More Human Than Human, A.C. Jobim

get-attachment-29.aspx“More Human than Human” is a blog series here at 12 Notes & the Truth! dedicated to the unexplainable moments in music that defy words.

Sometimes there is an extra-human element that finds its way into recordings and performances that can’t be explained…a visit from the Muse!

You know the parts of a song that you play over and over because the way they make you feel? Here is my attempt to bring you some of the moments that have moved me over the years, hope they hit you the same way.

“Aguas de Marco,” is a nice little tune written and recorded by A.C. Jobim, the famous Brazilian Bossa Nova composer. In this clip there is a vocal interaction between Jobim and Elis Regina. An exchange that results in a laugh and a light-hearted tone that could not be planned. It could have been edited out as an outtake, but, thankfully it was left as performed! All this happens over an intertwining of descending chromatic lines set by Jobim.

Additionally, there is a slightly out of tune whistling over the piano line that creates an odd chorus-y toy piano sonority.

A small song that packs a heck of a ‘More Human Than Human,’ punch of emotions over a brilliantly composed tune.

Enjoy!

Here’s to a Musical 2014!

Been a great year on many fronts. Day to day it was great, life and work, enjoyable and getting better, although, overall it was a weird year and I can’t really say I am sorry to see 2013 in the rearview mirror.

Blogging was waaaay in the backseat this year, for many reasons. To ALL my fans and followers(mom) I greatly apologize.

Still there were a few interesting trends at 12 Notes & the Truth!

-The little Michael Schenker post I wrote a couple of years ago continues to get hits all the time. Personally I am glad to know there is so much interest in one of my all time favorite guitarists!

-Folks are interested in 12×12 Sudoku, lots of continued hits there, as well

-Malaysia found its way to 12 Notes ALOT. In fact more than any other non-English speaking country. And I know my mom was not in Malaysia this year. Welcome and hope you keep visiting!

-Allegedly Google’s privacy policy has blocked  the ever valuable resource of knowing the ‘search terms’ that led visitors to websites. I am SURE they didn’t mine your information any more either…right?!

-One thing that has not changed is my lifetime love of music. Creating, performing, listening, studying and discussing the effect these 12 Notes have on our lives!

Soon this blog may split between another website http://www.guitarguys.com keep an eye out for it as the year develops and I am sure I will let ya know, as well!

Well that’s it short and sweet…

I am looking forward to many great projects and wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year 2014!

I always teach my kids/students, major, sounds happy and, minor, sounds sad…with that in mind…

Keep life on the Major Sonority side of the street!

Peace,

Mike

Better Than Coffee, “Monday Night Football” Theme

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

Chargers Win!
Chargers Win!

I think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. ;)

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

I know the NFL already kicked off this past weekend, but, in San Diego tonight is the night! Not only opening night, but, Monday Night Football. How many of you do not get fired up when you hear this theme? Even non-football fans? For our friends across the pond they used it for a competition show called Superstars. I don’t know much about the show, but, if any of you do let us know in the comments, good or bad.

Some facts you might not know about the MNF theme music…

-The music was composed by British composer Johnny Pearson

-The music has been re-arranged, by other musicians, several times to keep it fresh

-The piece is entitled, “Heavy Action.”

You will definitely hear the 70’s in this version!!

Go Chargers!

Enjoy!

“Under Pressure,” Queen and Bowie A Capella

My friend Dave shared this with me the other day and had to repost!

I was blessed at one time to hear the separated tracks of “Killer Queen” in all its glory. It was amazing to hear all the guitar and vocal parts, etc. I could tell you where I heard it but its TOP SECRET!

This a capella version of,  “Under Pressure,” is also very cool.

ENJOY!

Better Than Coffee, Gustav Holst, “Jupiter”

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

JupiterI think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. 😉

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

Gustav Holst, “Jupiter,” from, “The Planets.”

If you are unfamiliar with, “The Planets,” each planet was characterized musically. “Jupiter,” was composed as The Bringer of Jollity. This piece is fun and furious. Even the slower parts are dignified, stately and triumphant!

Do you think, “Star Wars,” composer John Williams mightn’t been influenced? hmmm

This video is another in the line of animated scores click here for others.

Happy Friday, Enjoy!

Music to Relax, Debussy, “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune”

DebussyThis is one of Debussy’s most popular pieces. “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”

Impressionist music was often dreamy in nature and this piece fits right in that category. The dreamy quality of the melody is achieved using the whole tone scale. Whole tones on guitar are achieved by skipping on fret each time you advance on the neck. On piano you would skip one key(whether black or white.) There are only two whole tone scales….think about it???

Debussy achieves the lush sonority with his orchestration in the strings and his use of tall chords…chords with extensions, 9, 11, 13s etc. The sound of the harp also adds to the piece’s calmness.

The video again has an amazing animated score which may visually help you enjoy the music so try and follow along!

Enjoy!

Amazing Audio/Visual Presentation of Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring”

Did you check out my previous post on Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” Centennial celebration?

Did you try to listen to it?

Did you just not get it?

That’s OK it is a hard listen but one that is well worth it. I just came across this video which has animated the complete score of the first section of the piece. It enhances the listening experience for myself and I think a novice listener would benefit, as well.

Through the animation you can see the compositional and orchestrational processes more clearly which should enhance the listening experience.

Give it a try…or just enjoy the flashing colors… 😉

More info on the video’s creators

Enjoy!

Better Than Coffee, Beethoven, Symphony 8, 4th Movement, Allegro Vivace

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

I think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast music…. 😉

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

Beethoven’s Symphony 8, Movement 4…ALLEGRO VIVACE!

Happy Friday, Enjoy!

Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” 100 Years Today

Ahhhh Classical music, enjoyed by the aristocracy, your grandmother’s tea sipping friends the 1% in todays terms….

Well that was the scene 100 years ago today as Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” was premiered. Well that was allegedly the scene. Would you believe these said music aficionados and high society folks kind of started a riot? Booed so loud the music could not be heard? Began throwing anything they could find?

However it went down that fateful night the music has absolutely stood the test of time. 100 years later the piece’s centennial is being celebrated all over the globe with performances and tributes.

Yes, for most people’s tastes, even today it sounds odd and perhaps ‘ugly.’ For those who have found their way into the works masterful composition it is a thing of beauty. When I first began studying music I was a Mozart and Bach fan. The ‘modern’ art music was not for me… But, through time and guidance of some of the most amazing musicians, my San Diego State music professors, I have learned to appreciate and yes even enjoy, ‘modern’ music.

To really explore the piece, I bought the score back in college so I could immerse myself, visually and aurally, inside the compositional and instrumentation processes Stravinsky employed. Try following the notes on the video below, the piece’s first section.

You have to laugh a little at what in art is called ‘modern,’ because most of it is extremely old. The 20th Century may well go down as the “Modern Era,” for hundreds of years to come. Like the 14th Century is known as ‘Ars Nova,’ or new art.

‘Modern,’ music may never be fully encompassed by humans. Perhaps it lies just out of our centered humanness and can only be appreciated and enjoyed by those who seek to study and look for it’s beauty.

I find myself extremely lucky to be able to love music, such as, the “Rite of Spring,” with all its complexities both in sonority and compositional structure and then listen to a 3 chord AC/DC hard rock song and be moved by both.

The part of the “Rite of Spring,” that has always moved me most both sonically and compositionally starts at approximately 7:45 on the video below. Specifically at 7:56 through the 10:30 mark, although the WHOLE piece is a true masterpiece!

Open your ears and Enjoy!!