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Musical Influences

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby Mr. Arkadin » April 29th, 2012, 11:21 pm

JackFavell wrote:I love that you played along to old movies! and especially that you played along to voices...that's wonderful! Oh I am watching The Red Shoes as soon as possible just to listen to Anton Walbrook, though I can probably reproduce whole sections of the movie in my head.


If you listen to the conversation Boris has with Julian, where he explains the story of The Red Shoes, it's very lyrical and stark. Actually, anything he says in that movie is worth studying:
"Put on the red shoes and dance for us again!"

A great idea that you can use with phrases and lines is just to accentuate them in different places. Actors do this all the time and most of the good musicians do too:

Are you going with me?

Are you going with me?

Are you going with me?

A lot of the scores are inspiring as well. North by Northwest (1959) is not one of my favorite Hitchcock movies, but the score is to die for. Same thing with the looping phrase in Vertigo (1958), which I used to loop myself and solo over years ago. I was talking to Mr. ChiO about having to cover a song that I particularly hated and did not suit my style of playing at all. To make it interesting, I decided to base the solo a different Ennio Morricone theme each time.


I love all the styles you mentioned. I think the best way to create something new on your instrument is to pull from other styles (and other instruments playing within those styles) and fuse them into whatever you're playing. I get a lot of ideas from North American Indian flute playing and different music from Africa and China. It's a lot like fusion cooking where you combine several different ethnicities to put a new spin on familiar ideas.

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby Mr. Arkadin » April 29th, 2012, 11:34 pm

JackFavell wrote:. I do miss the many types of radio stations I grew up with.


I'm pretty fortunate to have a good local Jazz station because I'm near the University of North Texas. I think you can listen online though:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 8Q&cad=rja

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... Lg&cad=rja

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JackFavell
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby JackFavell » April 30th, 2012, 6:26 am

Thank goodness for computers and radio streaming! It sounds good, right now they are playing a small sax and jazz organ group, one of my favorite instrumentations. I'll add your stations to my choices.

Connecticut is a weird place for radio, lots of hills, lots of trees and lots of radio stations, all blocking out other radio stations or keeping signals from getting to us. Here, there are so many little towns, all very close together, right on top of each other, so each place has a radio station, and then the big cities are sending out these booming signals that kill everything in their path.

Out west in Oklahoma and Texas was the best place for radio, flat land with miles of air to flow through without interruption. Illinois was the most cosmopolitan place, with fantastic stations playing every possible type of music. When I moved here to Connecticut, and got my own place downtown, which was in a valley, I couldn't get any radio stations and I missed the university stations which didn't have the money for big equipment and transmitters. I could only listen in the car. When we moved to our house, I was thrilled because we were on the uppermost part of a hill, but guess what? We still couldn't get my favorite radio stations. We tried everything, running those funny wires along the ceiling.... nothing worked for long. :D

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movieman1957
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby movieman1957 » April 30th, 2012, 6:58 am

Mr. Arkadin wrote:
I've played with the same two guys (one of them is my brother) since I was 17 (I'm in my early 40's now), and we started out playing rock, but when our singer was killed on a car crash we began transitioning to instrumentals, and finally Jazz. There was a very eclectic scene in Texas when I was younger, and I was able to see a lot of different artists who were making a living playing music with no vocals. At the moment though, it's pretty much country, dance, and a small rock scene that is leaning toward punk.

All the music I've been writing lately is vocal oriented (we have a new singer for the first time in 20 years), basic pop/rock type music,


I'm so jealous. I keep thinking one day I'm going to write a good song. I can read music but I can't score it. The Bride got an ipad and I saw an app called "Garage Band" that looks like it will score things for me. I just want to see how it looks.

Did I mention I was jealous?
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Re: Musical Influences

Postby RedRiver » April 30th, 2012, 10:11 am

I've been known to drive around just to listen to the radio in my car! Best reception in the world. There's an unforgivable shortage of full time jazz stations. If Chicago doesn't have one...CHICAGO...you know there's a problem. You can find it at certain times, on selected stations. But 24 hours? Not that I know of.

College stations almost always have good programming. It may not be consistent. But it's always good!

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JackFavell
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby JackFavell » April 30th, 2012, 10:35 am

That seems terrible that even Chi-town doesn't have a good jazz station!

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby Mr. Arkadin » April 30th, 2012, 11:53 pm

movieman1957 wrote:
Mr. Arkadin wrote:
I've played with the same two guys (one of them is my brother) since I was 17 (I'm in my early 40's now), and we started out playing rock, but when our singer was killed on a car crash we began transitioning to instrumentals, and finally Jazz. There was a very eclectic scene in Texas when I was younger, and I was able to see a lot of different artists who were making a living playing music with no vocals. At the moment though, it's pretty much country, dance, and a small rock scene that is leaning toward punk.

All the music I've been writing lately is vocal oriented (we have a new singer for the first time in 20 years), basic pop/rock type music,


I'm so jealous. I keep thinking one day I'm going to write a good song. I can read music but I can't score it. The Bride got an ipad and I saw an app called "Garage Band" that looks like it will score things for me. I just want to see how it looks.

Did I mention I was jealous?


I used to be able to read, but all I read is treble clef now for trumpet. Garage Band works great. My brother has it on his iphone, but I still use one of these:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 1g&cad=rja

You can power it on AA batteries and it pretty much has all I need for scratch pad ideas. Laying down stuff for a professional recording is an entirely different situation.

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Re: Musical Influences

Postby movieman1957 » May 1st, 2012, 8:50 am

I have a couple of recordings of my songs done the cheap way. I play in a band at church and a few years ago I got to do a couple and I asked them to record them when we played. They're not great but it is nice to hear a whole band doing mt stuff. (One other I did solo on the piano.) One was done the day we opened our new building and I wrote a song for it knowing that was my week to do a special. I was nervous as all but unknown to me at the time our late music pastor sang harmony on it. It is one of the few things I have with his voice. It is very special that he did that for me.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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movieman1957
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby movieman1957 » May 21st, 2012, 9:28 am

With the passing of Donna Summer and now Robin Gibb I thought those of us of a certain age might be reflecting on, for good or bad, the influence disco had on a generation of people in the late 70s and early 80s.

The Bee Gees certainly had as much to do with it as anyone. Their album "Main Course" was early in the time and hinted at it more than drowned in it. It was a big hit for them and a new direction in their music. Then came "Saturday Night Fever." I may be one of a handful of people that never owned the soundtrack album. I didn't think I needed to as most of the album would be on the radio at any given time on any number of stations.

For a time the the music created a culture and frankly it seemed to consume everything about it. There were clothes and clubs and attitude. No one was untouched by the music. When Johnny Mathis and Percy Faith are doing disco arrangements it has reached very deep into life. (Anyone remember "Summer Place '76"?) To be sure there were bad acts. They just managed to throw a blanket over everyone. The good ones suffered too.

I just knew Donna Summer from her hits. There were plenty of those. The only one I remember I really couldn't listen to was "MacArthur Park." I really enjoyed Richard Harriss' recording I just couldn't get past a disco version of it. (I certainly felt the same way of Faith's recording.) She had a great voice and people loved her.

Unfortunately, some people think The Bee Gees began with "Staying Alive." Missing out on 7 years of fine music people didn't know there was a different version, musically, of the group. That was a gift of the brothers. They reinvented themselves several times. After disco when they were poison and they spent years writing for and producing others. Then, again, start over in the 80s. Yet again in 2001. That all ended with Maurice's death.

It's pretty hard finding any of The Bee Gees (or anyone from that time) music on the air save for dedicated oldies stations. Many of us who lived through it are now too old from a marketing standpoint to have much influence on things. Being outside the 18-49 group makes us, in that part of life, irrelevant.

Unlike many of you my musical tastes ran narrow. I couldn't embrace newer styles by and large as we went. My musical collection was often multiple recordings of the same people and comparatively was never that big.

It's a little different now when losing these people compared to classic movie stars. It is a little more personal. I'm not that much younger than many of the recording artists (and older than some) that have died in the last month. It becomes a little more personal when you were caught up, whether you liked it or not, in what they helped create. For those of you younger remember that if anyone tells you that there is plenty of life left remember that there may well indeed be plenty but it all happens in a hurry.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Re: Musical Influences

Postby RedRiver » May 21st, 2012, 11:02 am

Musically, I got old before my time. When The Beatles broke up, that was it. I stopped following contemporary music. Today, if someone should mention the biggest, hottest rock band around, I'd have NO IDEA what they sound like!

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Re: Musical Influences

Postby movieman1957 » May 21st, 2012, 11:21 am

I'm with you. Music changed for me about 1981 or so. I didn't.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby JackFavell » May 21st, 2012, 2:58 pm

That was quite a beautiful post, Chris. I was the other person who didn't have the Sat. Night Fever... fever.

I fall somewhere in between. I tend toward liking the older stuff better, but I do love to hear new music coming around that's different or inventive. It is there if you look for it. But I tend to like music with a beginning middle and end. I do like improvising, but it's got to be done within a structure for me to really go for it. Otherwise it's just doodling.

I didn't like The Beastie Boys when they came out, but later their music developed and they did some amazing things that weren't at all like their big hit, Fight for Your Right to Paaarty, which I hated. Really interesting music. And I have to admit to not being a huge BeeGees fan either before or after the disco era, but I feel a longing for those songs they did before, they were MUCH better than I gave them credit for. Donna Summer is someone who I respected a lot, even though her musical style was not my cup of tea. I always thought she had a powerful voice, and didn't mess around when it came to singing a song. In retrospect after hearing some newer divas sing all around a melody, supposedly improvising in the most simplistic way, Summer sounds so true and natural that I'm sorry I didn't pay more attention. She could sing and she didn't have to mask her tones under a lot of sliding around to find a note.

I like some things that are derivative homages to the older styles, but hate shameless and slavish copies. :D

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Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby Mr. Arkadin » May 21st, 2012, 3:58 pm

JackFavell wrote:That was quite a beautiful post, Chris. I was the other person who didn't have the Sat. Night Fever... fever.


I must have been the third. I always liked Donna Summer for the very reasons JF cited (btw, that's Jeff "Skunk" Baxter playing the solo on Hot Stuff). If you have talent, it will shine through regardless of the format.

I can find something to enjoy in all eras. It might not be the same genre that I had enjoyed in earlier years, but there's always somebody making good music somewhere. The issue is two-fold: finding the music, and recognizing it's good when you hear it. Music is often like film (or perhaps its the other way around) in that many artists' best work are not properly evaluated or appreciated in the eras in which they are made.

Part of the problem that I have with modern rock and pop is that we have a whole generation influenced by rap and electronica--both of which have some good elements, but almost never use a real drummer (sometimes no bass player either!), which really affects the groove and beat. Nevertheless, there's gold out there if you're willing to dig.

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MichiganJ
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby MichiganJ » May 21st, 2012, 4:10 pm

I was very much in the "Disco Sucks" camp in the late 70s, although my definition of disco would conveniently change when it came to songs done by bands I liked (i.e: Blondie's Heart of Glass and the Stones' 12-inch version of Miss You, but not McCartney's Goodnight Tonight!)

The Bee Gees, for me, were the worst of the worst. Much of my hatred came from the omnipresent Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (of which, I assure you, I'll never own, even now), as well as the, to my teenaged mind, sheer audacity to even attempt, let alone star in, a movie featuring music by the Fabs. (Frampton got cut from my listening playlist, too. I let Alice Copper slip and actually kinda liked Aerosmith's Come Together.)

Once the Bee Gees started slipping from the charts, the other Gibb, Andy, started in. Way too handsome and a romance with Victoria Principal (breathe…breathe) were more than enough for me to despise him, too. And his music was as catchy and unrelenting as his brothers'!

Fortunately, for my ears, there was plenty of great music to turn to. In '77 alone you've got the Talking Heads debut, as well as the debut of Elvis Costello; not one but two albums by the Ramones; Bat Out of Hell, Slow Hand and Steely Dan's Aja to boot. It was easy to wear the "I Hate the Bee Gees" pin on my Sex Pistols t-shirt.

Somewhere between releases of Clash albums, I got heavily into Funk (maybe even because of Clash albums) and it's not a huge leap from Funk to Disco and the lines are often blurred. Is Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing funk or disco? Funk, of course--because I liked it!

I soon had to come to terms with my feelings for liking some disco and tried hard to figure out why I absolutely hated the biggest disco band in the world. The answer: Frankie Valli.

The song "Big Girls Don't Cry" came on the radio; a song I abhor, yet, along with most other red-blooded guys are compelled to sing along with, particularly the "Cry-yi-yi" part. And that's when I knew why I hated the Bee Gees--they sang in falsetto. I still can't stand falsetto (Prince is sometimes an exception), and there's just no getting around the Bee Gee's disco years if you can't stand falsetto. (I did pick up Rhino's reissues of the first three albums, and they are pretty good.)
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

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JackFavell
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Re: Musical Influences

Postby JackFavell » May 21st, 2012, 4:37 pm

You are hilariously honest! I was right there with you hating the disco era. Except for.... oh and ...... and that other song with..... which I too justified as 'not disco'!

I ran toward the punks with a vengeance, and Blondie and Elvis C are still great faves. You lost me at Bat out of Hell, and Aja, along with some of Supertramp, because there was a faction of kids at my school who were wanna-be intellectuals, snotty as hell, and they liked those groups, so I had to hate them as well as hating disco. :D

I'm very lucky to have become extremely broadminded about music somewhere along the way, because eventually if you hate the bands everyone else likes, you won't like anything at all. So I decided to like what I like and leave the snooty criticism to someone else.

But of course, I agree with Arkadin... it's got to be good.

Whatever that means. :shock:


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