Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday morning sounds: Amazing Grace (Tune: Greenville) and The Star of Bethlehem, redone.

The now-famous hymn Amazing Grace showed up in 19th-century tunebooks and hymnbooks joined to a variety of melodies. My copy of Harmonia Sacra (Tenth edition, 1860) uses the tune Greenville, with the final phrase of each verse repeated in a four-measure refrain (with new melodic material).  AABA form, long before Broadway and pop songs of the 1910s and 1920s:

As printed, this is a little tough to play, because the tenor is placed topside and notated an octave higher. This puts the three parts out of order. To make it easier for me to combine the parts as a keyboard solo, I redid the notation.  The tenor is now in its "proper" place:


 Same thing with The Star of Bethelehem--tenor on top, one octave up: 

As before, I put the three parts in the right order on two staves:


I have no idea what happened to my text up there. Anyway, now you will hear the two tunes on my Casio WK-3800, with multi-tracking. (All me.) Perfect Sunday morning music (said the presenter):

CLICK HERE TO HEAR: Amazing Grace (Greenville); Star of Bethlehem.

Amazing Grace (Greenville)--Harmonia Sacra, 1860.
The Star of Bethlehem--Harmonia Sacra, 1860.

Me, on the Casio WK-3800, with engineering assist from Sonar X2 and Magix.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Attack of the advertising track-downer thingies

So... Bev bought me Magix composing software for Nothing-to-do-with-religion-Mas, and so, naturally, ads for that software are popping up everywhere I cyber-travel, including on this blog. As an advertising tactic, how is that supposed to work? I mean, we already bought the product. Hello.

Count me as an advertising-bot skeptic.  That is, I think they function much more as an advertising concept than an advertising reality.  To wit, how many people buy (and re-buy) stuff they just bought?  How many people see an ad for purses/boats/cars/electronics and say, "I must have that, on top of the 10,000 other examples I've bought this week!"?  Tons of money must go into advertising bot technology, and I have to wonder if, in the cyber age, our culture's money, money, money attitude will do the Internet much good. The religion of capitalism--one that we're indoctrinated in from age 0--is that technological advancement goes hand in hand with the quest for profit (and vice versa).  What if that relationship is, in fact, flipped when we're talking about cyberspace?

Anyway, I'm not interested in buying the program Bev just got for me, but thanks anyway, Magix, and keep up the brilliant advertising scheme.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

What'chu lookin' at?

Sarge wants to know.  Sarge's full name is Sergeant Stripes (named by her former owner), and she's not quite a sarge, despite the stripes.  More like a petite-pawed Daddy's Girl diva.  And we love her profusely, diva or no.

She's also a messy eater, but don't tell anyone.  Except me, her cleaner-upper-after.

Sarge sent me to announce that my blog will survive (yay!) but with a format change.  A considerable change in format, I'm afraid.  No more vinyl and shellac ripping.  Sad, but true.  My reasons for doing so are too many (and too complicated) to list, but suffice it to say I no longer have the time.  And that's the truth, in spades.  As Bev gets elder, my elder care duties increase--the free time I once enjoyed is no longer available, and this blog has always been time-intensive, due in part to my fanatical devotion to sound editing. And, since I put up a lot of stuff, people expect a lot of stuff (and many expect past "links" to stay unbroken), and it's all my fault.  That is to say, perhaps I've promised a level of output that I can't realistically sustain (minus a staff).  I should have stuck to my original plan of a few tracks per week, but I didn't.  The thing is, when I started blogging in 2005, I had ZERO idea that my past, archived posts would be sitting out there, prompting "Why is the link broken?" comments.  I just jumped into music blogging with both feet, not knowing what to expect.  I remember how stunned I was when I first put up a site counter and discovered how much traffic I was getting.  For all I knew, no one was coming here.  Not.

Anyway, lots of great experiences here.  For one thing, it's great to get noticed in the blogosphere, given the considerable odds against same.  I was even in the Top 40 most visited blog posts back in 2006--briefly, but for a few hours.  I was rubbing shoulders with Crooks and Liars, Michelle Malkin (glegh!), and others.  Just as quickly, I returned to being a regular blog, but what a moment!  And it's been a joy to find that the stuff I put up is stuff people want to hear--and, in some cases, keep.  Especially after my message board experiences, in which my musical interests were met with "Is this guy nuts?" silence, mostly.

Music blogging has been fun and challenging, and I wish I could keep it up.  But with less free time, with a more rabid copyright-cop effort (1950 Merv Griffin Christmas sides MUST be protected from sharing between we cyber-rabble, you understand), and the awkwardness of thousands of "broken" links hanging around like silent ghosts in cyberspace, the writing is on the LP jacket.  I mean, the wall.  But it's been fun.  A million thanks to those who have taken the journey with me (how sappy can I get?), and I hope you'll consider staying on with the revamped MYPWHAE.  I will explain....

The revamped MYPWHAE (and you can tell it's revamped on account of the dropped ( )'s) will feature me playing my own music, i.e. pieces composed by me, as well as hymns, old songs, etc.  In short, an All Lee Blog.  (Notice how I'm avoiding the word "vanity.")  If that's your cup o' Lee, I mean, Joe, I mean, tea, then... stick around.  But I suspect a blog of Lee Music is going to attract, and retain, somewhat fewer followers and visitors than the MY(P)WHAE of old.  Just a guess.

Thanks, all.  And you may have noticed that few archived posts remain.   That's because I deleted them.  Funny--I thought this would be a week-long task, what with 2000+ posts, but I did it in one sitting.  Blogger makes it pretty easy, really.  Deleting the blog would have been easier, but you don't get to keep a blog you've deleted.  So I opted for cleaning out the archives.

Again, a much better option than having dead posts sit around, confusing anyone who stumbles upon them.  And understandably.  So, stick around if you like cat photos and Lee playing hymns, songs, and/or his own compositions (Christmas at Halloween, Halloween in Space, Godzilla Suite, Fiscal Cliff Suite, various preludes, offertories, and mini-fugues, etc.).  The MY(P)WHAE of old, however, is no more.  I write this with a mixture of regret and relief.  I loved it, but minus a staff (and, God knows, a budget!), I really can't do this anymore.  This aging Boomer thanks you for your support.  Those who choose to take off, I'll hate you forever, but otherwise no hard feelings.  (:  Just kidding, just kidding.

Your humble cyber-servant,


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Adventures in phishing

Recently, Bev and I were awakened by what turned out to be a phishing call.  "Unknown Number," read our phone.  A thick-accented young man, yelling like his chair was on fire, informed us that our computer has a virus.  He wanted us to bring up a page and do something.  That's when I hung up.

He called back.  Bev hung up.

He called back again.

Me: Hello?
Me:  I'm sorry?
Me:  Yes.
Me:  Whose computer?
Him: WHAT?
Me: Whose computer?
Me: (Click)

He never called back.  Anyway, I will cherish the "Whose computer?" "YOUR COMPUTER" exchange as long as I live.

If we'd asked him who we were speaking to, no doubt he would have responded, "ME."


Sunday, September 15, 2013

This is what I like look when professionally photographed

The first professional, studio-type photo of me since high school, not counting my various driver's license photos (and who wants to count those?).  Taken for the updated church directory, where I will be included as a staff member.  It came out nicely--professionally, even.

The fold in the photo happened during mailing.  I guess there wasn't a cardboard backing?  (I forgot to ask Bev, who opened it.)  Anyway, this is the professional version of what I look like.  Click for larger view.