Thursday, November 21, 2013

Joy’s repertoire is expanding

Since late 2008 when I began working on my bluetry series, beginning with I Sing The Blues For You, which to date, has been published 5 times, I have been incorporating music into my performance poetry. More recently I decided to expand my repertoire by adding song to my performance and also to give listeners a break from my rants and raves which are very sad and sometimes overwhelming.

My neighbor, Wren Harrington, has been kind enough to take me on as a student. Ms. Harrington is a very accomplished singer and teacher. The first lesson consisted of breath exercises along with scales. I then begged her to help me with my first song that I had been miming alone and with Dubblex. Wren proclaimed that I improved greatly just in my first lesson.

I am so excited! I can't wait for lesson two.

In the meantime, here I am playing sing song all by my lonesome, plodding along.

Here below is the first song, Turning Point, that I know from listening to Nina Simone. If you click on the link you can watch at youtube.

Turning Point

The second song below can also be watched at youtube.

I Wish You Love

Gloria Lynne made the song I Wish You Love famous. According to what I read, Ms. Lynne, who recently passed on a few weeks ago, recorded this song thinking it was no big deal. It wasn't even one of her favorite numbers to perform, but audiences fell for the way she performed this number and it hit the top ten list quickly and became a hit.

For a while, Ms. Lynne was homeless, as she never received any monies from the records of most of her recordings. When asked why she continued to sing when she couldn't make a living, she replied, that singing was what she lived for. I am certain all of you artists can relate to that. It's certainly welcome to earn income for our art, but whether we earn or not, we continue to be artists. It's just so sad that so many artists during her time period were taken advantage of in this manner, and not given proceeds for the albums they made that sold.

The day after Ms. Lynne passed, I happened to be at a music jam on the lower east side, at University Of The Streets, and a woman sang this song in memory of Gloria Lynne, and did it justice too. This inspired me to move myself to the next level to add to my performance. It was also a sad moment for me because Mohammad, the guy who originally founded the University Of The Streets, was someone I'd met back in 1977. During that time Mohammad had many type programs at the University for the community. I happened to be walking by, looked up and saw the name of the organization and walked in. After that, I met with him frequently. My discussions with Mohammad was a focusing impetus in my decision to enter Columbia University, where I was a student in the Higher Education Opportunity Program, made eligible through poverty status and being disadvantaged educationally. I was the only white one in the program the entire 5 years I spent undergrad there.

I went to the music jam at University of the Streets with Demetrius Daniel and his friend Mark. Mohammad's photo sat large on a wall. Only the lady singing knew what I was talking about when I said the University used to be around the corner from where it currently was. She informed me that Mohammad had died a few year ago. This made me sad because I had always intended to stop by and see and thank him for our talks and now I can only thank him in my heart.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

George R.R. Martin - reading and writing

Since Summer I've been spending a lot of time with George R.R. Martin. I read all 5 of his Game of Thrones series, because I was so fascinated with the HBO show, Game of Thrones. Each book was over 1000 pages, easily more than 6000 pages total at the rate of about 100 pages per day - sometimes, more - sometimes none if I was extremely busy. I usually always read on the train too. After reading all these books, I became curious as to Mr. R.R. Martin's other novels and there I began with The Armageddon Rag. I will be moving on to his other novels now.

George R.R. Martin mixes fact, fantasy, and fiction into a delicious cocktail made to spur and goad our insides to believe and question humanity and our purpose. Dialogue and inner conversations portray several levels, superficial, exploratory bestows significance on more subtle references or hidden meanings, devices and triggers that move us.

It is our choices that define us. All humans have these. Our alikeness internally ends here. We all think we know certain people but everyone of us can be surprised because we can only, after all, interpret others behaviors through a screen of our own experiences combined with birth circumstances and living, which normally infants have no power except their tears or laughter, which indeed, moves most of us to console or play with them. I don't need to tell you about the sick few - either perverts or crazies but they exist too - everywhere. Sometimes we too, if we choose, can be one of the perverts, or crazies who enjoy inflicting pain. Strangely, sometimes someone who does not enjoy inflicting pain on others may do it as a means of self-defense. We easily excuse trespasses done in defense on one's person or mental status, or those of us who defend weaker, like our children and friends we wish to help. Mr. R. R. Martin reminds that these truths exist on various levels. Usage of subconscious levels combines with using things we can't understand yet see, serve to emphasize this point.

Good read and I love the music quotes! Worth reading if only to see R.R Martin's creativity in weaving 60's and 70's lyrics from musicians so flawlessly into the plot. His weaving style and ability to do this is truly amazing and entertaining. I certainly wouldn't expect any less from him. 

:) I have been having a great deal of fun reading his entertaining writings!