As I've mentioned, I've been writing a play, tentatively titled The Piano Bench: A Love Story with Evening and Ghosts. Today I finished the draft script, which I'll be passing on the fine folks at Regina Lyric Musical Theatre
, which I hope will be staging the play (with me directing it) this fall.
Since it's a play with music, I've assembled a CD of the songs I'm thinking of including in the play, all of which are drawn from the old sheet music in this house of mine, which has been in my wife's family since 1939. (The house, and specifically the piano and this music, are in fact the inspiration ...
A picture-perfect Saskatchewan winter day, and a song! (In lieu of a longer blog post, because too much pre-Christmas running around for that.)
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
So, I’m writing this play. Its working title is The Piano Bench: A Love Story with Music and Ghosts. If all goes well it might even make it on stage late next year.
Why? Well, therein lies a blog post.
The house in which I live has been in my wife’s family since 1939. (It was built in 1926,) Her grandparents, Sam and Nancy Goodfellow, were patrons of the arts in Regina, probably more due to Nancy’s influence than Sam’s. (It was Sam’s First World War memoirs
I posted recently.) Nancy, who was born in England, by all accounts was a ...
Playing with new audio software today at the same time I was picking out a song for an audition tonight, I made the recording below of Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields's "The Way You Look Tonight," from the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Swing Time. It won't make anyone forget Fred Astaire's version, or Tony Bennett's version, or for that matter anyone of dozens of other recorded versions...but I had fun. Think of this as a proof of concept rather than a truly finished recording, proof that I can do something not half bad with the equipment and software I have at home.
Which means, of course, I may inflict more music ...
...if you have the opportunity. We did, last night, and were blown away. The music, the playing, the images, and the text were all fantastic, and pretty much exactly in line with the things that interest me most: science and the arts, mingled together.
is, of course, one of the world's premiere period-instrument orchestras. The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres
features poetic narration, choreography, and music by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel.
Here is a sample:
Most moving for me was a final quote from Galileo, taken from his Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
. Although I prefer the translation used in The Galileo Project itself, here is the passage taken from an ...
I've posted the openings to my Enslow biographies of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix--guess it's time to give Johnny Cash his due.
I enjoyed writing about Johnny Cash because a) he was a really interesting guy and b) I grew up listening to him. My folks liked country music, and Cash was one of their favorites.
My only regret was that I didn't find a place in the book to mention that Cash liked to fish in northern Saskatchewan. Normally, I never pass up an opportunity to sneak a little Saskatchewan into a book.
Herewith the introduction and first chapter of Johnny Cash: The Man in Black.
And, of course, a ...
Another Enslow book, Janis Joplin: Take Another Little Piece of My Heart tells the story of another '60s rock star who died at age 27--within just a few weeks of Jimi Hendrix's death. Since I also wrote biographies of Johnny Cash and Andy Warhol for Enslow, I spent several months kind of stuck in the '60s. (I won't say "reliving the '60s, because I was a pre-teen in that decade and can't say any of the social or musical upheaval impacted much on my consciousness!)
Enjoy! And if you feel so inclined, here's a link to the Amazon page where you can purchase the book....
In my 1999 young adult science fiction novel Andy Nebula: Interstellar Rock Star, I postulated a future in which the hit-making machinery of the music industry has become a science, where computers are able to determine what songs, and what singers, are sure to be the next big thing.
In the book, a kid names Kit gets plucked from his hand-to-mouth existence busking on the streets of a nasty little city on a nasty little planet and turned into Andy Nebula, the next “Sensation Single,” all on the strength of a computer’s analysis of what teens want.
Looks like I might have been on to something. A new study from Emory ...
As the classic Disney animated film Fantasia opens, a symphony orchestra starts to play, and the music emerging from the instruments becomes visible as blasts of color and dancing shapes.
In real life, alas, music is primarily an auditory rather than visual experience. Although there is certainly interest to be had in watching a musician live (and, as I wrote recently, what we see may even influence our impression of the sounds produced, at least when it comes to percussionists), we’re generally able to enjoy music just fine, and sometimes better, without any visual component at all: hence the people you see closing their eyes at symphonies. (Not the snoring ones, ...
While looking for something entirely different in my computer files (The Mixed-Up Files of Edward C. Willett, which would be a great title for a book if someone hadn't already kind of gotten there first
), I came across this audio recording from a couple of years ago, when my daughter was seven.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Willett Duo with their rendition of "Steamed-Rice Mommy's Coming to Town," inspired by the gripping real-life saga of...supper.
It provides 100 percent of your dailycuteness requirement!
Click to play: Steamed Rice Mommy's Coming to Town
(The photo: Me and Alice, of course.)