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Book Quotes - Alexander Hamilton 

Hamilton.

I saw the play in LA. Loved it. How very interesting, I thought as a creative person, how Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow inspired a whole show for Broadway. I must read it. 

Read it, I did!
Some of the many quotes I saved in my trusty Kindle:


"In all probability, Alexander Hamilton is the foremost political figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did."


“Believe me love is doubly sweet / In wedlock’s holy bands.” ~ A. Hamilton poetry at 17


"See thy wretched helpless state and learn to know thyself. . . . Despise thyself and adore thy God. . . . O ye who revel in affluence see the afflictions of humanity and bestow your superfluity to ease them. . . . Succour the miserable and lay up a treasure in heaven." ~ A. Hamilton


"His chum at King’s [College], Robert Troup, was convinced that Hamilton’s religious practice was driven by more than duty. He 'was attentive to public worship and in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning. . . . I have often been powerfully affected by the fervor and eloquence of his prayers. He had read many of the polemical writers on religious subjects and he was a zealous believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.'"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story Behind The Song - I LOVE YOU MORE 

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

Episode 1 : I LOVE YOU MORE

At the time I wrote this fun little song, ukuleles were still prevalent in popular music. So I purchased a nice-sounding, small, Hawaiian ukulele and started getting busy on a "uke" song of my own. I wrote two actually, but this one made it to the finish first. It's one of my personal favorites on this album. All vocals and instruments performed and recorded by yours truly. 

Click on the Play button.

Get the album "III" HERE

What Are You Doing...? 

I’ve changed home my morning routine a bit (at least at home) that has been a little more fruitful in the songwriting department. It’s real easy to sit back, sipping coffee, relax, and read whatever in the early hours, then get to the real work. 

After opening my Bible app to the living words therein for a spiritual realignment, instead of letting emails and social media fill my head with all kinds of stuff (not all bad but still “stuff”) during my second cup of coffee, I get out my yellow legal pad and just start writing – anything. Without an expectation of how good it’s going to be. 

(I use the Masterwriter app as well for writing. But by using a yellow legal pad first, I feel sort of like a painter on a canvas. Good old pencil and paper!) 

I’ve got a assorted lists on paper and on just about every electronic device I own full of song titles, one line descriptions of “life scenes”, paragraphs, newspaper articles, the list goes on. I just pick one idea and start writing something underneath it, even if it’s bad. And most times I get something I can build upon in the coming mornings or whenever it’s lyric writing time. 
(In the photo on the right, Duff has no idea how brilliant I am!)

After my morning idea brainstorming, I continue on to a physical workout of some sort.

I guess you could describe my "workout" routine as follows:
1. Spiritual
2. Mental
3. Physical

A recent example that got me all excited and I felt like a songwriter again. It started with something I wrote down, at least a year ago if not more, “Came home to the Santa Anas, whipping up a tune”. True story. (Around where I live, we can get some strong winds - the Santa Anas.)

That’s it! 

As an embryo of a lyric formed, when I got to scribblings for the second part of the verse – What rhymes with Santa Anas? Well…Pollyanna. Okay, this is getting interesting I think to myself. 

What ends up happening, a place, a story, etc appears, and then it seems I have a lyric slowly being wrapped inside a melody. 

Then the second part of the verse with the word “Pollyanna” in it develops a life all it’s own and seems better now as the chorus; the hook of the song. And there’s my song title: “Pollyanna”. And off I go to Wikipedia for "Pollyanna" references.

The thing about these songwriting exercises as I’ve described above is, for me, building the discipline to sit down and just write without expectations opens up my eyes, my ears, and my heart to life around me as I go about my day. I feel I could write a song of just about anything or at the very least, write down one line to use later. 

It almost becomes a welcome “sickness”. I’m a words hoarder! 

3 Tweets (Say 5 Times Fast!) 

If you're a "tweeter", feel free to follow me  HERE     

Here are some "awesome" highlights from this past week:

Book Quotes - A Moveable Feast 

Sub-heading: Books I've read. 

This installment of "Book Quotes" is brought to you by "A Moveable Feast"  by Ernest Hemingway

This book made a great souvenir as I was walking the streets of Paris in May/June of 2017. I purchased it at the infamous "Shakespeare and Company" book store in the City of Lights.

 

 

 

 

 

 


On writing in Paris...

Sadness of Fall, but there's always Spring...

This was basically our same path we walked every day down to the city sights...

"...I could never be lonely along the river [Seine]"

Hey, Louie! Can I Get A Photo With You? 

Here's a selfie with cameraman/artiste', Luis Fuerte. He spent 19 years as camera operator for PBS TV host, Huell Howser, who I previously posted about HERE.

 

 

His book signing event at Galleano Winery near my home brought plenty of behind-the-scenes stories to share with those of us in attendance. 

 

 

 

 

We had a nice one-on-one chat about another rewarding time he had, outside of working with Huell, when he was asked to travel with and film an orchestra. He may have said the LA Phil, but I can't remember. He spoke about working the camera as if it was an art form, not just "filming" an event. 

Check out his book!

New CD Album Released! 

All written, recorded, and produced between 2008-2017 by Steve Probst 
All vocals, instruments, and drum programming by Steve Probst 
Cover photo by Ann Conibear Roberts

I was inspired to write a ukulele song when it was popular, so bought a decent uke, wrote a song, and recorded it! (Your welcome) 
Get my “Randy Newman” on? No problem 
If there’s a song written in 2011 that you need to sound like the 80’s, I’m your guy! 
Like Blues Rock? Got some of that, too. 
And what’s not to love about a couple of Jazz/Rock guitar instrumentals complete with guitar solos? 
A song for a documentary about water? Got shoulder deep with this one. 

Click over to my STORE PAGE to get yours!


Hope you enjoy the music! 
~ Steve

Taxi Music Forward - Inspiring, Elegant Instrumental Cue 

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

Using some new sounds and trying to make it sound as real as possible, I'm always learning something new.
My daughter calls this my "Hallmark Channel" track. :)


INSPIRING, ELEGANT INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a boutique Music Library with tons of credits in big Feature Films, countless TV Shows, and TV Commercials. They’re searching for positive, Mid-to-Up-Tempo Instrumental Cues in the general stylistic wheelhouse of the following reference that we got from our client: Instrumental Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFyAzXSe9Oo&t=75s Please submit elegant-sounding Instrumental Cues that have a modern, inspiring feel and vibe. The client is looking for a crossover of modern and acoustic instrumentation that has an “advertising-friendly” sound and could also work well as background music in a variety of other media. Build your Cue around a central melodic theme and mood while adding and subtracting layers of instrumentation as your piece progresses to add emotion and dynamics. Also, please avoid anything that’s overly busy or frenetic, as it might distract from dialogue. Quoting The Music Library: “Your Cues don’t need a prominent melody – rather, nice musical motives that work well as background music, with some sense of forward movement.”
All submissions should be around Two-Minutes long (give or take) with non-faded, buttoned endings. Do NOT copy the referenced example in any way, shape, or form. Use it only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine).

Taxi Music Forward - Blues/Rock Instrumental Cue 

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

BLUES/ROCK INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a well-respected Music Library with a very solid track record of TV and Film placements. This company ran a lot of listings with TAXI about 10 years ago, and placed a bunch of music from our members. They’ve recently started a New Company, so this is a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor, and they pay an Upfront Fee to Composers! They’re looking for Mid-to-Up-Tempo Instrumental Cues that would fit well on a playlist with the following references: “Howlin’ for You” by The Black Keys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSCsoQ87MQ8 “Badman Redux” by Brent Lindsay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC1u-Wia3P0 “Heartbroken, In Disrepair” by Dan Auerbach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0N2xsFiOOo Although the references have vocals, please submit Instrumentals only for this pitch.

Please submit well-crafted Blues/Rock Cues that have an edgy sound with standard Rock band instrumentation, and great musicianship that’s played with conviction, attitude, and authenticity. Adding some “rust” and “grease” couldn’t hurt! Your submissions should be well structured, with catchy, gritty guitar riffs, engaging melodies, and a super in-the-pocket rhythm section. Add and subtract layers of instrumentation as your Cues progress to add dynamics and keep it moving forward. Your submissions should be about 2 minutes long (give or take), with Non-Faded, Buttoned/Stinger endings. Please Do NOT copy the referenced bands 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 (great sounding home recordings are fine).

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