Friends!! Liza Wallace is releasing her album today on Bandcamp! It’s amazing and unique for a harpist to play Brazilian music like choro and forró on the harp. She really created her own sound. I had the honor of producing it, choosing the songs and musicians and helping her get it done. I chose some of my favorite musicians in Los Angeles to create the soundscapes: Clarice Cast, percussion, Adam Gust, drums, Fay Roberts, flute, Ilya Portnov, harmonica, John Tegmeyer, clarinet and Nando Duarte, guitar, electric bass, mixing and his incredible studio magic. I added violin, mandolin and some piano. There are original tracks by Liza and myself and classic tunes by Jacob do Bandolim, Pixinguinha, Hermeto Pascoal, Waldir Azevedo, João Pernambuco, Chiquinha Gonzaga and Sivuca.
Please support Liza and check out her music! I know you will enjoy it.
Amigos! Hoje a Liza Wallace está lançando o novo álbum dela! É bem único e incrível ouvir uma harpista tocando música brasileira como choro e forró numa harpa. Ela realmente criou um som próprio que nunca ouvi antes. Tive a honra de produzir o projeto, escolhendo as músicas e músicos. Escolhi alguns dos meus amigos músicos preferidos aqui em Los Angeles para criar este som juntos. Com Clarice Cast, percussão, Adam Gust, batera, Fay Roberts, flauta, Ilya Portnov, gaita cromática, John Tegmeyer, clarinete e Nando Duarte no violão 7 cordas, baixo elétrico, técnico de estúdio, mixagem e produção. Eu toquei violino, bandolim e piano.Tem músicas autorais da Liza (e minhas) e clássicos de Jacob do Bandolim, Pixinguinha, Hermeto Pascoal, Waldir Azevedo, Jõao Pernambuco, Chiquinha Gonzaga e Sivuca.
Por favor dê seu apoio para a Liza, ouvindo o trabalho no Bandcamp! Eu sei que você vai adorar!
I was remembering that time I played with Hermeto Pascoal in Brasília in 2012. We talked backstage about the tunes I wanted to play. When I got to the stage, Hermeto says, “Let’s play one of your songs”. There’s a full house in Teatro Nacional Villa Lobos. I say, “You mean, let’s play one of YOUR songs”.
“No” he says. “One of yours, upbeat!”
I took a deep breath without a clue what I was supposed to do or play.
Hermeto makes a joke.. “He didn’t know what he was getting into!” I sure didn’t!
There’s a whole band there waiting for me..I survived Hermeto’s musical Boot Camp by just playing the first thing that comes into my head; a little groove, then the Turkey in the Straw, a fiddle tune.
As the band kicks in, I’m thinking to myself, “How the hell am I going to get myself out of this!!” Luckily I notice that I’m in the Key of D Major and Hermeto’s tune São Jorge is also in D. I make the transition, to my blessed relief, and Hermeto says, “Here’s a song by Hermeto”, drops the pandeiro and returns to his keyboards. The story would end there, but he wouldn’t let me leave the stage. After each song, I slowly retract off stage and he repeatedly calls me back! Where’s “Jet-ski” he said on the microphone. “Come back!”
He forgot my name.. In Portuguese, my name is Ted-gee, which rhymes.. I survived. When people ask me what it was like to play with Hermeto, this is the story I tell them.
Have you ever heard of Estéban?
Well, I ended up with an Estéban guitar recently.
How’d I get it? Well, I have a funny story for you, friend.
When my father moved from Allentown to Los Angeles, he insisted on bringing all his musical possessions. We paid a moving company to bring all of my Dad’s stuff to town. On inspection of all his beat up old amps and guitars, I found a dingy old classical guitar. I thought it would be handy to leave at work, so I wouldn’t need to bring a guitar each time to teach. I specifically remember the pride my Dad had when explaining to me that he bought the guitar for only $6.00 at a garage sale.. With case! Great deal! Haha!
The other day when I went to tune it, the tuner crumbled to pieces in my fingers. On inspection, I could see that each side of the guitar had a different set of tuners. This was definitely the handy work of my Dad. He could fix most things with force and super glue. Anyway, I called my friend John Heaney, who fixes all my stuff to see if he could help me. John recalled seeing Esteban informercials on the Home Shopping Network in the 90’s, selling his guitars and fake-flamenco to late night audiences. I had forgotten about that, but vaguely remember now. Before there was Amazon.com and the internet, people bought stuff from TV informercials.
I shared this dazzling tale with my kids last night, and how such a possession ended up in our abode. Passing of the guard. From a TV informercial to a garage sale, to my father and now to me, across the country. One day my kids will inherit this prized family gem. Ahh, how did a crappy guitar make it so far?
P.S. We were only able to stand 4 of the 5 minutes of the video, which I believe is an accomplishment within itself.
I walk up to the top of the hill to Peanut Lake Hill Pond often. The reflections in the pond are always offering different views of the trees and sky. I feel like a painter framing the magic. It never gets old. I take pictures from different sides where the sun is reflecting. This, here, is my favorite go-to spot. I’ve taken variations of this picture hundreds of times.
Listening to Selling England by the Pound by Genesis tonight. Music from 1973. Check it out. Mellotrons and prog synths, acoustic and rock guitars, flutes and frenetic drumming grooves by Phil Collins. It’s an all around masterpiece in n my opinion.
Peter Gabriel is an incredibly expressive singer and master of the drama. These songs from the early days of Genesis have great melodies, lyrics and imagination remnant of the times of King Crimson. Pink Floyd and Yes. Put it on your playlist for sure. They had so much creative energy back then. It was all about the music.
A few months ago I shared some of my favorite recordings..I never finished it. Here’s today’s offering. Stay well and keep listening to your favorite music.
I watched Joe Biden last night. His speech was my first formal introduction to him personally and politically. I learned much about his life, his childhood, his family and his tragedies.
This man is extremely likeable. Without a doubt, he will do his best to help heal the United States. It was a heartfelt speech that gave me satisfaction on a moral level. I wanted Bernie. But, Joe Biden has my vote my friends. Time to end the Trump chapter in American History. He couldn’t handle the job. You gotta work. It’s not all about appearances and name calling. Just make it stop. I hate to see the vulgarity, name calling and nastiness. It’s just bullying.
Biden and Kamala 2020 people!! Vote Blue!
Time for something else.. These two have roots and get democracy.
Checking in. I’ve been experimenting with a Keto diet since Monday. Life without carbs. Fighting my food cravings is like quitting an addiction. Tough stuff, but it works!
Our three kids started on-line schooling this week. It’s been hectic, but today went a little smoother. If you are in the same boat, you understand the challenges.
My music production has slowed a bit recently because of my increased parental responsibilities during the quarantine. I’ve been writing and practicing, but it’s been more difficult to make videos. I promise to deliver some great content as soon as I can.
My work as a music teacher at the Silverlake Conservatory of Music resumed in person classes this week. If you are in Los Angeles and would like to study with me, I have some availabilities on Mondays and Wednesdays. SCM is doing a great job to adhere to strict social distancing measures.
I also teach online classes if you are interested. Let me know if you or someone you know would like to learn music. I teach in English and Portuguese.
I hoe you are doing well and staying safe!
This morning I awoke from a dream that I was being paid in seashells for a job. I was standing at a counter like in a 7/11 and the clerk was sliding various shells over to me while counting their value. Maybe all those ocean walks are adding up to a new fantasy currency?
I was listening to the Lamb Lies down on Broadway by Genesis today. The lyrics are very poetic. Peter Gabriel era…1974.
Anyway, there’s a passage in the song that says:
Suspension cracked on unmade road
The Trucker’s eyes read overload
And out on the subway
Rael imperial aerosol kid
Exits into daylight
Spray gun hid
And the lamb lies down on broadway…
I wondered what Rael meant… so I looked it up online and ended up on Wikipedia.
Anyone ever heard of Rael, leader of an international UFO religion? Man, I thought I had heard it all… Read on if this is interesting to you. Scroll on if not… I found it amusing.
The Raëlian messages
Further information: History of Raëlism
According to the book Le Livre qui dit la vérité (“The Book Which Tells the Truth”), Vorilhon had an alien visitation on 13 December 1973. In a secluded area within a French volcanic crater, an extraterrestrial being came out of a craft that had descended gently from the sky, and told him, in French, that he had come for the sole purpose of meeting with him. Raël said that he was given a message by this alien and told that it was his mission to pass this message on to the people of Earth.
The book states that advanced human scientists from another planet with 25,000 years of scientific advances created all life on Earth through DNA manipulation. These scientists, Raël said, were originally called Elohim or “those who came from the sky”. He wrote that some forty prophets in Earth’s history were sent by Elohim, but their messages were distorted by humans, largely because of the difference in the level of civilization between the advanced race and Earth’s primitive one.
Raël said he was given the mission of informing the world of humanity’s origins in anticipation of the return of these extraterrestrials by building a residential embassy in neutral territory. He stated that certain mysteries were explained to him based on new interpretations of sacred texts such as the Bible. He said that, on 7 October 1975, he was contacted by one of the Elohim, who took him to another planet to meet Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. He stated that his second book, Les extra-terrestres m’ont emmené sur leur planète (“Extraterrestrials Took Me To Their Planet”), relates the teaching he received from these people. In this book, Raël describes harmonious and peaceable beings, who were free of money, sickness, and war.
In 1974, Raël decided to give up his automobile magazine, Autopop. That September, the last issue, number 34, was published. Raël then devoted himself to the task he said was given by his “biological father”, an extraterrestrial named Yahweh. Shortly after a first public conference, Raël founded MADECH – a group of people interested in helping him in his task, which later became the International Raëlian Movement.