quinta-feira, outubro 30, 2014

New Song

("P:" stands for piano.)

The Look-at-Me Society

Sometimes it is difficult to find a title that fits the ambiance of a certain song. So, when a moderately interesting combination of words appears randomly in my head, I sometimes add it to a list of potential song titles. One of those was "The Look-at-Me Society".

I googled it just to see what appears. I came into this link, where several things that I often think are said. Some of them are related with premisses of this blog and to recurrent thoughts of this blogger. For instance:

"When I look around at the number of bloggers, tweets, wikipages, Facebook friends, and outlets for expression, it seems we've hit a crescendo of ‘look at me' activity, a striving for attention enveloping the globe. I often find myself caught in that web of self-promotion [...]"

Why do we do this? Where does this need for recognition/popularity come from? Why is everybody trying to shout to the world, trying to get his attention? It is not just "the economy, stupid", is it?

One of the premisses of this blog was to not spend any money in self-promotion. I would like this blog to become a sort of serendipitous finding, lost in the internet jungle, eventually to be discovered by some archeologist, much later, like Angkor. Yet... I do repeatedly post links to new songs in internet forums (or fora?) and I opened an exception to the rule of not spending money with advertising when I opened a Google Artist account (25$ - with unlimited uploads, it seemed reasonable). Why? From the same link:

"Why is seeking recognition so prominent in the West today? [...] Perhaps this striving has escalated because our numbers have grown so large. Being unique among 6 billion people requires a lot of work. Perhaps it is due to our praise of children for their uniqueness that may back-fire in adulthood when we notice how very much alike we all are. Perhaps it is merely our media access and newfound means of sharing ‘who we are' to everyone who will listen."

Another recurrent thought of this blogger is related to the effort of self-promoting: isn't it a waste of time? Shouldn't an artist concentrate on creating art? My feeling, for many years has been yes (especially if you are not a professional artist and do not have much time to develop art), despite my occasional posts in forums. Since the beginning, I also wanted to publish anonymously so as not to limit my process of creation. I was thus quite pleased to read the following in the same link:

"I once read a quote by a South American shaman who said he was ‘practicing the art of invisibility'. When queried by the writer as to why, he said that he could accomplish so much more from an invisible position than one of fame. I've wondered about that quote for a long time but think that part of the reason is that there is greater freedom to act when action is not tinged with attention-seeking. There is likely more energy available to effect change if one is not expending it on promoting oneself. [...] I think we all need to value anonymity a bit more. Perhaps if we do, we may find ourselves a little bit more content, happy and kind."

sábado, outubro 18, 2014

New Version

Insomnia. Pick a song, change it and publish. Now go to sleep.
The first version appeared in the TRA album (freely available on Google Play): Stupid Walk

sábado, outubro 11, 2014

New Song

It's funny how these songs suddenly happen in my keyboard... Some weird chord experiment makes a twist that totally changes the song spirit. It could be a mistake, or... a new branch for the song (which I view as a growing plant). I left it as it was: untrimmed, still growing.

segunda-feira, setembro 29, 2014

sábado, agosto 02, 2014

quinta-feira, maio 01, 2014

Happy Birthday!

This blog grows songs. Songs grow old.
The New Boss has turned 10 years old. Happy Birthday (and Worker's Day)!

sexta-feira, abril 25, 2014


To put some order in the chaos, or maybe not, I am announcing the release of STOHSPANS 13-14 in Google Play. It is a collection of the songs released in this blog during 2013 and 2014. It is not mixed or mastered properly, but it eventually will be, I hope... Anyway, here it is (free):

domingo, abril 20, 2014

New Song Version

Another version here (from the "TRA" album).


This is a chaotic blog, in the sense that music production follows some weird mood of the author and not some wise marketing decision, such as "finish it and present it properly to the public". I keep repeating this, I know. For instance, I could believe more in my capabilites, try my best to really turn some specific song into something as beautiful as possible, get some lyrics, sing it, get someone to mix and master everything to perfection, invest in packaging and marketing, etc.

It sounds like a lot of trouble, not suited to my life's rythm. So, I will just continue watering my song garden, adding some seeds, watching them grow and occasionally sharing some snapshots, when the mood arrives.

Everyone is invited to modify and create something different from these growing plants. In a way, this blog is pollen. And it is spring, after all.

sábado, abril 05, 2014

Everything is connected, VI.

I recently discovered this english word, "cagey". This should be a funny discovery to any portuguese speaking person and no, I am not telling you why, all you few non-portuguese speaking folks that visit this humble blog, because one of the meanings of this word is exactly "not willing to say everything that you know about something".

I have also been watching, in awe, to Bernstein's 6 Harvard classes on "The Unanswered question". After explaining us the marvels of the connections between music composed by different authors (e.g., the derivation of Wagner's Liebestod from Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet in episode 4, starting at 59:45), episode 5 starts with Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole which, to my ear, bears some resemblances to Bernstein's "I feel pretty". Yet, Bernstein's says nothing about this, when he could have used that as another example of his point in previous classes. Perhaps he wanted to tell us something about that other pillar of beauty, subtelty? Not telling us everything? Or was it subliminar, unintended?

Now I feel pretty cagey myself.

domingo, março 30, 2014

Everything is connected, V.

Yesterday, just after lunch, I realized that Liebestod's climax (1:34:40 in Leonard Bernstein's version) is in yet another of my dearest memories: John Lennon's Imagine. Yes, it is there, almost everywhere, in the fast and higher pitch piano part that connects to the repeating motiv (48'', 54'', 1'00'' etc in the video below). Did a bunch of Liebestod-fan neurons in my brain influence my preferences in music, films, etc all my life? And how does this connects to my lunch yesterday? And how come John's expression in the image below reflects so well my surprise?

Addendum: The period of Liebestod's climax repetition is the same as the repetition in Lennon's Imagine or am I imagining things?
Oh well. 4 posts in the middle of the night when all I wanted was to turn off the computer that was left on...

quarta-feira, março 26, 2014

The road to the utmost beauty and enchantment

The last time I went to the cinema with my family, I had an argument with my kids because, although the film was technically impeccable, I said that it lacked ambiguity. The kids loved the film and were shocked when I started with my "yes, the film was good but...".
In fact, that argument allowed me to realize that, in great part, the sense of unfulfillment I get after seeing a movie at the cinema comes from the lack of ambiguity of most current cinema (blockbusters movies, mainly). Hollywood, are you listening? You don't have to explain the whole movie to the public! The intriguing sense of mystery that comes from ambiguity has its own charm and can leave a sweet, enduring, mesmerizing impression (I saw "2001 a Space Odyssey" for the n'th time recently). Ambiguity can be more important than the consistency of the story!

Ok, that happened a few weeks ago. Today, I saw a 2h20m video with Leonard Bernstein talking about "The Delights and Dangers of Ambiguity". My first impression was: "Bernstein! Ambiguity! 2 hours! Wow!" (my second probably was: "He talks! And what a great communicator/teacher/player he is!"; Third: "Liebestod! Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune!"). The video is remarkable for many reasons and leaves important hints to better understand the paths towards beauty and emotion.  The magnificent rendition of Liebestod, maybe the most beautiful piece of music ever written, with its long and difficult progression to the climax, here with the superimposed image of the emotion of Bernstein, dancing and feeling the music, is priceless.  It starts at 1:16:20 in the video, but do not miss the discussion that starts at 59:45.

(I mentioned Liebestod before in this blog. This blog needs to have a valid link to it, because I do not trust my memory enough. Oh,and sorry for my bad english...)