Welcome To The Creative Act

A pro-musician making sense of the creative process within the context of his life experience.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

A behind the scenes look at the making of this classic album. I have listened to this album hundreds of times over the course of my life. It ranks in my personal top five. This film gives a behind the scenes look from the artists' perspectives on its creation. I especially enjoy the way the band and engineer (Alan Parsons) explain the recording process using the equipment available to them back in the 1970's. It's great to see Alan Parsons working with the original masters to mix the sounds that were produced. Rather than taking away the mystery, this film adds to the enjoyment of listening to the finished work. At the end, David Gilmour speaks about how he wishes he could have heard the album for the first time with fresh ears like millions of other first time listeners but couldn't because he was involved in its creation. I remember the first time I ever heard this album like it was just yesterday. Recordings like "Dark Side of the Moon" are timeless for that very reason. If you are a Pink Floyd fan, I hope you will enjoy this post and if you are not...you really should be! RR

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spirit - I Will Always Return (extended version)

This video is from "Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron" with music by Bryan Adams. I have posted it because I think that "Spirit" is the most beautiful animated feature ever made. Bryan Adams is also one of my favorite singer/songwriters. The uplifting nature of this project is evident in every frame. I feel better every time I view it. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do! RR

Monday, June 23, 2008

YMA SUMAC - Chuncho

I just had to post this while I am in an Yma Sumac mood. This is one of my favorites. She mimics the sounds of the forest. You can really get a sense of her range on this song. Studying her vocal performance and music has helped me to be a better flute player. Yes, really! RR

Yma Sumac from 'Secret of the Incas'

This is a clip of the great Peruvian singer, Yma Sumac from the movie 'Secret of the Incas" starring Charlton Heston (the original Indiana Jones).
I used to listen to Senora Sumac when I was a boy. My father thought she was the greatest female singer of all time. I agree with him. She had a nearly five octave range! She had an amazing amount of control. I identified with her because she was mixed Spanish and Indian like me and she enjoyed making music that expressed her heritage. I still listen to her music for inspiration. I admire her talents, skill and sensitivity. I will always be an Yma Sumac fan! RR

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Preludio-Presto BWV 995 (J.S. Bach 1685-1750)

Here is the Prelude from the 5th Cello Suite by Bach performed by Marcel Etivalet which I find very beautiful. In previous posts, I have included performances on cello and lute. Bach's music transcends the particular instrument on which it is played. Bach had such a great gift. A greater genius of humanity I cannot imagine! RR

Rostropovich plays the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 5

I just had to post this. I think it is a good idea to listen to different interpretations when studying a piece by Bach. You have heard it on lute in a previous post. Now comes a master of the cello! Rostropovich shows how much love and respect he has for this piece. Just beautiful! RR

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bach, Jobim or me?

I've really been getting into Bach lately. This Prelude from the Cello Suite No.5 is another one of my favorites. I had never heard or seen it played on a lute before I stumbled upon this performance by Andrea Damiani on YouTube. As you can see, the technique is very demanding. This might be my next classical guitar project. Although Wave by Jobim might end up taking more of my attention. I just finished studying the fingering of the Bach piece I previously posted (Sarabande from the Suite in Eminor). I just need to make it my own... Meanwhile, the new album waits for me to decide to really commit to it. I am struggling with a mental block which is kind of irrational and has everything to do with motivating me to start work. It's just not a priority right now. Learning new guitar pieces seems to be a priority right now. Who knows, some of the original stuff that I am working on now might end up being on the new album and waiting to commit might be a good thing right now.

Besides, I also have to work on the house while the weather is warm! RR

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Andres Segovia plays Bach

These are two of my favorite pieces in the Bach guitar repertoire. Segovia offers such a beautiful interpretation of the Sarabande and Gavotte from the Lute Suite in E minor. I'm posting it because Bach and Andres Segovia are two of my greatest musical influences. They are two shining examples of human beings absolutely giving themselves over to the beauty and power of music. I hear this music and all I can think of is the love and mercy from The One who gifts us. RR

Monday, June 2, 2008

Creativity and Spirituality: A Possible Future

If you are an artist or musician who is struggling to balance art, spirituality and commerce, you might appreciate this short but compelling video. It gave me one of those 'aha' experiences. Enjoy! RR