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Lullabies

A bunch of the songs I’ve been singing or would like to sing to B. From friends, family, Musarc, etc. Some are lullabies, many are not, but they all have a lullaby feel to me.

Links are to YouTube.

  • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, here sung by Judy Garland
  • “Baby Mine” from Dumbo, here sung by Betty Noyes
  • “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, here sung by Audrey Hepburn
  • “Candle on the Water” from Pete’s Dragon, here sung by Helen Reddy
  • “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins, here sung by Julie Andrews
  • “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins, here sung by Julie Andrews
  • “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin, John Turner, and Geoffrey Parsons, here sung by Nat King Cole
  • “Yesterday” by The Beatles, here
  • “Danny Boy” or “The Derry Air”, here sung by Sinéad O’Connor
  • “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music, here sung by Bill Lee
  • Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4 by Johannes Brahms, much better known as Brahms’ Lullaby or “Guten Abend, gute Nacht”, here sung in Hebrew, English, and German by Esther Ofarim
  • “Es wird scho glei dumpa”, here sung by the Tölzer Boys Choir
  • “Schlaf, Kindlein, Schlaf”, here sung by the Wernigerode Youth Choir
  • “Vent Frais, Vent Du Matin”, here sung by Veronique Chalot
  • “Ik ga slapen ik ben moe”, here sung by Jelske Ottema (I think?)

Would love to collect more.

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To listen: Pamela Z

Need to listen to A Secret Code by Pamela Z from Neuma Records.

Came across her via the article “Social Codebreaker” by Emily Pothast in the July issue of The Wire, shown to me by Sam. See also her 1988 self-issued cassette Echolocation, due to be reissued later this year on Freedom to Spend.

From the article:

I ask her about the obvious current of humour running through many of her works. “A lot of people ask me about that. I think it’s because they expect experimental and contemporary music to be this very serious thing.” […an extended description of John Cage’s 1960 performance of Water Walk on CBS comedy game show I’ve Got A Secret and the audience’s laughter…]

“When people ask me that question, they often phrase it like, ‘Why do you inject humour into your work?’ and I don’t think of it as injecting humour,” she continues. “I think of it as allowing humour. Because I think that life is weird, and my work is very much influenced by and inspired by the world around me.

What happened to the formerly flourishing experimental music scene in San Francisco? I’ve looked for it. Some of the musicians may still be present, but the gigs aren’t, unless I’m missing something.

Might be worth keeping an eye out for Volti performances, Pamela Z has collaborated with them in the past.

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Music notation software

Just came across StaffPad via SB, music notation software for tablets. Looks very cool.

I used Sibelius pretty heavily in college, dabbled with Finale a bit as well. Looks like Sibelius is now a subscription app à la Adobe CS 😕 so I probably wouldn’t reach for it now. There is a free tier, but it’s pretty limiting. Finale’s not a subscription app, but it’s an eye-watering $600 for the most recent version. I’m all for paying for software when it’s worth it, but that seems steep.

StaffPad is $89.99 in the Mac App store as of right now, which seems very reasonable considering the features it offers. The handwriting recognition in particular looks pretty nifty, though I wonder how accurate it would be in practice…

My music notation needs are generally very intermittent (nonexistent at the moment…), so I’ll probably stick to LilyPond for now. It’s free, open source software that’s a lot like LaTeX but for music, does the job and can achieve some pretty complex notation. I do wish it was easier to control the text and notation fonts, but you can’t have everything. A huge upside of using LilyPond is keeping scores in version control via Git, which I think I’d miss if I moved to something with a more traditional UI.

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Current listening: “The Best of the Alessi Brothers”

Currently listening to The Best Of The Alessi Brothers (1998). Had no idea about them, came across them via two cool cats on Twitter.

These vibes are the perfect thing right now. Also, will be taking photos of the Alessi Bros to the hairdresser when that’s an option again.

Apple Music | Spotify

The album’s not on Bandcamp, but “Seabird” is included in Late Night Tales: Metronomy.

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Current listening: “My Finest Work Yet” by Andrew Bird

Currently listening to My Finest Work Yet (2019) by Andrew Bird. “Bloodless” is particularly on the nose.

Well, the best lack all conviction
And the worst keep sharpening their claws
They’re peddling in their dark fictions
While what’s left of us
Well, we just hem and we haw

And it’s so damn slinky, catchy.

LP from Loma Vista Records | Apple Music | Spotify

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“the mystic mouth / leaves me so defted”

sweet love, sweet love
love

my throat is gurgling
the mystic mouth
leaves me so defted
defted

my throat is gurgling
the mystic mouth
leaves me so defted

and the deep black nightingale
turned willowy

and the deep black nightingale
turned willowy

by love’s tossed treatment
berefted

The lyrics to John Cage’s “Four Walls: Act I, Scene VII”. I couldn’t find the lyrics many places online, so here they are.

Been listening to Symbol by Susumu Yokota a lot recently, finally took the time to look up a few of the songs he sampled. The voice in “music from the lake surface” is particularly haunting and weird, turns out it’s this piece.

“Four Walls” premiered in Steamboat Springs, CO in 1944, and this particular piece was originally sung by Julie Harris. The lyrics are a poem by Merce Cunningham.

I wonder which recording he sampled… It’s my favorite that I’ve heard so far, am not that in to many of others I’ve heard. Though I do think that the version from the 1989 album by Richard Bunger and Jay Clayton is pretty good (Apple Music, Spotify).


Related: I purchased John Cage: A Mycological Foray published by Atelier Editions a while back and it’s gorgeous. I really should send the postcards inside, but I’ll probably hang on to them. Need more pleasurable things to look at during the day-to-day right now.


Related to related: Listen to Mushroom Haiku, excerpt from Silence (1972/69) on UbuWeb. Browse the rest of Ubu’s John Cage artefacts.

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Current listening: “Playing Piano for Dad” by h hunt

Currently listening to the album Playing Piano for Dad (2016) by h hunt. Thanks to BL for the rec, by way of SB. It’s all about the piano, but I also like the occasional background talking, bits of humming, snaps, throat clearing, restarts, sighs, hearing the pedals. It’s an antidote to the franticness of the news cycle this October.