A Song For Each Emotion

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The world has always used colors to convey an emotion or to symbolize something. For each color, there is an emotion. In this blog post I will link a song with an emotion, for every color in the rainbow.

RED: Red can convey anger or love. I song that tugs the love heartstring, and also a little bit of anger for me, is “Stay” by Florida George Line. I’m very picky about the country music that I listen to. I like some popular songs and not others, and I can’t really discern why, except that that making a personal connection with the story is impotent for me. With “Stay,” I can connect to the feeling of feeling angry at myself for doing something wrong that drove somebody away, and wanting to get that person to come back.

 

ORANGE: orange can stand for shame or pride. In order to stay away from a Spanish song that you wouldn’t be able to understand, I had to pick another country song. “I Hold On” by Dierks Bentley is a song that gives me a feeling of pride when i sing it. The words that I most relate to are the chorus and the ending. The chorus says,

“So I hold on. To the things I believe in
My faith, your love, our freedom
To the things I can count on
To keep me going strong”

These words give me a sense of pride because in the past 5 years i’ve had to actively work to make myself happy, and i did so by holding on the things I can count on. A lot of things have happened and a lot of things have been taken away from me, but I focused on those things that remain and that help me get through the days.

 

YELLOW: grief and joy. I continue with country music because “The Car In Front Of Me”  by Luke Bryan is the top two songs that convey my feelings of grief over the loss of my best friend. “What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flatts is the other.

 

GREEN: green is often related to envy, but can also mean fear or trust. “Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flats doesn’t directly convey trust, but it is a theme in the song. Whatever happens on the road of life, no matter how disheartening  it is, it’s leading me somewhere great.

 

BLUE: Blue is a big one. It can stand for trust, loyalty, intelligence, faith, wisdom, and many more. “My Wish For you” by Rascal Flats gives me a sense of wisdom because the narrator of this song has a very precise message for the person he is singing to. He is sure about what he wants, his ideas are concrete, and he sounds happy.

 

INDIGO: this is the color of devotion. Who could be more devoted than a man who loves a woman and also her son? “He Didn’t Have To Be” by Brad Paisley is dedicated to praising the devotion that a father has for his step son. As the step son grows up and has a child of his own, he says,

“Lookin’ through the glass I think about the man
That’s standin’ next to me
And I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be”

 

PURPLE: purple very specifically links to royalty and power. I couldn’t find another country song to keep up the trend.

“Now We Are Free” in many ways can fit into this category. The one that is most evident to those who have watched the movie Gladiator, is that (SPOILER ALERT) after his death, he is finally free. How powerful is that? LISTEN.

Dear Patti Smith,

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With every page and every event that you described, I was in constant awe of the things you have endured. I had no idea your life was so difficult. Things like not being able to eat and not always having a place to sleep. Your story has given me a lot of perspective. And I also had no idea that your relationship with Robert was so deep. Your relationship with Robert was difficult and complicated and weird but also the greatest story any girl could ever dream of having. You’ve helped him and he’s helped you in so many ways. You’re brothers, you’re friends, you’re lovers. The connection you two had is unreal. And the only reason I can say this now is because of your talent for writing.

Your writing is really admiring and inspirational. The way you can describe any moment, even a dull one, and make it seem like the greatest moment in your life. You can bring words to life to the greatest extent. As I was reading, I wasn’t sure why you gave so much detail to simple events, like going to the fair, but eventually i understood why you told us those things and how each word is vital to the story you are trying to tell.

I wonder if you’ve made peace with everything you’ve undergone. If you could change one thing, what would it be? Most of us say that we wouldn’t change anything because everything that happens to us shape us. But when you’ve had such a long and painful life, I’m sure there could be one thing that you could take out of the equation and life would be just the same.

I wish you nothing but happiness from here until your last day.

P.S. You’re beautiful.

Playlist

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“I am in the final year of college, this is the “best time of my life” and in the next couple of months I have my final finals, I will have a college diploma and I will most likely be living in another state, another culture and another life, what’s a playlist to cultivate this time in my life, that both speaks to this time period similar to a time capsule but that also includes timeless tracks that speaks of the adjustment from adolescents to full blown adulthood, you know all St. Elmo’s Fire. Sincerely, The Coming of Age Guy.”

Dear Coming of Age Guy,

I am so sorry that your request has fallen into my hands. I don’t know any music like St. Elmo’s Fire and i know enough about you to know that I probably wouldn’t be able to find what you are looking for. However, I have tried my best to find songs that fit your current situation in life and that are timeless. I would guess that you probably already know all of them, but if not, let me know! Congratulations on graduating college, best of luck.

Sincerely,

Alexandra

 

 

 

 

The longest score ever composed for a motion picture

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Ben-Hur, a 1959 film adapted from the novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and directed by William Wyler, follows the story of a Jewish prince who looses his wealth very shortly before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Judah Ben-Hur, played by Charlton Heston, is betrayed by roman friend Messala, played by Stephen Boyd, who strips him of his wealth unjustly. Ben-Hur becomes a slave and his mother and sister are taken prisoners but after some time, he regains power and wealth and the opportunity arises to gain revenge.

The score for this movie was composed by Miklós Rózsa, is more than three hours long, and is the longest score ever composed for a motion picture. Rózsa won an Academy Award and because of the music score, the genre of this film was the first to win an Oscar. Incidentally, the film won 3 Golden Globes and 11 Academy awards! It’s a great film.

The score had to be released in 3 LP records due to the length, and was re-released multiple times because of the success. The influence can be apparent in many films, including those with music composed by John Williams.

Here is the overture of the film. If you have not seen this movie, I urge you to watch it right now. Every word in the dialogue, every scene, every facial expression of Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, and Hugh Griffith is epic and will keep you amazed until the end. It’s a masterpiece and so is the music score. Please put on your headphones, close your eyes, and listen to this.

A Questionnaire for Vanessa Sirois.

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The first guest on my blog, Anthony Martin, gave me an insight of his past and how music is ingrained in his life. After having a male guest, I am happy that my second is a female, Vanessa Sirois.
I made the following questions before I knew I would give them to Vanessa. The intent of my questions were to exploit the truth about the musical soul of whoever would get it, and pull out some interesting things that don’t have to with music directly. I’m happy that my questions succeeded and I thank Vanessa for answering the questions truthfully and with lots of detail.
1.       What’s the last song you listened to before taking this quiz? Jolene by Dolly Parton, but this version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doz1QJ7LwjA
2.       What’s your dream job? My dream job is not to have a “job.” My husband and I are on a mission to become debt free by building a tiny house, and setting up passive income so that neither of us have a “job” or a place to be for 40 hours a week. I just want to wake up every day, touch on my side businesses (mainly network marketing), barn chores, then do whatever I want to do the rest of that day: ride, climb, read, hike, run errands, whatever.  You get the idea. 
3.       Where do you enjoy listening to music the most? If it’s not live, then it’s my car when I’m alone. My speakers suck a little bit but I can turn it up loud, and sing if I want (and not hear myself) and jam out.
4.       If you could give yourself another name, what would it be? I don’t mind my name so I’ll go with my old little rave name…Nesquik. 
5.       Do you play any instruments? I just started taking guitar lessons last month and I could probably still play “Hot Cross Buns” on the flute. I want to play mandolin eventually.
6.       If you could be any artist, who would you be? I think I would just like to cruise through the subconscious of some of my favorites just to see what it’s like in there. Based on that, I would choose Bjork, Aphex Twin or Regina Spektor. They seem to have a lot going on inside. 
7.       What kind of lyric content tends to move you the most? I like metaphorical lyrics, or at least lyrics that are a little more cerebral or creatively worded or formatted.
8.       Have you ever written a song or poem to somebody? If so, what did it say? Last week I made up a song for my husband so that my horrible guitar strum pattern practice session wasn’t as horrible. I also had an ayurvedic clay mask on so the song went “I have a poop face, poop face. You have a poop face, poop face. We have a poop face, poop face.” I’ve never written anything else  for someone that I can think of. I’m too introverted for that.
9.       Do you consider yourself a dreamy idealist or realistic type of person? Both. For me it starts with a dreamy ideal but I quickly start to pick it apart to figure out how it can happen and what parts are not realistic so I can let that go ASAP. 
10.   Do you have any tattoos that are music related? I have the om symbol on the middle of my back. I got it after discovering yoga when I was 16 but have regrown into its meaning several times in the last decade and continue to redefine its meaning in my life. The om is said to have been the sound that created the universe so there you have it.
11.   Give me one song that has the ability to make you cry and why. “Sea of Love” by Cat Power or “You’re the World to Me” by David Gray. These were my first dance and father/daughter dance songs, respectively, from my recent wedding. Immediate cry fest, no more explanation needed.
12.   Have you forgiven yourself for your wrongdoings?  This is a loaded question! It’s a never ending cycle. I’ll always create new wrongdoings that I’ll have to forgive myself for so maybe I’ll be real good at it when I’m old. It’s a process.
13.   Do you think music could change the world? I think it actively is and always has been changing the world on many levels. Language is not universal and music is so that alone says a lot. The “be the change” idea applies here as well recognizing that everything is energy operating on a vibrational level.
14.   Tell me an interesting story that happened at a show or a concert. I almost died (allegedly) in Telluride during Bluegrass in 2010. 11 other people and I were sharing one room and I was sleeping in the entry way next to the closet. We had to shove every bag and purse in the closet so that there was room on the floor for people to sleep. The next morning I was still passed out when the closet exploded and bags came flying out. My friends and the other random people staying in that room blocked my head from being crushed. 
15.   Do you have a song that you consider a personal anthem? I struggle with wanting to eat everything all the time so this came to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDSK91mUNLU
16.   What attracts you most, the lyrics of the song, the melody, or a combination of both? Both. If I don’t like the melody at all, the lyrics don’t matter. But if I like the melody, even slightly, and the lyrics speak to me then that’s the ticket. 
17.   Share your favorite music video ever and tell me why it’s your favorite. I don’t really know how to explain this. It’s super weird and not a traditional “music video.” It’s a series of mash up videos called “Baptazia” that mixes live drum and bass/MC sets with manipulated video clips of things that happen at churches where they appear to exorcise the demons out of people. Then throw in the idea behind those popular “Bad Lip Reading” videos and now you kind of have an idea of what this is. The creator wanted it to look like the church people were raging really hard to this crazy music and the pastors/etc are the MC’s.  In my favorite,  Noisia and MC Rhymes are live at Gatecrasher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-HgBrVLv5I  I was heavy into dnb (drum and bass) in highschool and this video is crazy hilarious. So that should somehow explain this. Here’s a bonus video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_JmXCNPs6Y (Disclaimer: this is not meant to be disrespectful in any way! Just weird)
18.   What is a song that you really enjoy but would be very embarrassed to admit? Just tell us. “Fly” by Sugar Ray.
19.   What are two adjectives that people who know you have used to describe you on numerous occasions? WEIRD and laidback.
20.   Do you feel lucky to have gotten my quiz? It’s a great quiz, right?:) Sure! Everyone loves the freebie at the end J

Songs About Love

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The most important kind relationship for many is going to be the one they have with his/her child. The love for a child is so big and overwhelming, it’s sometimes terrifying. Here are six songs devoted to the love of a parent for a child:

1. In 1999, “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

This song is a very affectionate and emotional message from one individual to another. It conveys deep love for somebody and a purpose to transmit encouragement and support.

It can be sung as a lullaby but it’s fun enough to dance along to, or at least my son thinks so. 😉

 

2. “A Mother’s Prayer” by Celine Dion is the ultimate act of love. In the Bible, the real definition of love is when you want somebody to become saved and have faith. When you have that in mind, this song becomes so much more powerful.

 

3. “My little Girl” by Tim McGraw, for the country music lovers.

 

4. “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed is unique because it’s for a specific kind of father or mother, not the same one that would listen to Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” (although it’s definitely possible). It’s not a typical song. But despite the song being so different, the voice of Scott Stapp definitely captures the sentiments of a new parent and the lyrics don’t fail to transmit love.

Without surprise, I learned that Tapp wrote this song when he found out he was expecting a child. It hit many top charts and won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.

 

5. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith is one of the most popular songs in our culture. This is one of the very first songs I sang to my son when he was a newborn.

 

6. “Esos Locos Bajitos” by Joan Manuel Serrat. Although my readers are English speakers, I wanted to include this song because it’s the most creative and endearing song I know that pertains to this category of love.

The name of this song in English is “Those Short Crazies.” This kind of language has gotten me in trouble many times so it’s important to point out that in Spain, we can and do use words like “crazy” in the uttermost affectionate way. This isn’t done with the English language, at least not in America.

At the beginning of this clip, with an obvious facial expression of affection and warmth, Serrat explains where he got the name of the song. The lyrics are devoted to explaining all the things little kids do and the natural concern that parents have in response.

Alejandro Sanz

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One of the first things I look for in a song is a story… of love or grief. Or a message. Something that will speak to me about philosophy and life, and that will transmit culture. I like songs that have extensive lyrics and precise stories that will stir my emotions and allow me to sing along like it’s my story I’m singing about. The melody has to be beautiful and unique, and the song duration long.

Alejandro Sanz is an example of everything I look for in music. The majority of his songs are 4 or 5 minutes long and the lyrics are one of a kind. He’s written all of his music, since his first album in 1991 “Viviendo Deprisa” until his most recent in 2012, “La Musica No Se Toca.” Since the very beginning he has sung mostly beautiful and complex romantic stories that can’t at all be compared to any other love song I have ever heard from another artist. He will explain a relationship of some kind or a complex situation that he is going through and will pour out every feeling about it into the song.

“The only thing I always want to include is emotion,” Sanz once said “The only thing that I always want to express as an artist and that I believe the entire world responds to in the songs is emotion. If I use influences from dance music or Hindu music or whatever, it’s in order to obtain emotion in the songs.”

Initially, Sanz’s style consisted of flamenco influenced ballads but as a result of working with many different artists, his style has been mixed with rock, jazz, funk, and sometimes even hip hop, while holding on to his roots of flamenco.

Sanz has won 15 Latin Grammy Awards and 3 Grammy Awards.

This song I’m going to share is one of my favorites. “Mi primera canción” could be a poem alone. But a crucial part of it’s beauty is because it’s a collaboration with Presuntos Implicados, a popular Spanish pop band of the 80’s and 90’s, and Paco de Lucía, who many esteem the greatest flamenco guitarist of Spain, and certainly of the world. I can only hope to write about him one day. This live performance is from 1995.

A second song I’m sharing is for the readers to get a sense of the main music style of Alejandro Sanz. This song is also at the top of my list. And Alejandro Sanz is my favorite artist by far.

Anthony Martin’s Music Journey

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Inspired by a radio program and podcast from Santa Monica, CA, called Guest DJ, I found somebody whom I had never talked to and asked him to chose 5 songs to share with me that have significant meaning for him and that take him back in time.

Anthony Martin, a student pursuing English-Communications at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, openly shared with me how influential his family was to discovering his favorite bands and how he was able to find where he belongs and who he is.

Growing up in Littleton, CO, Anthony remembers his mother listening to bands like Korn, Godsmack, Tool, Disturbed, and Sublime. These bands were not considered popular music but his mom really liked them. Most distinctly, he remembers his mother listening to Limp Bizkit, so he chose “Take A Look Around” by Limp Bizkit to represent and remember that time that extends so far back to his mother taking him to daycare and blasting this music.

Unlike the strong influence his mother had on his opinions of nu-metal music, finding passion for Frank Sinatra belonged to him. The constant references to Sinatra and to his films that we have all experienced growing up weren’t what reeled him in. When he become older he began to pay attention to the words and perhaps because he is older, he has begun to appreciate the messages and to listen to similar music including Dean Martin and Sammy David Jr.,

The song that Anthony picked to highlight this appreciation is “That’s life” by Frank Sinatra. This song contains a message of persevering in life and not letting people discourage your spirits. Anthony believes that “this song is a great interpretation on how to live life. It always turns around and get’s better. That’s life.” He also likes the part of the song where Sinatra says, “Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race.”

The encouraging words of this song are not the only thing that lifts his spirits. In a movie called Licensed to Drive, the song appears in a scene where someone steals a car and sings along to that song. Whenever he hears the song, he recalls a dear memory of his mom. He said “I love that movie because its really funny but my mom was the one that showed me that movie because she watched it when she was growing up. I remember her laughing so hard at the scene when he’s laughing and stealing the car. That moment always sticks out in my mind. Every time I hear that song I remember her laughing so hard.“

Anthony’s third song is “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz, a rock song featuring De La Soul making it a rap song. Everyone remembers this song, whether or not they liked it. It won a Grammy and reached near the top of charts everywhere worldwide. It was everywhere and he remembers that is was on the top 5 of the Top 20 Music Videos Countdown on vh1 for the major part of his school year. Most mornings he would miss the bus and be late to school because he had to watch the music video on television every morning

This was the first rap song he really liked and he was able to share it with his younger brother who also deemed this song his favorite. The two would watch the Gorillaz music videos together and thought they were cool because their real faces were never revealed. They connected because of this song and together drew the characters and talked about them.

Thanks to his step dad’s extensive classical rock collection of albums, another door opened up to Anthony in his journey of discovering music. Right after he switched schools towards the end of 8th grade, he was looking through the records and found an album named The Wall by Pink Floyd. The album is about a young guy growing up with an overprotective mother and difficult teachers. Anthony explains “the wall is a metaphor for everything that is put up around him…. I just think it’s beautifully written… And in the end he finally breaks out of the wall.” Anthony shared “Outside the Wall” by Pink Floyd, which is the last song in the album.

Along with Pink Floyd, he also spent his abundant free time listening to Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors.

 


 

But “without a doubt,” The Strokes is Anthony’s “favorite band of all time.” 

The Strokes changed Anthony’s life from the moment he first heard them. From them he learned how to dress and how to act. He understood what is considered cool and what is considered good music. Finding The Strokes opened a big door to all kinds of things and it opened his eyes to music.

The way he found them was like a scene in a movie. His grandfather had started listening to alternative rock and he had a big cd case of burnt CD’s. That’s where he found The Strokes. Only 30 seconds into the first track he thought “what… this is amazing” and thankfully the case of burnt CD’s ended up being full of bands that sounded like The Strokes.

From that moment on Anthony’s life changed. He always talked about the Strokes and lead singer and idol, Julian Casablancas. He grew out his hair, bought a jean jacket and other things to dress like them, 5 kids from New York. He strove to find out what is so interesting about New York and what other things are left out there to discover, including movies and books. He says, “It opened up the world to me.”

His admiration of The Strokes led Anthony to discover other favorite bands including The Walkman, The Killers, The Vines, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Libertines.

Anthony’s final song is “Someday” by The Strokes. This song, as well as many by this band, has deep and significant meaning for him. The lyrics speak to him of past experiences in life and give him the feeling that “someday everything will be alright.” (Martin)

 “Whenever I want to forget about the world and relax, I will always go back and listen to The Strokes.” (Martin)


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