original content and images ©j.g. lewis
a daily breath...
A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .
I'm like a pencil;
Still I write.
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.
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logical and chronological
served until 11
later than usual
sunny and runny
home fries and bacon
no coffee today
traffic is slow
it never used to be
nothing fancy since 1953
when you need it
I wrote a song.
No, actually; I wrote the words to a song, the lyrics to a melody.
I contributed to a song.
It was an exciting (at times frustrating) process, working with a structure developed by someone else; working with another person’s art.
Actually it was interesting, and exciting, working with someone else on a common creative goal. I don’t do it too often.
Writing is, generally, individual work. It can be isolating. You spend plenty of time by yourself dealing with situations or stories that only you know.
You own the work. For the longest time, only you know the work.
When you collaborate you have to open yourself up to the thought process of another person, accept another point of view and ideas you may not have considered.
This song has been going on over the past couple of weeks.
Physically distanced, I have been working with a musician who needed words to some work. We share files and email and talk it through when possible.
There has been a lot of back and forth, each step advancing the total work.
When a structure already exists, you have fewer choices on how you create. You have greater challenges; the process challenges you.
I don’t understand notes and chords, but I hear the spaces where words are required. I know words. I am a poet.
Yet, although similar, lyrics are not poetry; not really.
There is more of an adherence to a rhyme. The words have to fit.
You must be responsive to a melody and the meter.
You must be responsive to another artist’s work.
Until, all of a sudden, it becomes yours.
You have shared in not only the process, but the results.
It is a rewarding process.
Classical music is played around and in Toronto’s Dundas Square. Off hours, or through the night, the strains of an orchestra or piano and violin can be heard from under the eaves.
The same tactic was used decades ago at 7-11 stores to try and stop kids from congregating outside its stores; like the music of Beethoven, Bach or Rachmaninoff was so repulsive it would scare them away.
Like, who thought of that?
When did classical music become viewed as so tasteless or threatening?
Now, I get it; classical music is not everyone’s cup of tea, but then neither is country, or the blues, jazz, or hip-hop.
Classical music, having been around the longest, should probably have greater respect than it does in the greater population.
Yes, I enjoy classical music, and I have since I developed a ear for it as a teenager. As the years went on I listened more, read more, and experienced more. Now I still enjoy rock music (from punk to pop); in fact I listen, primarily, to rock and roll. Yet, I have come to know how classical will fit my moods, or soothe my senses.
I have, through trial and error, developed a taste for a wide range of classical music.
I’ve been reading a book through the year that asks people to take another look at classical music. In Playlist, James Rhodes guides you through The Rebels And Revolutionaries of Sound.
It’s an honest, graphically stimulating book that features the composers, the eras and the language of music, spelled out in an entertaining format.
Rhodes has also included “My Ultimate Playlist” that can be accessed on Spotify and with the text, will open your ear to the magic of the music.
“So, this is my plea; give this music a chance,” Rhodes writes in the introduction, an invitation to read and listen, and then (if you wish) never listen to it again.
“But maybe, just maybe, it’ll blow your mind and improve your life a little bit,” Rhodes adds.
Playlist is a good read, and a great listen.