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Monday, 18 January 2021

Kerrys Corner #8 with Kerry Barnes: Prokofiev

Hello Music Lovers Kerry Barnes here with a new edition of “Kerry’s Corner” 8th Edition, where I delve into the lives and works of the Great Composers. I know you’ll be reading this in 2021, so happy New Year to you all xxx

 

PROKOFIEV  1891 - 1953

(Sergei)

This edition is all about Prokofiev!!

Now, I’m not gonna ramble on with this one because you really need to listen/watch the music at the end. Promise me you will.

Below, the great man himself!



Believe it or not, Prokofiev was and is, the most important man in my life!

Let me explain.

If it wasn’t for Prokofiev I could have ended up walking a very different path, than music.

When I was about 9 years old my primary school decided to put on a production of Prokofiev’s children’s masterpiece “Peter and the Wolf”…….mainly a musical story about a poor duck who got eaten alive!! ….(I’ve always felt slightly frightened of this work, and to this day, can’t work out if it has a happy ending or not!!.....ask the duck).

Anyhow, for some reason I got chosen to play the duck. I actually don’t remember much about it other than BEING COMPLETELY TRANSFIXED BY THE MUSIC... it had angular rhythms, ascerbic harmonies and unexpected modulations. I felt this music enter my body, send me to heaven and gently lower me back down again. I don’t remember the other children taking much notice of it really; I just thought there was something wrong with me. And so it was set, a love for Ukrainian classical arts.


Also known, was the fact that I would be involved in a musical existence of some kind, (incidentally, my mum stayed up all night sewing feathers to my costume…..forever grateful mum!).

“Peter and the Wolf” is a great way to introduce children (and adults) to the instruments of a symphony orchestra, as each character is assigned one. Peter the strings, Duck the oboe, Grandad the bassoon, The Birds the flute, the Cat the clarinet and the Hunters the drums. But Prokofiev set out to do much more than this. He was to take all children on an uncertain journey, feeling slightly apprehensive about things, not knowing what comes next. Surely the poor duck gets to live. In the story, Peter, the little boy is a bit of a mischief, grandad is always in a bit of a mood, the birds are incessantly noisy and skittish, the duck trembles with fear, the cat creeps about, the wolf who eats the duck is shrouded in a dark cloud, and finally the hunters stalking the very air we breathe. The story is in complete symbiosis with the fantastic music, beautifully orchestrated.

I won’t attempt to tell you the story, because you simply must listen to it!!!

THE END


Monday, 4 January 2021

The Prescription is Music: Interview with Soundworker & Sonic Activist Joshua Leeds By Darlene Koldenhoven

The Prescription is Music: Interview with Soundworker & Sonic Activist Joshua Leeds

By Darlene Koldenhoven, M.M.V., B.M.Ed., iLs-APP, NLP, GRAMMY®, Indie Music Hall of Fame

Although I’ve known Joshua Leeds since 2007 when we met at a conference for music therapists in Boulder, Colorado, I recently enjoyed interviewing Joshua this week via Zoom. We also were both individually interviewed as a part of The Shift Network’s Sound Healing Summit this past summer and after listening to his interview, where he is appropriately known as a psychoacoustician, I’d also like to add the moniker sound philosopher. Joshua asks a lot of questions and like any great philosopher, he ponders, chooses his words slowly and carefully, and finds his resolve in searching everyone, everything and every part of his brain for his answers as to how sound affects humans and animals. Joshua’s career from producing commercial music sharply changed in 1986 when he turned his attention solely to therapeutic sound, enjoying a fulfilling career making people aware of how to improve their lives with sound, including writing three books published in multiple languages: Sonic Alchemy (1997), Through a Dog’s Ear (2008) and The Power of Sound (2010/2000). He’s produced 50+ of his psychoacoustic specialized tracks for calming, relaxation, sleep, focus that are used in homes, clinics, and classrooms around the world. Mr. Leeds continues to have incredible success with several CDs and streams of his bioacoustics music for pets used in animal care facilities!

Currently, his primary focus is on writing his upcoming book: Soundwork on a Hot Rock (2021) where he’ll be discussing among other things, what he calls “social cohesion” where he states, “Everywhere, people are in multi-layered epidemics and music has always served as a primary antidote for social cohesion. As soundworkers, our music, rhythms, frequencies and heartspace are called for and needed. This is a new time for shedding old identities, learning new skillsets, seeking silver linings, being alert and of service . . .during the age of coronavirus, climate change, systemic racism, income inequity, amoral politicians and unbridled technology, seven billion sisters and brothers are looking and listening for a new wholeness.” Joshua calls us to return to the roots of music when it was a nutrient for our nervous system and says that history shows us that music has both opportunity and connection to bring us back to community. He asks us to reposition music so as not to just entertain us but to take us through a garden that grows sound food, as he so aptly put it.

A few weeks ago I participated in Joshua’s second Soundwork21 zoom meeting. (He invited me to the first, but I was preoccupied with some urgent sound healing of my own that day.) By his own words, Joshua is not a one-on-one sound healer practitioner. But those who know him find he has a very keen knack for putting great people together, not to mention he is an erudite facilitator. What I found was an enthusiastic group of about 30 soundworkers, musicians of all kinds and levels, from around the globe, all eager to contribute their music and their concepts about how sound can help the world and how we can help ourselves using sound in this covid-consumed place we now live in. Of note were vocal chanter Heather Houston from Santa Cruz, CA, who led us in a relaxing multi-part group chant; Karen Olson, Ph.D. from New York, author of Soundpath and a violist who improvised a beautiful piece she created for healing; Ruth Cunningham, formerly of the women’s a capella group Anonymous 4, who played harp and improvised a lovely vocal derived from Latin Chant that she calls Fresh Chant; and Thomas Shivanand Amilio from India & New York who led us in an awesome vedic mantra meditation chant ending with the all-powerful OM. Then Joshua continued with one of my tracks “Emmanuel,” a vocalise I recorded in one take, after opening myself to the heavenly channel. Many of my sonic therapy clients and students use it as tool for great emotional release and healing. I was followed by David Key’s improvisation on his beautiful redwood native flute using Elk energy for stamina and strength; Susan Carol with her harp ministry aligning with the Christ body-mind-spirit; Amy Canie, harpist, who talked about conscious self-care and how important the space between the notes is; Stephan Hein in London who combines elements of Hindu with rock; and many more interesting, dedicated soundworkers. Join us on Joshua’s Facebook page, Soundwork 21 to find out about his next inspiring meeting for people involved with intentional applications of music and sound. Learn more about Mr. Leeds at JoshuaLeeds.com

Darlene Koldenhoven, M.M.V, B.M.Ed, NLP, iLs-APP certifications, Grammy Winner & 3-time nominee, Indie Music Hall of Fame Inductee. Recording artist with several multi-award winning, #1 New Age albums, some played in hospitals and hospices worldwide. Author, “Tune Your Voice: Singing and Your Mind’s Musical Ear.” International speaker and workshop facilitator on music education and sonic therapy. Private practice in voice and sonic therapy; in person or remotely. More info at DarleneKoldenhoven.com, ListeningMatrix.com, TuneYourVoice.net, WellnessVoiceWorkshop.com.

©2020 Darlene Koldenhoven. All rights reserved.

Monday, 21 December 2020

The One World Music Radio Top 30 Tracks of 2020 Written by Steve Sheppard

 

 

2020 has probably been one of the hardest years for us collectively to endure, thank goodness for music the panacea to cure most ills, most musicians have been ultra-creative this year during the many and ongoing lockdowns due to the global pandemic, ones likely to stretch well into 2021 too, but this has given a plethora of opportunities for artists, even me, to create new music, whilst we sit at home and stare at the freedom of clouds, and the rise of nature.

I have had time therefore, to create a top 30 of tracks officially for One World Music Radio, ones that have been heard on the station during the year and now are to be recognised as the media outlets top 30 listing, so let’s get this underway.

#30: Jim Ottaway with “Diamonds in the Rain” from the album “When Eternity Touches Time”

#29: Lissa Kathe with “By Nature” from the album “Harp Dreaming”

#28: Lynn Tredeau & Joseph L Young with their single “Broken Dreams”

#27: Michael Whalen with “A Metaphysical Morning” from the album “Sacred Spaces”

#26: Michelle Qureshi with “Shores of Atlantis” from the album “Within”

#25: Andrew Colyer with “Strings in the Ocean” from the album “Mists of Time”

#24: Rodrigo Rodriguez with his single “The Enlightened Face Of Buddha”

#23: Jon Durant with “Tributaries” from the album “Soul Of A River”

#22: Joey Curtin with the single “From the Beginning”

#21: Anaya with “Cathedral” from the album “Secrets”

#20: Bernward Koch with “Lavender Fields” from the album “Becoming”

#19: Jaimie Black with “Violet Flame” from the album “Season Of the Witch”

#18: Holland Phillips with “Our Sweeter Days” from his album “A Momentary Pause”

#17: Hiroki Okano with “Mother River” from the album “Peace On Earth”

#16: Dulce Joya with “Yes it’s You” from the album “Devotion”

#15: Andy Rogers with “Skylark Above The Dunes” from the album “When the Land Meets the Sea”

#14: Prem Vidu with “Holy Devine Mother” from the album “Encounter: Medicine Songs from Ma”

#13: Pam Asberry with her single “Floating”

#12: Kirsten Agresta Copely with “Winterbone” from the album “Around The Sun”

#11: KeithTim Anderson with his single “Evermore”

==============

#10: Joseph Sullinger with “Drawn by The Wind”, released as a single from one of the most accomplished acoustic guitarists in the business, technically brilliant, creatively colourful.

#9: Samer Fanek with “Just Like The Wind” released firstly as a single, Fanek has time on his side to become one of the greats on piano, his flair, passion and musical interpretations will open many doors wide for him in 2021.

#8: Tayu with “Shores Of Atlantis” from the album “Incantation”, featuring the talents of guitarist Mark Barnwell, our surprise album this year on OWMR, but what a stunner, for one I hope to see more of Tayu in 2021.

#7: Vin Downes with “Oak Lane” from the album “Good Light To Go By”. Downes is an artist who you know always releases a quality album when the time comes, there is never a weak track and here is a performer that has all the abilities to reach the peak of the acoustic guitar world in 2021 with his emotive and memorable compositions.

#6: Wayne Bethanis with “The Return Of The Cherokee” released as single and utilising the talents on flute of the brilliant Marcus Sj√∂wall. Bethanis followed up his mega hit “Tribes Of The City” with another classy moment of genius, I see even bigger things for Bethanis in 2021.

#5: Chasm with “The Silence Between The Words” from the album “Wood, Wind and Skin”. This was one of those songs from an album that became so addictive in 2020, it is one of those magical songs that just has something about it, the construct of the minor and major elements with a wistful sense of refection made this song for me truly special.

#4: The Song Gardeners with “Love Flows”, one of many splendid singles from the new age band, but one that seemed to resonate the most with the station. It was a timely release, when we all needed to see the love flow as well, but the creative genius of this band leaves me to think that 2021 could potentially be huge for them.

#3: Roger Eno & Brian Eno with “Obsidian” from the album “Mixing Colours”. Here we have true mastery from the duo, that shouldn’t really be a surprise of course, but this track with its mysterious and unreal organ sounds created for me one of the most ambient pieces of music I have heard for decades, filled with soft reflective textures and great colour and mood.

#2: Kevin Kendle with “Laniakea” from the album “Deep Skies 6: Laniakea”. It was a long time in the waiting room for this one, but boy was it worth it as Kendle brings us his best Deep Skies album since “Deep Skies 2: Lagoon Of Eternity”, the title track here was filled with a deepness of power and grace, a rich mood filled melody would gift us one of the best space styled tracks of the year, and see the UK artist at the top of his game.

#1: Cadence Spalding with “Trust In Love”, a single earlier on in the year, but one of those pieces of music you could see being played at the end of a concert with people raising their lighters or is it mobile phones now, above their heads in salute of this absolute anthem. Spalding is lyrically perfect, compositionally sublime, likened to Enya yes, but in my view warmer, and my prediction to be the break our star of 2021.

So there you go folks, be ready from the new awards season which starts in January 2021, as we will see for the first time all of One World Music Radio’s awards given on the same night, in a huge evening of award giving, in the meantime, light is just around the corner, keep the faith and trust in love. 


Monday, 14 December 2020

A Winter's Journey Home By Emma Thacker

 A Winter's Journey Home

By Emma Thacker


Stepping out into a darkened afternoon

As seasons turn darkness comes too soon.

Street lamps sparkle upon the frosted road

Weighed down by its icy load.

 

As the wind bites bitterly upon my ear

I contemplate the death of this year,

While I listen to the winds mournful sound

And tread with care on this frosted ground.

 

Then in awe I see such sights

The glow and warmth of Christmas lights.

They push me onwards and make me smile

For I shall be home soon, in a while.

 

And I glance up at the smiling moon

And know that I shall be home soon.

And as I hide further into my scarf

And tread with care on this frosted path.


Though cold outside I glow within

As one year departs another soon begins.

I think of my love waiting in at home

I will never again feel alone.

 

As the street lamps reflect, they dance away

On this darkened cold, crisp winters day

And the wind plays its music through bare branches

I watch as orange lamplight dances.

 

I feel a change upon the air

Stop and listen, stand and stare.

I think of all I'll do next year

And in happiness I shed a tear.

 

But first I must make this journey home

All by myself but not alone.

I gaze up towards the smiling moon

And know that I shall be home soon

Yes, I know I'll be home soon.

A Winter's Journey Home

 

Stepping out into a darkened afternoon

As seasons turn darkness comes too soon.

Street lamps sparkle upon the frosted road

Weighed down by its icy load.

 

As the wind bites bitterly upon my ear

I contemplate the death of this year,

While I listen to the winds mournful sound

And tread with care on this frosted ground.

 

Then in awe I see such sights

The glow and warmth of Christmas lights.

They push me onwards and make me smile

For I shall be home soon, in a while.

 

And I glance up at the smiling moon

And know that I shall be home soon.

And as I hide further into my scarf

And tread with care on this frosted path,

 

Though cold outside I glow within

As one year departs another soon begins.

I think of my love waiting in at home

I will never again feel alone.

 

As the street lamps reflect, they dance away

On this darkened cold, crisp winters day

And the wind plays its music through bare branches

I watch as orange lamplight dances.

 

I feel a change upon the air

Stop and listen, stand and stare.

I think of all I'll do next year

And in happiness I shed a tear.

 

But first I must make this journey home

All by myself but not alone.

I gaze up towards the smiling moon

And know that I shall be home soon

Yes, I know I'll be home soon.


If you would like to watch the video of the poem created to music by Kevin Kendle, then please follow this link: https://youtu.be/Hr4tey-JUTk

 

Follow Emma on Facebook too, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/MagicPumpkinPoetry


Sunday, 13 December 2020

Channelling by Lia Scallon

 


Channelling is the term used for the process of bringing through information or energy from other realms and a Channel is the term used for the person who delivers those messages.

There are different types of channelling and different ways in which an individual can be used as a channel. Some channelling for example comes through automatic writing or the creation of music; others may tone or speak the information presented in the moment.

There are also different levels on which the channelling takes place. A full trance channel is someone who loses consciousness of present time and may become the sacred vessel, as it were, for the other-dimensional energy to come through. These people usually have no recall of what took place, the information being recorded by others present.

Edward Cayce, the famous ‘Sleeping Prophet’, was such a trance channel. Cayce is considered a modern day seer – a visionary who brought through information on ancient civilisations such as Egypt and Atlantis as well prophecies for the future, many of which have come true. He was also a powerful instrument of healing for hundreds of people all around the globe. When in the state of trance, he appeared to literally visit the patient in their location. He would give specific information about their condition with suggestions for the course of treatment, which were often at odds with current medical opinion or their existing treatment. Time and again his diagnosis was proven correct and people were miraculously healed.

A ‘conscious channel’ is someone who remains more present in the three dimensional reality while they are channelling. They seem to exist, for that moment, in two realms – the open vehicle for the energy coming through whilst still aware of their current surroundings.

Lia is a conscious channel. As the beautiful melodies and Light Language of the Sounds of Sirius flow through her, she is still largely conscious and present.

“It is hard to explain in words”, says Lia. “Part of me seems to be separate from my physical body and in a different dimensional reality, and yet I am aware of my surroundings enough to be able to move around albeit mostly with eyes closed. The purity and gentleness of the energy pouring through me for the person or group present, is often so powerful that tears flow down my face throughout. It feels like an infinite river of pure love flowing through me, towards the receiver.

Very often it is the presence of the Divine Mother that I feel coming through me. I see her holding the person in her arms with complete unconditional compassion and understanding. She comes to nurture them, to soothe them, and to awaken remembrance within them of the beautiful Being they truly are. I feel it an enormous privilege to be the vehicle for such pure Love, which seems to touch people to their very soul”.


Much valuable information has come from other realms in the form of automatic writing. Messages and books can seem to write themselves, as the information flows through the channel’s pen. A particular Spirit Being or group of Beings will often be the voice within the material, bringing a strong message of love and support for humanity and advice on how to raise one’s consciousness.

Paramount for those who have a facility for channelling, is the need to be aware of the nature of the energy that is coming through. There is always choice and at all times one should ask if the energy is ‘of the Light’. If it is not it must be commanded to leave, and it is a law of Spirit that it must do so. Care and integrity must be observed, as even the most experienced of channels may be a target of obstructive energies.

We are living in an exciting time in the history of this planet. We have entered a New Age, and humanity as a whole is shifting in consciousness. There are many Teachers and Ascended Beings in higher dimensional realms who wish to offer assistance with this process. They come with the reassurance that we are not alone in this Universe. Incarnating onto the Earth plane has meant until now, a state of unconsciousness or forgetfulness of where we came from – a state of separateness from all other things – a state of limitation.

Many channelled messages tell us that a new dawn is upon us, and that the ‘illusion’ of separation is now coming to an end. We are moving towards the realisation that we are indeed part of the All That Is.

  • It is most important to always use your own personal discernment when dealing with channelled material. It should resonate deep within you, as a truth of your soul.

______________________________________

Lia Scallon For almost 20 years, the unique, otherworldly vocals of award-winning Composer/Singer Lia Scallon, have been transporting listeners to that sanctuary within the heart, where they can connect with their own wisdom and ability to heal. Lia’s music defies easy definition. The power of her sacred songs and accompanying ‘Language of Light’, belongs to the realm of Spirit. Many say the music reaches deep into their soul, triggering remembrance of their life’s purpose. Inspirational and transformative, yet profoundly soothing to body, mind and spirit, it could be said that the ‘Sounds of Sirius’ are calling you ‘home’. Lia’s three most recent albums – Crystal KeysThe Luminous Pearl, and Song of the Sidhehave all received worldwide recognition, and been honoured with multiple awards.




Thursday, 19 November 2020

The Prescription is Music: Longevity of a Healthy Brain By Darlene Koldenhoven


The Prescription is Music: Longevity of a Healthy Brain

By Darlene Koldenhoven, M.M.V., B.M.Ed., iLs-APP, NLP, GRAMMY®, Indie Music Hall of Fame


In February of 2020 he AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) convened a Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH)in Washington D.C., USA, inviting an independent collaborative of scientists, health professionals, scholars and policy experts from around the world who were working on brain health and cognition. What their research found was remarkable: that music in all its forms has a profound effect on keeping the brain sharp and the body actively functioning as we age. Those who were lucky enough to begin a deep exposure to music by formal music training or an abundance of music and singing in our environment prior to age 7, had an advantage in brain function that lasted a lifetime with permanent intellectual benefits. Those who started later in life also showed advances within the neuroplasticity of the brain.

With more advanced research, the scientific evidence of the advantage of music is no longer anecdotal; although much has been written or verbally passed down thousands of generations about the healing power of music as evidenced in the many books written by credentialed professionals and non-credentialed individuals on the subject. Still, much more research needs to be done and funding for such research needs to be raised, but the verdict is in and we all win with music.

 


Once again, singing may be the easiest and inexpensive ways to get started and one of the most beneficial ways of impacting your life with positive vibrations. Sadly, many have had the desire to sing stolen from them, sabotaged by parents, teachers, friends who just don’t understand that singing is a learned experience that takes time and practice. You get good at whatever you spend the most time at. The genetic research company, 23 and Me, has found that to a very small certain percent, the lack of ability to sing in tune is genetic. But that is no excuse not to try and I have successfully taught hundreds of pitch challenged individuals of all ages to get their ear/voice in tune. Although singing does not depend on formal training, it begins in infancy and takes action to exercise the muscles of singing, listening to yourself and others to achieve a reasonable goal in singing; not necessarily becoming a professional singer. Recently, a parent of a 12-year old girl student of mine told me several times that she did not see why her daughter (one of those in that small percent 23 and Me was referencing) had to vocalize for 20 minutes a day to learn to sing in tune in spite of me explaining all the muscular mechanisms and listening functions and audio processing time correlations within the brain necessary to achieve the goal. She actually said more than once that she did not want her daughter to do it and in front of the child, proclaimed that she never sounds good. Parental sabotage strikes again! Sadly, here I have to be careful to reign in my empathetic, championing, high horse and just do the best I can to teach and encourage that child. Some may be born with a predilection towards math, some not so much, but that doesn’t mean we don’t practice our multiplication tables growing up. Yet, not knowing your “times tables” does not create the emotional deficiency that not being able to sing does; unless you are made to recite those tables in front of the class. The more skills we have in life, the less depressed we will be. When it comes to singing, apparently it has quite a positive effect on the brain and the body and its functions. Our singing voice is the best instrument we have for our health.

 


The AARP study 1 found that choral singing has so many benefits. (Unfortunately, COVID-19 has put the kibosh on that for a while. Regardless, singing along to choral music helps in the mean time.) The studies of Dr. Gene Cohen and Jeanne Kelly revealed that after 9 months of singing, these older adult singers in their study group suffered fewer falls, had fewer doctor and hospital visits, took less medication and experienced less depression. Singing has benefits for both healthy aging and stroke patients. Some studies measured the amount of cytokines (protein chemical messengers in the immune system) in the blood after singing for an hour and found that singing boosts the immune system and help to regulate inflammation.


Listening to music has much value as well, stimulating many parts of the brain and promoting connectivity in the brain, resulting in better motor control affecting speech, walking, balance, swallowing and breathing. Music and dance are united showing a reduction in the risk of dementia. And, it doesn’t matter what country or culture you come from – music is universal in its healing and life enhancing properties. Here’s where scholars can agree: music supports the well-being and quality of life essential in benefitting brain health even if we don’t have definite evidence it mitigates a disease itself. Music improves our moods, lowers stress which affects activity of the autonomic nervous system, which ramps up the immune function. Studies also found that negative feelings undermine the immune function. So, particularly in today’s world, in addition to taking the vitamin C, D, and Zinc in your defence arsenal, get that music going and your inner song bird a warbling!

1 Referencing – “Music on Our Minds: The Rich Potential of Music to Promote Brain Health and Mental Well-Being” by the Global Council on Brain Health, a collaborative from AARP.

###

Darlene Koldenhoven, M.M.V, B.M.Ed, NLP, iLs-APP, Grammy Winner & 3-time nominee, Indie Music Hall of Fame Inductee. Recording artist with several multi-award winning, #1 New Age albums, some played in hospitals and hospices nationwide. Author, “Tune Your Voice: Singing and Your Mind’s Musical Ear.” International speaker on music education and sonic therapy. Private practice in voice and sonic therapy; in person or remotely. More info at DarleneKoldenhoven.com, ListeningMatrix.com, TuneYourVoice.net, WellnessVoiceWorkshop.com.

©2020 Darlene Koldenhoven. All rights reserved.


Sunday, 8 November 2020

In Review: the Singles by Steve Sheppard

 


In Review: the Singles by Steve Sheppard

 

Single compositions in most genres is now the way forward; I am so grateful we embraced this new culture of singles by creating the one and only, as far as I know, top 50 chart for the new age genre of music quite a while back, on One World Music Radio.

So I thought for this edition of In Review we would take a brief look at a few singles that have graced my path recently, and highlight them in a way that they really most certainly need to be highlighted.

We start this singular journey off with the latest offering from pianist Tim Neumark, who to be honest has been producing some very memorable tunes lately, and this is another one to enjoy, it may be short form at just under two minutes, but his performance is warm, one of those compositions that leaves you with a smile on your face at its conclusion, and called Eternity (Improv in B-Flat Major).


Going from one style and length of arrangement to another, we take a listen to the latest piece from flautist Bearheart Kokopelli and his seven minute single entitled Walk in Beauty. This is special, it’s multi-instrumental in flavour, with a percussive beat that is addictive enough to make you move your body; this light and happy composition is one of those that will brighten your day with ease.



So from Native American styled flute, we move to a touch of sexy and sultry Latin guitar from Victor Samalot. His latest single is called La Chica Bonita and it is the closest you can get to an instrumental acoustic styled Santana arrangement. Having said that, there is a really nice electric riff contained within that is superb, I mean what is their not to love about this vibrant and cheer filled song, perfect for sipping Sangria and long days on the beach, and of course so smooth!



So singles are here and here to stay and I shall look at a three more in my next article too, as well as music that has been inspired by the current pandemic and trust me that subject has spawned some amazing classics to enjoy in the years ahead.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Kerrys Corner #7 with Kerry Barnes: J S Bach

 


Hello Music Lovers! Welcome to another edition of KERRY’S CORNER …..where I delve into the lives and works of the Great Composers, today, it’s all about

J. S. B A C H.

1685-1750

Bach quite simply is the king of Sacred Music. He wrote for the German protestant liturgy, mainly cantatas, keyboard and instrumental music.

Schubert once said of him “Bach has done everything completely, he was a man through and through! (Schubert was born over 40 years after Bach’s death).

Many people have thought that Bach’s music fulfils a profound spiritual need and has an ‘other worldly’ quality to it. (I’ve been trying to tell my mum that for years, but she still can’t stand his music!)

Bach’s life was dominated by his devotion to the Lutheran faith, and his music was dedicated to its service.

He didn’t much like travelling (unlike his peers) and spent his whole composing life in his native Germany, and mostly in the region of Thuringia and Saxony. He came from a long line of organists and choir masters etc. and his father Ambrosius was himself employed as a musician by the town council of Eisenach.

Bach lost both his parents by the age of 10, (how tragic) so he was sent off to live with his elder married brother J.C. Bach and stayed until the age of 15. He then obtained a free place at St. Michael’s school in Luneberg 200 miles away in north Germany. There, he benefitted from a solid musical education and also sang in the choir.

(The organ Bach would have played)


At age 17 he returned to Thuringia to look for a job (is this still the man who wrote the 48 Preludes and Fugues, scratching round for a job!)

Initially he found a post as a violinist in a Weimar court, he got a bit fed up with that and began composing like a mad man! … (I can relate to this being a mad woman myself) … and it was at this time he made the legendary pilgrimage on foot to Lubeck (260 miles) to hear the celebrated organist Dietrich Buxtehude!!  It must have rubbed off because Bach went on to be a professional organist.

It was also at this time that he married his second cousin (is that still legal?).

Her name was Maria Barbara Bach and they went on to have 6 children of whom C.P.E. Bach bridged the gap between late Baroque and early Classical eras … so it kind of went CPE /Haydn.

1721 was the year of the Brandenburg Concertos, (I’ve always longed to play the continuo- harpsichord part in one of those, oh, and the powdered wig)

Can you believe that Bach composed over 200 Cantatas, he must have been at it all day!

One of my favourites of his is the Double Violin Concerto, I once saw a video of David Oistrach and Yehudi Menuhin playing it in black and white film, amazing.

Bach’s composing sprees were still going at top speed with additions like orchestral works, harpsichord sonatas and cello suites; whenever I hear the G major one, I immediately think of the film ‘Hangover 2’ where Teddy lost his finger and will no more be able to play it.

Being a German, Bach was very fond of the Italian styles of Corelli and Vivaldi and immersed himself in the intense study of them.

In May 1720, Bach’s wife died suddenly, but it didn’t take him long to find another girlfriend, whom he married the following year. His bride … Anna Magdalena. She proved to be a great asset to her husband and was herself a great musician, playing the harpsichord, singing and more. They went on to have 13 more children! (oh, that poor woman’s uterus) … but he still found time to compose the mega body of work that are the Preludes and Fugues, the staple repertoire of all great pianists. (I saw Andrass Schiff play them all from memory) … another little story if I may … many years ago I went to the Wigmore Hall in London to see a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and my boyfriend at the time fell asleep 15 minutes in … just as well we were sitting right at the back (of course I was riveted).

Due to the nature of relationships, Bach’s career became rather fragile, so he decided to move to Leipzig where he carried on composing till his death 27 years later. He took on some teaching work and wrote 250 works for the church there. Among his last major works were the Goldberg Variations for harpsichord, of which I had the privilege of seeing Virginia Black perform in London too (the finest harpsichord player England ever had).

Very sadly, towards his death Bach became almost totally blind, how awful for a prolific scribbler.

He will always remain one of the world’s most revered composers that ever lived. Rock on man!


Thursday, 15 October 2020

What about the Microwave? by Emma Thacker

 


What about the Microwave?
by Emma Thacker

There was a young man
And he was called Dave
He had an old friend
Who was a microwave.
Though he pinged a lot
He was well behaved
And his best friend Blender
Lived in a cave.

The cave was wonderful 
Warm and bright
Although there was really
No sign of a light.
There was a young man
Who said he just might
Steal poor old Blender
And ask for a fight!

But Dave came along
And stole the man's glove
So that he couldn't fight,
He was so much in love 
As the Blender took on
A most voluptuous form
And cradled the glove
The young man had worn.

Blender took his mate
Along to his cave
And in the glare of the dark
He most solemnly gave
The promise of love 
And a garden to pave
As long as the best man
Could always be Dave!