Old Stuff (2013Aug31)


I can’t believe tomorrow is September! Things get old FAST these days!

Here’s an oldie:

John Jay High School – June 1973
Reflections – Volume XIV
Page 25      (Art – Richard Hesse)
with Sue Koponen, Richard Hess and Karen DuBuque.

“Stormhalls”

Falcons wing ‘cross rainbow snow
Pine trees iced white while northwinds blow
Northwind take me high
And carry me
To stormhalls in the sky

Seagulls floating on the breeze
Over trees, across the seas
Of whiteness on the ground
Whisper to me
Of stormhalls in the sky.

 

I only bring up that old poem to show the source of this Improv’s title:

Click here for Video

Click here for Video

 

And now we have something really old:

Click to Play

Click to Play

XperDunn plays Piano
August 30th, 2013

J. Fischer & Bro. [110 West 40th Street / New York, N.Y.]
Piano Classics Volume I

Early Italian Piano Music
of the Seventeenth Century
{For Late Intermediate and Early Advanced Grades}
Collected by Brian Shaw

Reciting from: Fischer Edition No. 8400
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(01) Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) Minuetto
(02) Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710) Air
(03) Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) Gavotte
(04) Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725) Air (from Toccata)
(05) Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1644) Corrente
(06) Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) Allegro
(07) Domenico Zipoli (1686-Unknown) Sarabande

—Well, gotta run!   (I’m not getting any younger…)

 

 

 

 

Bearly Bliss


Bearly Bliss

20110411XD-BearPoem19(LandScp)

 

Every year, on our anniversary, I re-post the link to my old anniversary present, an illustrated book of thirty Bear poems, in celebration of our time together. If you haven’t already seen it, please check it out and let me know how you like it…

One Improv and Four Covers (2013Aug27)


XperDunn plays Piano
August 27th, 2013

Improv – Shangri – La

 

Well, I think this is my best effort on these favorites from my “Complete Carpenters” for solo piano and voice book–these are the treacliest and most banal of their repertoire–only a real sap has any chance of enjoying those 4 recordings  of their repertoire (which fortunately includes me). I defy you to sit through all four–it can’t be done.

 

 

XperDunn plays Piano
August 27th, 2013

4 Covers of ‘Hits by The Carpenters’:

(1.) “(They Long To Be) Close To You”

(2.) “Rainy Days and Mondays”

(3.) “Yesterday Once More”

(4.) “Sing”

 

“(They Long To Be) Close To You” (2013Aug27)
Words by Hal David. Music by Burt Bacharach

“(They Long to Be) Close to You” is a popular song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The version recorded by The Carpenters, which became a hit in 1970, is the best known.

In 1970, it was released by Karen and Richard Carpenter on their album Close to You, and it became their breakthrough hit. The song stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.

With “(They Long to Be) Close to You”, The Carpenters earned a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus in 1971. It became the first of three Grammy Awards they would win during their careers.

(c) 1963 by U.S. Songs Inc, USA
——————————————
“Rainy Days and Mondays” (2013Aug27)
Words by Paul Williams. Music by Roger Nichols.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “Rainy Days and Mondays” is a 1971 song by The Carpenters that went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and it was the duo’s fourth #1 song on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. However, the song failed to chart in the United Kingdom until it went to #63 in a reissue there in 1993. “Rainy Days and Mondays was certified Gold by the RIAA.

The song was composed in 1971 by then fairly unknown composers Roger Nichols and Paul Williams. It was released as the first track on the album Carpenters. The B-side on the single is “Saturday”.

(c) 1970 by Almo Music Corp., USA

“Yesterday Once More” (2013Aug27)
Words by John Bettis
Music by Richard Carpenter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Yesterday Once More”, written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis, is a hit song by The Carpenters from their 1973 album Now & Then. Composed in the key of E, “Yesterday Once More” features a long middle section, consisting of eight covers of 1960s tunes incorporated into a faux oldies radio program. The work takes up the entire side B of the album.

The single version of the song peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart becoming their 5th number two hit and making them the act with the second most number two hits on the chart behind only Madonna. The song also peaked at number 1 on the easy listening chart, becoming their eighth number 1 on that chart in four years.

It is the Carpenters’ biggest-selling record worldwide and their best-selling single in the UK, peaking at number 2. Richard Carpenter admitted on a Japanese documentary that it is his favorite of all the songs he’s written. He has performed an instrumental version at concerts. According to Cash Box, on June 2, 1973, “Yesterday Once More” was the highest-debuting single at No. 71. By August 4, it had reached No. 1.

(c) 1973 by Almo Music Corporation / Hammer and Nails Music, USA

“Sing” (2013Aug27)
Words & Music by Joe Raposo.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Sing” is a popular song created for Sesame Street that gained popularity when performed by The Carpenters, who made it a #3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1973.

“Sing” was written by Joe Raposo, the staff songwriter for the popular children’s TV show Sesame Street. In its initial appearance, the song was sung by adult human cast member, and Muppets, including Big Bird. “The Kids” sang “Sing” for The Sesame Street Book & Record, a recording re-released on the 2003 Songs from the Street CD set.

Karen and Richard Carpenter heard the song for the first time as guests on ABC television special Robert Young with the Young in 1973. The Carpenters loved the song and said in retrospect that they knew it would “be a hit”. Their associates thought they were “nuts”.

The song acted as their debut single from the LP album Now & Then, released in 1973. “Sing” reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number-one on the easy listening chart, and it became the group’s seventh gold single.

Their recording of the song was produced and arranged by Richard Carpenter, and engineered by Ray Gerhardt. The lead vocal was sung by Karen Carpenter, with backing vocals by Karen and Richard Carpenter and the Jimmy Joyce Children’s Choir. Keyboards were by Richard Carpenter, bass by Joe Osborn, drums by Karen Carpenter, and recorders by Tom Scott. In 1974, while touring Japan, The Carpenters recorded their first live album in Osaka.

The album contained a new version of “Sing” with the children’s chorus sung by the Kyoto Children’s Choir. The song is featured on the album Live in Japan which was recorded in June 1974 and released in Japan only on March 7, 1975. This album has since been released on CD and is available as an import.

(c) 1971 by Jonico Music Corp., USA
All Rights Reserved
International Copyright Secured

 

————————————————-

All the above has been cut and pasted

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Once again, many thanks to my cousin, Lisa, for the use of her photo of their 2006 Meridian-408 Motoryacht.

No Headlines


Can it be true? Has it come to this? It was bad enough when ambitious, young entertainers could no longer dream of the day they’d be a guest on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”. Now the newspaper industry is dying—soon no one will be able to dream of someday being “in the headlines”! These social lynchpins connected us to each other, just as Sunday once brought communities together each week. People don’t ‘gather’ anymore. Well, sometimes they do, but it’s called “Occupy” Wall St., or wherever they happen to be gathering.

Summer campgrounds once gave us mini-communities, in which vacationing families would see each other as neighbors for the duration of the vacation—comments about how the kids have grown, or a new baby, or the latest Coleman camping accessory—even when we went away from our communities, we just formed new, temporary ones with whoever was at the same campground. No theme parks. No Hyatts. Just a bare patch of dirt in the woods, ready for tent-staking, and a lakeside beach for relaxing, while the kids ran themselves to exhaustion….

Where else have we stopped connecting with each other? Everywhere except the internet. But people give the Web too much credit—I bet a lot of people who are separated from each other find that ‘skyping’ is just as distant and unsatisfactory as a phone call used to be—communication, but no warmth, no flesh.

One of the things that contributes to culture shock when visiting some other countries is the total absence of internet access—and sometimes even electricity. It’s funny to think that in many communities around the world, people still are born, live their lives and die without ever using electricity. I suppose the Amish might understand, but I’d be at a total loss in such a place.

As time passes, I seem to focus more on the things that are leaving, or already gone, than the things that are new. Take ‘Skyping’ as an example—I have no desire to Skype somebody—but in my twenties, I would have lunged at that. Much of new technology guarantees two things:  (1) Something a bit more charmingly civilized will be lost. And (2) Our remove from our forebears (and from the present Third World cultures) gets wider and wider.

Think of this modern rash of ‘school shootings’—could we, back when we were students, have gotten away with anything like that? No, we were living in each other’s laps, compared to the way families live today. And obesity—that was a practical impossibility back in, say, the 1950’s—daily life simply required more movement and activity than is needed today.

That is not to say that all that communing was always a good thing—there were lynch mobs, riots, secret brotherhoods, lots of bad things—but a total lack of any ‘mingling’ in our daily lives is such a departure from our heritage. Is community activity a necessary part of a happy culture? Have we lost in Civilization what we gained in Progress?

I am, perhaps, more attuned to this, due to my shut-in-like lifestyle—most folks my age are still interacting with society a lot more than I do. But I can see in young people (including our own) a tendency towards solitary activity—even when communing with each other, they commune online. I think flash mobs are in some ways a result of the lack of actual connection between an online group of friends—they organize a brief meeting and an organized interaction, then all walk away like nothing happened. But, that may be the only time something actually happens in their lives, sans keyboard and mouse.

It worries me.

A Song, An Improv, & An “Are You Dunn?” Addendum….


A Song,

An Improv,

& An “Are You Dunn?” Addendum….

click to Play my YouTube Video

XperDunn plays Piano
August 25th, 2013

Cover of the Carpenters’ single, “Goodbye to Love”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[“Goodbye to Love” : Single by The Carpenters from the album “A Song for You”, Released on June 19, 1972, Label A&M #1367 / Writer(s) Richard Carpenter; John Bettis / Producer Jack Daugherty

“Goodbye to Love” is a song composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis. It was released by The Carpenters in 1972. On the “Close to You: Remembering The Carpenters” documentary, Tony Peluso stated that this was one of the first, if not the first, love ballads to have a fuzz guitar solo.

While visiting London, he saw a 1940 Bing Crosby film called “Rhythm on the River”. Richard Carpenter noticed that the characters kept referring to the struggling songwriter’s greatest composition, “Goodbye to Love”. He says, ‘You never hear it in the movie, they just keep referring to it,’ and he immediately envisioned the tune and lyrics starting with:
I’ll say goodbye to love
No one ever cared if I should live or die.
Time and time again the chance for
Love has passed me by…

He said that while the melody in his head kept going, the lyrics stopped “because I’m not a lyricist”. He completed the rest of his arrangement upon his return to the USA.]
——————————————

click to Play my YouTube Video

XperDunn plays Piano
August 25th, 2013

Improv – Goobers
(music fades out instead of ending–the result of a dead battery-sorry.)

Start and End Cards source: http://www.winslowhomer.org/hound-and-hunter.jsp

Homer’s watercolor sketch for Hound and Hunter showed, lying behind the boy, a rifle that the artist later painted out. When this final canvas was exhibited in 1892, its subject was condemned as a cruel sport then practiced in the Adirondacks. Some viewers believed the youth was drowning the deer to save ammunition. The artist curtly responded, “The critics may think that that deer is alive but he is not—otherwise the boat and man would be knocked high and dry.”

To clarify that the stag is already dead and no longer struggling, however, Homer did repaint the churning water to hide more of the animal. The hunter, therefore, simply ties up a heavy load, calling off the hound so it will not jump into the boat and swamp it.

Homer once asked a museum curator:
“Did you notice the boy’s hands—all sunburnt; the wrists somewhat sunburnt, but not as brown as his hands; and the bit of forearm where his sleeve is pulled back not sunburnt at all? I spent more than a week painting those hands.”
——————————————

Sunday, August 25, 2013            4:06 PM

“Are You Done?” (Cont’d):

I am aware that the previous ‘essay’ (if I may use that word) was both ludicrous and without any substantive ideas for moving forward. I think one point I attempted to make is that People have to wake up to the very powerful forces being arrayed against them at present. And that civil-rights-oriented and community-activity-oriented crowd-sourcing is a very promising new tool that we can either use or have used against us—our choice.

The other point, the main idea I wished to illustrate, was that individuals are wooed by many associations and organizations, including political parties, multi-national corporate giants, and banks—and that the only organization intended for our own self-interest, the federal government, being so wrapped up by capitalized and specialized interests, has ceased to perform that function. And that leaves us with only two choices.

We either have to wrest control of our government back towards the protection of civil rights and the providing of social services, or we have to find some way to sidestep those ‘clogged arteries’ and create an organization outside of government. I had intended to mention, further, that such an organization, by virtue of the digital revolution, and what may be called the enhanced social conscience of our society here at the start of century twenty-one, would operate so much more efficiently, cost-effectively, and speedily that the existing government would be pulled along in its wake, so to speak.

Why do I see this issue in this way? That’s easy—because we have already learned that Authority is not a ‘God-given’ right, such as monarchs used to claim; neither is Authority a prerogative of the wealthy, such as the wealthy have been used to claiming; nor is dogma an Authority, as religious extremists persist in insisting. Authority is a necessary evil, plain and simple—someone has to be in charge to enable groups to create something greater than what they could do as a disorganized group of individuals.

And that greater creation, or ‘progress’, if you will, is always a source of Power to those in authority. Power is an addictive drug which no human has ever been immune to—thus authority inevitably changes its goal from a common good to an entitled elite who skim the cream of organized effort and (usually) begin to work counter to the original common good.

We have attempted, by democracy, by socialism, and by communism, to create a more perfect organization, to put in place checks and balances which restrain, as much as possible, the natural tendency towards corruption in authority, including favoritism, and elitism—but all have been overwhelmed by the constant pressure of those natural human drives. Unfortunately, authority has to reside with someone—so I won’t bother trying to invent a new system that partitions or restrains authority from abuse—it’s like trying to lift yourself by your own bootstraps.

And this is why I have no suggestions as to how to fix ourselves—human society has built-in structural flaws that prevent us from Utopia. The only thing we can hope for is that the Elite become ashamed enough of all the starvation and poverty that they eventually find a way to accommodate the millions of losers in the great game of capitalism. Or, for the truly optimistic, we can hope that our global society matures into something less of a dog pile than it’s always been, and is now. If I had a religion, that would be it—people starting to work just as hard to cooperate with each other as they do now to compete with each other.

Are You Done?


Saturday, August 24, 2013                   6:13 PM

Are you the final result? Are you as good as you get? Have you decided your days of self-improvement are over? I ask myself such questions all the time. And I think about my community that way, and my country, and my children’s futures. I doubt any of us has set our goal towards giving our kids exactly what we were given, no more and no less. Most of us, nearly all of us, want to offer our children something more, something better.

And I doubt any of us are completely satisfied with the various modes of commuter transportation—or our taxes, or our laws—really nothing has been made perfect. None of us take what we are here, now, as the best thing we can be—and all of us are actively striving towards betterment, not just of ourselves, but of our town, our state, our nation, and our world.

We want enough food, we want enough shelter, electricity, heat, medicine, and internet access for everybody. And that’s not all—we want the food to be better, healthier, tastier, etc. We want better homes and gardens, smaller bills, more say, and less restriction. But we want more freedom, too. We want more money, more government services, better schools. We want, we want, we want.

We all want, in our different ways—when we could be getting a lot more by wanting together. If people were more organized, things would be more efficient—but organization doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Organization requires leadership and leadership has power and power corrupts. That is why every historical effort to become organized has devolved into a power struggle between the manifest will of the people and the whims of the corrupted powerful.

Our democracy has never been a perfect thing—far from it. Its ability to protect us from ourselves has eroded over centuries of legislative conjuring and barefaced lobbying by business leaders. The land of opportunity has become a land of liberty, at least in comparison with some other places—that is, the freedom is still there, but the opportunities have started drying up. The unsettled lands have shrunk to virtual zero; the untapped resources are no longer possible wherever one takes a pick-axe to the soil, or a saw to the forest. We aren’t building many new dams along rivers these days, and for many reasons… indeed, most changes to existing dams are meant to make them less of a boundary to spawning fish and other life cycles.

So our ‘democracy’, in its present form, has become a rigged game being run by the majority shareholders of the capitalist system—if we wish to defend ourselves, we will require an organization that sidesteps our election system and our legislature. We will have to find a way for democracy to survive in a ‘land without opportunities’. Organization will be required—but how to make an organization that isn’t as dangerous as the one we now have?

Perhaps that is the real meaning of the famous quote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Perhaps Thomas Jefferson meant that Liberty is always at risk, that we must scrap our government, our legislation, our entire national organization every couple of decades. Perhaps Jefferson saw the inevitable creep that would begin to gnaw on the boundaries of our liberty from the first day of our new government.

And perhaps that is the true reason for the Second Amendment—we were supposed to use it long ago, to overthrow the government before our government became too strong for even armed state militias to resist. We missed our chance—now the second amendment is just an historical novelty, a tattered rationale to support the firearms industry.

The American Dream, just like the USA itself, was founded on a well-spring of opportunity and untapped riches. Our present government, like modern capitalism, are both the unsatisfactory results of those initiatives when continued on into a period of shrinking opportunities and riches. We must organize. We must find a way to crowd-source our own destinies, before Sony and Pfizer, et al., figure out how to crowd-source us into a shiny new, digital thralldom.

If, like me, you feel that you’re not quite done yet, consider the difference between struggling for your own interests as an individual and struggling for change as an organized group. If the idea of public-service-oriented crowd-sourcing doesn’t scare the pants off most of today’s politicians, it’s only because they haven’t the vision to see how powerful such an initiative may someday be.

There are many organizations—tennis players’ organizations, advertising industry organizations, chess clubs, and such—an infinity of affinities, if you will. There are many corporations—and as capitalism-based organizations (with the rights of a person, no less) they have a great deal of power and influence. We have political parties which are supposed to be organizations to represent the opinions and interests of the populace, but which have drifted farther and farther away from that role, and closer and closer to becoming a rubber stamp for the interests of the biggest check-writers.

Henrietta and Dwarf by Anthony van Dyck

Henrietta and Dwarf by Anthony van Dyck

But there is no organization in defense of ordinary people. Many organizations will tell you they are exactly that, but all will be wrong to the extent that nothing exists without the influence of money—and each of those organizations will have specific interests they are ‘for’ or ‘against’.

Charles I with M de St Antoine (1633) by Anthony van Dyck

Charles I with M de St Antoine (1633) by Anthony van Dyck

I’m talking about a ‘People’ lobby. Its mission would be to confront and conflict with the business lobbyists, the religious activists, and any raise in the cost of living. It would ceaselessly push for a higher minimum wage, no matter what that wage is. It would hunt down and prosecute any big corporation that is milking the government of billions of dollars as part of its daily operation—and the Humanity lobby would call for audits of every single government contract, investigate all hints of improper influence and the least sign of selling favors.

In short, it would be the most hated organization the world has ever seen. The Humanity lobby would refuse to recognize borders and work on behalf of all people, people living in all countries, and people working for all companies. It would fund its own news service, with an eye towards ecological risks, inhumane employment standards, slave wages, and corruption and influence across the globe. Only one catch—every twenty years we have to take the leaders of that organization out to the back wall and shoot’em.

The Real Mother Goose is one of the larger collections of rhymes for children. It has wonderful pen and watercolor illustrations by Blanche Fisher Wright. This book was originaly published in 1916.

The Real Mother Goose is one of the larger collections of rhymes for children. It has wonderful pen and watercolor illustrations by Blanche Fisher Wright. This book was originaly published in 1916.