Wednesday, October 27, 2010
This group of slaytudes tries (and fails) to answer the question, "Which is more ridiculous--the sound of Canadian geese or Classically-trained musicians playing Gershwin?"
Nothing to do with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers' "blue"-note-inflected rendition of the Great American Songbook (GAS) standard Summertime on Keith Olbermann's show last night. Well, okay, maybe a little. Keith was actually impressed by her choice of repertoire, and I have two possible explanations: 1) He's a Great American Songbook fan, and/or 2) He was listening to Anne, thinking, "Wow--you can play regular music on that thing?" (I like Keith, by the way. But he is kind of culture-befuddled.)
Which has nothing to do with my slaytudes. "Slaytude," by the way, shows up nowhere in a Google search, so I'm going to coin it. It's a play on "etude," of course. By contrast, my alternate title, Rhapsody in Boo, shows up 2,120 times. So I axed it and kept "slaytude." These pieces don't really function as tudes, slay- or e-, but they don't combine to make a rhapsody, either. By any pun, however, they're bold and daring experiments.
Just kidding--they're plenty derivative.
All were performed "live" with my Casio CTK-551's output going into my PC's Line In, so whatever actual chops you can detect are authentically mine. Tracks were considerably doctored with echo, etc., and at least one section was sped up. For once, I didn't do much overlapping. The "Hauntovani" waltzes were written by me back in 1996 (under a different title), but everything else was made up over the last two nights, and more or less as I went along. I say more or less, because each passage was worked out before hitting "record." Though the track splices in the first selection can be detected as far away as Pluto, the editing on the other tracks is virtually silent. I mean, I can't even hear the cuts, and I know where they are.
As usual (when it's my own stuff), I've written all about the recording aspects and not about the music. Oh, well--to the tombs. I mean, the tunes. I mean, tudes: Five Halloween Slaytudes
FIVE HALLOWEEN SLAYTUDES (Lee Hartsfeld, 2010)
No. 1 in C Major
No. 2 in B Major
No. 3--Tritone Tryst
No. 4--Hauntovani Waltz No. 1 (First voicing)
No. 5--Three Hauntovani Waltzes
Monday, October 25, 2010
The 1966 Impossible Mission Force--Greg Morris, Steven Hill, Barbara Bain, and Peter Lupus (where's Martin Landau?)--are proud to introduce today's wicked washbucket of wondrously wacky warblings and wince-strumentals. Seventeen selections this time.
I love the original Mission: Impossible series, but I always found the idea of an IMF hilarious. "We have an impossible mission. Who can we call?" "How about the Impossible Mission Force?" "Oh, yeah--that's right. I forgot about them."
Screw up too often as an IM Force member, and you could find yourself demoted to the DBNIMF--the Difficult But Not Impossible Mission Force. Screw up really badly, and it's off to the PMF for you.
"Well, that's not much of a mission. We can call the PMF. They work cheap."
In the slaylist--great theatre pipe organ playing by Bill Vlasak and Donna Parker, great violin playing by Florian Zabach, crack musicianship by the Hal Herzon Orch. as they zip through three Raymond-Scott-type novelties (Robot, Surrealism, Mirage) by Morton Gould, great Everyman-style singing by Allan Sherman on the hilarious Pop Hates the Beatles, and peppy Hammond organ antics from Milt Herth on Henry Mancini's Pie in the Face Polka. Downloading is your only option.
I don't know, by the way, why I included Yellow Submarine (as played by Ferrante and Teicher), but I did. Great arrangement, anyway.
Click here to hear: Slaylist No. 10, 2010
SLAYLIST NUMBER 10
SPELLBOUND (Rozsa)--Fred Waring and the Penn. featuring Evalyn Tyner, piano.
BARBARELLA--Ferrante and Teicher, 1969.
STRICTLY FOR THE PERSIANS (Clinton)--Larry Clinton and His O., 1938.
TELSTAR--Billy Vaughn and His Orch., 1962.
TOCCATA IN D MINOR (Bach)--Donna Parker, Wurlitzer Theatre pipe organ.
GHOSTRIDERS IN THE SKY--Bill Vlasak, same.
PIE IN THE FACE POLKA (Mancini)--Bill Herth, Hammond "H" organ, 1966.
MY FRIEND THE GHOST--Tommy Dorsey O. w. Gordon Polk, 1954.
HAREM SCAREM--Florian Zabach, violin, 1956.
RIDERS IN THE SKY--Morton Gould and His Orch., 1955-ish.
SATAN AND THE POLAR BEAR (Rose)--David Rose Orch., 1957.
DANCE OF FURY (Nacio Herb Brown)--Same.
MIRAGE (Morton Gould)--Hal Herzon and His Orch.
POP HATES THE BEATLES--Allan Sherman, 1964.