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What music speaks to you most during these unusual times?


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We are all staying home much more than we want to be. We are all more isolated from real, visceral exposure to music than we'd likIe. As musicians, we all naturally look to music to help us interpret and navigate our way through these challenges. I also believe that in times of stress, musicians that manage to channel their feelings of frustration and helplessness into music may achieve new heights of personal accomplishment.

 

It's harder when you have small children around who think you should be building legos instead of practicing, but even then it's still possible.

 

I thought it would be interesting to ask whether anything has happened during this time that has surprised you musically. Maybe not. Maybe you already knew your musical self, and the past few months haven't really changed your feelings about what music speaks to you. Maybe the comfort of the familiar has helped you through this. That would be interesting to hear about.

 

But it would also be interesting to hear whether the current situation has led to a new appreciation of a style or genre that previously never sparked a passion in you or connected to your inner musical voice. Is there a new appreciation that's helping you get through this that surprised you?

 

For me, it's been bebop jazz. Which I hasten to point out is not new to me. Bebop is what inspired me to take up the piano again at 13, having quit a year earlier after several years of insouciant classical playing. I was playing Night in Tunisia when I was 14. Not very well, but I was playing it. But I drifted away from bebop in my 20's and though I continued to play it over the years, my passions were always elsewhere.

 

But at this moment bebop really speaks to the turmoil of these times and the turmoil in my soul. The revolutionary and irreverent aspects of it seem alive and highly relevant. A jazzologist, I am not. But it has always seemed to me that even though jazz "progressed" far beyond Bird writing unfamiliar, angular melodies over familiar chord changes, that bold act of reinvention stands alone and timeless. I guess if I tried to translate my quest into words I'd say bebop speaks to my feelings that this is a time for re-invention and for being willing to examine and revise all that is familiar.

 

For purposes of this thread, the point is that I've found a new inspiration I would not have predicted. Yes, it's a revival of a decades old inspiration, but it feels completely new and I'm drawing a creative energy from it that I feel could keep me occupied for another year of this, should we be so unlucky. Sometimes I feel like I'd be content if the current semi-shutdown continued just so I could keep woodshedding.

 

That's enough of me talking about me. Don't feel compelled to respond about me or about bebop. Tell us about your own surprising pandemic musical journey.

 

And by the way, this is NOT intended to be a thread about the virus. The "unusual times" are the framework for the question, but I am taking them as a given, not a point of debate.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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For me, the awakening was inevitable. I've spent considerable time recently updating/upgrading a humble home studio set up. That makes it sound pretty cool but it was mostly soldering wires, hanging heavy quilts and customizing a cardboard box into a mic isolation box.

 

I've also been busy with some long standing personal guitar builds. I have 2 left but am ready to proceed now that the fretless bass, baritone guitar and fully intonated Nashville tuned guitars are ready.

 

I'll never be done, I am at a good point to proceed with recording.

 

As I get into the work of creating the sound of my own songs, I find I have ideas that "change everything" and yet change nothing of the original intent. I am challenging myself to go beyond my previous efforts, mostly by approaching the drum and bass parts differently. I want - no - NEED them to live and breathe like the perfomances we've all had when the band is ON and it all comes together.

 

In a multi-unit condo with a small studio space I don't have the luxury of bringing in a human drummer with a full set. There are workarounds, I am learning them. I have the tools I need and now when I am out living life I hear new beats that will bring my songs to life. They are simple, essential. I will learn to play them, even if it is by tracking just the kick and just the snare etc until I have the completed tracks.

 

The only thing left that I really want is a decent quality high hat stand with some nice cymbals. None of the electronic options I've heard can match the expressiveness of a genuine high hat.

 

That's me, here. Great thread topic by the way! Cheers, Kuru

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Flamenco, Nuevo Flamenco, and Flamenco Fusion.

 

Sabicas, Paco DeLucia, Gipsy Kings, Al DiMeola, etc....

 

Trying to harden my nails and get my right hand back in shape. I feel some arthritis on index finger knuckle of my picking hand. Old age ain"t for wimps.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I am doing some Motown covers. with isolated original vocals.

 

I could do more of that classic genre, if my listener base wants it.

 

If not, I am back to my original material production. I am inspired every day.

 

9.5/10

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Silver linings - it"s the most time I"ve spent with my family in a long time. I have time to listen to what my kid is saying and answer with more than mm hmm. Been listening to a lot of music, all over the place. Been doing my best to be considerate of others needs and taking time to ask how people I see walking in the evening are doing.

 

[video:youtube]

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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All responses are legitimate, it's ok to treat this topic as a blank slate. However, my intent was to provoke something more specific than another "silver linings" discussion. I'm interested in whether something about the current situation aligns your tastes with a certain style or genre, and if so, why.

 

If the reason is purely gastronomic rather than intellectual or emotional, that's ok too.

 

I'm not sure I'd even call my current bebop obsession a "silver lining." It's just something that's happening. My focus on it is actually detracting from things I'm supposed to be doing, like my job and possibly getting ready to move houses (again).

 

"Flamenco fusion" sounds fascinating, I'll have to look into it.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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I will add to what I've mentioned above.

The more I record (and listen to other recorded and live music including my own band) the more I realize how "golden" silence truly is and how underestimated the ability to "play silence" is considered.

This comes to me most often when I am playing bass parts but it bleeds over into EVERYTHING.

 

It doesn't take much to clutter things up, it takes a lot to keep the soundscape open and intriguing.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I discovered a vocal scat patch on my keytar jr. (Roland Lucina) when I dug it out of mothballs and I've been having fun doing video recordings playing it. I'm discovering what tunes kind of work on it and how to tap the keys to get different sounds. It's inspired me to play around and experiment in ways that I haven't done in a long time, and after I've been unmotivated for several weeks now to do much of anything musically.

 

Flamenco ... Sabicas ...
I thought of Sabicas a little while ago. I had an album of his when I was young and I practically wore out the grooves. I learned to fake some flamenco on my classic guitar. Of course I'm so out of shape now my fingers can barely play basic strums. But thanks for the reminder. Gonna go look up some Sabicas on youtube. Here's one:
These are only my opinions, not supported by any actual knowledge, experience, or expertise.
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I feel inspired by music that sounds good, in the sense of production and re-production. Also, like IMO is common in Jazz, I like the instruments to sound good, have a tone works and overall impression which is intentionally proper for the art being created. I enjoy deep harmonic analysis which hidden or in some cases clear from all kinds of A grade music products, so when an instrument works good I find it fun to go over all kinds of built in cbord changes, transition notes, rhythmic patterns and melodic licks, to get a feel for the composition.

 

Not so much like playing a tape a few hundred times and still not knowing what exactly is being said with the music, apart from having humming along familiarity or the ability to present a passable pop cover rendition whivh I was good at long ago already. Still fun but the fun of good Jazz songs usually goes further.

 

Theo V

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I discovered a vocal scat patch on my keytar jr. (Roland Lucina) when I dug it out of mothballs and I've been having fun doing video recordings playing it. I'm discovering what tunes kind of work on it and how to tap the keys to get different sounds. It's inspired me to play around and experiment in ways that I haven't done in a long time, and after I've been unmotivated for several weeks now to do much of anything musically.

 

Flamenco ... Sabicas ...
I thought of Sabicas a little while ago. I had an album of his when I was young and I practically wore out the grooves. I learned to fake some flamenco on my classic guitar. Of course I'm so out of shape now my fingers can barely play basic strums. But thanks for the reminder. Gonna go look up some Sabicas on youtube. Here's one:

 

Yes Sir. Sabicas was a while ago but he is still great. He is the father of all modern Flamenco. Not just guitar but he always presented the whole Andalusian experience in his shows, dance, vocals and palmeras etc... I got into Flamenco in 1982 when I bought my first Carlos Montoya album out of the cut out bin at the University bookstore. It"s challenging. I studied classical guitar for years but Flamenco timings kick my butt. I"m just too northern. ð

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Yes Sir. Sabicas was a while ago but he is still great. He is the father of all modern Flamenco. Not just guitar but he always presented the whole Andalusian experience in his shows, dance, vocals and palmeras etc... I got into Flamenco in 1982 when I bought my first Carlos Montoya album out of the cut out bin at the University bookstore. It"s challenging. I studied classical guitar for years but Flamenco timings kick my butt. I"m just too northern. ð

 

When I was a kid - maybe 6 or so, my Mom took her 4 kids to see Carlos Montoya. He got a standing ovation with his first piece. I was gobsmacked, a major reason I play guitar now.

For all that, he then stood up - very short and said in a high, squeaky voice "Thank you very much."

That made an impression too, this giant presence with a guitar in his hand and the reality check of his human form.

 

It made me think I could be big too, if I could make a guitar speak. There is a some truth in that, I've never (and never will) acheved his stature. I don't regret choosing guitar at all, it's been a fun ride!

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Louis Armstrong.

 

His voice, both vocal and on the trumpet, has a way to simplify things and bring me back to what really matters. Although I do not like all of his music, he is probably the only musician I know who has expression in every syllable he sings, every note and rest he plays. He was a remarkable and humble man and his music reflects that. It helps me relevante this pandemic and the impact it has on me.

 

Be-bop has the opposite effect on me. It just pushes me more and more in the chaos. I get the genre, but can't digest it. Never could.

Trumpet player by trade, but fell in love with keys too.
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I"m finding myself drawn to early flatulist music during these times. There was some great output.

 

[video:youtube]

 

I wonder if Mel Brooks named the governor in 'Blazing Saddles' after coming across this........

 

Jake

1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP

 

"It needs a Hammond"

 

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I listen to a lot of semi-ambient in self-defense these days, from luminaries like Johannes Schmoelling and Steve Roach, but I suppose the topic winner for me would be Yello's "Waba Duba." I'm not wild for a lot of what people are saying lately, so gibberese sounds great. :keynana::puff:

 

 "You seem pretty calm about all that."
 "Well, inside, I'm screaming.
    ~ "The Lazarus Project"

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I may be old but the dawg in me is still alive and need some Latin music and Hot Latinas to take my mind off these crazy times. But in mellower hours of the day lots of great Jazz from 40's onto today.

 

 

[video:youtube]

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Feller don't eat right is what...

Feller didn't need to eat right. As a child, he discovered that he could, um, inhale through his backside. Thus he could reload for repeated wind-breakage the same way I can reload my esophagus for repeated belching.

 

During his time at the Moulin Rouge (sp?) Pujol was the highest paid entertainer in all of Europe.

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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I wonder if Mel Brooks named the governor in 'Blazing Saddles' after coming across this........

Jake

He absolutely did name it after Pujol. No idea whether Brooks heard the record, but he knew of the guy.

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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Feller don't eat right is what...

Feller didn't need to eat right. As a child, he discovered that he could, um, inhale through his backside. Thus he could reload for repeated wind-breakage the same way I can reload my esophagus for repeated belching.

 

During his time at the Moulin Rouge (sp?) Pujol was the highest paid entertainer in all of Europe.

 

The things you learn in KC!!!!

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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On topic, I've been listening to some Robert Fripp on Youtube a lot. I've also discovered some wonderful humor there, which is starting to inspire me as a performer to inject a little more fun (somehow) into my playing. Specifically, I have been enjoying The Mozart Group, a Polish string quartet.

 

[video:youtube]

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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I wonder if Mel Brooks named the governor in 'Blazing Saddles' after coming across this........

Jake

He absolutely did name it after Pujol. No idea whether Brooks heard the record, but he knew of the guy.

 

 

Le Petomane was I believe a French vaudeville performer who's abilities with his butt were his act. Le Petomane would walk out on stage in tux and then turn around and bend over, the audience would see there was a hole in his pants surrounded by fringe. He could blowout candles, fart on command and other tricks. From the book I read their was a few vaudeville performers with butt skills. The weirdest one I remember the guy would come out and get into a clear bathtub full of water, he would sit in the tub and using his butt suck all the water up into his body, pause for applause then expel the water back into the tub. I read about this in an old book on strange vaudeville and circus side show performers. I also read book about strange sex shows from all over the world. Then there is the movie Freaks that is a classic now.

 

Lots of off the wall memories to fill these quiet times.

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That looks like an event to defy current health regulations, and sounds like an excercise in demagogy more than music. I don't look forward to those ideas becoming mainstream in San Francisco!

 

T

it's a conundrum wrapped in a riddle under a blanket of tragedy

Some music I've recorded and played over the years with a few different bands

Tommy Rude Soundcloud

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I"m doing covers. I"m pretty set on my first EP being covers of 6 or 7 folk songs. I found that weird quack synth from those 90"s songs I posted way back, it"s a heavily modified SC-55 Tenor Sax.

I"ve been working on planning on what songs to cover. I do want half of the album to be Indonesian folk songs and half to be from other countries.

I"ve also discovered Karo perkolong and Gendang Salih music which is accompanied by folk instruments like percussion, a shawm, and a lute, alongside a keyboard. Turns out they have a few keyboards they are miming with, the Korg i3, Roland E-80, and Technics KN keyboards (KN-2000, KN-2400/2600, and KN-3000). I"ve been dissecting the synth sounds by ear and have figured most are sawtooth or narrow pulse waves for leads and 'Fantasia" type bells.

Here"s an example

I don"t know how to embed links as an actual video and not just the link. So here"s a link. It"s fast, some of it starts out slow and gets fast. All these songs end with instrumental improv btw.

Yamaha MX49, Casio SK1/WK-7600, Korg Minilogue, Alesis SR-16, Casio CT-X3000, FL Studio, many VSTs, percussion, woodwinds, strings, and sound effects.
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