Posts tagged ‘Inspirational’

Djembe Thanksgiving – Part 2

Djembe Thanksgiving
Part 2:
Kurzweil Jeff

Read Part 1: The Drummers and Joe
Read Part 3: Oy! Logistics, Permissions and Switzerland, Oh My!
Read Part 4: A Joyful Chaos!
Read Part 5: Drums In Church — Some Concluding Thoughts


percussionworkshop.degraaff-multimedia.nl

percussionworkshop.degraaff-multimedia.nl

At our first rehearsal, Joe Galeota, our drum leader from Berklee College of Music, told us a little about his background – and he set the stage for our music making.

He told all of the drummers, “OK, Jeff and Julia are going to play and sing the arrangement and we are just going to jam.  That way we’ll get to know each other.”  And jam they did.  They all just fell in with Joe.  It was so enthralling, watching and listening to them.  Eventually, Joe settled on different drums and shakers and parts for each one in the group.

Meanwhile, further behind the scenes, I had asked Jeff Williams, our TMC consultant to arrange the ideas that he and I had been working on to merge a beautiful “folky” Inspirational pop song with the simple, joyful Nigerian hymn that I had discovered.  Both songs had musical grooves that worked together so well – and they both possessed a simplicity that spoke to the occasion.  After that rehearsal with Joe, Jeff and I worked on concretizing the ideas for the arrangement, and then Jeff went to work.
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January 15, 2010 at 11:52 am 2 comments

Djembe Thanksgiving – Part 1

Djembe Thanksgiving
Part 1:
The Drummers and Joe

Read Part 2: Kurzweil Jeff
Read Part 3: Oy! Logistics, Permissions and Switzerland, Oh My!
Read Part 4: A Joyful Chaos!

Read Part 5: Drums In Church — Some Concluding Thoughts

I am grateful for many things, and as I stand facing forward into the New Year, African drumming is one of them!  Looking back over 2009, one of the stand-out moments for me was the Thanksgiving Service in Boston at The First Church of Christ, Scientist, (The Mother Church) where I serve as soloist.

This year, we had the distinct privilege of including some truly soulful folks whose lives are given to healing and caring.  These folks also happen to be mostly African and drummers and they are Christian Science nurses and they shared their musical gifts with the congregation during the Thanksgiving service.

Rehearsal in the Original Edifice of The Mother Church: Doris Olawuwo, Tamie Kanata, Nathan Frederick, Joe Galeota, Dogah Koblavi, Teresa Ambugo, Steve Okwor, Julia Wade

In my inimitable fashion, I will be telling you some stories and sub-stories of this experience – in 5 parts!  It was such a rich, unifying and uplifting endeavor that went way beyond the actual church service (which was wonderful – but more on that later!)  So here’s the story, or actually, here are the stories…

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January 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm 5 comments

Interview with Musical Duo Pressman & Ponzek

Pressman & Ponzek:
A Natural Collaboration!

Pressman & Ponzek are a musical duo consisting of pianist, vocalist, composer and producer Lisa Pressman and guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist, composer, arranger and producer Tim Ponzek.  Combining their many musical skills and talents, Lisa and Tim have worked together for many years and have created their own unique musical signature style.

Together in their latest recording “Tomorrow the World,” they draw upon their musical kinship and their extensive studies of the Latin, Jazz and Classical repertoire. Lisa’s crystalline piano and pure vocals combine with Tim’s romantic classical guitar to create a delightful, relaxing and even ethereal listening experience on “Tomorrow The World.”  The energy of their dynamic musical interplay can be experienced as well as in Lisa and Tim’s previous release “if the sky was home”.

In addition to their recordings, Lisa and Tim have made their music available in sheet music form for other performers to experience and share:  piano/vocal scores, piano scores, guitar charts and now lead sheets.

Lisa and Tim live in one of my favorite spots on the planet – the desert of Arizona.  In listening to their music,  I feel like their special collaboration of Inspirational music is influenced at least a little by the beauty of the desert — its rhythms, melodies and harmonies played out in sweeping landscapes, plant and animal life.  It turns out that other parts of nature also play a deeply creative role in inspiring their shimmering music.

Find out how this dynamic duo works together and what makes their collaboration so natural.

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December 9, 2009 at 11:43 am 2 comments

Interview with Carolyn Kardinal – Part 2

She Writes Soulful Songs
with Words of Grace
An Interview with

Composer Carolyn Kardinal
Part 2

Read Part 1 of  Carolyn Kardinal’s interview

In Part 1, Carolyn Kardinal shared with us some of her process in writing both original Inspirational lyrics and music for her songs.  She also related how her experiences as a singer and a teacher of children and of voice students have deeply influenced and enriched her work as a composer and lyricist.  So let’s continue with the conversation…

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JW: What inspires you?

CK:  One spring morning I walked outside to smell the freshness after a downpour and at that moment heard a meadowlark sing the most beautiful melody – actually I recognized the motive as something Alexander Dumas had used as a primary melody in his “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” At first I laughed at the absurdity, but as I have thought about that experience I realize many composers have been sensitive to nature’s sounds and have incorporated them into their own works. So I became a better listener.

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December 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm 2 comments

Random Thoughts on the Artistic Process

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I did an interview with visual artist Marty Coleman in September. After the interview was posted, Marty wrote me a quick thank you. In response to his short comment, I wrote a not-so-short, stream of consciousness “you’re welcome” back and ended up thinking deeply about how the artistic process manifests itself across different disciplines, and specifically in my own life.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you, so I grabbed what I wrote and have posted it here — with a few clarifications along the way.
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November 3, 2009 at 2:55 am 2 comments

Inspiration Infusion: Mr. B and His 5th Grade Chorus

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ps22-3Have you heard about “Mr. B” and his 5th grade chorus at PS 22 in New York City? Gregg Breinberg, director of the PS 22 chorus of 5th graders is an amazing, inspiring teacher who has reached the hearts and souls of his students through music.  He teaches at in an inner city public school in New York City’s borough of Staten Island.

This is a truly uplifting and affirming story of the power of love and dedication – and of the expectation and realization of the capabilities and possibilities inherent in every child.

So here’s your Inspiration Infusion: Listen to the PS 22 Chorus sing “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac:


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September 1, 2009 at 2:54 am 3 comments

No Emotion

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This is an article by Peter Link from his blog Sparks From The Fire.  “No Emotion” is a response to one singer’s feelings about how music should (or should not) be performed  in a church worship service. Peter’s answer, written from the point of view  of a lyricist/composer of inspirational songs,  is an illuminating and even instructive  jumping off point for further discussion…

There is so much to explore on this subject!  At least that is true for me as I continue the journey of performing inspirational music in the church worship service.  I hope this article will spark ideas for you and your services.

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No Emotion
by
Peter Link

A woman called several weeks ago to thank me for a sacred song I’d written that she sang as a solo in church. We had a most friendly talk and near the end of the conversation she said proudly, “I just want to assure you that I sing your songs with absolutely no emotion.” (more…)

August 22, 2009 at 9:44 am 2 comments

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Inspiratus by Julia Wade

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