05
Feb
15

MR. BEAR CELEBRATES HIS 17TH BIRTHDAY!

Mr. Bear, the last remaining furry member of the Page family, as it were, has just reached his 17th birthday – a landmark achievement. I witnessed his birth – he was the last one of the litter to come out– the biggest and slowest one, and even at his senior age, he remains the sweetest innocent – incredibly devoted and unconditionally loving. With his proud dad and a little company, he celebrated his day with great aplomb!

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Mr. Bear – IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!

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bday 3

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All tuckered out.

All tuckered out.

Happy-Birthday-Balloons

05
Jan
15

1.5.2015 – Books are Spaceships

I must have inherited my love of books from my mother, who – throughout her life – always had a book by her side.

The older I get, the more I enjoy reading.  As the world gets faster, I’m able to slow it down a little by “getting into” a good book.  It’s like stopping time for me – I can get lost for a while in some other drama, inside some other adventure – stepping back or forward in time – studying, learning, experiencing something other than my own existence – removed from the gravity of my normal daily, fast-paced routine.  As Susan Sontag has said, “Books are like spaceships”; they allow us to travel into different worlds and to escape on so many levels.  Books do that for me.… and, of course, they have also inspired many, many songs over the course of my career.

When I found the confidence to express the deeper side of my nature in my songs, books became the key to my inspiration.  “In The House of Stone and Light” was written after visiting and reading about the Grand Canyon; “The Door” (from the same album) was inspired by a book I read about the Nazi concentration camp in Treblinka; “I Guess I Will” and “Everything You Do” were fuelled by my heavy reading of Buddhist philosophy (both songs were featured in the “In The Temple of The Muse” CD).  In fact, the title, “In The Temple of The Muse” was based on an actual book shop that existed in London during the Romantic Poets period.  From the same LP, “Mi Morena” appeared to me after extensive reading of the great Chilean love poet, Pablo Neruda, and, over the years, many of my love songs have been informed by the reading of such Romantic poets as Keats and Lord Byron (I’m a sucker for the dark, melancholic sadness and sentiment that these great poets invoke).  “I Was Made For You” is a song that also pulls from that era of romance.  I love reading all manner of subjects, but history in particular has always had a tight hold on me.  I revere good songs that also allude to an actual occurrence in history – as many folk songs do.  “Story songs” based on true events (or old, traditional folklore) are not the easiest to compose – especially if you’re trying to keep it reasonably commercial (or contemporary).  Back in the 1900’s, Music Hall and Vaudeville did a wonderful job of creating songs that not only told stories of historical events, but were able to do so while still remaining entertaining and catchy – sometimes even with humor.  What skill those writers had!

Quite recently, I’ve been able to build a home library – one of the true delights of my life.  It has become a resource for many of my new songs – a laboratory I visit daily to stir the brain into creative activity.

So, in short, reading a book does a multitude of things for me:  it slows me down, focuses me, takes me away, informs and teaches me, broadens my horizons and turns me on to new song ideas and concepts.  And turning the pages of a book – with great anticipation of what the next page will reveal – is like reaching for the next chord on a guitar or piano/keyboard…. you’re never quite sure what magic awaits the eyes and ears.

Cheers.

 

– Martin

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.

 Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read”.

                                         – Groucho Marx

 

“Books are solitudes in which we meet.”

                                         – Rebecca Solnit

 

 

18
Dec
14

Christmas wishes and footie pics

Hello there everybody – thought I’d share with you some candid pics (and 2 amateur video excerpts) from the Remembrance soccer game in which I recently played.  It was a special day.  Just before the match, all of the players stood in a circle and I was asked (as were a few of the other players) and honored to read an excerpt from a poem written by England’s Poet Laureate about the First World War armistice, followed by us all observing a minute of silence in memory of the fallen.  My grandfather, Arthur Richard Page, had fought in the trenches during WWI and eventually lost both of his legs from gangrene due to “trench foot” – commonly contracted then from standing for long hours in water-soaked trenches.  So, the game held special meaning for me remembering my grandfather, who, incidentally, shared the same birthday as me.  It was a 4-4 draw, which was a perfect result – a contest keenly fought with great (albeit competitive) bonhomie.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish you all happy holidays and a happy new year.  Thank you for your solid support and friendship.  I hope to have a new album out in 2015 (fingers crossed!) – that’s my goal!!  So, once again, let me wish you all a healthy, happy and peaceful holiday season.

Cheers, Martin.

 

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Reading the poem and observing a moment of silence before the game.

 

Page with opposing team's Goalie after game - photo-bombed by Jim Piddock, British comedic actor

Page with opposing team’s Goalie after game – photo-bombed by Jim Piddock, British comedic actor

 

 

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With Barry Venison, former English International, at end of game

 

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12
Dec
14

12.12.14 – Football unites Business, Hollywood and Royalty in remembrance

Originally posted by Dan Rutstein on 12.10.2014. Click here for the original article.

Figures from the US and British creative scene, Business, Hollywood and Royalty came together to play football, and to remember

Only in Los Angeles would you get a former Gladiator, a TV presenter, actors and musicians on the same football pitch as venture capitalists, bankers, tax advisors and a member of the Royal Family.

But that’s what happened here on a special day that saw football bring this disparate group together to commemorate the centenary of the Christmas Truce.

With at least half a dozen of the players losing a grandparent, or great uncle in the First World War, it was poignant to be gathering on the other side of the world to pay our respects.

On a day Prince William, the president of the Football Association who are spearheading the Football Remembers campaign, touched down on the East Coast, we gathered together on the West Coast.

Our match, which began with a reading of excerpts of the Poet Laureate’s Christmas Truce poem, was a chance for a BAFTA-backed team to join the business and diplomatic community in remembering those that fell and the power of football to unite.

The story of the Christmas Truce, thanks to matches like these and the campaign more widely, is now being told and retold to a wider audience.

The message of peace and goodwill that was generated when the warring sides left their trenches for carol singing, football matches and to trade gifts not bullets is a valuable lesson in history.

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Embassies and consulates around the globe have organised events – football matches and educational seminars – to promote these messages of unity and goodwill, and of remembrance.

We did it in California by having a BAFTA/Hollywood team take on businessmen.

The game ended 4-4, giving former England international, and now California resident, Barry Venison plenty of choice from which to select his goal of the match.

Normally I spend my time working with exporters to the US and with American investors in the UK.

And I use my blogs to write about this.

And as, technically, BAFTA are involved with creative exports and the tax advisor on my team advises potential investors in the UK, I think this still qualifies.

Sport is many things to many people but today it brought a cross-section of LA society together to remember something important. Our small contribution to a global message of unity and of commemoration.

 

To view a poignant reenactment of what happened that extraordinary day in 1914, view the video below:

09
Dec
14

A Temper of Peace and an Extraordinary Commitment

A Temper of Peace and an Extraordinary Commitment

By Martin Page

Martin Page, acclaimed songwriter, has included The Huntington in his estate plans.

As a professional songwriter and artist, I’m always searching for that elusive elixir of inspiration, that spark that ignites ideas for songs. The Huntington is the place I go to open the mind, free the spirit, and break open the dam of creativity.

I was first introduced to The Huntington by my manager, Diane Poncher, around the time I was writing my first two number one hits with Elton John’s lyricist, Bernie Taupin—”We Built This City” (Starship) and “These Dreams” (Heart)—and I was immediately aware that I had found my second home…away from the busy, stressful, overactive music studios of Los Angeles.

I originally came from England, where nature—green fields and trees, the New Forest National Park—surrounded my childhood, so to come to The Huntington was a little like returning home, to a place that fed my soul with beauty and peace.

My recently released solo album was largely created in my mind while strolling The Huntington grounds. In fact, The Huntington graciously allowed me to use an image of their wonderful sculpture, “Day” by Paul Howard Manship, as the album cover. The album’s title, “A Temper of Peace” (a temperance of peace), is what I am able to attain while strolling the grounds, which I do at least twice a week. It’s where I tune my soul.

It’s rare to discover havens that feed the intellect and heal the human condition—places that offer health and wholesome reflection. The Huntington is one such unique place, and I can’t think of a better institution to support. I am extremely proud to be part of its Heritage Society.

The Huntington is grateful to Martin for his farsighted generosity.

 

 

27
Aug
14

8.27.2014 – Waiting to Be Born

It’s a curious thought – how many songs does a songwriter have inside him/her – waiting to come out – waiting to be born?

I’ve been fortunate – up to now; I’ve never suffered from “writer’s block”.  It does seem like such a terrifying debilitating disease, doesn’t it – the freezing of one’s creativity.  Horrible thought!

Of course, not having writer’s block doesn’t mean that everything you write will be wonderful – I can certainly attest to that, but just the simple fact of getting a song written and finished is, in itself, a massive accomplishment in my book.  The birth of a song is a rather miraculous deed in my mind.  How, out of thin air, can come/emerge this thing, this noise and organization of notes and harmony out of the ether, out of the void.  Pretty damn weird – this human need to express oneself in sound, melody, lyric … to formulate a piece known simply as a song … a communication of spirit, I suppose, an organized utterance – made for the ears!! … and for the soul.

For me – even at this rather mature stage of my career – I feel filled up, absolutely chock-full – even engorged to bursting point, with songs waiting to be given life.  My challenge has always been to finish the songs I’m on … rather than to let the next one spew forth.  A nice problem to have, you may say, but sometimes for me it causes a traffic-jam of songs waiting for their moment in the sun.  I can get lost in the barrage of ideas pushing to get out!  It requires diligence to stay focused on the songs at hand, and to hold back the deluge at the floodgates.

There is not a better feeling in the world than finishing, wrapping-up a song.  It’s like putting a frame on a picture or painting – suddenly the work is completed … DONE!!!  – Sewn up – locked down – ended – DONE!!!  Lovely feeling.  And only the author can really say when his or her work is done – that’s just the true law of creative work.  It’s a powerful motivating force to a songwriter to get out what he knows is fermenting, brewing inside him.  Will the next song be “the one”? an undeniable gem of excellence? the special tune for which the world has been waiting?  That’s largely what keeps us going … not knowing if the next “child” that is born of melody, rhythm and harmony is to be unique, built to last and inspire … to generate reverence and accolades.

It’s a wonderful task – the task of allowing your creative juices to flow.  But I do call it a task, because you have to constantly be working, striving, sympathetically building the architecture of a song.  Very, very, very rarely does a song appear that doesn’t require some measure of “mothering” or nurturing of sorts.

But again, how many songs do I have inside me – that I can get out before kicking the proverbial bucket?  It’s obviously un-measurable.  I’m satisfied to know and feel that there are a lot more songs inside me – straining, begging, for their liberation.

Cheers.

– Martin

“Without music life would be a mistake”

              – Friedrich Nietzche

07
Jul
14

7.7.2014 – Changing Moods

Really, what extraordinary power music holds over us? All my life, I’ve swayed to the tides of

music. Music can change my brain – can re-organise my emotions – can reconfigure me! This

invisible force is mighty indeed. Making us happy, joyous, sad, pensive, thoughtful – moving us

with ease from one extreme to another … music has its finger firmly planted in our emotions.

It has the power to move our feet, make our eyes cry, make us laugh out loud and make us fall in

love. We take it for granted – music is always there for us – no big thing, it’s always been there

… like air, water, fire … just – it has always been there.

 

But no, this is nothing to take for granted – because it is spiritual and a highly mysterious science,

Elemental – even divine. It is difficult to explain music. How does it penetrate us, seep through

our skin? Our hearts will actually beat in time to the rhythm, our bodies will move to the pulse;

our souls will be moved/touched by the melody and harmony. We will want to sing with and to it –

fall into it, own it – claim it as our own. Indeed, what power she holds!

 

At certain moments in our lives, we choose what type of music we need that suits us:

We are grieving and sad, we need music for that; we are gay, joyous and celebrative, we need

music for that; we are meditative and thoughtful, we need music for THAT. Every aspect of our

lives NEEDS music. I do think it is soul medicine: The invisible elixir that lights us up, heals us,

motivates us, encourages us, offers hope, keeps us going against the odds …. At least it has

been that for me. It’s hard to imagine a day without music, isn’t it? I think it would be a terrible

punishment in life to be banished from all music – horrific thought!

 

We live each day with our emotions and moods – our mental health is so important for

our physical health too. Our brains process all and decide who we are, what we do. Here’s

where music becomes so critical; it’s a mood changer – it has a direct line to our brains, and then

to our hearts. Thus it makes sense to view music as “soul medicine”, for it has the power to

shape our moods, and what shapes our mood, shapes us – shapes who we really are – shapes

whom we become.

 

Let’s not take it for granted … music is a pill for the spirit. Search out good music, and let

it be “the pilot of your soul”.

Cheers,

– Martin

 

“I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of

music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life

seems to go on without effort, when I’m filled with music”

– George Eliot

 

“A person does not hear sound only through the ears; He hears sound through

every pore of his body, it permeates the entire being … In that way the physical

body recuperates and becomes changed with a new magnetism”

– Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

Photograph: Bobby Summerfield

Photograph: Bobby Summerfield




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