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Story Behind The Song - PURE WATER 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 11 : PURE WATER

This was written back in 2014 specifically for a music pitch/documentary looking for songs about water. 

Here's part of the info I had to go on to see what I could come up with:

SONGS about DRINKING WATER are needed by an A-List Hollywood Music Supervisor working on a Documentary Film. He’s thirsty (pardon the pun) for Songs with Male or Female Vocals with lyric themes relating to fresh, clean, DRINKING WATER. He’s interested in hearing Songs in ALL TEMPOS and ALL GENRES, as long as they have lyrics about water, pure water, cold water, water is life, etc. Quoting the Music Supervisor: “It’s okay for the lyrics to be literal and right on the nose for this pitch. That’s what I’m looking for! Clean drinking water is a huge issue that this film is dealing with, and I need a song with lyrics that will help us bring this issue into the light.” The right lyric theme and message are more important than the genre or style for this pitch. Please avoid anything that’s too somber or dark. On the other hand, don’t be silly either! They need the perfect song to play during a montage of people receiving fresh drinking water in an environment where it’s typically very hard to come by. This is definitely one of those situations where the Supervisor will know the right song when he hears it, and plays it against the scene.

Well, after all that, it wasn't chosen - so now what am I going to do with it? Put it on a CD!

All instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Book Quotes - Caribbean 

Well, it's been about nine months since my last book quote blog. I've read a "few more" books since then!

“A man could sail on forever … forever till the final darkness comes.”

The Caribbean cruise I performed on in March has long since past, but I continued to "dwell" on and around the islands (if only in my mind) for a few months after, being that "Caribbean" by James Michener is over 900 pages long and I'm not a fast reader. More like sporadic, depending on if I'm traveling or at home.
I enjoyed this read very much all the way to the end.

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When the writers of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies were doing their research, they must have used this book as one of their sources.

"Port Royal was special. It had no police, no restraints of any kind, and the soldiers stationed in the fort seemed as undisciplined as the pirates who roared ashore to take over the place, night after night. They were of all breeds and certainly all colors, and all with nefarious occupations. In some hectic months Port Royal averaged a dozen killings a night, and prominent on the waterfront was a rude gallows from whose yardarm, “dancing in Port Royal sunshine,” was the corpse of some pirate who had attacked the wrong ship at the wrong time."

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"I learned that one of the glorious experiences of travel is to be in a small boat just before dawn as you approach a tropic island. Darkness everywhere but a sense that something lies ahead. Then a distant glimmer of light, a kind of throbbing in the air, and because it is in the tropics, where the sun rises and sets with a rush, not a lingering tease, here comes the great orb, all of a sudden. Light everywhere! And then, far ahead the outline of an island in the midst of a great ocean. More light, more island, and as your boat sweeps in you see the palm trees and the hills and the reassurances that people live there. Don’t miss a thrill that may come only once in your lifetime.”

~ The same goes for a large ship,... but add the daily all-you-can-eat buffett! (If you're into that sort of thing)

Story Behind The Song - SERENGETI STOMP 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 10 : SERENGETI STOMP

The setting where I started writing this track it is brightly etched in my mind.  

I found myself peering out a large window in Las Vegas over looking the golf course of the Suncoast Resort and Casino. It was another Hotel California road trip with 2 nights performing in the showroom. 

This was me creating my first "loop". Recording a short guitar passage, editing it, and then copying/cutting and pasting just like you would with a word or sentence in any computer document. It's only actually played once, but I can make copies of it and manually place anywhere I want in the song. I think there are two of these in "Serengeti..." all throughout the tune.

This is the second and the last of guitar instrumentals I've done. These days, I'm more interested in songs: melody w/lyrics. Any other instrumentals I've been working on are shorter and less "busy" in hopes of TV placement. 

Why titled "Serengeti" Stomp? Oh, I used an African drum loop or two in it that seemed to give it a tribal feel.  

I found a photo of said window from 2012!:

All instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Taxi Music Forward - Dark and Drone-y Instrumental Cue 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

DARK and DRONE-Y INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by an International Music Library that needs lots of new music to keep up with client requests! Please submit “drone-y” Instrumental Cues in the general stylistic ballpark of the following references: 

Sinister Dark Ambient 

Dark Ambient Background Music 

Please send them subtle Instrumental Cues with very little melodic movement. Your Cues should have a droning quality that delivers an unsettling, moody, sort of ominous feel. Be sure to stick to a singular vibe and sound throughout the entire Cue to keep your piece emotionally cohesive from beginning to end. In other words, don't try to score an imaginary scene. Instead, give them one "vibe" from beginning to end because they'll figure out how and where they want to use it. 

All submissions should be about 1:30 in length, give or take. Non-Faded Endings with a natural decay/ring out will likely work best. Do NOT copy the referenced artists or songs in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.

All submissions should be about Two Minutes long (give or take) with non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings. Do NOT copy the referenced examples in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.

Taxi Music Forward - Minimalist Investigative Cues 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

This one is one of my favorites. I like the ebb and flow and the transitions between sections - much fun figuring out new ways to create moods for scenes! 

MINIMALISTIC INVESTIGATIVE TENSION INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a successful. International Music Licensing Company with worldwide distribution through BMG! 

NOTE: This company has just started requesting music from TAXI's members, so chances are you don’t have any material in their catalog yet! 

They’re looking for the kind of Tension inducing Instrumental Cues that could be heard in Crime Drama TV shows or Feature Films in the general range of the following references: 

Crime Scene Music - Police Investigation Underscore Music 

Detroit: Become Human - Investigation 

Your submissions can have some sound design elements like sparse percussion and atmospheric pads – but remember, less is more. This pitch is all about setting the mood.  Electronic and/or Orchestral Instrumentation can all work, but don’t add too many layers, just enough to give your Cue some forward momentum, and to keep it from sounding repetitive. 

Quoting the Music Library: “We are looking for tracks that are minimalist, sparse, and somewhat simplistic. That does NOT mean boring, repetitive, or without evolvement. We prefer to have at least two instruments in a cue. So if you have a solo piece, add another instrument or two and send the newer version.” 

All submissions should be about Two Minutes long (give or take) with non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings. Do NOT copy the referenced examples in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.

Taxi Music Forward(s) - Urban Dramedy Instrumental 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

Well, 2 out of 3 forwards out to bad. The second has been forwarded before but hasn't been placed yet.

URBAN DRAMEDY INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a hot International Music Library that’s been signing a lot of TAXI members to keep up with their increasing demand. They love receiving music from TAXI members, and have requested even more! 

They’re on the hunt for Mid-To-Up-Tempo Instrumental Cues that are in the general stylistic ballpark of the examples below: 

Check Yourself: S9 E14 (From 1:27 - 2:01) 

Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (From 1:23-1:55) 

Please give them well-crafted Dramedy Instrumental Cues with a noticeable Urban vibe, feel, and style. Your Cues should have contemporary instrumentation and solid production values from top to bottom. 

Be sure to build your Cue around a central melodic theme, while adding and subtracting layers of instrumentation as it progresses to create dynamics and movement. Please avoid anything that sounds overly busy, as it could distract from a scene’s dialogue. If you can picture your Instrumental Cue working well in a variety of comical scenes in Urban-centric Reality TV Shows, send it in! 

TAXI Tip: This library needs a bunch of fresh Instrumental Cues in this genre; so if you’ve got the goods, don’t be shy about submitting multiple pieces for consideration! 

All submissions should be at least 60 seconds in length (somewhere in the ballpark of 60 seconds to 2 minutes is probably your best bet.) Good edit points and Non-Faded, Buttoned/Stinger endings are strongly encouraged. Do NOT copy the examples in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, texture and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.

Taxi Music Forward - Light Marimba-based Tension Instrumental 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

The happy marimba suddenly becomes not-so-happy!

LIGHT MARIMBA-Based TENSION INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a very successful, NON-Exclusive Music Library that gets tons of placements in TV Shows, Films, and TV Commercials. 

NOTE: Due to the unique nature of this request, we purposely didn't include references as we felt they could potentially be more misleading or limiting than helpful. 

Please submit Down-To-Mid-Tempo, Light Tension Cues that are built around the Marimba. Cues that can support scenes with sad or reflective moods have been requested. Build your Cues around a central melodic theme, while adding and subtracting layers of instrumentation as they progress to create dynamics, interest, and forward movement. Please avoid submitting anything that’s busy enough to interfere with dialogue. 

NOTE: Your instrumentation can include electronic and/or organic elements, but the Marimba should be the focal point of the Cue. 

All submissions should be about 90 seconds long (give or take). If you go a little long, don’t sweat it! Non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings will work best. Broadcast quality is needed. 

 

Story Behind The Song - HERE'S OUR BLUE SKY 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 9 : HERE'S OUR BLUE SKY

It occurred to me that this song is apropos for the kind of crazy weather we've been seeing of late.

"Skies" may be dark but it's the blessing of those we love that can help bring us through to the blue skies. And if there isn't a cloudless one at the moment, create your own together. And with that, I guess that would be the "story of the song" - about the important things in life.

The bird you hear is real. Recorded at my own house. It's the annual mockingbird (or ?) that's shows up in the spring/summer and continues it's song just like this, sometimes through late night, early morning! There's nothing in the song about birds, but I guess I thought it sort of fit - a reminder of blue skies.

All vocals and instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Taxi Music Forward - Investigative Tension Instrumental Cue 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

Exhibit A: Steve investigates how to create an investigative mood. 

INVESTIGATIVE TENSION INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a U.K.-based Music Library that's using TAXI as its primary source of new music for a large-scale catalog expansion. They need a bunch of Cues in this style! 

Please listen to the following references to get an idea of what might work for this pitch: 

Crime Scene Music 

Stealth Music - Crime Scene 

Please submit suspenseful Tension Instrumental Cues that could enhance the emotion, mood, and atmosphere of Crime-based scenes in TV Shows and/or Documentaries. Your style and production value should sound current when compared to today’s standards. Your instrumentation can contain organic or electronic elements, or a hybrid of both. 

Be sure to craft your Cue around a suspenseful and tension-filled melodic idea. Keep it simple, while adding new layers of instrumentation as it progresses to create dynamics, interest, and forward momentum. Remember that this is all about setting the mood! 

All submissions should be about 1:30 in length, give or take, with Non-Faded, Button/Stinger endings. Do NOT copy the references in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.

Story Behind The Song - SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 8 : SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND

I have never seen the famous Al Pacino movie, "Scarface". But I've certainly heard the phrase, "say hello to my little friend". And I know where it came from. And couldn't resist fitting it in a song somehow. I hunted down the clip on YouTube for reference. This is kind of like my version of the Eagles "Get Over It" I guess. Ha ha.

I thought of the quirkiness of songwriters like Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson when it came time to record this little gem.

All instruments performed by little, old me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a "little" MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

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