A different way to visualize rhythm

rhythmIn standard notation, rhythm is indicated on a musical bar line. But there are other ways to visualize rhythm that can be more intuitive. John Varney describes the ‘wheel method’ of tracing rhythm and uses it to take us on a musical journey around the world.

Bono on How U2 Began Inside Larry Mullen Jr.’s Kitchen

“Kids started coming from all around the place,” frontman tells Jann Wenner in 2005 interview about band’s teenaged origins in Dublin.

Here’s a link to the Roling Stone article.

Music Review: Jacob Collier – In My Room

So, I found this musical phenom on YouTube a little while ago. The 22-year-old jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist, originally from London, shot to fame as a music-making teenager on YouTube. Then, he got the attention of Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. Many music experts have called him a prodigy or even a genius. These adjectives about Collier are not unwarranted. His music holds a particular appeal for jazz aficionados, who hear his brilliance in the technical minutiae.

Collier possesses immense talent. His soulful baritone contradicts his slight frame and youthful age. On his debut CD, In My Room, he employs a myriad of layers of vocal harmonies and instrumentation, each intricately arranged into place. Ideas stack on top of ideas, multitudes of melodies intertwined, the twists, turns and modulations are all carefully calculated and backed up by an unfathomable understanding of music theory. I’ve never heard anything “homemade” that approaches this level of production! In My Room exudes the allure of a record lovingly pieced together by one man over countless hours…in his room.

All of the songs are great ideas with intelligent and thoughtful key concepts, but Collier, being a composer, singer, instrumentalist, and producer of great ability. Collier’s use of reharmonization, particularly with regards to the multi-track vocals, provide a constant sense of motion that is somewhat reminiscent of the piano playing of the late John Taylor.

Woke Up Today, opens the album, epitomizing the hyper-eclectic sound of Collier and his music, with a raggedy-funk rhythm consisting of miscellaneous sounds sampled into virtual percussion instruments, with Collier creating his vocal chorus.

The Beach Boys’ In My Room is a little on the nose, so it had to be included in this album. It’s a unique version with the densely layered vocals, and various percussion sounds, more so than even a Beach Boys record.

Along the same lyrical lines is Hideaway, done with a sparse but atmospheric instrumental backup including some acoustic guitar.

Sounding a bit like a more standard jazz ballad with outstanding vocal arranging is Collier’s arrangement of a tune by one of his biggest influences- Stevie Wonder, You and I.

However, the Stevie Wonder influence really comes to the forefront on an original called Saviour (British spelling, remember Jacob is from the UK). A mixture of vocal acrobatics with grooves constructed with combinations of unconventional sounds.

One of the most musically interesting pieces on the album is an original called Hajanga, in which Collier says he wanted to convey the effect of spinning in circles.

The most straight-out fun track on the album and also one of the most impressive is one of the covers. Collier does an amazing mostly a cappella version of the theme from The Flintstones. In the middle of the tune, Collier throws in a solo on a melodica, a kind of keyboard harmonica.

With all the layered vocal parts that dominate this album, Collier does a very attractive ballad called In The Real Early Morning, which is mainly just keyboard and his solo vocal.

There are a lot of musicians out there plying their trade, many of them very good, some of them innovative. And then there are those who are one of a kind, seeming to emerge fully formed at a young age. We have such a rare bird this week. It’s Jacob Collier’s In My Room is a wild mix of multiple layered vocals and jazz influence along the lines of Bobby McFerrin, the funk of Stevie Wonder and a quirky collection of instrumentation, which manifests itself as must listen to album.

Homes Are Gettin Smarter as Technology Accelerates [INFOGRAPHIC]

Technology continues to advance at an extremely rapid rate. The tech we interact with on a daily basis is constantly getting better, faster, and cheaper thanks to Moore’s Law.

Moore’s Law, originally coined by Gordon Moore (founder of Intel), states that the speed and power of microchips will double every 24 months. This has been true for over 50 years and continues to be the case.

Because the technology around us is getting smaller and more powerful, the uses of new and improved technologies are continuing to develop and expand as well. Enter smart home.

A smart home is created when items around the house become connected in one way or another. For example, connected thermostats, light bulbs, and security systems are just a few of the many smart home applications.

smart-home-automation-trendssource: https://internetofmorethings.com/smart-home-infographic/

The Making of a Bass Guitar

serek bassesSerek Basses are handmade here in Chicago. They feel, sound and look amazing! Another quality product being made in Chicago.


How to Achieve a Minimalist Home


The U.S. Census Bureau Report: Characteristics of New Housing

Want to stay on top of new construction trends?  The U.S. Census Bureau has a great, new interactive infographic that explains their Characteristics of New Housing report. Just click on the graphic below and see for yourself.

May 2017 Market Snapshot

A View of Seattle from Above

Seattle Sunset: July 11 2017

We love this city.

Posted by ABOVE Seattle on Monday, June 12, 2017

A Humorous Look at the Basics of Meditation

meditationThere is absolutely no reason to associate meditation with religion these days, not if you’re atheist or agnostic. It’s totally possible to be secular and still consider it just as valuable. Which it is. There’s also no reason to associate it with claims about superpowers, enlightenment, seeing other dimensions, or suddenly being able to do triple backflips with a jam sandwich on your head. The last one would be cool though.
As mentioned in the video, it’s essentially the art of gaining conscious control of the rest of you mind, just by observation. Lots of folk have explained it better than I ever could: