Friday, December 25, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 297



Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I've been taking a once-a-month look at specific instruments and showcasing five songs or tunes which place that instrument front and center.

This year's feature has been Spotlight On...

...and for our twelfth and final installment for 2015's year-long project, let's swing with woodwinds. I'm concentrating for this set mainly on flute, but there are a few recorders in these tracks. Flutes bring us full circle back to the ancient world.    

We began the year listening to the primal body instruments of hand-clappingwhistling and vocal harmonies.

Moving on, we explored percussion with April's look at drums, May's look at the vibraphone or vibes, June's look at piano, and wrapping things up with cowbell in July.

In August I trained the spotlight on a favorite of mine, the bass guitar. In September we gave the stage over to that diva of instruments -- the lead guitar.

In October, I moved from stringed guitars to orchestral strings.

For November, I focused on horn arrangements.

December wraps up this year's musical project with the mellow tones of the flute and recorder. Flutes have been played on battlefields, they've been played by shepherds on hillsides, they've been part of an orchestra or played by peasants. They generally evoke a feeling of the Everyman, as well as reaching back through time to our earliest ancestors. Flutes and recorders give a dual sense of being rooted, as well as the floating sensation suggested by the wind descriptor of woodwind.

For all of you who have enjoyed this year's Spotlight On feature, I invite you to check back next week on New Year's Day for a brand new year-long project.

I've had such fun with the three I've done so far. I love taking up creative challenges like Blogging From A to Z in April, or the NaNoWriMo writing marathon in November. Deciding on a musical challenge for my 5 on Friday feature is a way to broaden my own musical horizons.

I embarked on my first 5 on Friday challenge in 2013 with the Birthday Boys/Birthday Girls project. I alternated male and female singers each month, beginning with January Birthday Boys, to see what sort of music they bring us.

In 2014, I ran The Hit Makers feature, where I looked at different styles of music each month, five of my favorite artists in that style and what songs launched their careers. That was an amazing project, beginning with the British Invasion set.

Where will 2016's musical journey take us? Drop by on January 1st to find out.

Let's finish up 2015 with a Spotlight On flute.    



1 - Coming Home Baby - Herbie Mann - 1961







2 - The Hustle - Van McCoy -1975







3 - Fernando - ABBA - 1976







4 - Colour My World - Chicago - 1971






5 - Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin - 1972




If you'd like to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Friday, December 11, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 296




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

As we head for my 300th set, coming up in four weeks, Christmas is coming up soon. I've always agreed with Andy Williams that it's the most wonderful time of the year.

Here's a Christmas set to listen to while you're wrapping presents, decorating or baking treats.



1Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers






2It Must Have Been Ol' Santa Claus - Harry Connick Jr









3Early on One Christmas Morn - Bruce Cockburn








4 - Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney and Wings








5Christmas Memories - John McDermott



Friday, December 4, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 295




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

As we head for my 300th set, coming up in five weeks, let's look back on some of the sets that have led to this milestone.

Normally, the first set of the month is given over to the year's musical project, which for 2015 has been Spotlight On. However, traditionally I also love to fill my December sets with Christmas music, so I end up delaying the final installment to the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Being a Christmas maniac from way back, I've been filling my Decembers at A Piece of My Mind with music since this blog began in 2007.





For my look back as we approach the next milestone set, with a lively set of traditional Christmas tunes, here is:





Friday, November 27, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 294




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

As we head for my 300th set, coming up in six weeks, let's look back on some of the sets that have led to this milestone.

This is a typical set from 5 on Friday's heyday, with six active participants all posting their own sets, and lots of discussion about music in the comments section.

My sets over the years have had a vast array of inspiration. Sometimes they were part of a larger project (like this year's Spotlight On individual instruments,) sometimes they were part of my creative process while working on writing projects, and sometimes they reflected on the time of year or what was going on for me personally.

This set is a mix of late 70s/80s/early 90s tunes, a look at my typical tastes during that period.


  


For my look back as we approach the next milestone set, here is:






Friday, November 20, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 293




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

As we head for my 300th set, coming up in seven weeks, let's look back on some of the sets that have led to this milestone.

During my second year participating in 5 on Friday, I decided to do a little Elvis tribute as January of 2011 arrived, since January was his birth month.





This was the first of several musical projects that grew into year-long features like 2015's Spotlight On individual instruments, 2014's The Hit Makers, which looked at the songs or compositions that launched careers, and 2013's birthday celebration featuring singers born each month.

For my look back as we approach the next milestone set, here is:







Friday, November 13, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 292




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

As we head for my 300th set, coming up in eight weeks, let's look back on some of the sets that have led to this milestone.

Mike Golch and I are the only remaining 5 on Friday bloggers since Travis posted his 200th set on November 15th, 2013 and then took a step back from blogging. Travis is the originator of 5 on Friday, and we got to know each other well over the years. I'll always consider him a dear friend.

Back in its heyday, there were up to ten weekly contributors, spinning tunes that introduced me to lots of new-to-me music. For Travis' last set, there was a core group of four of us.

Now it's just me and Mike. We send our sets out into the world and I know from my blog stats that there are many people following the sets, who I'd like to thank for dropping in at A Piece of My Mind over all these years.

Last week, Mike posted his 300th set. Congratulations to my Friday music partner!

Who wants to take a wild guess as to what sort of music appeared on my very first 5 on Friday set?

Exactly.

Ballet music.

This week, let's take a trip back through time to Friday, February 12th, 2010 (which was actually my late grandmother Viola's 87th birthday.)





Featuring romantic pas de deux (dance duets) from Spartacus, Manon, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, and Swan Lake.

Friday, November 6, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 291




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

This year I've been taking a once-a-month look at specific instruments and showcasing five songs or tunes which place that instrument front and center.

This year's feature is called Spotlight On...

...and for our eleventh installment, let's continue our look at tonal complexity by the addition of a horn section. Horns have traditionally heralded ceremonies and carry with them an association with celebration.  

We began the year listening to the primal body instruments of hand-clappingwhistling and vocal harmonies.

Moving on, we explored percussion with April's look at drums, May's look at the vibraphone or vibes, June's look at piano, and wrapping things up with cowbell in July.

In August I trained the spotlight on a favorite of mine, the bass guitar. In September we gave the stage over to that diva of instruments -- the lead guitar.

In October, I moved from stringed guitars to orchestral strings.

This month, the spotlight's on five songs where the horn arrangements are the prominent feature.


1 - The Cup of Life - Ricky Martin - 1998









2 - One Fine Morning - Lighthouse -1971








3 - September - Earth, Wind and Fire - 1978








4 - 25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago - 1970








5 - Go Down Gamblin - Blood, Sweat and Tears - 1971



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dona Nobis Pacem -- 9 -- Blog4Peace





Today is a very special day on so many levels.

If you're Canadian, you already know why the bells have rung with joy throughout the land.

If you've come to A Piece of My Mind from Blog4Peace, there's a reason that Canadians are celebrating with tears of relief and wide-beaming smiles of hope.

Today we witnessed the swearing-in of Canada's newest prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

It's impossible to go into details about this without turning an apolitical peace movement into something its founder, Mimi Lenox, would prefer to keep aside for this special day.

So far I've typed several things that I've quickly erased, because I deeply respect Mimi's reason for keeping things non-partisan.

I will simply say that for a country made up of two genders and of people descended from many ethnic groups, as well as sending representatives from six distinct regions, the cabinet ministers sworn in alongside Trudeau today at last reflects Canada's citizens in a way that's never happened before.

As well, Canadians were invited to witness the swearing-in ceremony in a spirit of openness that has been completely absent in Ottawa for the past nine years. In fact, this ceremony has never before been witnessed by the public. There was limited space inside Rideau Hall for the event, so large-screen tvs were set up outside to broadcast the speaking of the oaths, to cheers of delight that filtered inside at several key moments.






For this year's Blog4Peace, I'm posting a song that captures the spirit of today's swearing-in of a new government in my nation's capitol, a spirit that so many of my fellow Canadians share with me.

Many changes in government begin with promises and end in cynicism. My husband and my mom watched the ceremonies with me, and it really touched me that my mom became more and more excited as each new cabinet member came forward to swear the oath. She has seen more parliaments than me, and she said today that she's never seen a group of people that exuded such a sense of dynamic change. The simple yet profound difference of having an equal number of male and female cabinet ministers was something I don't think my mom had ever thought she'd witness.

The reason I've wrapped this year's post around a political celebration has its roots in the mean-spirited tone of the campaign run by the outgoing government, in contrast to the optimistic tone of the incoming government. There's a relieved sense in Canada that we've somehow managed to pull off a revolution without having to fire a shot.

My deep and grateful thanks go out to my fellow Canadians for showing up in record numbers on voting day. With Remembrance Day / Veteran's Day coming up, Canadians have shown that standing up for your country doesn't only mean serving in the armed forces. Peacefully showing up to vote can mean all the difference. 






Friday, October 30, 2015

5 on Friday -- The Halloween Edition -- Set 290




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

My favorite spooky music is by far the sweeping sounds of an orchestra transporting my muse to all the dark places that bring me to the stories I write.

Add a choral dimension into the mix, and it sends chills of delight along my spine.

Hope these pieces make your Halloween complete.

Happy Haunting!







1 - Masquerade Waltz - composed by Aram Khachaturian








2Danse Macabre - composed by Camille Saint-Saens








3Midnight from the Cinderella ballet score - composed by Sergei Prokofiev










4 - Totentanz - composed by Franz Liszt








5 - Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) from Requiem Mass - composed by Giuseppi Verdi



Friday, October 23, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 289




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

I certainly never forsaw dedicating two musical sets to Stephen Harper.

In August, when he cynically called the longest election in Canadian history, somehow certain that using medieval seige tactics would starve out his two competitors, I dedicated Set 279 to him.

And now...








1 - Auf Wiederseh'n - Vera Lynn







2 - The Sound of Silence - Simon and Garfunkle







3 - I'm Going Home (Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack) - Tim Curry







4 - Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam







5 - Ding Dong the Witch is Dead - Cast of 1939's Wizard of Oz



Friday, October 16, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 288




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Here we are, back at the cottage for our annual writing retreat. Shawna Romkey, Kelly Boyce and I travelled together with the keys to open the cottages, so we were up with the dawn. A gorgeous drive down, and now we've already got over half the retreaters here and it's still an hour to go till lunchtime.

Can you say, 'Bliss, thy name is writing retreat'?


1 - The Rain, The Park and Other Things - The Cowsills






2Happy Together - Turtles






3Just My Imagination - The Temptations







4#9 Dream - John Lennon







5 - Dreamweaver - Gary Wright


Friday, October 9, 2015

5 on Friday -- Set 287




Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

This year I've been taking a once-a-month look at specific instruments and showcasing five songs or tunes which place that instrument front and center.

This year's feature is called Spotlight On...

...and for our tenth installment, let's move into an element of deeper tonal complexity by the addition of a string section. Strings immediately bring a sense of emotion along with them, whether it's joyfulness or melancholy.

We began the year listening to the primal body instruments of hand-clappingwhistling and vocal harmonies.

Moving on, we explored percussion with April's look at drums, May's look at the vibraphone or vibes, June's look at piano, and wrapping things up with cowbell in July.

In August I trained the spotlight on a favorite of mine, the bass guitar. In September we gave the stage over to that diva of instruments -- the lead guitar.

For October, I'm moving from stringed guitars to orchestral strings. Here are five songs where the string arrangements are the prominent feature.


1 - Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins - 1996


And what about the awesome music video by Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris? 








2 - Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles -1955









3 - The World I Know - Collective Soul - 1995








4 - Cloudbusting - Kate Bush - 1987








5 - Exogenesis Part 1 - Muse - 2010