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Helen G

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Everything posted by Helen G

  1. James - first some "back story" ........ My husband is nearly the same "vintage" as Eric 😉 and was, for the most part, a really decent self-taught "chords" guy having taught himself piano keyboard surrepticiously borrowing his older sisters' piano lessons books then also getting skilled on chords in 5th & 6th grade on the ukelele by his Italian uncle (Jay's grandparents immigrated to Cleveland in the 1910's escaping the post-earthquake poverty in Sicily, and Jay's dad Joe and siblings grew up in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland! Jay's dad became a national champion gymnast and eventually got hired to be the first Chicago suburban high school boys gymnastics coach, so that's where Jay and his 3 older sisters were raised! [That's the short story!]). Jay delved into folk music, playing a stand-up bass he constructed in his parents' living room, starting in jr. high with a locally popular folk music trio that got hired around town for gigs (early 1960's) - yep - jr. high kids getting gigs! 😉 He also took up guitar and was great at that as well, taking lessons from a Chet Atkins' protege. He discovered barbershop music in high school and went "all in" in that direction, allthewhile pursuing a music teaching degree at Boston U. (with teachers such as John Oliver and Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Institute). The Music Composition degree came later at the well-known Big 10 school Northwestern Univ. close to "home" (northern Chicago burbs). 50+ years later, after achieving 1st place gold medals as a barbershop quartet champion AND chorus director (which is a rareified distinction in that genre), my husband's nick name is "The Chord Lord" and he's not only a Hall of Famer but was also recognized with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award with the Barbershop Harmony Society. The reason I say all that is because Justin Miller was the Music Dir. of the Westminster Chorus for many many years, and Justin's dad John Miller not only was in jr. high and New Trier High School choirs with my husband but was also the bass singer in their quartet - Grandma's Boys (1979 champs). So ..... (back to the actual explanation about this YouTube footage...) , this commission for this choral work came from Justin right at a time when my husband had just had open heart bypass surgery, so Jay was "laid up" from his regular dayjob of computer programming (that's a whole other story 😉 . When Justin sent him the text of the James Agee poem which served as the lyrics for this work, Jay laid out this composition for double mens chorus in about TWO DAYS! (I was blessed to hear it all unfold because of the FINALE music notation program playback over & over again (hahaha)! Similar to what Eric has said, "writing the music is the easy part" if you have the lyrics to work with in the first place. And that's what happened here with this a cappella choral music composition set to pre-existing lyrics (yes, our small-ish music publishing company works with the James Agee Estate to share all copyrights 50/50% - I'm technically the Copyrights/Licensing Mgr. for GSB Medal Music 🙂 ). Westminster Chorus has laid down several recordings, but the "Still Crazy After All These Years" recording with the "Sure On This Shining Night" track is where it's most recently included. Interestingly, Westminster also performed another of Jay's choral arrangements ("Early American Uptempo Medley") at the World Choir Games where they were given both divisional winners and overall grand champion. That track is included on the other recording ("It Only Takes a Moment"). Since all our non-profit, all-volunteer-singer barbershop choruses worldwide have effectively had to halt rehearsals and performances during the pandemic, I'm sure the Westminster Chorus would be very grateful for your purchase of their recording(s)! (It looks like these recordings are also available for download on iTunes, where I'm grateful to have found most all of Eric Carmen's recordings & paid for the downloads in recent weeks! 😉 https://westminsterchorus.org/music/
  2. My husband Jay is a music theory genius with a Masters in Music Composition (he's a choral music composer & former HS music educator) so I had him watch this "most elegant key change in all of pop music" YouTube footage. The scary thing is that he understood it completely. 🙂 I understand the theory enough to get the common tone(s) between the prior chords to the ones at the key change. 😉 (Sharing the footage of my husband's 8-part "double choir" composition that was commissioned by the award-winning Westminster Chorus (CA) - this was a "spontaneous" performance when they were on tour in Europe. The formal performance with the singers wearing matching suits 😉 came later and was not videotaped. -
  3. The David Foster documentary on Netflix also touches on this Celine Dion version and how he had to challenge her to go for it, being in the upper side of her range!
  4. Like Kirk, there's something about "Waiting" - such a sweet song - an amazing song written by 12 year old Eric! As I listen to it, once again, it occurred to me to wonder if Eric enlisted his Aunt Muriel to play the violin line(s) in the studio. The orchestration on that track sounds like "real deal" strings and not MelloTron synthesizer?!!!
  5. Eric - hoping you monitor this forum?! This is "BIG NEWS" in the music publishing world! My husband and I run a music publishing company since 1991 that has a niche in the a cappella choral music market, where we are known worldwide. That being said, I'm a HUGE E.C. fan and wish for Eric to continue to be successful in reeling in royalties from all sources! I will be digging into SongVest tomorrow when I have more time! (Headed to my own rehearsal shortly!) https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/the-sec-just-green-lit-the-sale-of-shares-in-a-hit-song-and-fans-can-buy-them-for-16/
  6. IMDB.com pegs the brunette actress as Paulina Porizkova, the world class cover girl (as in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, etc.). But I don't think it's her? Here she is on the Letterman Show in 1986. And Jennifer Connelly was only 14 in 1984 - too young to make the HE video, in the same year she played a kid in the 1984 film "Once Upon a Time in America". So the mystery continues on......
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