Synth Harmony

Electronic keyboards up close and personal.

Grandeur: Part Two

March 29th, 2020

Childish simplicity.  Some bells reminiscent of my years playing Saron in the gamelon.  Now a new diversion.  There a new path.

Nearly understood phrases underscore bells.  Lydian harmonies, raised 4ths, mellotron swells and soaring sounds of voices never understood.  Breaking rules of harmony to cherish a melody.  Like church bells, rising chromaticism, silent movie musical dramatics.
"Aye yah, aye yah", say the voices. 

Grandeur: Part One

March 29th, 2020

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  Rumi

Romance is not the absence of loneliness.  Looking across a barren plain for a friendly face.  Love must be kindled from within.


Flowing Water, Part Two

March 29th, 2020

The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.

William Blake

Here I depart from sounding like a guitar and play as a pianist.  The chorus stop swells and fades from one of the MIDI foot pedals under my left foot.  I dream of breaking free of the concrete in my life, walking without feet, flying without wings.

Flowing Water, Part One

March 28th, 2020
you are my strum,
my tune,
and all my guitars

Madi Cook

Here in "Flowing Water" I am playing with the sound of the Classical Guitar played on the keyboard.  Sometimes it's like a harpsichord on a lute stop, other times it is reminiscent of the nylon acoustic guitar without trying too hard to imitate it.

I only play this because of my love of the nylon classical instrument, played only by fingers without a pick, held close to your chest with the vibrations entering your heart.  Many a night I fell asleep while embracing a guitar, only to wake and gently put it into its case.  On keyboard I can play things that I wish I could play on guitar but really can't.  However, the keyboard is not a guitar and I never forget that.  It takes me to different places.

Love and Harmony

March 28th, 2020

Love and harmony combine,
And round our souls entwine
While thy branches mix with mine,
And our roots together join.

Joys upon our branches sit,
Chirping loud and singing sweet;
Like gentle streams beneath our feet
Innocence and virtue meet.

William Blake (excerpt)


This is my favorite work from the fall 2017 recording season.  I find both Blake's poem and this music quite romantic.  

Picture Impressions: Symphonic Escapades

March 28th, 2020

Russian winter is setting in. Another shot of Vodka called for at once.  The cavalry gallops over the Steppes, Cossacks with their swords out as brass, strings, and percussions rise to the challenge.  More Mussorgsky chords ensue, then a chain of harmonic suspensions until the left hand gallops up with a noble theme and the Red Army Choir calms everyone down.  Then Baba Yaga shows up with an overactive coffee percolator which percolates in arpeggiated contrapuntal rhythms to the theme.  After an impressive display of horsemanship the Caffeinated Cossacks dismount and pass the melody to the Celestial Bells.  The bells and the coffee percolator perform a charming pas-de-deux as the bubbling music and the sunset both slowly fade, late-night FM DJ style.

Picture Impressions: Swans On The Lake

March 28th, 2020

Modest Mussorgsky pulls Claude Debussey out of the lake.  The swans look on with bemused superiority, hissing and shaking their heads.  It all ends well enough with a picnic lunch and a concluding ascending F major arpeggio.

Picture Impressions: The Walk Continues

March 28th, 2020

The Mussorgsky continues until morale improves, which it does at the end of this piece with a romantic theme and a starry ending.

Picture Impressions: Overture

March 28th, 2020

Waves of Modest Mussorgsky's chordal constructions fall upon my digital shores. 

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