With autumn now in full swing, there's a different feeling in the air. Gone are the warm summer nights. As we move forward into less daylight and attempt to bypass elements of seasonal depression, it's important to ask: do you have any special music you turn to this time of year?
This past month, I've really fallen in love with the music of Suzanne Ciani. Particularly the albums Seven Waves (1982) and The Velocity Of Love (1986). There's also something captivating and uplifting about her appearance on the television show 3-2-1 Contact, which you can view below. I used to watch this show as a kid! Talk about a nostalgic blast from the past.
For many, Monday signals a return to the work week grind. It can come with its fair share of emotions. A push and pull of yearning for the freedom and revitalization often associated with the weekend, coupled with the drive and determination to access a productive and optimized flow state. A work week that leaves you getting ahead in what you seek to achieve, without sacrificing your well being or humanity.
The right music can help prevent a workspace from becoming draining, boring, stale, or devoid of human spirit. Recently, I was introduced to a phenomenal album by my dear friend Tim Berrigan. It's called "playing piano for dad" by h hunt, and I find it to be a highly replayable piece of music that suits the workspace exquisitely. Mellow, warm, and intimate, it can speak to your soul without bombastically interrupting your focus on other tasks. Read on for a bit more about the album, and if you need something new for your headphones, I encourage you to seek this one out. I put a link to the music in the comments section.
"Recorded in one comfortably-seated take at Studio Ferber, Paris, France in 2015 - h hunt’s ‘playing piano for dad’ was initially conceived as a Christmas gift to the composer’s father. Intimately recorded, it is a heartbreakingly gorgeous & sincere work of eleven vignettes which capture even the most nuanced sounds of the recording session - the composer’s breath, the shifting sounds of the piano pedals, the ambient noise and conversation within the studio. With minimalist tendencies, h hunt’s compositions are earnest and heartfelt."
Head over to the Lesson Resources section of the site to check out a new 3/4 backing track that was added today!
"Here's a fun beat for playing in 3/4 waltz time. There is a lot of syncopation in this one. Not every drum part is hitting on the strong beat. Have fun grooving along with it! The tempo is 135 BPM. This is an example of a composition made using the Supermoon drum beat."
Watercolor + gouache painting by eldowho. Right Click it and hit "open image in new tab" to see it in glorious detail.
Did you know there is a Lesson Resources section of this site? It includes many different resources for people who are learning an instrument. The goal of the Lesson Resources section is to help make practicing more fun and effective. I will be adding to this page ongoingly.
I just started a new collection called Drones & Pedal Tones. The key of C was the first in the series, and now earlier today the key of G has been added. Expect more to arrive shortly. But why pedal tones, and what are they?
Pedal Tone - Pedal point, in music, a tone sustained through several changes of harmony that may be consonant or dissonant with it; in instrumental music it is typically in the bass.
Drone - A sustained tone, usually rather low in pitch, providing a sonorous foundation for a melody or melodies sounding at a higher pitch level.
"Try practicing some scales over these sustained tones. Or, you may find yourself treating the sound as a pedal tone to play chords over. It could even inspire some improvisation. Alone, these drones can sound monotonous. However, treating them as a foundation for musical exploration, you can easily get lost in your playing and take flight." - Will
“Music engages widely distributed neural networks that are shared with general ‘non-musical’ cognitive, motor, and language function. Music processing can engage, train, and retrain non musical brain and behavior function” (Thaut & Hömberg, 2016).
I've always loved this image, which I scanned out of a 1960s era Time Life Science book. I think it pairs nicely with the above quote from the Handbook of Neurologic Music Therapy.