayed on for over 4 mins. - Wow! Was that really necessary?

So, to summarize, I left the club with $300 extra dollars, had fun with a group of friends I hadn't seen in a long time, got to use a stupid pick up line on people I'd never pick up, got to tell the "stalking the X" lie and see how many guys actually believed I was that psycho, got to ride a bucking bull, woke up with a seriously sore ass and still can hardly move my arm. How sweet is that? It was probably the best Valentine's Day I've had in about 15 years! (Attached or unattached!) Go figure...

So I guess the moral of this story is… Always use stupid pick up lines when talking to people in bars and remember that if you're going to have more than 2 drinks and ride a bull, you may wake up with a sore ass! Words to live by….

Happy V-Day Ya'll! Love... G xxoo

Resonance - Singing Bowls... 

Resonance - Warmth, Complexity, Variability, Freedom, Multiple Harmonics, and Tonal Balance
Current mood: Aummmmmm...
Category: Aummmmmm... Music


Resonance

Have you ever met an individual whom you felt instantly drawn to? Perhaps this person became a good friend whom you just liked being around. Did you ever wonder why you were so attracted to that person? Chances are they did not have that effect on everyone they met, although there are such magnetic people in the world. It is likely there was something else at work in that invisible attraction - vibration and resonance....

Back when I was studying ethnomusicolgy I became very interested in the sounds of the Tibetan Singing Bowls and the effects that they had on my physical and mental states as I played and/or listened to them.

Recently, I began doing research for an upcoming project that once again brought me to the science of vibration and how we relate to it. Once again, I was drawn to the art of singing bowls.

Now before you continue reading, you may go to the website below to see a great video on singing bowls. However, this link is listed again at the end of this blog so if you prefer to wait, that's fine too:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/758444/positive_vibrations_tibetan_buddhist_singing_bowls/

Each singing bowl is very different just like people. Some love to sing with the full moon while others love to sing with the wind. The vibrations of these bowls can touch each of us in our own special way, helping us to hear our own inner song (if we are willing to listen). At the same time, it can quiet and calm you. This is the power of singing bowls: to help us get in touch with ourselves, our own vibration(s).

Modern physics and ancient wisdom have taught us that the universe is made of tiny particles in the ocean of space. These dancing particles are in constant motion. Motion can be thought of as vibration, as oscillation. Our cells, and the smaller particles that make up our being, vibrate constantly. Vibration can be measured in terms of frequency, which we may think of as the size and speed of a vibration. Our internal systems vibrate at certain frequencies which scientists are beginning to measure. Technologies like ultrasound work because different types of tissues vibrate at different frequencies. Dentists uses sound to blast the plaque off teeth. Sound is regularly being used in many types of therapy to help reduce pain and speed healing. Ancient wisdom has long understood the nature of internal vibration. Traditional texts from India tell us that the universe is sound and in cultures around the world, sound is part of spiritual practice and everyday life.

There exists within all matter the potential for certain vibrations. In very complex organizations of matter, such as a human being, and in less complex organizations, like a singing bowl, there exists the potential for many different vibrations. In the case of a singing bowl, factors such as the composition of the alloy, age of the metal, the shape, thickness and size of the bowl will produce various frequencies and tonal qualities. In a human being, there are many types of tissues which vibrate at different frequencies. The potential for vibration is activated when an outside force in introduced and sets the vibration into motion. In other words, when a bowl is struck, it rings. In the case of a human being, we are always 'ringing' because we are always moving (think of movement not only in terms of walking around, but also the subtle movement of our heart beating, breathing, and even the activity of our nervous system).

Each of us has certain unique characteristics, and therefore certain unique vibrational frequencies. Just as our voices are different, the vibrational qualities of our entire being varies slightly from one person to the next. This subtle variety of frequencies is part of our individuality. There is a lot of material on the internet about the 'correct' tone for various chakras and organs. This material should be used as a guide to get people started when learning about frequency and vibration. It is not completely possible to say that one frequency will have the same effect on every person. It is not as simple as saying F is a heart tone, B is a crown tone, however it is a good place to begin. As the individual starts to experiment more with tone and frequency, they will become more tuned in with what really resonates to them and the particular chakra they are working with. You see, it is likely that each heart will vibrate at a slightly different frequency. Perhaps this partially explains why we fall in love with one person and not another; our hearts resonate, vibrating together at a frequency which feels like beautiful music.

You can take two singing bowls which sound very similar - virtually identical - and place them on the floor very close together. When you strike one of the bowls, the other bowl will begin to sing without touching it. However, only some of the tones will sing. The frequencies that sing in the untouched bowl are the frequencies which the two bowls share. Each bowl has the potential to vibrate at many frequencies, but only common vibrations will sing through this sympathetic vibration.

Antique singing bowls produce many frequencies at once. The complex tone is delightful to hear and to feel. The multiple harmonics and the sympathetic vibration they induce are the main reasons we enjoy the tone of singing bowls. Many people feel that singing bowls sound 'almost human.' To me, that means the listener is responding to the complexity and warmth of the multiple harmonics. The human voice also produces multiple harmonics. The most pleasing voices also share some of the characteristics of a fine antique singing bowl: warmth, complexity, variability, freedom, multiple harmonics, and tonal balance.

To see a great video on singing bowls, go to:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/758444/positive_vibrations_tibetan_buddhist_singing_bowls/

Inventors, Collaborators & Artists = Creativity! 

Inventors, Collaborators & Artists = Creativity
Current mood: imaginative
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities


Inventors/Collaborators/Artists - Hedy Lamarr (Actress) & George Antheil (Musician)

As many of you know, I'm a bit of a history buff and I'm always looking for interesting stories, particularly as they relate to arts & entertainment. Even though I remotely remember hearing something about Hedy Lamarr being an inventor, I didn't know about her partner, George Antheil. Here is a great article I found about both of them and their collaboration. I've shortened the article to what I consider to be the more "interesting" points. :-) and of course, added my own comments

Hedy Lamarr was born in Vienna in 1914. She went to Max Reinhardt's famous acting school in Berlin during her late teens, and in 1933 she showed the world her acting skills and most of herself in the film Extase (Ecstacy), which quickly became notorious for its extensive nude scenes. The movie played in America after severe cutting, and in 1937 its leading lady went to Hollywood. And was hired by Louis B. Mayer, of MGM. Some people thought Hedy to be the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, but as an actress she was overshadowed by heroines like Ingrid Bergman and Katharine Hepburn. In 1966, she published her autobiography, Ecstacy and Me. P.S. Let's face it, she did the first nude movie ever seen in the US and in those days I'm sure she was considered a "harlot" by most of "tight-assed " society - Go Heddy!

"Any girl can be glamorous," Hedy Lamarr once said. "All she has to do is stand still and look stupid." (I don't think that works for everyone but I definitely know those who've tried!)


The film star belied her own apothegm by hiding a brilliant, inventive mind beneath her photogenic exterior. In 1942, at the height of her Hollywood career, she patented a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance that was two decades ahead of its time.


Hedy Lamarr married the first of six husbands, in 1933. (You think this chick would've learned her lesson!) During their marriage, which broke up in 1937, she was an institution in Viennese society, entertaining and dazzling foreign leaders, including Hitler and Mussolini. Her husband specialized in shells and grenades, but from the mid-thirties on he also manufactured military aircraft. He was interested in control systems and conducted research in the field. His wife clearly learned things from him, because she and her co-inventor, George Antheil, later went on to invent the torpedo guidance system that was two decades before its time.

Hedy Lamarr's co-inventor, George Antheil, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1900. His parents were from East Prussia. After studying music at what is now the Curtis Institute, in Philadelphia, he went to Europe to pursue a career as a concert pianist, heading first to Berlin and then settling in Paris in 1923. He became one of the top avante-garde composers of the time, writing and playing machinelike, "mechanistic," rhythmically propulsive pieces with names like Airplane Sonata, Sonata Sauvage, Jazz Sonata, and Death of Machines. His Ballet Méanique was scored for sixteen player pianos, xylophones and percussion and was first performed in Paris in June 1926, in a version that had only one player piano but also had electric bells, airplane propellers and a siren. It caused an uproar. (Sounds a little like PDQ Bach, right?)

Antheil knew practically everybody in Paris's literary, artistic and musical circles, but in 1933 he returned permanently to the United States. He became a film composer in Hollywood and a writer for Esquire magazine, producing a syndicated advice-to-the-lovelorn column and articles about romance and endocrinology (interesting!). He even published a book titled Every Man His Own Detective: A Study of Glandular Endocrinology. In 1939 he set an article to Esquire about the future of Europe that proved impressively accurate: It predicted that the war would start with Germany invading Poland, that Germany would later attack Russia, and then the United States would be drawn into the conflict.

He met Hedy Lamar in the summer of 1940, when they were neighbors in Hollywood and she approached him with a question about glands: She wanted to know how she could enlarge her breasts (You gotta love this woman - boobs & brains!!!). In time the conversation came around to weapons (What??? Really??? From boobs to weapons? Well…. Wait a minute… I've had conversations that have gone that way, too ;-) carry on!) Lamarr told Antheil that she was contemplating quitting MGM and moving to Washington, D.C., to offer her services to the newly established National Inventors Council.

They began talking about radio control for torpedoes (Wait… torpedoes & boobs - I get the connection now!). The idea itself was not new, but her concept of "frequency hopping" was. Lamarr brought up the idea of radio control. Antheil's contribution was to suggest the device by which synchronization could be achieved. He proposed that rapid changes in radio frequencies could be coordinated the way he had coordinated the sixteen synchronized player pianos in his Ballet Méanique. The analogy was complete in his mind: By the time the two applied for a patent on a "Secret Communication System," on June 10, 1941, the invention used slotted paper rolls similar to player-piano rolls to synchronize the frequency changes in transmitter and receiver, and it even called for exactly eighty-eight frequencies, the number of keys on a piano.

Lamarr and Antheil worked on the idea for several months and then, in December 1940, sent a description of it to the National Inventors Council. With the help of an electrical engineering professor from the California Institute of Technology they ironed out its bugs, and the patent was granted on August 11, 1942.

Putting the idea into practice was not so simple. Despite the enthusiasm that some Council members expressed, others were skeptical. One examiner at the Inventors Council doubted the clockwork mechanism that moved the perforated tape could be accurate enough. Antheil lobbied for support for further research. He argued that the Germans were superior to the Americans in naval technology and that something had to be done about it. He seemed driven in part by an urge to prove his patriotism after all his years in Europe. Hedy Lamarr meanwhile demonstrated her loyalty by raising seven million dollars in a single evening selling war bonds.

Despite Antheil's lobbying, the Navy turned its back on the invention, concluding that the mechanism would have been too bulky to fit into a torpedo. Antheil disagreed; he insisted that it could be made small enough to squeeze into a watch. And he thought he knew why the Navy was so negative: "In our patent Hedy and I attempted to better elucidate our mechanism by explaining that certain parts of it worked like the fundamental mechanism of a player piano. Here, undoubted, we made our mistake. The reverend and brass-headed gentlemen in Washington who examined our invention read no further than the words 'player piano. 'My god,' I can see them saying, 'we shall put a player piano in a torpedo.'"

In other words, it was a culture clash: the thick-headed brass hats were incapable of considering the idea that musical technology could play any part in a complicated piece of weaponry.

In the United States Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil, shunned by the Navy, no longer pursued their invention. But in 1957, the concept was taken up by engineers at the Sylvania Electronic Systems Division, in Buffalo, New York. Their arrangement, using, of course, electronics rather than piano rolls, ultimately became a basic tool for secure military communications. It was installed on ships sent to blockade Cuba in 1962, about three years after the Lamarr-Antheil patent had expired. Subsequent patents in frequency changing, which are generally unrelated to torpedo control, have referred to the Lamarr-Antheil patent as the basis of the field, and the concept lies behind the principal anti-jamming device used today, for example, in the U.S. government's Milstar defense communication satellite system.

Hope you enjoyed another mind provoking story about how an actress and musician changed history by allowing their creativity to be used in different areas of interest. We, as artistic people (I said artistic, not autistic!) , are sooo lucky to have the abilities that we do. Creativity (thinking outside the box) can be used in so many different ways. Unfortunately, (as an x-music teacher) I can tell you all that creativity is not being nurtured in today's children. They are not being taught to think "outside the box" which develops problem solving skills. Instead they are being spoon fed information and are being asked to simply regurgitate what they just ingested. And that's how quickly it goes in and comes out - no retention needed. Just get the good score on the test—it doesn't really matter if you're learning or not! Sorry I digress. You get the point!

Be thankful you have the ability to be a creative and independent thinker. And don't forget the people in your life who allowed you to make your own decisions, mistakes, and life choices because they helped nurture that ability…

Until next time…. xo, G

A Tribute To The Musicians On The Titanic 

96 Years Ago Today - A Tribute To The Titanic Musicians
Current mood: contemplative
Category: Music


A Tribute To The Musicians Of The Titanic - 96 Years After Their Deaths (April 15th, 1912)

To give you a quick recap of the times, it's important to know that cruise ship musicians were of the highest caliber. The hours were long and the repertoire, at that time, was extensive (having to memorize approximately 325 tunes) and the pay was deplorable. They did use song books at times but it was preferred that they have many of the tunes memorized.


The 8 musicians on the Titanic were not employees of the ship line but were employees of The Black Brothers Booking Company, who were agents with several maritime companies. The Black Brothers had many musicians under contract and as a result could provide the musicians at a lower price. Obviously, this caused a lot of problems with the Union. However, musicians needed the work and a salary with free room and board appeared a good inducement so they stayed with the agents.

Prior to 1912, ship musicians were considered an integral part of the crew. They were paid around $50 per month and were given a uniform allowance. At the end of 1911, the Black Brothers offered musicians at a lower pay scale of $30 - $40 per month (with the Bandmaster probably getting $10 more), no uniform allowance and they were given ticket numbers to show they were grouped in with the second class passengers. (A situation which later worked against their families.)

The maiden voyage of the Titanic caused the ship line to seek out the best musicians available so the Black Brothers moved Wallace Hartley, from his current position on a different ship to take on the leadership of the Titanic orchestra. He was selected as bandmaster because of his reputation as a highly skilled arranger, composer and player and was known to be a man with a "common touch". (I'm assuming that means that he was a "down to earth" kind of guy.) Before leaving to take up the leadership as the Titanic's Bandmaster, Hartley had been credited with 80 transatlantic voyages.

The types of music that would've been played by the Titanic Orchestra would have been love songs, waltzes, overtures, music hall melodies, serenades, some opera and classical pieces. America's major musical contribution at that point would've been ragtime. Some of the specific titles being played would have been: "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "Glow Worm", "Frankie & Johnny", "The Merry Widow", "It's A Long Way To Tipperary", "Maple Leaf Rag", "Rondo From Serenade", Selections from "Carmen", "Slavonic Dance in E Minor", "Skaters Waltz", and "Give My Regards To Broadway, to name more than a few…

Even though there were eight musicians in total, they usually separated into two groups. A trio played mostly in the lounge and the second-class dining room. The other group members remained in the first-class lounge, the dining saloon or the first-class entrance to the boat deck. The portable string players (trio) would often stroll in the dining area where they would serenade by taking requests. The 5 piece group kept to the ship's policy of being heard and not seen. They would set up behind palm tree planters and outside doorways. The 5 piece group was also in attendance for Sunday services that were usually conducted by the Captain, and they led the congregation in the popular hymns of the day.


The following is a list of the orchestra members, along with their main instrument (secondary, if applicable), group with which they played, and their age at the time of death.


Wallace Hartley, Bandmaster, Violin - 5 Piece Orchestra - Age 34

Theodore Brailey, Piano/Cello - 5 Piece - Age 24

Roger Bricoux, Cello - Trio - Age 20

John Frederick Clarke, Viola/String Bass - 5 Piece - Age 30

John Hume, Violin - 5 Piece - Age 28

George Krins, Violin - Trio - Age 23

Percy Taylor, Violin/Piano - Trio - Age 32

John Woodward, Cello - 5 Piece - Age 32

According to many of the survivors, the music being played as the passengers boarded the lifeboats was cheerful. The selections were mostly ragtime and gave the impression to the passengers on deck that all was under control, there was no need to panic. Many of the survivors expressed their gratitude to the Titanic band for helping to maintain an air of decorum during the scramble for the lifeboats. Others criticized the band for playing, saying that "having the band on deck gave people a false impression that things weren't that bad and it caused many to take the situation lightly, thus preventing many from entering the life boats". This argument is left to conjecture, but what is known is that the band's music did help to soothe the passengers and most likely prevented panic as the last of the boats were leaving.

Later it was learned, through the secretary of the Musicians Union, that the band had received orders to continue playing so that panic among the passengers would be avoided. It was also disclosed that none of them were wearing life jackets. A surviving first-class passenger later stated that he was convinced that, in both receiving the order to continue to play and responding to it, they sacrificed their lives to avoid further chaos on the ship.

At 2:00 A.M. the last boat, Collapsible D, left the ship. It was now 2:05 A.M. and more than 1,500 people were still aboard (don't get me started on that!!! - As most of you know, many of the lifeboats were launched being only HALF FULL—What the F&%*!!!!!). Anyway, the Titanic sank lower and lower at the bow, and the stern began to rise out of the water. There was little time left and the band continued to play. The assumption is that, as the deck became so steep, bandmaster Hartley released the musicians from duty. However the musicians, according to lifeboat survivors, must have chosen to stay with the ensemble, because many of them heard the orchestra playing a hymn. It was the last song the band would play and the last song survivors heard before the boat broke into two pieces. Minutes later, all of those left on deck were washed away as the Titanic made its last plunge.

All eight of these men died when the Titanic sank on April 15th, 1912. Three of the bodies were recovered. If any of the others were recovered, they were never identified. According to the surviving passengers, they will be forever remembered by their acts of courage on that that fateful night.


Unfortunately, their courageous act was not to be immediately compensated. The decision by the White Star line to carry the musicians as second-class passengers in order to avoid paying them the extra "shilling" that was paid to personnel to make them official crew members would come back to haunt the families of the musicians. They were unable to claim benefits under the Workers' Compensation Act because the ship line insisted that they were second-class passengers and not covered by the Act. As well, The Black Brothers Agency completely abdicated their responsibility and declared that the families should seek compensation from the insurer. However, the insurer claimed that they were passengers working as independent contractors and using Black Brothers as a booking company. Even the Musicians Union made an appeal to the ship line, saying the men had performed an act of heroism, however the ship line did not budge on their position. The families finally went to court and the decision rendered was that the musicians were passengers working as independent contractors, not employees. In the end, the Titanic Relief Fund, which was an umbrella organization for worldwide charities, saved the families.

As the word filtered out that the Titanic had hit an iceberg and sunk with the loss of several lives, the tales of the survivors became front page news. Headlines in one of Britain's papers was "The Orchestra Played On". In New York, the Times said, "Band Played Solemn Hymn as The Great Ship Sunk".

Eventually the name of bandmaster, Wallace Hartley, surfaced as the central figure on the ship when it went down and the ensemble achieved immortality. The bravery of the band, in their effort to convey hope and comfort to others without any consideration for their own safety, created an outpouring of sympathy around the world.

With all that being said, I would like to pose a question to my fellow musicians (especially those of us that have played on cruise ships). How do you think that scenario would go down today? (No pun intended!) Okay, so maybe some of you would've jumped in front of the women and children and maybe some of you wouldn't have. If you were one of those left on the ship, realizing that all of the lifeboats were gone, wouldn't you keep playing, too? It would seem to me that would be the only comfort I would be able to find at that point. If you agree, what song would YOU choose to play? Just a little something to think about while remembering and paying tribute to those that have gone before.

P.S. Three items of note:

1) No drummers were hurt in the sinking of the Titanic.

2) Tax day doesn't seem that bad when you consider that, at least you're not on a sinking ship! (Literally, that is…)

3) This information was gathered from various articles, books, etc... and since this is not for a school project, I will not be listing the resources. Deal with it!

Take care… xxxooo, Gina

Two of My Favorite Live Performances - Ever! 

Two of My Favorite Live Performances - Ever!
Current mood: focused
Category: Music


Hey All...

I know I haven't blogged in a while but I've been waaaay busy (yes, both fun & work) but it's now, once again, time for me to share. Here are two of my favorite live performances ever. Yes, there are many more but these two just seem to stand out in my mind - maybe because of the time and maybe because of the circumstances. But, regardless, they really are great performances and I hope you enjoy both as much as I do!

First Up - "The Boxer - Live" Simon & Garfunkel in Central Park - 80's

This performance really hits me, personally, & as a musician. While watching this video, try to remember that S & G had been together for over 20 years at that point and had their ups & downs as friends & co-workers do. As many of you know, this type of musical relationship is very much like a marriage. This was their reunion concert (featuring Steve Gadd, I might add - one of my favortie drummers!!!) and this perfornance shows the true love these two really share for one another.

If you watch carefully, you'll notice the F up in the beginning (we've all been there!) and then pay attention after the lyric: " After changes upon changes we are more or less the same; after changes we are more or less the same". Not only a beautifully truthful lyric, but notice the unspoken reactions; as Paul looks at Art in a way that only good friends (with a long history) do. And Art, replies with a hand on Paul's back in acknowledgment. These lyrics have always touched me, but, coupled with this performance, I'm truly just blown away - even to this day!!!

Finally, the last verse just describes something that I think we all feel as we continuously get bruised and battered by the situations we encounter while living. However, unlike most of us, that tend to just give up and become bitter, this boxer may be giving up the current battle, but he hasn't given up on life! We all decide to choose our battles eventually... "In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade and he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame, "I am leaving, I am leaving but the fighter still remains, yes he still remains". Enjoy...

Video Link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Eq0nwZi3gAY

Lyric Link: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/The-Boxer-lyrics-Paul-Simon/52BEB0F5D02F77A54825698A0011170C

Next up is "In Your Eyes" by Pete Gabriel from the Secret World Tour with Tony Levin, David Rhodes, Manu Katche, Paula Cole, Papa Wemba & a host of Others! - '94, I believe.

Again, the lyrics on this song just remind us of how much our relationships impact our lives and how they make us feel about ourselves. According to Peter Gabriel, this song was written after he realized his marraige of many years was in jeopardy. I won't elaborate (too much) lyrically here as I did earlier because the performance seems to take the lyric to a whole new level.

Here's part of the hook, "In your eyes, I see the doorway to a thousand churches. In your eyes, the resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes, I see the light and the heat
In your eyes, oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes"

Now, you must try and look past the 80's type clothing and dance moves. Focus on the groove (again, the drummer, Manu Katche, is truly hot here - in more ways than one!) also notice the way, the musicians interact with one another on stage. In fact, take it one step further and notice the audience participation in the beginning with the lighters (not just holding them lit - but attempting to light and unlight on the beat). Actually many of them get it!

I also think that the live vocals are incredible; Peter's voice being seasoned and nostalgic, with Paula's being fresh and hopeful, while Papa Wemba levels the playing field, showing that feelings transcend gender, economics and culture (or did Peter really do that?). What a great combination of textures on this song to get the lyrical point across. Really beautiful and artful. Again enjoy and feel free to comment back. I do love to hear what you guys think about these blogs.

Video Link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=OoEQREKFQG4

Lyric Link: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/petergabriel/inyoureyes.html

Until next time... xxxooo, G

Love The One You're With! 

Love The One You’re With - Words Of Wisdom
Current mood: frisky
Category: Music


Hey my peeps...

Ahhh yes...  Nice Rendition & Very Good Performance! xxoo, G

"Love The One You're With" - Performed by Luther Vandross Written by Stephen Stills (CSNY)

There's a Rose In a fisted glove
and the eagle flys with the dove
and if you can't be with the one you love it's alright
Go ahead and love the one, love the one, love the one your with
love the one, love the one, love the one your with

If your guy can't come to you
and you don't remember
who your talking to
your concentration slips away
because your baby, is so so far away

[Chorus:]
And there's a rose in a fisted glove
and the eagle flys with the dove
and if you can't be with the one you love
love the one your with

Don't be angry, don't be sad
Don't sit cryin' over good times you had
There's a boy right next to you
and he's waiting for something to do

[Chorus:]
Do it, do it, do it

Turn your heartache into joy
She's a girl and your a boy
get it together, make it tonight,
you ain't gonna need anymore more advice

[Chorus:]
Just love the one your with
http://youtube.com/watch?v=qKLktC-ou3U