Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to visit my daughter and grand kids in the D.C. Area.  I was going to drive but found a flight that was not too expensive and got me in and out within my schedule.  The visit was great and I had a wonderful time, but I wanted to mention the flight back.

Days are getting shorter here and the sunset comes surprisingly early.  I booked an evening flight back home.  As we boarded the plane, the day was ending and the sun had already started to set.  When we lifted off, the sunset was just about over, with the skies a deep pink mixed with dark red.  The timing was just right, and as we slowly ascended, the sunset was revived.  Flying in the direction for home, the plane arched its way toward the sunset.  We were not pointed directly at it so the sunset-filled horizon was visible outside the passenger windows.  I sat in the aisle row, so I could not take pictures or see the entire sunset, but I could see the spectacular colors and darkening clouds peak through every window on one side of the plane.

It seemed like the pilot was chasing the sunset.  Elevating and angling as needed we kept in pace with the evening light show.  I am always fascinated by the view when flying. Cloud formations, landscape features, lakes and mountains and the spider web of roads can keep me entertained for hours.

As night continued to consume the daylight hours, the ground lights became more and more visible.  A dazzling holiday display appeared for all willing to invest a little imagination.  I could have sworn one town had a huge area of lights that resembled Santa on his sled being pulled by brightly decorated reindeer!  Other areas hinting of holiday trees and festive decorations could be seen on one side of the plane as the unending sunset blazed when looking out the other. This lasted all the way home until the plane’s final decent brought the sunset and decorative lights to an end.

It was a short flight, but the never-ending sunset was just what the doctor ordered.  I never opened my book or tried to close my eyes during the entire flight, thinking this was the best return home flight I could have asked for.  Wishing you safe and pleasant travels for the holiday season!

 

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My wife and kids are quite creative.  The list of ideas and mediums they have worked with (mostly played with!) would take a few articles to cover them all.  One of the coolest things we used to do was to hand make small Christmas Cards that we would send or give to family friends and co-workers.  We made quite a few every year.  Sometimes we would make glass ornaments, sometimes fold-out decorated trees.  Scarfs and matching hats.  Each one unique.  They became collectors items in their own little way.  One of my favorites was an audio Christmas Card.  Everyone received a recorded cassette.

My studio has always been open to our kids.  They can play drums or percussion instruments, keyboards and if careful a guitar or two!  We would record often, starting when they learned their “A,B,C’s.  So we decided we would write, sing and record a song. The idea of doing the 12 years was brilliant as we had been doing this for twelve years and there is a popular song about the 12 Days of Christmas.  As you will hear we may have plagiarized a bit in this recording.

We had a great pet cat at the time and his full name was Tasmanian Devil,  but we called him TazMo and later Taz.  He loved to curl up in the cool bathroom sink and hang out. Some other lines will describe the type of card we sent or a piece of the original song, but I think you will get the idea.

Whatever your politics, Wherever you call home, Whomever you love, and Whenever you are able, take care of yourself and your family, have a safe holiday and a great New Year.

Speaking about lyrics that never become songs, etc., sometimes I write and record a demo or rough track of a song and it just never seems to go anywhere.    Some of them do get resurrected, many don’t.  For some it may be as simple as a tempo change or a different arrangement.  Other times for me it is mysterious.  In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I would like to post lyrics to a song in the making.  As this platform gives us access to followers around the globe, I do not want to leave anyone out, so please take this as intended.  If I don’t mention your country, other people’s songs will!

Then in a later post I can bring in the recorded demo tracks.   I like the lyrics for the most part and I love the idea behind the song, but it is not there yet.  Maybe after a pint or two of Guinness and some suggestions from you I can finish this song.  And of course, that could be a topic in and of itself.  We hear phrases like “final mix”.  Some people say there is no such thing.  Others say you just have to stop at some point and let it go.   Much of this may depend on your final goal.  Are you a singer/songwriter trying to get a break and some air-time?  Are you shopping for places your band can perform your unique style?   Do you want to have a clean demo to send to your favorite artist?  Is this a sound-track for video/YouTube?  Do you make sound effects for games?

We can always say make it as good as possible but that is very subjective.  Hire 50 sound engineers and you will get 45 different mixes (there are always people that look over your shoulder!)  Tip for today;  it takes a really long time to fix it in the mix even if you know what you are doing.  It is much easier and preferred to get the great sound first, and then record it properly (using gain staging and other procedures mentioned earlier).  When you record a great sound it will sound great.  As a sound guy for a local band I would get compliments on the sound (House from the audience but almost always monitors from the band).  I thank them and tell them the band sounds great, I just let everyone hear them.

“A Part of Me”                                                                   © 08-2000  MSK

American Indians gave me my soul,

A spiritual guide for all living things.

Each man’s fate is his to control

Peace with Nature, the warrior sings.

A Part of Me belongs to all of Them

From the Germans strength was my first lesson.

Trial and precision as you master these.

Pride that’s passed down from son to son.

Built in each hand crafted Masterpiece.

Oriental neighbors have shown me the light

Truth, Balance, Eternal harmony.

The beauty of patience and delight

Traditions deep within history.

A Part of Me belongs to all of them.

I’m proud to be an American.

Sisters and brothers from every shore,

That’s what makes us Americans.

Part of Me belongs to all of Them

From the Irish I inherit my pride

I stand my ground and I will speak my mind.

I will honor the lands and the tide,

And I’ll never leave a neighbor behind.

My English side embraced nobility.

Dry humor in the face of foes

Hardy enough to capture the seas.

Portraits legends and heroes.

African Americans forced to become

A torn people of two nations.

Tribal tales and melodic rhythm

Passed onto the next generation.

The French helped me understand

Style and grace can be nurtured like wine.

To believe there is no better place

Life shared with friends, bread and wine.

A Part of Me belongs to all of them.

I’m proud to be an American.

Sisters and brothers from every shore,

That’s what makes us Americans.

Part of Me belongs to all of Them

Year after year

They want to raise their children here.

Because sweat blood and tears

Can amount to something here.

There’s a lot of people in my life

A part of Me belongs to all of Them.

Your song may be different and that’s OK.

Sing it with your fellow American.