Filtering by Tag: music

Music of the Day #34: Cyrus von Hochstetter - In Darkness Still

I am happy to announce the release of my new song 'In Darkness Still'. This is the first release of a series of songs that I have been recording for the past year.You can listen to the song here. It is now available on iTunes and Amazon or directly through bandcamp I hope you enjoy it!

words, music, vocals and piano: Cyrus von Hochstetter

bass clarinet: Jay Rattman

trombone: Ryan Keberle

guitar: Kruno Spisic

bass: Brian Torff

drums: Warren Odze

tracking and mixing: Louis Brown assistant engineer: Tyler Hartman


Ask this man what happens when all is said and done he'll say to you as always there's nothin' new under the sun

I dreamed of love by the Caspian sea I fled every soul who believed in me I found myself a weepin' willow tree and remain in darkness still

ooh ooh ah ah ooh ah and you say it ain't right, no ooh ooh ah ah ooh ah but I say it's all right it's just all right

The lights shine on and the clock ticks I learned all the rules I tried everything they preach but I forgot my name when I heard her heartbeat and held a blade in between my fingertips

I don't know how many words I spoke I've lost count of all the masks I broke the only place that calls me home is where I remain in darkness still

ooh ooh ah ah ooh ah and you say it ain't right, no ooh ooh ah ah ooh ah but I say it's all right it's just all right

Now, go away it's all been said and done you remind me of myself and you're someone else's son

and sometimes the world just smells like piss and on those days all I can say is this better cry your way through the night or remain in darkness still

Music of the Day #33 - Terry Reid: July

Before this month ends, I'd like to share the song "July" by the British singer, songwriter and guitarist Terry Reid. I recently discovered this song while watching the 2012 documentary "The Summit" which covers the tragic outcome of a K-2 expedition. In the late 60s, Jimmy Page wanted Terry Reid as the singer for his newly formed group the New Yardbirds. Terry Reid declined and recommended Robert Plant instead. The group shortly after changed their name to Led Zeppelin. Later on, Terry Reid was also asked to join Deep Purple which he declined as well, focusing on a solo career instead. It's a beautifully introspective and melancholic song delivered in a wailing and improvised tone. I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

July by Terry Reid

Thought that in July that we could buy the months of may and the time for the lines I couldn't make

sun sea and spray is where you lay so peacefully like a stone sown by land and sea

red from red to brown from brown to gold and out of view still the sun is beating down, beating down onto your body like the sun rose out the dew

ahhh, if we ever meet again I won't be sorry won't even worry, won't even care just as long as you can make it out you'll be there, oh that's right

red from red to brown from brown to gold and out of view till the sun is beating down beating down onto your body like I know some rose out you

wah, if we ever meet again I know I wont' be sorry won't even worry won't even care

just as long as you can show me the one thing come on girl make it out, why won't you be there 'cause you're the one i love you're the one I love, you're the one I love, you're the one I love

Music of the Day - Leon Russell

I am often surprised that many are unfamiliar with Leon Russell (either that, or they adore him), given the fact that he has been one of the largest contributor to American music in the 70s and 80s. Most are very familiar with his songs as they were made famous by other recording artists. "A Song for You" for instance is an American classic probably most famous through Donny Hathaway or The Carpenters but every imaginable pop/rock musician has performed or recorded this song. More recently, the jazz pianist Herbie Hancock did a version with Christina Aguilera. "This Masquerade" is also a Leon Russell original, which most will know as a George Benson song. While Leon Russell's music is all pervasive, his own recordings of those songs are rather obscure. I have always favored his own versions of any of his songs, I find them to be more raw, more unique. They are beautiful, yet Leon Russell never tries to make them come across as pretty.Leon Russell's albums in general are eclectic. His first albums (beginning in 1970) were a fusion of rock 'n' roll, country, gospel and pop. For me they acted as a "gateway" into the world of country music.

Here is the original recording of "A Song for You":

AND, my favorite interpretation of that song other than Russell's is Willie Nelson's. I love his sparse and subtle approach to it:

Music of the Day - Only The Lonely

This music is a more recent discovery for me. I haven't been particularly exposed to Frank Sinatra. However, during my travels with the music group I was touring with over the last months, the leader, Michael, took advantage of the many hours spent traveling by car to share his passion for the music of Frank Sinatra. He explained in many details the differences between Sinatra's collaborations with various arrangers such as Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins and Billy May. For Michael, there were no doubts that Sinatra's best work had been with Nelson Riddle. He found Nelson Riddle's arrangement to add weight, depth and complexity where other arrangers would not go beyond light-hearted swinging affairs. And to illustrate this he played us the album "Only the Lonely". I was mesmerized by the opening track, the jazz standard "What's New", and everyone became very quiet in the car. Even after the piece was over none of us felt like speaking for a considerable time. Indeed, this was not the kind of music that I had commonly associated with Sinatra, much darker and chromatic, layered. Whether this is an old-familiar tune or unknown territory for you, here is the piece of music I wish to share with you today:

Music of the Day - New world Symphony

Happy July 4th!Today I am sharing with you an extensive work of music: Anton Dvořák's 9th Symphony. Dvořák was a Czech composer and followed a nationalistic tendency in his music merging folk music with symphonic forms. In 1892 Dvořák arrived to the United States and became the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. He was fascinated with the idioms of American music and engaged in using them to create music the way he had used traditional Czech elements. The New York Philharmonic commissioned Dvořák to write his 9th Symphony which is known as the "New World Symphony".

Here is the 2nd movement of it, Largo, performed by the New York Philharmonic. I chose this movement for it's slow pace and glorious expression. I live in a congested part of Manhattan but today I hear no honking and the streets are hauntingly calm:

Music of the Day - Franz Liszt

Gnomenreigen by Franz Liszt (1811-1886). This is a short piano piece. Liszt wrote some of the most virtuosic music for piano. He is a wonderful example of someone who had it all. He was widely successful and hailed as one of greatest composers as well as the most accomplished pianist the world had known. He was an influential teacher who mentored many performers and composers. On top of that he lead a happy life, was charming and good humored.This is a great interpretation and I wanted to share that with you because it's such a great example of mastery and the complete symbiosis between the performer and his instrument. The buoyancy of the hands on the keys and the elegance in this video are irresistible.

Music of the Day - Jacques Brel

Today, two songs written and performed by Jacques Brel. Jacques Brel was a Belgian songwriter, although the French have long claimed his music part of they own cultural heritage. He is a master of telling stories through songs and using words in a very powerful manner. I always find it mesmerizing to watch him perform or even simply talk. His intensity and presence makes it impossible to remain unmoved or indifferent.If you understand French you will enjoy the songs even more. Either case I chose clips that had English subtitles so you can appreciate the combination of the words with the music.

"Au Suivant"

And "Ne me quitte pas", one of his most famous songs. It was translated in English (as "If You Go Away" although the correct translation simply means "do not leave me") and then interpreted by almost everyone from Frank Sinatra to Nina Simone and Barbara Streisand.

Music of the Day - Dido's Lament

For a gloomy day:This is one of the most heartbreaking, sad and beautiful arias ever written. If you want to cry, this is it! It is taken from Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas which was first performed in 1688. If you ever thought that baroque music was devoid of sentimentality (or chromaticism) this will give you a completely new perspective.

(--> aria starts at 1:07)

When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create No trouble, no trouble in thy breast; Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate. Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.