Archive for the 'In the Temple of the Muse' Category



10
Jul
07

7/10/2007 – Once More Unto the Speech, Dear Friends

So, here we are again.  It’s hard to believe that this is Blog #5 for me.  A year or so ago, I didn’t even know the meaning of that very strange word, “blog”.  Now educated, here I sit, pen in hand, paper at the ready, mug of tea specifically placed by my side, excited each month to “blog” my heart out to you!  Here goes.

It’s been a very busy last month, in which my new album was mastered (prepared for replication), and my new official website began taking its first baby steps of development.  My good friend Bobby Summerfield (of audionowcast.com Podcast fame) helped me prepare my new album for mastering at his “comfy” home studio.  Bobby is an exceptional talent, and I was lucky to have his considerable experience to guide me at the final stages of CD preparation; it also helps that he is a hilarious best friend of mine with whom I play soccer on the weekends.  We have a great deal in common, and if we can stop talking and laughing for a moment, we sometimes can get work done!  Also, as I mentioned, I’m happy to report that we are making sound headway putting together my new official website – please stay tuned for details – we are near.

Recently, it has become even more evident that it is necessary to have my own official website in addition to this Myspace page, as we are encountering great difficulties in uploading anything – new music, photos, videos, etc.  For some reason, we have been blocked from doing this.  All our communications to the powers that be at Myspace have been met with lukewarm, unsatisfactory responses.  Alas, even though I want to post more music, photos and videos, I am constantly blocked!  We are still trying to remedy this frustrating situation, and hopefully, in the near future, Myspace will grant me MY FREEDOM!  ……..

This brings me to speak of Vanessa Leavitt, the wonderful lady who manages the Myspace page for us.  If you have personally reached out and written to me via this page, you have probably been in contact with Vanessa, and know well what a dedicated and soulful human being she is.  I just want to take a moment here to acknowledge her and thank her for all her hard work beyond the call of duty. (Wish her luck in freeing up this page for new additions!)

On to other things:  I’m sure many of you out there are animal lovers, as I am (I have several cats of my own!).  I thought I’d take this opportunity to bring to your attention some fine work that The Humane Society of the United States is doing at this time – fighting to stop the “Puppy Mills”.  The infamous Puppy Mills are large-scale breeding facilities that force mother and father dogs to produce litter after litter of puppies to support consumer demand for pure-bred and designer dogs.  “Breeder dogs” are routinely kept in horrific conditions, to endure a lifetime of utter misery.  What most pet owners and animal lovers don’t realize is that so many of the puppies sold through pet stores or internet sites, come from places just like these – rife with suffering, disease and malnutrition.  As the breeder-dogs age or their fertility wanes, they are often killed or abandoned.  Please, if you care and want to learn more, log on to www.hsus.org, and help to stop this awful suffering and cruelty.  As I sit writing this in my studio, my cats surround me and I’m made aware of the beautiful serenity they afford me.  They often come around me as I write new songs, and let me tell you – they can be merciless critics!

We’ve come to that point again, where I’d like to share with you a selection of books that I’m enjoying at the present time:  Passionate Minds by David Bodanis – About the great love affair of The Enlightenment, featuring the scientist Emilie du Châtelet, and the poet Voltaire; A Year In The Life Of William Shakespeare – 1599 by James Shapiro – The illumination of a crucial moment in the life of our greatest writer; Darker Than The Deepest Sea – The Search for Nick Drake by Trevor Dann – A haunting tribute to the most passionately adored of musicians.  I’d also like to recommend an extraordinary book of nature photography by Nick Brandt called On This Earth – Photographs From East Africa.  Brandt’s work is soul-stirring, epic and iconic.  His visions of Africa and its animals can’t fail to inspire the deepest part of you.  This book (which, incidentally, features an introduction by Jane Goodall) resides proudly on my coffee table.  If you want to be moved, check it out.

Well, everyone, thanks for hanging out with me for awhile; I enjoy our chats immensely.

“The Earth has always been talking to us, but many of us have lost our sensitivities to sound and vibration, we do not hear her”

                                                            —- Joseph Rael

             Speak to you again soon.

 

—Martin

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12
Jun
07

6/12/2007 – Muse News

Greetings to the faithful; hope you are all doing well out there.  My last few weeks have been filled up with the video recording of an Electric Press Kit and interviews for the release of the new album.  Most of the recording was filmed at my home studio and features live performances of some of the tracks from the new disc, as well as a couple of acoustic versions of brand new songs that I’m writing at this time.  It’s been a great deal of fun, especially performing the acoustic guitar segments outside in my back garden.  I sang under a particularly beautiful, in-bloom, orange tree, and it was great to have the ambience of nature as an audience – and, better still, to taste the delicious oranges afterwards!!  We are just about to edit the pieces, and I can’t wait for you to see the results.

In between the filming, I’ve been putting the finishing touches to a song that I’ve written and recorded for the upcoming Abrazos 2007 compilation CD project.  Abrazos is a non-profit organization that benefits the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.  I was thrilled and honored to be asked to contribute to such a worthy cause, and it is at times like these, when asked to help, that I feel lucky and privileged to be a songwriter.  Check out the Abrazos website:  www.myspace.com/abrazos2005.

On the song-cover front, I’ve just heard that a new female vocal group on the Universal Classics/Decca label, called Three Graces, has recorded “THESE DREAMS”.  There is word that Walter A. produced the track, and by all accounts, there are high expectations for their debut album.  It’s always a buzz to hear other artists’ interpretations of your songs.  Some versions you love, some you love to hate!  I’m still amazed to think how a song I started casually in my living room so many years ago (and took 15 minutes to write), could reach out and touch so many people to this day.  Such is the power of song!

And now, as has been my fashion in recent blogs, I’d like to share with you three of the books that I’m enjoying currently:  Meditations For The Humanist by A.C. Grayling – a book of insightful contemplations and ethical questions regarding the human condition; Shelly – The Pursuit by Richard Holmes – a magisterial biography of the great poet; and The Sixth Extinction – Journeys Among The Lost And Left Behind by Terry Glavin – A book exploring our conflicted relationship with nature.

I’d also like to mention some beautiful music which I’ve recently been listening to.  It’s an album by Anonymous 4 and The Chilingirian Quartet called Darkness Into Light, featuring compositions by John Tavener.  The piece named “The Bridegroom,” is particularly haunting and exquisite, and I find the voices of Anonymous 4 extremely moving.  If you are prone to sacred medieval singing, this is for you!

 

— “Hatred never ceases through hatred.  By compassion alone does it cease”

 

                                                 —- Shakyamuni

             Until we chat again, Bye for now…

 

— Martin