Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear- Ben Howard


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


Some songs make me stop what I’m doing and just listen. Thankfully this song doesn’t get a lot of airplay when I’m driving. Although the last time I heard it was on a 4 hour drive to visit my parents after not being able to for over a year. Each curve and straightaway on the highway, framed by the trees passing the window against a clear blue morning sky felt like my own private video. I didn’t remember all the words, but no one was there to judge.

UK residents will be more familiar with Ben Howard. I’m glad I am.



In book news:

The View from Here – Now Available

What would you do if you found yourself on or in another world? Do you have the skills and knowledge needed to survive or to make sense of what you see?

Thomas sets out on a hike he has done many times before. Taking only what he needs for the three or four hours he expects to be gone, he passes a vehicle in the parking lot. The handwritten note on the dashboard read: Not Abandoned. The view at the end of the trail was not what he expected—neither were the friendships.

Two people with adventurous spirits, heading off into the unknown with only their physical fitness and combined knowledge to get them through everything they may encounter.

How far would you make it?


I hope you enjoyed my selections today.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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C’mon, space stuff!

Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear- Indigenous Canadian musicians.


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


I’m finally getting around to posting some indigenous Canadian musicians. If you are a music buff, you are probably aware of Buffy St. Marie, Robbie Robertson, Tom Jackson, or maybe Susan Uglukart or William Prince.

I have been hearing Jeremy Dutcher’s song, “Mehcinut”, for years now, so it’s about time I throw it out there. From his website, https://jeremydutcher.com/about/, he tells of listening to his native language (“...there’s only about a hundred Wolastoqey speakers left.”, says Dutcher), on wax cylinder recordings.

It’s a haunting song. It’s hypnotic and mesmerizing. There are glimpses of minimalist composer, Philip Glass, and after seeing the video, theatrics akin to Rufus Wainwright (Yeah, I promised one of his songs a while back).

What does the song mean? I have been enjoying it without knowing, but it is interesting:

“… “Lintuwakon ‘ciw Mehcinut (Death Chant),” off his upcoming album Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa to be released April 6th, the future meets the past as Dutcher’s resonant operatic voice is paired with a recording made over 110 years ago of a speech by Wolastoqiyik ancestor Jim Paul, on death and what comes after.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/qvevwv/jeremy-dutcher-keeps-his-dying-language-aloft-on-the-grandiose-mehcinut

I couldn’t decide whether to post the audio or video. If you are not a fan of performance art (hence the Rufus comparison) or want to hear it as I first did, you can just sit back and close your eyes.



And now for something completely different.

The Jerry Cans are from Iqaluit, Nunavut. The first thing you hear is Inuit throat singing and it only gets better from there. There is an english version, but it loses some of the charm.

Ukiuq means Northern lights.

http://www.thejerrycans.com

I hope you enjoyed my selections today.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Drop me a line if you are interested in reviewing my book

Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear / Latest Book Sneak Peek

I started working on my book cover and blurb over the last few weeks. I find many book covers either: too busy, too cartoony, or too sexy. I am a minimalist at heart, so my covers tend to lean that way. I may be missing out on a proven marketing strategy, but if you can’t please everyone, you might as well do something that you like.

I also am formatting my manuscript so I can give it out as an ARC (Advance Reader Copy). If you are interested, the contact info is at the bottom of the page. You can leave any comments too.

I’m also debating whether to go KDP (Amazon), or wide (Kobo/Google/iTunes etc.) this time.

So without further delay [drumroll]:

Thomas sets out on a hike he has done many times before. Taking only what he needs for the three or four hours he expects to be gone, he passes a vehicle in the parking lot. The handwritten note on the dashboard read: Not Abandoned.

The view at the end of the trail was not what he expected—neither was the friendship.
 
Two people with adventurous spirits, heading off into the unknown with only their physical fitness and combined knowledge to get them through everything they may encounter.


(Coming Spring 2022)

There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


I went to a songwriters workshop once (remember those days when people interacted in person?) and after playing one of my songs there were several comments about how some lines had too many syllables, that the rhyming was a bit off at times, which prompted a discussion about how to craft a song that would get airplay.

A few days later I remembered this song which goes against what many of the people were saying. I wish I had remembered it then. At times, his lines keep going on much longer than you expect, the rhymes are sporadic and . . .

And, that’s what makes it a good song. Listen carefully to the story. it’s a good one.



I hope you enjoyed this piece.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Drop me a line if you are interested in reviewing my book

Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


One of my favorite contemporary classical guitar pieces is “Sunburst”. It is exciting and exhilarating to play. I have learned and relearned it several times. Relearned? Yeah, unfortunately, if I don’t play it on a regular basis (like many of my favorites, including my own compositions), it is easily forgotten. Not completely, but enough that I have to repeat the whole process of putting it back together—to play for a while.

Written by American guitarist/composer Andrew York, it does fit well under the fingers, meaning even though it is quick, with flurries of notes that seem to fly by, the natural use of how the guitar is set up, makes learning it less challenging than is sounds. Also, the outer strings that are normally tuned to E are both dropped to D, making for a rich bass and easier melodic sequences.

Don’t get me wrong, it is difficult and fast, but the fingers fall sweetly on the notes to make it flow.

I wish this was me playing, but I would need a few months to get it back, then a few more to record, and I still wouldn’t be satisfied. So, I’ll hand it over to John Williams (no, not the Star Wars guy).



I hope you enjoyed this piece. I may have to learn it again . . . again

-Leon

*It’s true.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


How many songs are written about relationships? If you tally them up, the statistics will show that 76% of relationship songs are written by Adele*. I’m sure that love songs vs. break-up songs are about 50/50.

I decided to share two songs for no other reason than they were just to good to split up.

What stood out with Remi Wolf’s song was the opening line and the drums that reminded me of Phil Collin’s famous drum roll—albeit shorter.

We don’t want to run away from uncomfortable situations, but sometimes . . . well, it’s just easier, right?


I avoid the street that you live on
You’re a magnet pulling my feet and my head off
And I scramble my brain
Wasting away
Looking for ways that I can avoid you
To pull the weeds, suck the venom

I love Arlo Parks’ voice. In this song, we witness a break-up as Parks did.

Maybe if you took a breath
You would hear me when I talk to you
Threw her necklace in his face
Eyes so bright with disappointment
I saw something inside her break
Everybody knows the feeling
Suddenly he started screaming
Caroline
I swear to God, I tried
I swear to God, I tried

I hope you enjoyed today’s selections.

-Leon

*It’s true.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Music Monday: Lullaby (an original)

Ten months ago. That’s when I started my series on composition—well my way of doing things. Call me unorthodox—Go ahead, it’s OK.

In five weeks I described my process of coming up with an idea for a piece, expanding and revising it, then putting it together, writing it down (cuz I’m gonna forget it), and finally recording. If you are new to me, then I would suggest spending some time reading the previous posts, otherwise you will spoil the ending.

Music Monday: Composing something original – Can one? Are all the good melodies taken? Maybe.
Music Monday: Opus 2 – Music theory explained. Terribly.
Music Monday: Opus 3 – Decomposing Composition – How do I compose, you ask? Slowly.
Music Monday: Opus 4-Writing it Down – How do I write down what I just played?
Music Monday: Opus 5 Playing and Recording – The bane of my existence. Well, not the whole bane, just a little bane, and not of my whole existence, just a part of it.

So, finally, the piece is complete. I have played it and listened to it so many times that I am sick of it. Nah, it’s still fun to play. Just not in front of anyone.

Did it really take ten months? And I thought I was a slow writer (I am).

I hope you enjoy it. Like my poetry, it is meant to be shared. There is more of my music here: My Music (and more)

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear

NaNoWriMo Totals to Date: 17 810 words, 27 cups of coffee, one cup of Earl Grey, one cup of tea (unknown), two glasses of Rum & Coke, one glass of cabernet, one pint cream ale, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


Some might think my focus is on Canadian artists. It is not intentional, but those are the ones that may not be heard elsewhere and deserve a shot at other listeners.

Donavan Woods is another in that category.


Are any of these people Donovan Woods*?

-Leon

*It may surprise you, but he’s in there. Yup. He’s the guy that looks like a lumberjack. Welcome to Canada, eh?.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Update

Last day

Available @ my Zazzle store: Lines by Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear

NaNoWriMo Totals to Date: 13 580 words, 21 cups of coffee, one cup of Earl Grey, one cup of tea (unknown), two glasses of Rum & Coke, one glass of cabernet, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


Every time I decide on a song to share with you, three of four others come to mind. This one has been slipping down the list, so I thought I would get it out there.

Last week I mentioned that I try to avoid posting videos, especially if I think that it detracts from the song, but I watched this one and the ending told me otherwise.


-Leon

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Update

Different deals each day
Just a heads-up for this one

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear

NaNoWriMo Totals to Date: 10 653 words, 13 cups of coffee, one cup of Earl Grey, one cup of tea (unknown), two glasses of Rum &Coke, one glass of cabernet, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


Many may not know of Hawksley Workman. Now you do.

For the longest time I always thought this song was by Rufus Wainwright Jr. (something from him later, perhaps). Why do I like it? It sounds sad, yet it has an affirmation that everything is going to be all right. The guitar and drums are simple and the synthesizer adds a little uplift.

I try to avoid posting videos of songs. I don’t tend to watch them, and most times I hear the audio first—and prefer it that way. Some songs are best when you sit back and close your eyes—unless you are driving of course.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

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Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Time Machine Tuesday: My First Video

NaNoWriMo Update: 6000 words*, 9 cups of coffee, one cup of Earl Grey, one glass of cabernet, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.


I never liked my singing voice. Limited range and it never sounded good to me. But I try sometimes.

*If you are doing the math, 6000 divided by 8 equals I now have to write 2000 words/day. Yikes!

Want more music?: https://linesbyleon.com/my-music-and-more/

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.