Korg, renown manufacture of electronic musical instruments has introduced the Cliphit, a clever device that turns the world around you into your own personal drum kit! Cliphit takes your air-drumming to the next level, simply attach one of the included clips to almost anything and play drums in real time! The portable drum kit also features a footswitch to control kick sounds, built-in drum sound effects, a headphone jack for private practice, and a built-in speaker that delivers great-sounding tone for your drum performance. watch the video
This TED-Ed video explains whats going on in your brain when you make music.
Remember that Cyndi Lauper song, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?” If you’re like most people, you probably know every word to that song. But did you know it was a cover? The original was written in fifteen minutes by Robert Hazard. The song was originally about a philanderer––obviously, Cyndi Lauper changed the meaning dramatically.
“I Love Rock ‘N’Roll” was another one of those universal songs that everyone seemed to know. It was not originally performed by Joan Jett, though. She first heard the song on a TV show, performed by the band a TV show.
Read the complete article on BBC News.
You may have noticed Christmas CDs showing up at your favorite coffee shop, or bookstore (yes, some places still have those…) Me? I’ve been playing Christmas music since April. When I saw Michael W. Smith’s latest release, I ordered (no, not downloaded, I want the CD booklet with all the information), immediately. There are some really stunning orchestral arrangements combined with some dramatic studio magic on this, Smith’s fourth Christmas albums. Watch the teaser video of recording sessions.
Christmas CDs are a cash cow for most artists. They sing these songs like they are reading the Yellow Pages and still be able to get away scot free simply because these carols by themselves are already seasonal successes. Michael W. Smith avoids this completely. “The Spirit of Christmas” isn’t elevator muzak – this album is a story…a story worth listening to.
Smith put a lot of creativity and focus into this record, and the stars have shown up for this CD -all 9 of the renowned artists have had at least one #1 hit on the charts. From the country music world, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride and Vince Gill. We have Smith’s lifelong friend Amy Grant and from the pop/rock genre we have two legends, U2’s Bono and Doobie Brothers’ crooner Michael McDonald. My favorite guest artist is the London Symphony Orchestra who sounds spectacular on the entire disc.
This album isn’t like other Yuletide recordings where songs are just thrown together randomly. The sequencing of the songs I tell a story. The London Symphony starts us off with a childlike awe of the magical beauty of Christmas playing Smith’s composition of “The Miracle of Christmas”, followed by classic tunes “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”“Happy Holidays/Holiday Season”“Christmas Time Is Here”featuring Vince Gill sounding quasi angelic. “White Christmas”has Lady Antebellum joining MWS.
Smith’s granddaughter joins him and the Nashville Children’s Choir on “Somewhere In My Memory”. It is the poignant melody that most will remember from “Home Alone”the movie. It is breathtaking in its simplicity and emotion. The Symphony sets up the next section with “The Spirit of Christmas”a medley of carols; Deck the Halls, Good King Wenceslas, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Feels Like Christmas and, O Come All Ye Faithful. Brilliant programming here, it is impossible not to find a favorite among these chestnuts (had to do it…).
Little Big Town sings a traditional“Silent Night”, while Martina McBride joins Michael with an ethereal sounding“What Child Is This”. “Almost There” features Amy Grant starts with an almost medieval tone with its instrumentation and harmonies. These two sound the same as when they started singing together thirty years ago. Their harmonies blend so well its like they are the same person.
The most dramatic musical moments come in the last section of the album. Carrie Underwood’s rendition of Smith’s “All is Well,” is sensational. This CD s worth every penny for this song alone! I’m very familiar with “Christmas Day,” having performed it with the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree in 2012. Here Jennifer Nettles almost overshadows Smith on this timeless MWS seasonal ballad.
I’m not sure what the vision was for “Darkest Night”, U2’s Bono delivers a breathy narrative on how evil and good clash on the day of Christ’s birth. It feels like this was a way to get a legend on the album with little effort. “Peace” is one of my favorite tunes on the disc. While Michael McDonald and Smith have such different tones, they come together to create a beautifully haunting version of this song.
Smith’s no stranger to Christmas music. With such a star-studded line up of guests, well-chosen songs, and the rich sounds provided by the London Symphony Orchestra, “The Spirit of Christmas” is his best Yuletide album to date.
Most musicians will admit to sharing a single core skill necessary for mastering their instrument: control. When it comes to designing spaces for practicing, performing, recording or just jamming, control is equally important to acousticians and architects. We aim to control the sound entering and exiting the studio, the heat and humidity inside and, of course, the acoustics.
While a home music room may not have the demands of a professional recording studio, many spaces can benefit from the sound isolation and acoustic treatment applied to rooms designed for playing music. I’ve designed spaces for music at all scales, from auditorium halls to private listening rooms, and have learned a few basic sound concepts that can dramatically improve the aural environment of any space.
September 11th, 2001. For many of us, this day is indelibly stamped in our memory. You likely know where you were at the moment you heard the news. Perhaps you can even feel the visceral emotions that hit you when you watched the footage of the horrific events of that day. For many, their lives are marked by before 9/11 and after 9/11.
It was a Tuesday and after I arrived home from a band rehearsal. Yes, we had a rehearsal. It may have been a sign of solidarity against the forces of evil; it may have been so as not to have to think about the atrocity of the day. Either way, I arrived home to watch the news as a Canadian with my Californian-born son. Things were going to be different, of that I was sure. I was concerned for his future, unsure of what would happen, a decision in my heart was made that day.
That weekend, my musical colleague and good friend Laurey and his daughter wrote a song that would eventually be the cornerstone of a work entitled “An American Requiem”. As a way to work though the angst that was brought by dark forces, a musical work was born. I had the privilege to play a part in the recording and presentation at the famed Benaroya Hall in Seattle on the first anniversary of September 11th. The emotion of that day was highlighted by the fact that less than two weeks earlier, I was sworn as an American citizen. The decision made a year to the day culminated in myself, as the music director leading a prayer on behalf of a hurting people.
For most of my life, music has been an outlet to my feelings and emotions. The healing that it brought during this particular chapter in our history is something exceptional. Working on and performing “An American Requiem” was both cathartic as well as patriotic. We will always remember those whose lives were cut short as well as the lives that were robbed of their loved ones.
Here’s a taste of what we recorded and performed on this anniversary 12 years ago today.