Archive for the 'Music' Category



11
Nov
12

11/11/12 – ASCAP We Create Music Blog

Original link: http://www.ascap.com/Playback/2012/11/wecreatemusic/martin-page-on-a-temper-of-peace-and-writing-eternal-music.aspx

Transcript Below:

 

Martin Page

I truly believe that music is medicine for the soul, and writing, performing and producing my new solo album, A Temper of Peace, afforded me that most-sought-after of emotions – a temperance of peace, that special occurrence when our lives, albeit for brief moments, feel in total and complete harmony with all that is with the world. Music and songwriting have always been that for me – healing balms, methods by which to engage in something pure and natural yet so mysteriously magical and indefinable.

With this project, I set myself a new challenge by playing all the instruments myself. Ever since hearing Paul McCartney’s first solo album (McCartney) as a young boy, on which he achieved this, I’ve harbored the desire to do the same. I wanted to be completely and intimately immersed in every part of the creative process of making an album, which, of course, started with the SONGS. Songs are the lifeblood of my expression, the foundation upon which everything else is built. The song is king!

Martin Page: <i>A Temper of Peace</i>

With this record, I was able to indulge myself and tap into multiple and varied influences – from R&B, traditional folk and reggae to dance and rock. I’ve always loved albums that stride over many genres, styles and moods, and I think Temper does that. I grew up during the ’60s – in an environment of Lennon & McCartney and Motown. My most impressionable years were fueled by those great, auspicious Beatles songs and the soul of the Detroit sound. When I later developed into a pro bass player, the funk era of the ’70s (with bands such as Sly & The Family Stone, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rufus, The Brothers Johnson and Parliament) made a big impression on me. Groove, rhythm and “feel” entered the equation. I was also entranced at this time by the neo-progressive/folk music of such bands as early Genesis and Jethro Tull, and the raw street reggae of Toots and the Maytals and Bob Marley. So, over the decades, I became a sponge for all this wonderful diversity in popular music and culture, and as a result, I think my three solo albums exhibit a freedom and diversity in song style and production – which is especially apparent in A Temper of Peace.

I try to write songs that are “eternal,” that remain modern, transcend styles and fashion and connect with the core of what’s human in all of us. I believe that the reason why many songs from the past sound more contemporary than those of today is because they were written from an “eternal” perspective. Joy, despair, hope, suffering…these are emotions that contain the elements of nature, of our human condition/history, and which give songs a potential for extended/long life. I also seek positivity in my songs – even if I’m writing about sad or difficult themes, as I believe that music is to inspire and uplift and encourage people. When I was a child, I remember that whenever my parents argued or we were in some turmoil over something, when a record was put on the turntable, the atmosphere of the room changed – the music calmed the situation and lifted everyone’s spirits; it was like magic to me, and that realization had a profound effect on me.

We talk a great deal about the technical, mathematical and logical aspects of songwriting, but the spiritual and psychological dimensions are equally important to me. Songs like “Soulprint,” “The Washing of the Heart” and “You Can Let Go” (on the Temper album) were written from “journeys into the interior” – my own interior. My goal is to search for emotional comprehensibility in my work – the place where brain meets heart.

The rather daunting task I set for myself of playing, engineering, performing, producing, mixing (and making tons of tea!), etc. on this album, although agonizing and frustrating at times, proved ultimately to be emancipating and liberating, and even fun! It became the truly “solo” album I’ve always wanted to make. Having said that, ultimately, for me, it remains all about the song. Simply put, songwriting makes me happy, it drives me, it’s something I HAVE to do. It feeds my soul and heals me, which I tried to embed into the songs on A Temper of Peace.

I believe that beauty is our positive response to life, and I try to reflect that in my music.

********

A Temper of Peace is available at CD Baby and iTunes.

Visit Martin Page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/martinpagemusic

MARTIN PAGE first gained recognition as a songwriter with Top 40 hits for Kim Carnes and Earth, Wind & Fire, among others. Page co-wrote “We Built This City,” a #1 hit for Starship in 1985, and the #1 hit “These Dreams,” recorded by Heart. Page co-wrote the Top Ten Go West hit “King of Wishful Thinking,” featured in the movie Pretty Woman, and “Faithful,” another hit for Go West. With Robbie Robertson, Page penned the critically acclaimed “Fallen Angel,” featured on Robbie’s first solo album. Page has also written for, produced or worked with such artists as The Commodores, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Paul Young, Brian Ferry, Phil Collins, Josh Groban and Robbie Williams, among many others.

The title track from Page’s debut solo LP In the House of Stone and Light became a substantial pop and adult contemporary hit – breaking the record as the longest charting single in Billboard’s A/C Chart history, and garnering Billboard’s “1995 Top Adult Contemporary Single Of The Year” Award, and ASCAP Pop Awards in both 1995 and 1996. In 2008, Page released his second solo album, In the Temple of the Muse, the first release from Page’s independent label, IroningBoard Records. The album quickly reached #1 on CD Baby’s Top Albums Pop/Rock chart, and remained in the Top 5 for a year.

Songs from Martin’s indie albums have been cut by Josh Groban and Dame Elaine Paige (“Mi Morena”), Robbie Williams (“The Long Walk Home”, co-produced by Martin), Starship (“Everything You Do”) and The Osmonds (“I Can’t Get There Without You,” the UK single for their 50th anniversary album). “We Built This City” was recently featured in Rock of Ages, sung by Russell Brand.

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11
Oct
12

10/11/2012 – Vlog – Working with Phil Collins

14
Jul
12

7/4/12 – Track Reveal

Track listing of Martin’s upcoming album, “A Temper of Peace” REVEALED!
1. Halo
2. The Washing of the Heart
3. Think of Me (When You Dance)
4. Soulprint
5. Ruby Rae
6. I’ll Grow Old With You
7. When the Harvest is In
8. Hungry Ghost
9. Titch
10. What Did I Do to Deserve You
11. Healing Waters
12. I Can’t Get There Without You
13. You Can Let Go
30
May
12

5/30/2012 – Album Announcement

02
Dec
11

12/2/2011 – Holiday Message from Martin

Well, it’s that time of season again to wish you all health and happiness for the coming holidays and new year.  Your support and encouragement over the past year have been nothing less than uplifting and inspiring, and have helped me push on with the recording of my third solo album, “A Temper of Peace”.

The new album is finally finished and I couldn’t be happier or more excited with the results.  We were hoping to release it before Christmas, but, alas, I was a little too optimistic – production constraints made that impossible.  So, “A Temper of Peace” will be released in the new year, when all our ducks are in a row and the remaining pre-release details have been completed.  I truly can’t wait for you to hear the new music – so stay tuned for news of the release date.

Again, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and I’ll see you in 2012 with the new album.

Cheers,

Martin

Martin in the studio with good friend Bobby Summerfield.

 

02
Jul
10

7/2/2010 – Support System – Vanessa Leavitt

            I’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Leavitt, the wonderful girl who runs and oversees my websites at Myspace and Facebook.  Many of you may already be acquainted with Vanessa, as she makes a point of responding personally to the fans who communicate with me through my websites; So, a great deal of you will already know of Vanessa’s warm, affable and accommodating nature.  It’s quite amazing to me that Vanessa was present at my first ever solo live gig in Washington D.C., when I was touring and promoting my debut solo album, “In The House Of Stone and Light”.  We didn’t actually meet up until years later in Los Angeles when Vanessa and I were both guest speakers on my friend’s music podcast (www.audionowcast.com).  I learned then that she had been a great supporter of my music right from the beginning of my career.  We instantly connected, and when I mentioned that I was about to release a new album on my own independent label, Vanessa immediately offered to help me with the set up and organization of a promotional website at Myspace.  It was an offer that I am glad I didn’t refuse, for Vanessa’s experience in the music industry and internet promotion has proved invaluable during my recent adventures as an independent solo artist.

Vanessa got interested in radio at college, and worked at her college station for four years hosting a local music show highlighting unsigned bands from around the D.C. area.  These were special days for Vanessa, as she got to work and meet with some very passionate people within the music industry – doing what they loved just for the sake of it.  During this pivotal time, she also interned with BMG Music Distribution, doing promotions for their college bands.  This then lead her to working for a number of D.C. radio stations as a sales assistant, and a web developer for one of them.  She then landed her current job building websites for groups of radio stations all over the country.

As I have come to know Vanessa better, I have become aware of her many passions outside the boundaries of music.  She is a keen lover of nature, art and literature, and loves nothing better than the warm seasons which allow her to go hiking or camping with friends and family; but her biggest inspiration by far is her beautiful daughter, Kaia, who constantly reminds her how to live in the present moment.  As I mentioned earlier, one of Vanessa’s great passions is books, and she is a truly talented author in her own right.  She started writing stories in college, and she names writers such as Hemingway, Poe, Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King and Charles DeLint as her strong influences.  She has almost completed her own historical fantasy piece called, “Shaping Fate”, and is presently looking for an agent for the work.  I urge you to check out Vanessa’s creative writing website at   www.vrleavitt.com, where you can view some of her short stories and where Vanessa also talks about the writing process in general.  It’s a great site to visit, and I’m a big fan.

It’s a pleasure for me to work with such an all-‘round, imaginative and genuine person such as Vanessa.  She brings integrity, professionalism and a great work ethic to the creative process.  For her, no task, it seems, is too difficult to accomplish.  And on top of that, she has a terrific sense of humor, which in my book, is a definite Big Plus, indeed!  It is a precious luxury to know as an artist that you have a solid, believing team behind you, and with Vanessa on board, I certainly feel that.

In finishing, I recently asked Vanessa what music artists she likes; she answered that she enjoys all sorts of music from Mozart to Queen to Big And Rich .…. and of course, Martin Page.  Well, she had to say that, didn’t she?!

Thanks Vanessa.

 

Cheers,

Martin

11
May
10

5/11/10 – Inspiration

 

I’m often asked, “How do you write a successful popular song?”  It’s a good question, and after all these years plying my trade in this vocation, I still find it an impossible question to answer.  For me, there is no trusted formula.  Every song that somehow appears to me is born of its own unique set of circumstances and inspiration.  In fact, when I have tried to impose a formula on the conception of a song, nine times out of ten, I have failed miserably!  And when I have tried earnestly to force the issue, the muse has stubbornly refused to obey my wishes.  Songs have always come to me primarily of their own volition – as if they themselves chose the time, place, manner and form in which to be brought into existence.  The alchemy of song construction is truly a mysterious art form and, to a great extent, remains unexplainable to me.  I have heard songwriters say that they feel as though they were conduits for a song to pass through, as though they were the mere instrument of a greater, unconscious force.  On many occasions, I, too, have felt as little more than a midwife to the song’s composition.  If all this sounds rather “other worldly” and spiritual – well, for me it is.  How else to explain how melodies, harmonies and chord sequences can be plucked from thin air and placed within the human brain?

Of course, while armed with a basic knowledge of the rudiments of music and an unquenchable desire to accomplish the task at hand, a songwriter also needs the tools of his or her trade – be it voice, manuscript paper, guitar, piano, tape/digital recorder, etc. – to allow inspiration to bear fruit.  And for the successful songwriter, there still remains the cardinal rule:  TURN UP FOR THE GIG – and, by that I mean go to work each day and write!

Then, with a bit of luck, there’s every chance that fate will bestow upon the fortunate tunesmith the most treasurable of things – a song!  In my case, some songs are born quietly and peacefully, while others come screaming and kicking into the world.  For example, “These Dreams” (recorded by Heart) took me about 20 minutes to write, while “Fallen Angel” (recorded by Robbie Robertson) took me over a year to complete.  The cool thing is I still feel that I’m learning something new with every new song I sit down to write.  It’s like traveling on a journey down a different path every time.  Sometimes the path leads to somewhere wonderful and rewarding, while other times, it leads to a dead end, frustration and no result; but I think it’s the gamble of the unknown that I find so exhilarating and addictive – and, as the saying goes, a song is never finished, it is only abandoned.

Cheers,

-Martin

 

“We – are we not formed as notes of music are, for one another, though dissimilar?”

 – Percy Bysshe Shelley

MARTIN, at the taping of his recent guest appearance on the German reality TV show “FlatStar”, talking to the contestants about his songwriting experience.  (The show also aired on the internet, where this segment from the 2nd Episode can be viewed in 4 parts.)