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Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in Recordings, The Lattice | 0 comments

The Flying Dream Video (etc.)

Here is the video that started this blog. It is a stop-motion animation of my song Flying Dream, as it moves in harmonic space. It’s a preview of what the blog is all about. Red = bass, yellow = melody, and orange = the harmonies.

Be Love is the second full song video I did. While Flying Dream is all over the lattice, Be Love occupies a small space, moving left and right between Major and Mixolydian modes.

Real Girl lives in the lower right quadrant, minor and dominant.

I’m posting these again so they will be close to the top of the front page. Anjalisa Aitken and The Harmony People have come into my life, and I’m shifting my focus from study and writing to performing and creativity.

I think I’ve pretty well said what I have to say about the lattice for now. The videos are explained, and I’ve brought you pretty much up to speed with my lattice explorations so far. I’ll still be learning, and I’ll keep you posted, but I’m content with this particular yearlong blurt. Time to get out there and put all this cool stuff to use!

There is plenty to find here. A random approach might work best — find a recent article that catches your eye, click links to go deeper, and use the back button to get back up the chain. I’m especially fond of the posts in the Septimal Harmony category.

Enjoy, I’ll be back. Contact with fellow lattice-heads is welcome.

PS I have other presences on the Web. Here are some links:

 

YouTube

The Harmony People (duo with Anjalisa) Beautiful, uplifting, interesting original music.

Facebook
Hotel Utah Artist Page — lots of live recordings.

 

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Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in Just Intonation, Septimal Harmony, The Lattice, The Notes | 0 comments

More Blue Tritones

I want to show you some lattice movies of how I’ve used blue tritones in my own music.

Real Girl has several examples. The clearest is a guitar lick in the chorus:

That 7b5 is tasty over the bVI chord. For an instant, it makes a “barbershop seventh,” the 7th harmonic of the root.

Here is a vocal example from the same song:

The melody visits the blue tritone on the way up, and again on the way down. I especially like it on the word “like,” the blues flavor of the septimal note comes through loud and clear without it being strictly blues at all. For me, this fusion of septimal notes to the European collection is the great contribution American music has made to the world. I wrote an early article on this, with some examples, here.

These bits of melody that visit the 7b5 are very similar to the ones that incorporate the 7b3. The septimal flatted third is the melody note of major blues tonality. It functions as the seventh harmonic of the IV chord, just as the 7b5 is the 7th harmonic of the bVI chord. Here’s an example from Flying Dream:

Hear the similarity? Try going back and forth between this video and the guitar lick in the first video.

One of the beauties of the lattice is that the patterns repeat everywhere. If you move a pattern to a different part of the lattice, the new notes will have the same relationship to each other, but the musical context will change and it will convey a different feeling. This is a splendid compositional tool, and helps me greatly in understanding harmony.

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Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Recordings |

The Flying Dream CD

In the late 90’s and early 00’s, I recorded a number of song demos for promotion to music publishers. Around ’02, I compiled the recordings into a CD, Flying Dream.

I’ve burned, sold and given away hundreds of these CDs over the years. Last year, I decided it was time to give my poor CD burner a break and release Flying Dream for real. I asked my friend Cher Odum if she would do the cover art. Cher has known and loved my music for a long time (I gave her one of the first ones ten years ago). She was inspired, and spent two days painting a beautiful cover in her unique style.

FD Art

I’m proud to announce that Flying Dream is now available in physical form from CD Baby, and as a digital download from iTunes, Amazon, and the rest of the usual suspects. All the sites have previews so you can hear before you buy. The 13 songs are available separately too.

A few highlights:

  • Flying Dream is four part a cappella harmony, with me singing all the parts.
  • Driving is inspired by my many beautiful trips to Whidbey Island in Washington State and has a rare electric guitar solo.
  • The Cove is my love song for the beaches of California’s Central Coast, and for one beach in particular, and for my dear friends who love it too.

Snooze Alarm, It’s Your Fault, I Could Fall In Love With You … each song has its own flavor and personality. I recorded all the instruments and parts, mostly in my little guest house in San Luis Obispo.

Songs are bookmarks that open our memories to particular pages, as effectively as the scent of a madeleine cookie. Many times, over the years, someone has told me of their experience with one of these songs, how they cried or were influenced, how it marked a page. Every once in a while someone asks me if I’ll burn another one because they wore the old one out. Mighty gratifying. I hope you get a chance to hear it too, and that it brings you joy.

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