"Hold On" is a song from the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon released in 1970 (my first year in college.) I’ve always liked this song but I don’t know how it came into my head just now, except that I find it very reassuring and especially comforting for these troubling times. The music alone is soothing, but then Lennon adds words like these: Hold on It’s gonna be alright You’re gonna win the fight You’re gonna see the light So hold on Lennon has explained the song as follows: “Hold on now, we might have a cup of tea, we might get a moment's happiness any minute now. So that's what it's about, just moment by moment. That's how we're living now, but really living like that and cherishing each day, and dreading it too. It might be your last.”  I’m not even going to try to add any more comments to his. This performance is dedicated to Yoko in memory of John. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related posts: Imagine, We Can Work it Out 1. Rogan, J. (1997). The Complete Guide to the Music of John Lennon. Omnibus Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 0711955999. Bosendorfer piano sound [...]
The Circle Game was written by the incomparable Joni Mitchell and was released on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon. This is what we were listening to when I was a freshman in college at NYU. I can see why it was so popular because of her lyrics, melodies, arrangements, guitar playing and most of all, her pure, clear, almost crystalline voice. Looking back now, I’m amazed at how someone so young came up with such a mature theme and sophisticated lyrics. Lyrics such as: “we're captive on the carousel of time, we can't return we can only look behind”, “words like, when you're older, must appease him”, “dreams have lost some grandeur coming true”, and especially the poignant phrase “it won't be long now till you drag your feet to slow the circles down” - how did she so convincingly have that perspective at her young age? Anyway, here’s my version playing the ‘Dynamic Nylon’ acoustic guitar sample from the Yamaha Clavinova. I enjoy listening to it, but not as much as listening to Joni’s voice singing it. Dedicated to my friend W Beaubeaux. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Dynamic Nylon acoustic guitar sound - For this recording I’m playing [...]
Ok, so I recently watched the music documentary by Jakob Dylan called ‘Echo in the Canyon’ [highly recommended], about the fertile creative scene in Laurel Canyon in the sixties. I immediately wanted to hear how this song would sound on the Bosendorfer piano sample on my Yamaha Clavinova. I was drawn to Dylan’s sparse arrangement of this sixties love song recorded by The Association and written by the Addrisi brothers. It’s similar in style to many of the songs that I have been sharing with you, in that even without words, the simple beauty of the melody and chord changes is so compelling that it stands on its own without much improvisation. Anyway, enjoy. Dr. Weiss Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!
"Lately" is a song by Stevie Wonder recorded for his nineteenth album ‘Hotter than July’ (1980). The recording sessions were primarily done at Wonderland Studios in Los Angeles (which Wonder had recently acquired). This song’s powerful emotional strength is largely because of evocative lyrics such as “far more frequently you're wearing perfume with you say no special place to go”, “just the other night while you were sleeping I vaguely heard you whisper someone's name” and “what I really feel my eyes won't let me hide, ‘cause they always start to cry.” But, as usual, the music is also pretty powerful, especially the key change after the deceptive cadence just before the last chorus. And, really especially when sung with Stevie’s incomparable vocals! For this song Stevie Wonder must have had a lot of fun - being not only responsible for vocals but also synthesizer, drums, Fender Rhodes, bass guitar, clavinet, background vocals, ARP, vocoder, piano, harpsichord, celeste, keyboards, harmonica, cabasa, percussion, bells, handclaps, flute! This performance is dedicated to Stevie. Please enjoy my humble piano version. Dr. Weiss Related posts: The Secret Life of Plants We Can Work It Out Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing [...]
"I Will" is a song recorded the Beatles, from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as "the White Album"). It was written by Paul McCartney. I’ve always particularly liked this song. Paul must agree, because according to McCartney: "It's still one of my favorite melodies that I've written. You just occasionally get lucky with a melody and it becomes rather complete and I think this is one of them; quite a complete tune.” Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related posts: Maybe I'm Amazed, Let It Be, We Can Work It Out Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I've ever owned!!
On this day (October 25) in 1948, the Russian composer of “Those Were The Days”, Boris Fomin passed away at the age of 48 from tuberculosis. The popular recorded version of the song was credited to American Gene Raskin, who put a new English lyric to Fomin’s Russian romance song which he had grown up hearing. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism. Mary Hopkin's 1968 debut single of "Those Were the Days", which was produced by Paul McCartney, became a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart. It was one of the first songs released on the Beatles’ Apple label. McCartney heard Raskin’s version in a London club and later said "I thought it was very catchy, it had something, it was a good treatment of nostalgia... (Hopkin) picked it up very easily, as if she'd known it for years." Paul played acoustic guitar and possibly percussion on Hopkin’s version. McCartney also recorded Hopkin singing "Those Were The Days" in other languages for release in their respective countries: In Spain, Qué tiempo tan feliz In West Germany, An jenem Tag In Italy, Quelli erano giorni In France, Le temps des fleurs Boris Fomin didn’t do quite [...]
Shallow On this day one year ago 'Shallow' (the theme song from the 2018 film 'A Star is Born') was released. It was written and performed by Lady Gaga (with Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson) and won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. And it’s so much fun to play! Initially, I didn’t ‘get’ the Instrumental Bridge. It just didn’t sound right to me because I was not used to hearing these chord changes. Now it’s one of my favorite sections of the song! What do you think? I also thought that I would draw a parallel between 'Shallow' and 'Evergreen', the theme song for the 1976 film 'A Star Is Born', that was written and performed by Barbra Streisand - also winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe!! Two talented women winning the same awards for writing and singing theme songs for versions of the same movie over 40 years apart! Amazing!! Enjoy, Dr. Weiss Related post: Evergreen (Theme song from 'A Star Is Born' 1976) Bosendorfer piano sound - For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates [...]