Archive for the ‘music’ Tag

Just One Thing   3 comments

If you could change one thing in your life and not have it affect you negatively later, what would you pick?

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Changing Your Life

If there were one thing I could change in my life, it would be my singing voice. I love music, but I can’t sing. I mean, I really can’t sing. The Bible says to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, but my voice emphasizes noise.

lightstock_294676_small_churchfront-2I don’t want to get the best voice in the world. I just don’t want to feel that I’m offending the people who can hear me.

And, I really can’t see how that would affect me negatively. Some of the other things I considered changing could have a negative consequence. Being taller might mean my spine would be more prone to damage. Having less curly hair might mean having to spend more time and money styling my hair. The other things I might change are things I could change if I really wanted to.

But singing … that’s something I would really like to change and that I really don’t see any negative consequences from it.


Posted June 4, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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Rockers Who Speak Their Mind   Leave a comment

Dream Machine’s Matthew and Doris Melton were dropped by their record label for being politically-incorrect pragmatists. They exercised their right to express an opinion. Doris, a legal immigrant from Bosnia, said she thought illegal immigrants who break the law should be deported. Doris, a woman, also believes that girl bands have become overly political manhaters who don’t play their instruments properly. Matthew and Doris both believe that we are too sucked into social media that we’re missing out on real life. Those are opinions, but I’m not really sure how they are hateful.

I find it ironic that their record label, Castle Face, dropped them after Matthew said such complimentary things about them.

So, I finally found the interview and thought you should have the opportunity to read what they actually said that was supposedly so “hateful”.

I first became aware of this controversy on Fox News while I was sweating on the exercise bike. Matthew made a point that I really agreed with – rock has always been about protest and counter-cultural thinking, so it is a real shame that currently you can’t express a politically incorrect opinion without facing sanction.

Matthew believes that, over time, more rock musicians will become more outspoken and start speaking out against political correctness. I hope so and this is my way to do my part toward that movement. Since they don’t do social media, I’ll do it for them.

Soundtrack for a Novel   4 comments

I am not a peace-and-quiet sort of writer. I grew up in a small house where my mom operated a daycare and Brad and I lived for several years, with the kids, in a small cabin. I can write anywhere and ignore the noise level.

Image result for image of classical music

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But sometimes music helps to set a mood that the general chaos of living cannot. Often we remember a great movie by its soundtrack and writing a novel sometimes has the feel of writing a movie. The soundtrack is only for me, but it has its place in my art.

Daermad Cycle was inspired by songs by Enya. Makes sense, right? Celtic music inspired a Celtic-flavored novel. And when I’m feeling distracted when I’m working on Daermad Cycle, I still listen to Celtic instrumental music or songs sung in Gaelic.

Big bold instrumental music inspires battles in my imagination, so often there’s a Manheim Steamroller song behind the ringing of swords in my fantasy books. Holst’s “Mars, Bringer of War” is currently my go-to for writing a complicated naval attack scene in Fount of Wraiths. The Verdi Requiem has a similar effect as does the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

Prokofiev’s “Death of Tybalt” is a murder scene from Romeo & Juliet) that is fraught with tension, great for scenes where I might want people to distrust one another, so it gets used a lot.

When my characters start winning battles the 1812 Overture will probably be behind it.

Other types of scenes call for jazz or blues, but I might also plug in some big band, or even zydeco. Often, I just scan through lists looking for something that matches the mood of the scene I’m trying to write. I don’t need music for every scene, but if I’m having trouble getting into it, I head over to my music lists for some inspiration.

You might have noticed — I prefer to be inspired by music that has no words. I’m not a classics snob. I LOVE contemporary music and listen to it a lot, but I don’t want the words telling me what I should think while I’m writing. That isn’t conducive to writing my own story. Enya didn’t count because she was singing in Gaelic.

That “no words” goal makes it a bit more difficult to find music for contemporary pieces, but I don’t seem to need the musical inspiration so much when I’m writing in this world. As I’m moving into sadder and sadder times in Transformation Project, however, I’m starting to look for minor-key classics to inspire those scenes. Brad has suggested that I might need to find some Tchaikovsky or Mozart or zydeco or ska to lighten some scenes. He’s worried I might depress my readers, but the third book in the series, A Threatening Fragility, is about the breaking of our society, so sad and heavy is appropriate. Don’t worry. I’m not a naturally sad or depressed person, so my characters — most of them anyway — will not stay down long, but Brad is probably right that I might need some Vivaldi to lighten my writing mood when those scenes roll around.


My Favorite Christmas Song   2 comments

Oh Come, O Come, Emmanuel. I could not find an adult choir version of this. Sung by the a full voice choir … oh, my. It lifts my spirit to God.

Posted December 25, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity, Uncategorized

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Anarchy Music   Leave a comment

They Will Not Control Us


Image result for image of they cannot control usThe paranoia is in bloom, the P-R
Transmissions will resume
They’ll try to push drugs
That keep us all dumbed down and hope that
We will never see the truth around
(So come on)

Another promise, another scene,
Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed
With all the green belts wrapped around our minds
And endless red tape to keep the truth confined
(So come on)

They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious
(So come on)

Interchanging mind control
Come let the revolution take its toll if you could
Flick a switch and open your third eye, you’d see that
We should never be afraid to die
(So come on)

Rise up and take the power back, it’s time that
The fat cats had a heart attack, you know that
Their time is coming to an end
We have to unify and watch our flag ascend
(So come on)

They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious
(So come on)

Hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey

They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious
(So come on)

Hey, hey, hey, hey

Written by Matt Bellamy, Matthew James Bellamy • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Posted September 10, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty, Uncategorized

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Get Over It   Leave a comment

\It came up on my mixology while I was writing tonight. This is, by the way, my philosophy of life because I’ve waded through a whole lot of yuk in my life and this is my advice to you. It’s also what I listen to … sometimes … when I’m writing Objects in View.

Climb down off that cross, use the wood to build a bridge and GET OVER IT.


Posted July 22, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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We Should Be Dancing   5 comments

What sort of music was I listening to in high school?

You want to know that right?

Welcome to the Blog Hop. If you want to join, here’s the link. Before we get started, have you checked out Traci Wooden-Carlisle’s blog. I’m think she was listening to some really hot music in high school. And, while you’re at it, check out her books, because … you know, we author types like that sort of attention.

I grew up in the 1970s, which was a great decade for music. The drug fueled 60s were fading and music wasn’t just screaming electric guitars anymore. Musicianship and lyrics were back. I also grew up in a town with limited radio stations. We had five — two didn’t count. The religious station played old-timey gospel music (don’t get me wrong, I love Christian music, but ugh) and the university station was trying to convince us to love classical and liberal talk radio. The other three stations played a wide variety of music in keeping with the idea that they were the only game in town and there was a lot of music out there. I actually wish we would return to an era when when radio stations were not silos to certain genres of music.

Yeah, there was disco, which despite its shortcomings, was a great sound to dance to, but there were also some great rock bands that were born in the 1970s.

Disco gave us Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” — which was anything but a disco song, ABBA gave us “Dancing Queen” and anything coming out of Saturday Night Fever would get your feet moving.

If you were into country there were lots to choose from This was the heyday of Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty, Glenn Campbell, and Johnny Cash. Kenny Rogers was in his country phase and Dolly Pardon’s “Jolene” staged a wonderful crossover.

Because I became a Christian in this era, I have to say there were a few good Christian bands out there that should get a nod. We had to listen to bootleg tapes because our local religious radio thought they were devil worshippers, but a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do. Larry Norman may not have been a great musician, but he had the gall to record “Upon This Rock” (technically 1969) and push the issue of making Christian music relevant to the generation surrounding it. His “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” played a big hand in my letting go and letting God. Randy Stonehill, Mylon LeFebre, Sweet Comfort Band and Petra reached out to a generation of Christian teens who had had about all we could take of the whiney blue-grassy “gospel” of the day, but also wanted an occasional break from the themes of secular lyrics. (NOTE: My daughter is a professional bluegrass musician today; I do not hate her music and believe that the reason “gospel” music in the 1970s was so bad was that Christian musicians were being oppressed by Pharisees of their day).

Obviously, I didn’t limit my listening spectrum per some man-made “spiritual” rule, although I still like lyrics that uplift.

Not to forget drugs entirely, Pink Floyd reminded us of the lifestyle of the average rockster with “Comfortably Numb” from their tour de force album The Wall, which in the 80s became a MTV-inspired movie. I can never shake that image of the guy floating in the pool with the blood flowing from his wrists.

I actually liked PF, but I personally preferred my bands a little less suicidal.

The Beatles released their last album with “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let it Be” to kick off a decade and then Paul McCartney starting working on making us forget the Beatles with Wings and “Band on the Run” while Elton John was pumping out soft rock gems like “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man.” There were the Carpenters, Diana Ross, Gloria Gaynor, Neil Diamond, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin (Me and Bobby McGee) and James Taylor (Fire and Rain, Shower the People), Santana, Atlanta Rhythm Section– all great entertainers.

Don McLean (American Pie, Vincent), Kansas (Dust in the Wind, Carry On Wayward Son), Terry Jacks (Seasons in the Sun), Harry Chapin (Cats Cradle), Simon & Garfunkle (Cecilia, El Condor Pasa, Sound of Silence), Dan Fogelberg (Leader of the Band, Run for the Roses) and John Denver made us appreciate lyrics and Jim Croce and Ray Stevens injected humor into music. Gordon Lightfoot was incredible (Sundown, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald)..

Stevie Wonder gave us “Superstition” and Lou Reed recorded “Walk on the Wild Side”. Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded “Midnight Train to Georgia” (I’d rather live in his world than live without him in mine). Rod Stewart proved that a raspy voice and a mandolin could indeed make beautiful music with “Maggie”. Bob Dylan was back with the album Blood on the Tracks and “Tangled Up in Blue”.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band came out with “Born to Run”, “Thunder Road” and “Lost in the Flood” and Springsteen found time to write the visceral love song “Because the Night” for Patti Smith. Those few of us who knew he existed back then knew he was headed for greatness.

Fleetwood Mac had “Go Your Own Way”, “You Make Loving Fun” and “Sara”, but they’d actually be more of an 80s group whose 70s songs would become popular later.

The Eagles are often thought of as an 80s band because they got their big play on radio stations then, but in reality they made most of their albums in the 1970s and they probably go down as my favorite band of the era because of songs like “Take It Ease”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Tequila Sunrise”, and “Life in the Fast Lane”. The Eagles spawned a couple of  really phenomenal solo careers, plus Timothy B. Schmidt is in the background of almost every good album produced in the 1980s. Nothing made me happier than when they ended their 14-year vacation with the album When Hell Freezes Over and songs like “Get Over It and “Love Will Keep Us Alive.” I know, not 1970s songs, but worth the mention.

Last but not least, although she technically was unknown while I was in high school, Pat Benatar released her first hit single “Heartbreaker” the summer I graduated.

I gotta say that any era of music you can dance to has got my vote and the 70s — well …, there’s a reason rappers take pieces of 70s B-side songs and cover them as rap songs. It was a phenomenal era for music and one I don’t expect to see again anytime in my lifetime.
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Posted September 15, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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