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Baby Murder He Said or It Was The Sound Of A Crescendo

June 12, 2010


little dragon

Yeah, yeah, here they come, the tidal wave of tribute videos… I might as well get with the program. You can either roll your eyes now- or come along.

This somehow is being done backwards. While still out in LA the idea for this started forming. Just vaguely, the idea ever so gently nudging me along. The mood for the piece was set.

I find that the best ideas come driving a car- didn’t somebody publish a study that often drivers will show a brain pattern of alpha waves because they are SOOOOO relaxed while driving? It’s almost like meditating. Well, don’t tell anybody, but I find that to be true. Scary. Well, at least my son wasn’t in the car with me. Sometimes I just drive along and suddenly hear strings through the sound of the tires, and with a melody.

So I’m just there, driving along, hurrying along, avoiding moose on a New Hampshire Interstate and I hear both lyrics and a melody. I’m standing there at the garage, holding onto the melody for dear life, hoping not to lose it.”Yes, air filter, AC is broken, should be under warranty” “falllalalala” , “I’m sorry, what was that?”

So I wrote a strange song at first (I lovingly call it “MJ, The Oratorio”, I was almost asking myself, what on earth were you thinking?) and started recording it. For weeks that thing went around and around in my head. Whenever I was about to scream aaaaaaaaaah, something in it changed.

Every time I was about to take the sledge hammer to my equipment, something finally moved along. When the recording wasn’t what it should be, my computer conveniently would crash for me, confirming my suspicion- no, this ain’t it just yet.

Then suddenly the song changed- just write another piece. I wished I could remember all the thoughts. A more contemporary version, piano only, no vocals.

Keep the melody and get over your fear of breaking up pieces into different rhythmic arrangements. Cut it in half, and don’t worry about fitting the rhythm into anything. Are you in a hurry or something? Slow down. Can you sing or hum it at that speed? No. Don’t be afraid to overdo it at 150% because sometimes only 40% of it get communicated. Oh, okay…

Originally I was looking for a way to honor John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” (oh, I know, I know… that’s quite another blood sugar level altogether) and was looking for a way to take my hat before John Denver (I really should listen to him more often, I don’t know his music too well, really lacking in that department, his music was just not around me at all where I grew up)

Somehow MJ’s “Smooth Criminal” kept entering my mind after that, despite me being plenty occupied with John Denver’s “Annie” if you will.

As He Came Into The Window
It Was The Sound Of A Crescendo
He Came Into Her Apartment
He Left The Bloodstains On The Carpet
She Ran Underneath The Table
He Could See She Was Unable
So She Ran Into The Bedroom
She Was Struck Down, It Was Her Doom

Annie Are You OK?
So, Annie Are You OK
Are You OK, Annie
Annie Are You OK?
So, Annie Are You OK
Are You OK, Annie
Annie Are You OK?
So, Annie Are You OK?
Are You OK, Annie?
Annie Are You OK?
So, Annie Are You Ok, Are You Ok, Annie?

(Annie Are You OK?)
(Will You Tell Us That You’re OK?)
(There’s A Sign In The Window)
(That He Struck You –
A Crescendo Annie)
(He Came Into Your Apartment)
(He Left The Bloodstains On The Carpet)
(Then You Ran Into The Bedroom)
(You Were Struck Down)
(It Was Your Doom)

“A crescendo, Annie!”  become somewhat of a motto. “That’s nice. But that’s not a crescendo, that’s just playing timid, THAT’S a crescendo.”

I thought very long about the line “it was the sound of a crescendo” and I guess, he’s right. My crescendo can be different from your crescendo. I guess a crescendo can be begging, it can be joyful, a desperate plea or just plain fun. I’m ready for the lesson in the decrescendo, alright?

And it reminded me of a something my old teacher said to me (right after chopping me down to size for coming to a lesson with too long finger nails…). “Don’t play runaway freight train. A crescendo does not mean you have to get twice as fast.” She’s right.

So this is actually the second piece that came out of the first version. I’m still recording the first original vocal version. Having a really hard time with that one and am resisting the urge to dump it into the region of Nowhereland. I’ve been wrestling with that one since February (!!!!!!!!) but from experience I know- there won’t be anything new coming along my way unless I finish this one. Boo. Can I get get a break? You got one already. Can I give up? That would be wasteful, now wouldn’t it?

This is the “say it in half the time” version. Can I catch some zzzzzs now? Of course.

This is also the first exploration into video making. Oh, what’s that here? iMovie? Hm, wonder what it does. So I just figured I’ll play. The audio track at the end, not sure what happened, that could use some improvement still.

Music composed, arranged & performed by Irina Hale
-©Irina Hale 2010, All Rights Reserved

All pictures are owned by their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended.

Poem taken from the book “No matter where I travel, I come to Nowhereland.” The Poetry by Mascha Kaléko
Translated and introduced by Andreas Nolte
-©Andreas Nolte 2010

For more info on the poet Mascha Kaléko:éko

little dragon

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz permalink
    June 21, 2010 6:57 pm

    Beautiful work Irina! X

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