Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Something sweet to close out the old year with

December 31, 2022

I love this sweet and rare interaction between this girl and a bird. It’s as if Snow White and The Sound of Music collaborated to create “a golden hour miracle.” The description below explained what had happened. A bird had crashed into their window and was dazed. We see their delighted daughter holding the bird and singing Edelweiss to it while compassionately caressing it. You can hear the bird chirp feebly. This must have helped to get it back on its feet, or in this case, off, since “she flew away fit as a fiddle.” What a magical moment!

Gable Swanlund’s mother posted this video of her and the bird on her Instagram account. The video has hundreds of thousands of likes and over ten thousand comments! It’s bound to put a smile on your face.

Sander from the Netherlands posted a close-up of the video on Twitter.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Rock’s Songbird—Christine McVie—has flown free

December 8, 2022

The Rock world has been reeling from the news of the unexpected death of Christine McVie, the longtime co-lead vocalist, keyboardist, and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac. She died Wednesday, November 30, 2022, after a short illness. She was 79. Christine was surrounded by family members at a London hospital when she passed.

Many condolences and remembrances have been pouring in this past week, especially from members of the band attesting to how much she was loved and appreciated as a person and, of course, as one of their foundational musicians. This E News! video contains several quotes from both band and family members alike. Good Morning America aired Celebrating the life and legacy of Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie

You can read more in some of the many articles published about her life. Here are a few: Rolling Stone: Christine McVie, Keyboardist and Singer for Fleetwood Mac, Dead at 79; The Guardian: Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie dies at age 79; and NME’s Mark Beaumont’s excellent piece: Christine McVie, 1943-2022: an eternal songbird.

The Guardian also posted photos and quotes: Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie – a life in pictures, and Christine McVie: a look back at the Fleetwood Mac star’s greatest hits – video obituary.

Christine McVie on writing ‘Songbird’

One of the things that came up in my Instagram feed was this post from Far Out Magazine: Christine McVie on Writing Songbird. They included the audio portion from a Dec 17, 2017 BBC Desert Island Discs interview with Christine McVie that dealt with how she came to write her famous song. They also transcribed that part of the conversation in the Instagram post. Raised on Radio also posted the interview on YouTube. The Songbird section starts at 3:18. You can click CC to see their words.

In a recent post, I quoted Brendan Graham, who said, “the truly special songs write us; we don’t write them. We don’t find them; they find us.” Christine McVie described exactly that kind of magical experience.

She couldn’t sleep, and an unknown song was in her head. “I had to play this song. It was as if I’d been channeled or something!” It came to her at 3 in the morning. “The whole song, complete, chords, words, everything within half an hour,” she explained. Fortunately, she had a piano in her room, but no tape recorder. So she kept playing it without sleeping for fear of forgetting it, until she went into the studio at 9 o’clock the next day to record it on a two-track tape. “I just felt as if it was a universal kind of prayer or something. I just don’t know where it came from. This never happened to me since or before.”

‘Songbird’ would arguably become McVie’s signature song. Originally released as the B-side to ‘Dreams’ in 1977, it ended up on Fleetwood Mac’s world-conquering Rumours album. It wasn’t her biggest hit for the group, but the ballad was a frequent closer at Fleetwood Mac concerts, especially after McVie rejoined in 2014.

McVie later recorded an orchestral version of the song, composed and arranged by multi-Grammy winner Vince Mendoza. It was part of her first-ever compilation highlighting songs from her solo career: ‘Songbird ~ A Solo Collection,’ which came out this year.

Enjoy this beautiful photo collage by CK WOOD Music Productions to Songbird (Fleetwood Mac and Christine McVie).

At 2:03 there’s a photo of Christine wearing a top with the words, Nobody’s Perfekt. This is doubly funny, not only because of the misspelling of the word, perfect, but also because it’s her family name! She was born Christine Anne Perfect. She told Peter Robinson of The Guardian: “I used to joke that I was perfect until I married John.”

Two decades after it first aired, the world discovered Eva Cassidy’s amazing voice singing ‘Songbird’. It was published 2 years after her untimely death at 33. Mick Fleetwood knew Eva and said this about her: “She was brilliant. She had the magic. And I call it, It. She had It!” To find out more about her, see The hauntingly beautiful voice of Eva Cassidy.

Christine’s Family, Early Background, and Later Recognition

Christine Anne Perfect was born on July 12, 1943 to Cyril Percy Absell Perfect and Beatrice Edith Maud Perfect. They also have a son named John. Christine’s family contributed considerably to her development. Her grandfather was the organist at Westminster Abbey. Her father was a concert violinist and music lecturer at St. Peters College of Education at Saltley in Birmingham. Her mother was a medium, psychic, and faith healer. After her brother brought home a Fats Domino songbook, she switched from playing classical piano to blues-based rock and roll.

She studied sculpture at school with the intention of becoming an art teacher and met blues musicians who invited her to join a band. She later left a window-dressing job in London to become a full-time musician. She would soon be invited to join an early version of Fleetwood Mac who would go on, through various iterations, to become one of the top-selling bands of all time.

An introvert by nature, McVie’s creative and spiritual influences informed her musical career and kind personality. She impacted her bandmates in positive ways, at times, the quieter center holding them together as they spun out of control due to the excessive drug-fueled lifestyles and rocky romantic relationships of that era. But they turned their melodramas into musical hits. McVie would be honored with many awards, and in 1998, was inducted with Fleetwood Mac into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MOJO’s Tribute to Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Christine McVie

Christine McVie: Her 20 Greatest Songs. In tribute to Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Christine McVie, who passed away this week, MOJO selects the best tracks from across her career. They also included Christine McVie Remembered. In memory of Christine McVie, who has sadly passed away aged 79, MOJO revisits our 2017 interview with Fleetwood Mac’s singer-songwriter.

Leland Roberts published in Medium: In Memoriam: Christine McVie is Britain’s Greatest Female Popular Music Artist.

Nadja Dornik performs her beautiful transcription of Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu Op.66 for a harp

November 14, 2022

I discovered this amazing musician—Serbian harpist and pianist Nadja Dornik. She transcribed and performed a stunningly beautiful version of Frédéric Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu (C♯minor, Op. posth. 66, WN 46) on the harp. Check out her impressive bio, and see more videos on her YouTube channel and those featured at onepoint.fm.

For another beautiful classic piece of music, listen to Kristan Toczko, one of Canada’s premier harpists, perform Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

Norman McLaren’s 1968 NFB film ‘Pas de deux’ creates a spellbinding aesthetic experience

Karen Matheson sings ‘Crucán na bPáiste’ with a Gaelic band. Brendan Graham tells how the song chose him as a conduit. Truly beautiful and sad.

October 9, 2022

I can remember as a child getting emotional every time my father would play a recording of Toora-Loora-Looral (It’s an Irish Lullaby). My lower lip would pout and quiver, and sometimes I’d cry. I still feel sad when listening to certain Irish artists and created a blog post about them.

Karen Matheson sings Crucán na bPáiste

Another Gaelic artist and song I recently discovered that also moves me is Karen Matheson singing Crucán na bPáiste, ‘burial place of the children’. It was written by Brendan Graham for the heroine of his novel The Brightest Day, The Darkest Night. When I discovered what it was about, what the words of the song meant, it elicited a stronger response.

One commenter explains: “The song is set during the famine in Ireland (1840s). People were dying so fast that they had to be buried in mass graves—the children included. But there was a special mass grave just for the little ones. That is what a ‘Crucán na bPáiste’ is (burial place of the children). In this song, a young mother grieves the fact she could do nothing to keep her dear little one from dying and wishes she had died as well. Now she vows to leave Ireland forever to the States to try and escape the bitter memories.”

Another later adds: “One other aspect you do not know…this is a graveyard for unbaptized babies…died before being baptized….kept separate by the Catholic Church.” Brendan Graham mentions this in his talk about the song in the second video below.

See a translation of the lyrics from Irish Gaelic to English, and listen to the recorded song on Spotify from Karen’s downriver album or on YouTube. They both play out to the end. Truly beautiful and so very sad.

This video excerpt from a BBC Four Transatlantic Sessions 3 includes an introduction by Karen about the collaboration between British and American musicians playing Gaelic music, followed by the band’s performance of the song.

These musicians accompany Karen in her rendition, which is filled with sorrow, regret, and a pleading prayer. The uilleann pipes in the last third of the piece intensify the overall sense of grief. Embedded here is that live performance of Crucán na bPáiste with English subtitles.

Accompanying Karen Matheson are Donald Shaw on piano, Ronan Browne on whistle and uilleann pipes, Aly Bain on fiddle, Tim O’Brien on fiddle, Jerry Douglas on slide, Catriona McKay on harp, and Todd Parks on bass.

How Brendan Graham wrote Crucán na bPáiste

The YouTube algorithm later suggested a short video of how Brendan Graham wrote his beautiful song Crucán na bPáiste. It was a revelation! He happened to be walking up in those beautiful mountains, “a place above the world hung between heaven and earth,” and came upon that place of unmarked stones. That’s when it happened.

He describes how he was affected, how the history of that time and place worked on him over many months to express itself, to tell its story, word by word, line by line, until he “had been set free and it had found its epiphany.”

I had learned to keep out of the way; let the song write itself. … The truly special songs write us; we don’t write them. We don’t find them; they find us.”

The truly special songs write us; we don’t write them. We don’t find them; they find us.

Songwriter and author Brendan Graham

“How else is it explained how a song can seep out of the wilderness, out of rocks and streams, and the deep pool of its own dark history, and, how a remote place in the Mayo Mountains, can, of its own volition, send out its story to the world.”

He concludes with all humility and gratitude. “I am grateful to be merely the conduit, an accident of time and place through which something I don’t fully understand is given voice and is heard.”

A truly haunting song! It ranks up there with Davy Spillane playing the beautiful lament Caoineadh Cu Chulainn on uillieann pipes, and May Morning Dew on low whistle, alone, and with Moving Hearts in Dublin. Siobhan Miller sings her own beautiful version with her amazing band.

l first discovered Davy Spillane playing Midnight Walker. It captured my attention. Those songs are all embedded with a few artists’ covers here: The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle.

Joni Mitchell surprised everyone at the July 2022 Newport Folk Festival when she showed up to the Joni Jam organized by Brandi Carlile & Friends

July 29, 2022

Brandi Carlile & Friends were scheduled to perform a Joni Jam at the Newport Folk Festival Sunday, July 24, 2022. Brandi surprised everyone when she announced that Joni Mitchell was joining them on stage. She first appeared at that festival in 1967, and again in 1969, 53 years ago!

This would be Joni’s first public performance after a long recovery period from a brain aneurysm in 2015 that nearly took her life. She had to relearn many basic things, as well as how to sing and play her guitar again, which she picked up by watching herself on YouTube videos.

CBS Mornings correspondent Anthony Mason spent the weekend there. Brandi told him about the Joni Jam, where musician friends would gather together over the years to sing songs in Joni’s California living room. She’d sip her wine and listen, until one day, she started to sing and play. It was Brandi’s idea to bring the Joni Jam to Newport.

Anthony asked Joni if she was nervous about singing in front of an audience again. Joni replied that she’s never been nervous in front of audiences. “But I want it to be good. And I wasn’t sure I could be. But I didn’t sound too bad tonight!” They all share a laugh.

Read Anthony’s wonderful report: Joni Mitchell makes triumphant surprise return to Newport Folk Festival, and see Anthony’s report as he answers co-host Gayle King’s questions: Joni Mitchell performs in public for first time in nine years.

Update: The Extended Interview

CBS Mornings later posted the extended interview (5:32) with this description. Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile spoke with Anthony Mason after rehearsing for their surprise “Joni Jam” set at the Newport Folk Festival. Mitchell returned to the festival stage after 53 years, performing for the first time in public since a brain aneurysm in 2015.

Both Sides Now

I love this song! I first heard Joni sing Both Sides Now live in Montreal at a Place Des Arts concert in 1969. She stood on stage, a young innocent woman in a floor-length green dress and just her guitar, mesmerizing us all with her amazing talent.

Decades later, in An All-Star Tribute to Joni Mitchell, 2000, she performed a slower more melancholic version of her song with a full orchestra. Wearing a floor-length blue dress, she humbly sang from a different perspective, having looked at, reflected upon, her experiences of love and life from both sides, win and lose, illusions like clouds, which she sang, “I really don’t know (clouds, love) life at all.”

But this Newport Folk Festival performance was different. Joni was showing her audience, the musicians, and herself, that she can still sing, from both sides now—from before and after her aneurysm.

Her deep baritone-sounding voice is richly colored like dark mahogany. Brandi, hand over her heart, holds back from crying out loud. As the song comes to an end, we see and hear Joni’s happiness spilling over in laughter. She can still deliver. Everyone’s wildly cheering and applauding. Smiles everywhere; not a dry eye in the place. What an emotional return!

Summertime

“Summertime” is one of the most recorded songs in history. More than 2500 by now. Joni delivers the best jazz version of this Gershwin classic that I’ve ever heard! Not only does she still have it, she’s also matured like a rare vintage wine. A big thanks to Amy Karibian for posting the 14-song set.

Recent Awards, Honors, Tributes

Last year, the 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors acknowledged 5 outstanding artists. They started the evening with a special Joni Mitchell Tribute featuring famous musicians and friends. In 2002, she was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, Joni appeared in person to receive her 10th Grammy, for Best Historical Album for her collection, Archives, Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963–1967). The night before, Joni Mitchell was recognized as the 2022 MusiCares Person of the Year. The MusiCares 2022 Person Of The Year Tribute featured old friends and new faces, touching testimonials, and some of the greatest songs ever written. It did the songwriting pioneer proud.

Where will she go from here?

Where will Joni Mitchell go from here? She will probably continue to sing and play music. Maybe write new songs? Anything is possible. This ongoing recovery is turning out to be a gift for Joni, and her fans.

She told Anthony Mason what her surgeon had said about her recovery, that she has will and grit. It helped her overcome polio as a child, and now this brain aneurysm. Miracles are continuing to happen for Joni. She’s not done yet. Visit JoniMitchell.com and her socials for updates.

Elton John interviews Joni Mitchell

Nov 12, 2022: Joni Mitchell Talks ‘Blue’, “Both Sides Now”, & Newport Folk Festival with Elton John | Apple Music || Elton John’s Rocket Hour with Joni Mitchell.

In this special episode of Rocket Hour, Elton John sits down with legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell for a rare and personal interview. The two reminisce on the stories behind some of Joni’s classic tracks, as well as some of the personal favorites she’s selected from other artists. Joni reflects on the music and the stories behind each song. She also touches on her experience performing at the Newport Folk Festival with Brandi Carlile, how the music industry has evolved, and her evolution as an artist, and her vocal shift from a soprano to an alto.

(more…)

My Mind by YEBBA at Sofar will blow your mind!

January 16, 2022

January 16, 2022: Today is YEBBA’s 27th birthday. We wish her peace of mind, a joy-filled heart, and a successful fulfilling career.

Born Abigail Elizabeth Smith, she went by Abbey Smith until she changed her name professionally to Yebba—Abbey spelled backwards—in honor of her mother who had given her that nickname. More on that later.

I recently discovered this amazing artist on YouTube. She is an American singer-songwriter from West Memphis, Arkansas. Over 5 years ago, when she was 21, she gave a powerful, emotive performance of her song “My Mind” at Sofar (Songs From A Room) in New York City. Sofar NYC had recorded it and later posted it on their YouTube channel. It went viral.

I can’t get it out of my mind. I never heard a singer express such raw emotion, yet within a precise musical structure. She does this with her very versatile voice and just her guitarist softly backing her up. That’s it.

The song opens with her discovering that her partner has been cheating on her, then shows her reaction. Her voice slowly builds to a powerful expression of rage, hurt, and grief, to the point where she is about to lose her mind. The audience is spellbound. The camera shows some women sitting motionless in rapt attention.

I would rank YEBBA up there with other exceptional authentic female vocalists like Eva Cassidy, Lissie, and Angelina Jordan. Be prepared to have your mind blown listening to YEBBA sing My Mind at Sofar NYC.

YEBBA performing “My Mind” at Sofar NYC on September 30th, 2016. Sofar Sounds connects artists and music-lovers around the world through intimate shows in unique venues.

Losing love can be a painful thing. I normally wouldn’t post something like this, however. This is such a profoundly visceral experience executed with the utmost skill and talent I just had to share it.

Having written and performed My Mind at Sofar in front of a live audience must’ve been part of her healing process, and a cathartic experience for those listening who may have also suffered a betrayal and loss of love. After it was over, I like how she matter-a-factly stated, “That’s that one.”

Reactions

Hundreds have reacted to this video over the years, some technically, others emotionally, recalling their own memories of betrayal. It is a powerful performance that triggers anger, compassion, tears. It reminded me of that famous line: ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’.

Three reactions worth watching are by these music professionals: Lolli Wren aka The Fairy Voice Mother in England, Julia Nilon in Australia, and John Henny in California.

Lolli Wren goes into technique, but also acknowledges her emotional response.

I think the main thing that I felt when I heard that was this overwhelming sense of wanting to protect her and make the pain go away because it was just watching a woman in distress crying out for help in such a harrowingly poetic and beautiful way. It shows you what beauty can come out of such intense pain. And we need that, we need a pioneer of expression.

Julia Nilon picks up how well Yebba delivers the R&B-soul-gospel runs to serve the song.

All of her vocal effects—from the runs, to the aspirations, to the yodels, to the calling or crying that she’s putting into the sound, to the distortion—all of it sounds suitable, if the emotional content of the song that she’s putting in, like, you can’t help but feel something when you’re watching her sing this because it’s like her heart is in her hands. This is an incredible emotional performance and the vocal delivery is stunning. I mean I don’t think she overdid anything that wasn’t warranted by the lyrics that she was delivering.

Voice teacher John Henny said Yebba uses a minor pentatonic scale, a five-note scaffolding on which her voice ascends and descends. Her riffs sound like Middle Eastern runs or from a gospel choir. Yebba’s father is a pastor and she used to create choral arrangements and sing in his church. At times, it sounds like she’s wailing. John provides us with this insight into her talent and technique.

I gotta tell you, it is so hard to take your voice and your emotions to the edge of tears but you don’t lose the ability to sing. That’s really difficult, because as you begin to touch that emotion you lose control in the voice, and she’s right on the razor’s edge of that. That’s really fantastic! I’ve seen Barbra Streisand do that effectively well. It’s incredibly hard to do.

He concludes by saying “She’s just amazing” and then provides us with this final analysis:

The song itself—there’s not a lot there. I mean very simple chords. It’s not like it’s this hook-driven ditty. It really is just a vehicle for her to express herself emotionally. And what I love, is her riffs, her choices. None of them are done to be showy. It’s not, ‘Hey, look-at-me,’ vocals. It’s, ‘Let me express myself to you.’ ‘Let me communicate to you.’ So, this is absolutely fantastic!

Collaborations and Grammys

To date, this video has almost 20 million views. Ed Sheeran saw Yebba sing and it brought him to tears. He immediately signed her to his record label and later invited her to London at the famous Abbey Road Studios (same name!) to record one of his songs as part of his No. 6 Collaborations Project released in 2019. It included many top artists and produced several hits mentioned in the notes. It’s posted on his YouTube channel: Ed Sheeran – Best Part Of Me (feat. YEBBA) (Live At Abbey Road).

An earlier collaboration also worth listening to is Yebba singing John Mayer’s Gravity with Clark Beckham. (More on John Mayer added below.)

Besides the viral video of My Mind, Yebba first became known for her backing vocal performance on Chance the Rapper’s SNL performance of “Same Drugs” in 2016. In 2017, she released her debut single, Evergreen—a tribute to her late mother. Yebba performed it live with her band and choir at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in New York City for the Official Music Video on Apple Music.

Yebba has collaborated with a number of artists, including PJ Morton (How Deep Is Your Love), which won a Grammy in 2018 for Best Traditional R&B Performance; Sam Smith (No Peace); Mark Ronson (Don’t Leave Me Lonely); Stormzy (Don’t Forget to Breathe); Ed Sheeran (Best Part of Me); and Drake (Yebba’s Heartbreak). Her own song, Distance, was nominated for a Grammy in 2020 in the same category as before.

Yebba received 2 Nominations for 2022 Grammys Awards: #18. Best Traditional R&B Performance: For new vocal or instrumental traditional R&B recordings, How much can a heart take – Lucky Daye ft. Yebba – (Live Performance), which premiered Jul 31, 2021 on Jimmy Kimmel Live; and her album, Dawn, for #71. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

Dawn

Yebba’s mother, Dawn, a high school science teacher, encouraged her singing. Sadly, she committed suicide in October, shortly after Yebba’s performance at Sofar went viral. Yebba returned home traumatized, putting her career on hold, and tried to deal with her PTSD and OCD.

Yebba mentions a feeling of constant panic and grief in this 5-minute synopsis of an NPR interview that Sam Sanders did with her when her debut album, Dawn, came out last September: With The New Album ‘Dawn,’ Yebba Sheds Old Beliefs.

Listen to the complete intimate 24-minute interview where they discover they have a lot in common growing up around music in the church: Yebba Sheds Old Beliefs With A New Album. Both include the transcripts.

NPR also posted Yebba: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert of her performing songs from the album with her amazing band and vocal backup group.

Trying to come to terms with her mother’s death, Yebba processed a lot of emotions and memories. She titled and dedicated her first album in her name. Symbolically, it became the official dawn of her career.

September 8, 2021: This Tiny Desk Concert has been in the works since the spring of 2020, when the album was completed but shelved until Yebba (and the rest of the world) was in a better place. It was worth the wait.

Reviews

Billboard published: Yebba’s ‘Dawn’: The Long, Difficult Road to the Stunning Singer’s Debut. Yebba’s highly-anticipated, Mark Ronson-produced debut album was delayed by loss and lockdown — but now the soul singer is even more eager to begin in earnest. 

In the YouTube documentary, “How To Be: Mark Ronson,” when Mark and Yebba are in the studio, he says, “she is one of the top five greatest vocalists I’ve ever recorded, just the kind of person that when they’re singing in a room, everybody just suddenly engages more.” And Mark has collaborated with and produced the best, like Amy Winehouse, Adele, Bruno Mars, Q-Tip, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, to name a few.

The Whit Online published this review: YEBBA’s Debut Album, “Dawn” is a Masterclass in Musicianship.

“This is a voice that moves, it doesn’t merely entertain,” says Kyle Dennis in his Album Review: Yebba’s ‘Dawn’ Is Divine.

Natalie Maher interviewed Yebba for Harpers Bazaar: Yebba Isn’t Afraid to Feel It All. The singer-songwriter’s debut album, Dawn, is a hauntingly beautiful ode to the art of healing.

Song versions

Yebba doesn’t usually sing her songs the same way twice. Her song, Boomerang, is on the album, but this live version posted on her YouTube channel sounds better.

Same with this live version of October Sky. The song is based on a memory of her mother firing off bottle rockets she had brought home from science class for Yebba and her brother. Gerard Hern explained it in his comment quoting Yebba on how she wrote the song.

“I wrote this whole story about remembering her sliding down the hall and telling us ‘Come outside we’re shooting off bottle rockets,’” Yebba explains. “That memory came to me and the words just spilled out: this story of her and the promise that she broke, in a way, because she killed herself in October. I genuinely feel like she was standing there in the room with me as I was writing it, in my studio apartment in Brooklyn.”

Look for videos on her YouTube channel. She adds new ones. For her debut album, Dawn, you can Listen on Spotify or Listen on Apple Music.

Yebba posted this gem Nov 8, 2015: Abbey Smith cover “Weak” by SWV.

Healing Trauma with Transcendental Meditation

Nick Cave and Lady Gaga are two of many musicians who have spoken about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM) for their grief and pain, respectively, and to boost their creativity. Katy Perry and Sting have participated with other artists in fundraising concerts for the David Lynch Foundation (DLF), which offers TM for free to traumatized communities.

DLF’s latest projects include veterans and their families suffering from PTSD and frontline healthcare workers exhausted from dealing with the pandemic. Many published studies show TM to be effective in removing stress, healing trauma, and reenergizing people. It could help Yebba.

New music

Jan 24, 2022: Yebba – The Age of Worry (Live at Electric Lady), a song originally performed by John Mayer. johnmayer posted this comment on Yebba’s Instagram post about it:

My screen is getting blurry. ❤️ So moved. Thank you for showing what’s been hiding in my own work through your profoundly powerful and soulful take. You are so special I can’t stand/understand it sometimes. ♥️♥️♥️

Jan 27, 2022: Spotify posts Yebba’s new 5-song EP, Live at Electric Lady.

Opening for John Mayer’s 2022 Sob Rock Tour

And now John Mayer’s 2022 Sob Rock Tour will include Yebba as his opening act in some March to April venues. Official #1 Fan, Yebbite Smith, posts videos from concerts, like these clips from Luke Edgemon of Yebba and her funky band opening for John Mayer in LA. Luke also posted Yebba singing October Sky from that Forum concert. Jayla R posted Stand from the Tampa show.

See more on YS’s Instagram accounts: Yebbites and yebbasmithworld, which includes a photo of Yebba and John. And on his YouTube channel, Yebbite Smith, where he also posted, YEBBA Best Vocals Sob Rock Tour. He later posted this 2020 amazing version of ‘Stand‘ that someone sent him. She later opened her Tiny Desk Concert with that song.

Yebba posted this insane clip from one of those shows of her riffing on “It’s just a shot away” from the Rolling Stones classic Gimme Shelter.

Posts on other great musical artists

Discover and enjoy the amazing soulful voice of young Angelina Jordan. It is jaw-dropping great! || Lissie @lissiemusic and her connections to Twin Peaks, Fairfield and #TranscendentalMeditation || The hauntingly beautiful voice of Eva Cassidy || Colin Hay’s song—I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You—is so relevant during these tough times || Leonard Cohen said there’s a crack in everything—how the light gets in. It came through him & lit up a broken humanity || Hafiz said to leave something in the marketplace, and Jesse Winchester sure did before he left us. || The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle || Bill Evans’s Peace Piece is musical onomatopoeia || Bobby Hutcherson plays Bouquet with Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock at One Night with Blue Note

‘How Long Will I Love You’ sung by Ellie Goulding highlights 4 Romantic Comedies by Richard Curtis

October 7, 2021

Many of us have been isolated during the pandemic lockdown and ended up watching a lot of movies. I particularly enjoyed revisiting a few popular romantic comedies. Having seen them when they first came out in theaters years ago, I was pleasantly reminded that these four award-winning box-office hits were all made by Richard Curtis.

Universal Pictures UK had posted a video on YouTube of memorable moments from four wonderful romcoms: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and About Time.

The video was used to launch his latest film at that time, About Time, promoting it with the beautiful theme song, How Long Will I Love You?, movingly sung by Ellie Goulding from her new album, Halcyon Days.

I’d seen these films again, most recently About Time. It’s a sweet story about using time travel to improve romantic outcomes, with an edifying conclusion. The theme song was relevant and touching. While searching for it online I discovered this video using it to highlight all four films.

Ellie Goulding’s cover of a Waterboys song used in the About Time official soundtrack reminded me of Dan Fogelberg‘s beautiful song, Longer. Both songs profess loving someone forever. Watch her music video of the song intermixed with visuals from the film.

Another cover of the song in the film’s OST is by Jon Boden, Sam Sweeney & Ben Coleman. The Waterboys original 1990 song on their Room to Roam album was remastered in 2008.

Richard Curtis also wrote the screenplay to the musical romantic comedy, Yesterday. I loved it and created this post: Can you imagine a world without the Beatles? Watch the new film “Yesterday” to find out.

See this earlier post on some of my favorite romantic films. I later added: Writing, literature, life and love intersect in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The spring rains renew life and the promise of love in this film, A Good Rain Knows, inspired by the poetry of Du Fu.

If you like, please leave a comment with your favorite films.

Discover and enjoy the amazing soulful voice of young Angelina Jordan. It is jaw-dropping great!

June 7, 2021

I may be a little late to have discovered this unbelievable musical phenomenon, but Angelina Jordan continues to impress and inspire me daily. The more I found out about her, the more I wanted to hear her sing and uncover more of her story. This would account for the length and breadth of this new post. There’s enough here to keep you informed, inspired, and entertained at your own pace.

I want to sing for the whole world. Singing is as important as breathing to me. I just love to sing. Angelina Jordan

I recently discovered and am thoroughly enjoying listening to an amazingly talented young artist—Angelina Jordan Astar from Oslo, Norway. Born January 10, 2006, this musical child prodigy started singing very early in life.

Thanks to her maternal grandmother, Mery Zamani, Angelina began listening to classic American jazz artists when she was a very young child. She started singing around 18 months and by 3 knew that’s what she wanted to do with her life—become an international singing superstar.

Luckily, her family has supported her in that direction. As a young child, Angelina attended the Oslo Waldorf School and participated in the Oslo School of Music and Performing Arts after-school program where she received vocal training.

In addition to singing, she also learned how to play 4 instruments—piano, violin, guitar, and flute—and she paints! She also writes regularly in her journal, part of which was later turned into a book. More on that below. She speaks several languages. For years she has been covering other artists and is now starting to record her own songs.

Enters Norway’s Got Talent at 7 years old and wins

In these earlier videos, it is totally incongruous to see such a small young child performing old American jazz standards on Norway’s Got Talent. For her audition she sang Billie Holiday’s version of Gloomy Sunday. The judges could not believe what they were hearing. Some were at a loss for words; others were teary-eyed. After Angelina finished singing, the audience and judges rose to their feet applauding wildly. As they sat down and the judges started interviewing Angelina, we hear music playing softly in the background. It’s the beautiful song, How Long Will I Love You?. That’s the moment Norway, and, when the video went viral, the rest of the world, fell in love with Angelina and her amazing voice.

After Angelina auditioned for NGT, one of the judges concluded her remarks with this statement: You ARE music! The other female judge said: I think that you are born to sing, and added in front of everyone that “we have a superstar.” Afterwards the judges said they were blown away, that Angelina was the best they’d seen.

Watch the final full show where she sings Summertime and goes on to win NGT with 46% of the vote at 7 years of age! See Angelina Jordan All Performances On Norways Got Talent.

She puts a spell on you

Here is another jaw-dropping, mind-blowing experience. Watch Angelina, now 9, belt out I Put A Spell On You in a studio with musicians, and later, live on Germany’s Little Big Stars. Often covered in the past, this 1956 song was written and composed by Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins. His own recording of it was selected as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. You have to wonder how she discovered such historically significant artists. Watch him sing it, then you will understand how she honors him (he’s on the candle she holds up to the camera) by staying true to the original, yet creating her own version of it (see the conductor nodding at the written directions of her arrangement).

Angelina has recorded over 130 covers from 80 different artists that she’s posted on Facebook and YouTube over the years. She arranges her own versions of popular songs and directs musicians how to play them. This video ranks as one of the most outrageous mind-blowers, with hundreds of reactor videos and millions of views! I love to see reactors try to respond in disbelief when they hear her sing this song. It’s a double enjoyment for me—reacting to their reactions, as well as my own, again!! For example: Soul Reacts, a songwriter who cannot comprehend what he is hearing; and joethemaster‘s over-the-top reaction.

Pontus Österlin at PO Talks put together a brilliantly edited 8-minute compilation of a range of many reactors’ reactions as Angelina belts out I Put A Spell On You. During the credits listing them, he included footage of Jay Hawkins screaming out his song, with parallel clips of Angelina. This is definitely worth watching!

(Later inserted) The following year I replied to a question on Twitter as to which black and white film I thought was the best and most watched in 2001 and I said this one directed by Per Heimly adding his Twitter address. He liked it and we started a DM. I was thrilled and surprised and told him the world owed him a great debt for what he did for Angelina and her family, especially her grandma Mery Zamani. He messaged back: It’s a Family Of Great Genius . 🤘❤️🙏

Here is another newer compilation: Look at the reactions of these beautiful girls‼️Angelina Jordan – I Put A Spell On You React. The names of the 7 reactors and their YouTube links are listed in the notes.

BIBISI also posted this ANGELINA JORDAN BEST 23 VOCAL COACHES ANALYSIS REACTION MASHUP & COMPILATION (I Put A Spell on You).

I also enjoyed One Stop Reactions Latest 2022 Special Reactions for Angelina Jordan – I Put A Spell On You | compilation reaction!!

Another song that’s up there is Feeling Good. She was 10 years old when she performed it at Allsang På Grensen – TV2, and later LIVE on The Stream Gir Tilbake.

America’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer

Six years later, Angelina appeared on America’s Got Talent: The Champions 2020 when she was 13 years old. She told Heidi Klum that she had waited 10 years to sing for Simon Cowell. And it was on the biggest stage in the world! This was her moment. She auditioned with her own spellbinding version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which won her a Golden Buzzer from Heidi, who could hardly contain herself. After the show had aired, Angelina posted a tweet thanking them all for having her and for the Golden Buzzer, which is included there.

Reflecting on that moment, Angelina said: “When Heidi stood up it felt like time stood still. I can’t believe it. The confetti felt like millions of gold stars were falling on me. It was really the best moment of my life.”

As the judges and audience members were on their feet applauding wildly, I heard an excerpt of Eva Cassidy singing Over The Rainbow playing in the background and thought, how appropriate! One amazing angelic voice honoring another as her dream finally, really did come true!

Talent Recap posted Angelina Jordan: ALL Performances on America’s Got Talent Champions, which includes the introduction. Top 10 Talent also posted Angelina Jordan ALL Performances on America’s Got Talent: Champions!, which includes what happened after Heidi Klum hit the Golden Buzzer. She then went on stage to hug and kiss Angelina on both cheeks. The other judges joined them on stage. Simon also hugged her and said: “I don’t think you know how good you are. Really!” The camera then segues to Angelina’s family: her thankful uncle Michael, sister Juliette’s happy tears, and mother Sara and grandma Mery hugging. Kaleidoscope RMX also posted the Full Golden Buzzer Moment.

Angelina later returned for The Champions Season 2 2020 final round to sing her unique take on Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. She blew the judges away again, and the crowd went nuts in joyful disbelief.

Angelina was later joined by amazing sand artist Kseniya Simonova and talented young violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa for an exciting group performance of Someone You Loved in the AGT Champions Finale.

Boris Palenovski later edited all 3 performances together in higher res: Angelina Jordan (13) – All performances – America’s Got Talent: the Champions Season 2 – 4K video. See 13-year-old Angelina wearing a T-shirt with her 7-year-old face on it from Norway’s Got Talent at 3:52.

The girl with a thousand voices

Angelina later recorded Bohemian Rhapsody, with Queen’s blessing, for her official channel. She also sings many cover songs by today’s great artists, like Adele’s All I Ask and her cover of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love. She even sounds like Amy Winehouse in Back To Black. Her performance of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing is filled with emotive power and heartfelt feelings as seen in this screensaver from a video of her singing the song.

Angelina Jordan recording I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston Tribute)

Angelina may emulate these artists, vocally and emotionally as she inhabits their songs, but she interprets them in her own unique stylistic way, oftentimes better than the original! Like any great jazz artist, she is developing her own sound, finding her own voice, and now performing her own music. We are all in for many surprising treats.

When she was 10 years old Angelina was asked to record a song by Brandon Lowry, aka Sterling Fox or Baby FuzZ. Angelina’s version was a demo, not meant to be released. She said she would never record it again because it deals with suicide. Nothing happened with his song, which he had written and recorded with some Norwegian friends. Someone later “leaked” the audio. Rusty Shackleford provides an explanation in this comment. He includes Baby Fuzz’s comment—an attempt to clear the air about it after he had heard it. Angelina’s version of I’m Still Holding out for You could easily have become a Top 10 hit.

Worldwide online reactions

Besides her impressive vocal skills, what gives listeners goosebumps and moves them to tears are the powerful soulful feelings she puts into each song. How can someone that young, who has not yet experienced life’s ups and downs, express such emotions and understanding? It boggles the mind! There is no doubt that Angelina is an old soul in a young body—something the judges at NGT and AGT said, as well as others who have commented on her performances.

She has 2 billion Facebook views and over half a billion on YouTube. There are many compilation channels of her music and 100’s of reaction videos of people responding to some of the many songs she’s posted. Most of them are visibly moved, jaw-dropped at a loss for words.

One of the more qualified reactors is Spanish-speaking vocal coach Ceci Dover. She explains things in detail, sharing valuable advice. See this one she posted of Angelina covering Lana Del Ray’s Born To Die.

In this enjoyable video (select English subtitles), Ceci uses excerpts of Angela singing between ages 7-13 to give us an informed overview of the evolution of her amazingly talented voice.

See Angelina Jordan’s rise to stardom! 🚀 – “When You Believe” ⏳ 🎼 🏆 Along with Angelina’s cover of this iconic song is a visual montage created by Kaleidoscope RMX. It shows her commitment to and belief in herself using excerpts from NGT to AGT and a sweet surprise ending. Very emotional and inspiring!!

Creatively collaborating with Stargate, signing with Republic Records

After turning down many requests to sign Angelina, the family eventually settled on what they felt was the right record company that would allow her to create her own style of music, and not mold her into something artificial for commercial gain. When she was 14, they signed with UMG’s, (United Music Group) Republic Records.

Angelina released her first singles on the Republic Records label: “Million Miles” in November 2020 and “7th Heaven” in March 2021. Both songs are co-credited to the multiple Grammy-award-winning Los Angeles-based Norwegian production duo, Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, aka Stargate. Read how this creative collaboration came about in these postings by this Angelina Jordan Fan Club – The Shield on the WIKI: Angelina Jordan and Stargate.

Republic released 4 videos—2 Live in Studio and 2 Official Lyric Videos: Million Miles (Live in Studio) and (Official Lyric Video), a very personal song about losing her grandfather; and a more upbeat 7th Heaven (Live in Studio) and (Official Lyric Video) about her philosophy of life. The live in-studio videos were filmed in a sparse lounge-like setting. The official lyric videos contain the words to the songs with paintings by her grandmother Mery Zamani, some of which were printed onto the outfit Angelina wore on AGT. A third, more personal, Angelina Jordan – Million Miles (Official Music Video) was later released in Jan 27, 2021.

Partnering with Stargate and Republic officially launched the career of this young teenage artist. She is now getting to create and produce her own material. There is no question this original artist will evolve into the international superstar she dreamed of becoming ever since she was 3!

RECENTLY ADDED: Republic Records later produced and Angelina Jordan Official posted on July 15, 2021 a new video of Angelina Jordan singing 7th Heaven in a club setting with an audience. The story line includes a waitress listening to Angelina and the band rehearse, working in the kitchen dreaming of what her life could be, then at the live performance. It includes footage of her and Angelina horsing around in the kitchen. Very funny and cute.

The Barefoot Princess / Jazz Queen

You may have noticed that Angelina sings barefoot. There is a reason for that. While living abroad with her family in the Middle East she came upon a poor young girl, her own age at the time, around 6 years old. She was weighing people to earn money to feed her orphaned brothers and sisters. Angelina discovered this when she spoke to her. She also noticed that the girl was barefoot and had scars on her feet.

Angelina asked her what she wanted to become. She replied, a doctor, but didn’t think it could happen. Angelina strongly told her to never give up her dreams. She took off her favorite green shoes and gave them to her. The girl resisted at first, then thanked her, and said she would pray every day for her to fulfill her dream to become a superstar and sing for the whole world. Angelina told the story in this Variety Media interview.

So, in honor of and inspired by that girl, Angelina always performs barefoot and still thinks of her, and the many homeless and shoeless children everywhere. Angelina actually went on to raise millions of Euros for children and families in need. Talk about putting yourself in other people’s shoes, or in this case, giving your shoes to someone in need! Angelina’s empathy and compassionate heart are expressed through her actions as well as her amazing voice!

Angelina’s empathy and compassionate heart are expressed through her actions as well as her amazing voice!

Publishes “Between Two Hearts

At 9 years of age, Angelina became Norway’s youngest author when she published a book about this story. Between Two Hearts is illustrated by her grandmother Mery Zamani, herself a child prodigy who became a famous poet and painter at a very early age. Mery exposed Angelina to jazz before she could read or write, and is responsible for her desire to become a jazz singer. They create art together, and design and make her own clothing. Mery tapes the many videos of Angelina singing. She also paints the backdrops for some of them, including images in the animated sequence for the lyric version of Million Miles. Some of her images were made into clothing that Angelina wears, like the colorful pant suit she wore in her first appearance on AGT, when she sang Bohemian Rhapsody. See this short Angelina Jordan book release video.

In a Book Talk podcast posted by Angelina Jordan’s publisher, Cappelen Damm, in 2015, Erling Kittelsen, a Norwegian author and poet, and friend of the family, talks with Angelina about her book. When he was first shown her diary containing that episode with the barefoot girl, he said it should be made into a book. English subtitles have now been provided by her fan club. In between we hear excerpts of Angelina singing and small extracts from “Mellom to hjerter” (Between Two Hearts). It is very moving and gives us a glimpse into who Angelina really is. For her, “Love is very … Love means everything.” Angelina’s book has been translated into English and is available for purchase as an eBook on her website: https://www.angelinajordanofficial.com/book.

(See a footnote below that I added after ordering and reading the eBook.)

The week her book came out, Angelina Jordan was interviewed by Anne Lindmo on the NRK TV show “Lindmo” (Nov 14, 2015). Ms. Lindmo asked Angelina to share the story of why she sings barefoot and to tell the story of how she met a poor barefoot girl when she was 6 years old. She then brings out Angelina’s actual diary for her to read what she wrote after that encounter with the girl. That Norwegian interview has now been translated with English subtitles. Click on the CC to watch it here. After the interview, Angelina sings Unchained Melody.

The whole family nourishes and supports Angelina in her career. In fact, her uncle is her manager, her mother handles publicity, and her grandmother is her stylist. They have been very protective of Angelina, wanting her to still enjoy her childhood and complete her education as she pursues her dream to become an international star. Throughout it all Angelina remains unpretentious and is happily focused on manifesting her musical destiny. In a reactor video, GEB Endeavors comments on how Angelina’s uncle became her manager and eventually paved the way for the family to move to LA to pursue her career in music. It’s happening!

It is interesting to note that instead of bowing when an audience applauds her, she curtsies. She always comes across as dignified yet humble, respectful and loving. A rare talent and a very special soul.

Revealing insights into Angelina’s inner world

When Angelina performs, she is in her element. She is calm and fearless. It is natural for her to powerfully project the emotional content of a song. She appears extroverted on stage, yet is in her own world. But ask her questions in an interview, and she gives short answers. She seems shy, introverted. She’s not comfortable expressing herself personally. However, it seems to be easier for her the older she gets.

I think she may be an introvert by nature and inhabits a rich inner world. She comes from a deep place. We get a glimpse of that world when she sings, and are transformed by it. Here are a few hints I’ve noticed in some interviews.

In this 2016 Norway TV News Feature, Angelina tells the interviewer: “I want to sing for the whole world. Singing is as important as breathing to me. I just love to sing.” That says it all.

I want to sing for the whole world. Singing is as important as breathing to me. I just love to sing. — Angelina Jordan

Angelina is quite young in this interview when she said: “I close my eyes and go in a different world.” Her mother Sara said: “I came home one day when my mother looked after her. She was well eighteen months, and sang a Whitney Houston song in bed. I was almost shocked. It was so beautiful! We quickly realized that she had very great interest in music. It is she who is first and foremost musical in the family. Neither my husband nor I are particularly musical.” This video, Angelina Jordan – The Evolution, includes that clip of Angelina singing as a baby.

I close my eyes and go in a different world.

A young Angelina to an interviewer asking her about her singing.

Angelina was 1 of 10 finalists in America’s Got Talent: The Champions 2020, and the winner was going to be announced that night. In this Short Interview from LA in Norwegian TV2 Monday Feb 17, 2020, the interviewer asks Angelina about the public’s response to her singing. She told the interviewer that “it’s absolutely incredible that there are so many people who send so many millions of messages,” and quoted a few.

Q: How do you prevent this from getting to your head?

A: I take it all in…and use it to spread love to everyone all over the world.

I take it all in…and use it to spread love to everyone all over the world.

Angelina Jordan’s response to a Norwegian reporter in LA asking her how she prevents all this attention from going to her head.

On Scandinavian TV, (Singer Angelina Jordan: – I don’t feel like a 12-year-old | SVT/TV 2/Skavlan) Skavlan asks Angelina some deep questions. Her answers are revealing!

At the start of the interview in Norwegian, Skavlan asks Angelina, “What do you find easiest: singing or speaking?

She doesn’t hesitate to answer, “Singing and writing,” which is what you’d expect from an introvert. He confirms her answer by asking, “Singing and writing is easiest? Not speaking?” Smiling and chuckling, she shyly nods her head in agreement.

They then switch to speaking in English.

Q: My first question is, when I see you on stage, I wonder, who do you feel that you become?

A: When I sing I go to another world. In the world, it’s like, endless. It’s amazing. (smiles and laughs)

Q: What do you mean by endless?

A: Like, full of happiness, and, I love… It’s amazing!

Q: Many people say that you don’t sound like a 12-year-old. Do you feel like a 12-year-old?

A: I feel like a 12-year-old when I look at my passport.

When I sing I go to another world. In the world, it’s like, endless. It’s amazing. … Like, full of happiness, and, I love … It’s amazing!

Angelina Jordan answers Skavlan’s questions about what happens to her when she sings on stage.

He mentions a song that she’s written and will soon perform, and asks her what it’s about. She explains, “It’s about someone you love, wherever you are, it’s a strong love, protects you.”

The song sounds like a religious prayer, which could also serve as the theme song for a Bond movie. Skavlan said it reminded him of the Bond films and asks her if she’s familiar with them. She tells him that she got the inspiration for her song from the Bond films. He asks if she would sing a little bit of her favorite Bond song, and she does, acapela, Diamonds Are Forever.

Listen to her sing her song Shield with the band. It is powerful! Skavlan posted it Nov 12, 2018. There’s a video of her performing this song with a band in an open air concert the following year in Norway, Jul 12, 2019, when she was 13.

Describing her destiny

In this Feb 4, 2021 People (Magazine) article, Alyssa Johnson asks her: Where do you hope to see yourself in five years from now?

A: I’ll have an important name in the music industry and to make timeless music that can live forever. Also to give the best music experience to people and for them to enjoy and feel emotional or dance or make memories with the music I make.

I’ll have an important name in the music industry and to make timeless music that can live forever. Also to give the best music experience to people and for them to enjoy and feel emotional or dance or make memories with the music I make.

Angelina Jordan’s answer to a People (Magazine) reporter asking her where she hopes to see herself in 5 years.

Angelina is definitely following her bliss and manifesting her purpose in life! True to her name, Angelina Jordan Astar is an angel and a star sent here to fulfill her destiny and awaken a range of emotions in our hearts and touch our souls with her incredible voice!

Reacting to Angelina singing Cry Me A River, vocal coach Ceci Dover exclaimed in disbelief: “She can sing like this? This is impossible. Oh my gosh! She’s music. She’s jazz. She’s soul. Oh my gosh, I don’t know what to say. She’s amazing! That’s what I want to say.”

Indeed! That about sums it up.

Angelina Jordan’s social media, fan clubs, and overviews

Visit her official site: Angelina Jordan, and her various social media accounts: YouTube and CoverChannel to see selected videos of her performing well-known songs, including some of her own; and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. To support Angelina join her on Patreon. Read her profile on Republic Records.

This Angelina Jordan Fanclub Mosarz, run by her grandmother, posts clips she’s taken of family and friends, concerts, and rare behind the scenes footage. Here are two examples: rehearsing the song, What is Life? that she composed for the orchestra and wrote the lyrics, and an exclusive backstage rehearsal for AGT.

See Angelina Jordan Fan Club – The Shield mentioned above and their YouTube compilations.

Visit Rusty Shackelford’s YouTube Channel for a complete list of every song Angelina has performed. In Rusty’s complimentary response to voice coach Julia Nilon‘s in-depth technical reaction to Angelina’s performance of “I Put A Spell On You” he gives her a comprehensive review of the young singer’s history that’s worth reading.

YouTuber, pa1189j, created a library of individual and mashup quality videos of Angelina Jordan.

My Time also created a great compilation of Angie’s Music +.

Claudio Marcucci created Angelina Jordan – A Decade of Dedication (86 song medley) [1:04:47].

Andy Schnell, another knowledgable fan, usually informs new reactors to Angelina’s music with a brief comprehensive history of her accomplishments. Here is a recent one.

See the first time vocal coach Fairy Voice Mother ever listened and reacted to Angelina sing. She gave an excellent explanation and analysis of how Angelina was creating the sounds in her voice while singing Bohemian Rhapsody on AGT, and was moved to tears listening to such a rare talent.

Also see Wikiwand’s page for Angelina Jordan. Gary Rogers posted a long list of Angelina Jordan interviews, clips and everything else about her.

Added footnote: I just bought and finished reading the eBook of Between Two Hearts. I was just as moved by her story and the way she tells it of why she sings barefoot as I am when I hear her sing, even more so. What an evolved soul for such a young girl! Through the eyes of a child, Angelina innocently makes us see and understand the suffering of a homeless little girl, and why she was moved to do something about it in her own small way. This was definitely a life-transforming experience for Angelina that continues today. (And probably for that homeless girl as well.) I understand why she went on to raise money for homeless families. If they publish a hardback copy in English, I would buy it again. Her grandmother’s childlike artwork adds a lot to the book.

More updates: On July 31, 2021, Angelina posted an original slowed-down, jazzed-up cover version of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. Check out the colorful sets. An amazing production! On August 26, 2021, she followed that up with a similar treatment of The Beatles song, Yesterday.

On October 14, 2021, after a 6-year absence, Adele posted her new song, Easy On Me. The next day, Angelina’s Fanclub posted a TikTok clip of her singing the song. The day after that Angelina premiered her amazing cover of the song: Angelina Jordan – Easy On Me (Adele Cover) Live From Studio! Republic Records produced the in-studio black and white video of Angelina at the mic with just her piano accompanist. Angelina pours her heart and soul into this song. Her voice continues to mature as well as her vocal dexterity. Surprisingly, she sounds even better! I posted a comment on the quality of the silence I felt at the end of the song. There have already been many videos posted on YouTube reacting to Angelina’s cover of Adele’s song. See this most effusive reaction from Adam Straughan.

Friday, Dec 10, 2021, The Hating Game premiered in the USA. Republic Records released the original motion picture soundtrack and featured Angelina’s cover version of “Mercy” by Duffy to promote the film! You can listen on these music services: https://thehatinggame.lnk.to/OST.

Thursday, Dec 23, 2021, 3pm CST: Angelina Jordan Online Christmas Concert live from Los Angeles. Visit her website for details: https://www.angelinajordanofficial.com.

Angelina Jordan turns 16

Jan 10, 2022: In honor of Angelina’s 16th birthday Pontus Österlin posted 16 Reactors 1st Time Hearing Angelina Jordan. Very amusing. Another great compilation from PO Talks in Sweden worth watching! BigAngieFan Chris Walker from Hawaii posted a wonderful compilation in the form of a quiz: Happy Birthday to Angelina Jordan! Can You Guess How Old She Is? I really enjoyed this musical mix by Kaleidoscope RMX: 🥳🥳🥳HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANGELINA JORDAN 🥳🥳🥳 👨‍👧

Valentine’s Day: Angelina posts the best version of My Funny Valentine! Remember when she sang it at 10 years old?

April 11, 2022: Written by Willie Nelson and popularized by Patsy Cline, listen to Angelina Jordan sing “Crazy” and you’ll go crazy for loving her!

Honoring Elvis Presley

June 22, 2022: Angelina Jordan honors Elvis Presley a day before the release of Baz Luhrmann’s film, Elvis, singing a slow melancholy version of Suspicious Minds. The song was written by Memphis singer Mark James, an old friend of Elvis. When he heard the demo, Elvis told Mark he wanted the song and the female background vocalists. It went to #1 and relaunched his career.

In this video, Angelina wore a beehive hairdo like Priscilla, dressed in a black leather jumpsuit carrying a red guitar over her shoulder like Elvis in his televised ’68 Comeback Special. Rob Christie arranged the music and accompanied Angelina on piano. Rob’s red jumpsuit matches the guitar color and is what Elvis’ musicians wore in that ’68 Special.

Her uncle and manager, Michael Astar, arranged everything. His two young daughters and Angelina’s sister Juliette make brief appearances in the video. Grandma Mery Zamani was the executive producer. Cole McCarthy directed the video in the same location that Angelina sang My Funny Valentine—an LA antique furniture and chandelier shop. This is an amazing performance and production!

Summer Concerts in Norway

June 22, 2022, Allsang på Grensen

Angelina will be performing at various venues in Norway this summer. At her first appearance she paid tribute to Freddie Mercury and Whitney Houston. She sang Bohemian Rhapsody in a vibrant red pant suit and I Have Nothing in a stunning ice blue gown, both televised by TV2 Norway. Angelina Jordan Vlogs captured part of Bohemian Rhapsody, and I Have Nothing twice from the actual event. They also posted excerpts from the other upcoming concerts. Phillip (pa1189j) later provided with the best audio version so far with a clean music intro.

July 1, 2022, Kurbadhagen

Angelina gave her own full concert at Kurbadhagen. Andy Schnell posted the playlist (14 songs + 3 encores). She looks so happy and relaxed in front of a live audience again. And her band swings. Instead of singing in one spot, she moves freely about the stage, and interacts with the audience in between songs—a new development for her, and us. The lucky fans are thrilled, and she’s loving it!

Before singing Amy Winehouse’s song, Tears Dry on Their Own, Angelina delivers her quintessential message: “I’m probably repeating myself but, the most important thing is just to be yourself, be kind to each other, and just be happy. That’s all that matters.” (Applause)

An audience member shouts out, “You make us happy.”

Visibly moved, Angelina replies: “Oh, that means so much.”

The most important thing is just to be yourself, be kind to each other, and just be happy. That’s all that matters.

Angelina Jordan to her concert audience at Kurbadhagen

See this beautiful and succinct comment about Angelina Jordan posted by Shodan Rich after hearing her sing “Suspicious Minds”, the 3rd and final encore of the show.

Thanks to Kathrine Angeltveit for sharing these songs: Valerie, All of Me, Yellow Brick Road, Love on the Brain, These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, Million Miles, Tears Dry on Their Own, Crazy, I’m Not the Only One and Suspicious Minds.

TheTomtomtom posted Bohemian Rhapsody and Yellow Brick Road, House of the Rising Sun, Mercy, Killing Me Softly and I’m Not the Only One.

Elin Men posted Bang Bang, Love on the Brain, Bad Romance, 7th Heaven, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Suspicious Minds.

Mike Richards posted a video of concert photos taken by NiceShot.no.

Rusty Shackleford posted a video of House of the Rising Sun from Hege of “The Shield” fan group. He later posted a multi-cam video of Suspicious Minds that he created from footage provided by many members of the “The Shield” fan group.

July 7, 2022, Kongsberg Jazz Festival

Rusty later posted a clip from Øyvind Skogstad of The Shield Fan Group of Angelina opening the concert with an amazing new cover of Labrinth’s Mount Everest. Rusty Shackleford later audio-corrected and video-edited Chris Walker’s 4K footage of Angelina surprising everyone with her version of Mount Everest, especially her falsetto riffing with the guitarist.

Kathrine posted a TV interview by NRK Dagsrevyen from that concert with Angelina singing a jazzy version of her song 7th Heaven. When asked how life is in the USA and if she is fully committed to the music, she replied: Yes, I am fully committed to music. Music is my life.

I am fully committed to music. Music is my life.

Angelina Jordan answering a NRK interviewer

A month later, Kathrine posted Angelina Jordan on “Festivalsommer” at NRK TV the 6th of August, 2022. Her section of the Kongsberg Jazz Festival (7:45–17:20) opens with an interview followed by Angelina singing her original songs, 7th Heaven and Million Miles. Boris Palenovski later enhanced the audio-visual quality of this NRK TV feature to 4K.

Chris Walker, aka BigAngieFan, posted this sweet clip of Angelina interacting with her audience before singing Valerie telling them how happy she is to be back in Norway (after 3 years) to sing for them again. A month later Chris posted Angelina Jordan Live at Kongsberg 2022: “All of Me” and “Valerie” on The Hawaii Walkers Channel. And these too: “House of the Rising Sun” and “Killing Me Softly”. The closeup picture and sound are broadcast quality! Chris continues to add more songs, like “You Don’t Own Me”, and “Crazy” and “Mercy” with improved sound, and “Bang Bang”, followed by “Bohemian Rhapsody” & “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. He later added a translated Introduction, a Musical Intro, a brief talk by Angelina, and her singing “Mount Everest”, a song most were not familiar with. It blew them away! Angelina also performed the Amy Winehouse song “Tears Dry On Their Own”. Chris created a hybrid version of “7th Heaven” using NRK TV and fan footage. “I recorded about 25% of the video and sound myself, and the other 75% is from NRK TV.”

Alan Papier posted The Kongsberg Concert Interviews with fans that came from around the world to listen to Angelina Jordan sing. He wrote: “Thousands of Angelina Jordan’s fans around the world wish they could have attended her recent concerts in Norway. In today’s video, we try and recreate the atmosphere from her concert at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival for those who could not attend.”

July 10, 2022, Kurbadhagen, Sandefjord

There are several posts from this concert. Steinar Hatlen’s closeup recording of Angelina’s powerful rendition of her song, Million Miles was posted by The Shield. Angelina introduced the song saying it is very meaningful to her (about her grandpa) and wanted to share a special message about losing someone you loved: “I don’t want anyone of you to think that, you know, that they left you. They’re always going to be with you no matter where you are. So you’re never alone,” a reference to the repeated line, “I’m never alone,” in her song.

Kathrine posted the complete new cover version of Mount Everest, which opened the show, Killing Me Softly, Fly Me to the Moon, Mercy, You Don’t Own Me, Suspicious Minds, Bohemian Rhapsody, Yellow Brick Road, House of the Rising Sun, Tears Dry on Their Own, 7th Heaven, Love on the Brain, All of Me, Valerie, Crazy, Bang Bang, and a better quality video of Million Miles. From 4:40–4:50, Angelina’s voice kept soaring like never before. It surprised the audience, including the musicians. Thrilled, everyone applauded. Angelina gave them a little smile and kept on singing. I asked Kathrine what it must have felt like. Steve answered that he was only 10 feet away when she sang this – it was spine chilling. Geir Stian Aaslund described it as “a triple Angelina” moment and wrote: I almost fainted when I heard that part at the concert.

Kathrine posted I Have Nothing, which included Angelina’s introduction. “I want to dedicate this song to a very special person—my grandma. (Applause) She couldn’t personally come this time because as you guys know, she’s been sick, but she will be better soon. And I…I miss her so much. I miss every single second that I’m not with her. And…you guys enjoy.” That powerful song concluded the concert.

Mattias Axelsson recorded the Kurbadhagen concert in 4K. In his first video, he posted sound checks for At last and I Have Nothing, ending with visuals of people lined up to get in. He then posted all 18 songs in the order they were performed, starting with Mount Everest and ending with I Have Nothing. This seems to be a complete quality compilation.

Vidar Enerud also uploaded the Full Playlist of 15 songs plus 3 encores, including a poster listing them.

The Foot Crew posted the show in one video (1:05:51): Angelina Jordan consert Kurbadhagen in Sandefjord in Norway!! (It was insane). It’s further from the stage, but the sound from the large speaker array system is clearer.

Tomas Odebrant posted 5 rehearsals: (1) At last, (2-4) I Have Nothing, (5) Bang Bang. Hallvard Ulsaker filmed a closeup of Angelina singing I Have Nothing and Million Miles. Trond Andersen posted 11 songs so far. Geir Stian Aaslund posted Suspicious Minds, Bang Bang, Mercy, Valerie, Fly Me to the Moon, Yellow Brick Road, an excerpt of Million Miles including someone reacting to AJ’s unexpected high riff, and I Have Nothing, starting with her dedication to Grandma Mery.

The words to the song—I have nothing, nothing, nothing, if I don’t have you—are true on two levels—her grandma and her audience. Without Mery Zamani introducing Angelina to jazz at a very early age and lovingly supporting and recording her God-given talent—she, and we, would have nothing. And without devoted fans, a singer has nothing.

Angelina’s career is all based on giving and receiving love. She even gave the heart sign twice while singing All of Me. The love and appreciation the audience showed Angelina moved her to tears, just as her love and singing did for them, and us.

As you could see from the videos, everyone on and off the stage was very happy. It was a huge lovefest.

July 11, 2022: An Angelina Jordan Bonus Podcast Episode of Wrapped in a Warm Blanket with co-hosts Alan Papier and Pontus Österlin from Kurbadhagen in Sandefjord, Norway. Alan and Pontus finally met there in person and shared their reflections on Angelina’s concert. They also met Sara Astar, Angelina’s mother. Nice to see such dedicated AJ reactors and podcasters looking fulfilled after seeing and hearing Angelina sing in person. She created a magical atmosphere beyond their expectations.

July 20, 2022: Angelina Jordan Kurbadhagen – The Sandefjord Concert Interviews. These interviews with fans from all over the world were very inspiring! It included a surprise visit with Egil, Angelina’s guitarist from her earlier years in Norway.

July 24, 2022: Angelina Jordan – I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston Cover). Angelina just premiered this cover song in black and white, filmed at the same LA antique furniture and chandelier store where she sang My Funny Valentine and Suspicious Minds. This is 3 years after she had recorded her Whitney Houston tribute mentioned above. As great as that recording was back then, the depth and dexterity of her maturing voice now is absolutely phenomenal! And she is only 16 years old!

August 18, 2022: Chris Walker later created a multi-camera edit of Angelina Jordan’s emotional performance of Elvis Presley’s song “Suspicious Minds” at Kurbadhagen, Norway, on July 10, 2022. The edit uses video shot by fans from five different angles.

August 25, 2022: Rusty Shackleford later cleaned up and edited together footage from 4 fans’ cameras of Angelina’s powerful emotional version Million Miles at Kurbadhagen on July 10, 2022.

September 16, 2022: Boris Palenovski posted the September 13th visit of Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett, Michael Jackson’s drummer since 1979, to a Republic Records studio especially to hear Angelina Jordan sing. Sitting cross-legged on the edge of a small stage, Angelina sang all of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”, (on Boris’ YouTube), and part of “Billie Jean” for him (on his and Angelina’s TikTok). He wrote: “You are SENSATIONAL!!!! ⭐️” and also answered someone’s comment with: “Why compare to Michael? This is her own version and tribute. And she sounds FANTASTIC!” He also told Angelina: “I can feel that it touched Michael’s spirit. You delivered, you delivered.” It touched her heart.

October 23, 2022: Joey Farr premiered Angelina Jordan (4K) July 10th 2022 Kurbadhagen / Full concert (edited) [1:08:38]. At the end of the video, Joey posted a composite photo of two selfies he had taken at different times—one with Sarah and one with Angelina. A very lucky guy!!

Wrapped in a Warm Blanket Podcast

Last year, AJ reactors Alan Papier and Pontus Österlin PO Talks collaborated to create Wrapped in a Warm Blanket, a podcast with heart-to-heart talks about Angelina Jordan’s artistry and how it affects our inner world. Their second season comes to YouTube on Feb 10, 2022. Watch this beautifully edited Angelina Jordan’s Podcast Teaser – Season Two – Wrapped in a Warm Blanket. See Polina‘s beautiful watercolor painting of Angelina come together before your eyes. She captures her!

Much to my surprise, co-hosts Alan and Pontus had seen this blog post and invited me on their podcast to talk about my experiences with meditation and listening to Angelina to see if there were similarities, and to shed more light on this topic. We had a long animated conversation, and it was later edited down for Season Two, Episode 4: It’s All Mind – Meditating on Angelina Jordan with Ken Chawkin. Watch the Premiere with Live Chat on Thursday, March 24 at 3pm London time (10am Central Daylight Time). It will then be available at this same link: https://youtu.be/YSyu6aAwLI4. Appreciated the positive reactions, especially the amazing comment from Jim Donaldson.

November 24, 2022: Born to Sing, The Angelina Jordan story is a documentary of Angelina Jordan’s first eight years as an artist and as a great humanitarian. Produced by Alan Papier and Pontus Osterlin, here is the TEASER – Born to Sing – Angelina Jordan Documentary, followed by the Angelina Jordan Documentary – Born to Sing – The Early Years.

December 8, 2022: Kaleidoscope RMX posted this stunning blended video: Angelina Jordan “My Funny Valentine” Jazz Arrangement 🎼🎶. I don’t know who the jazz trio is, but they are perfect in this mashup—how Angelina is meant to sound singing this jazz standard.

December 14, 2022: Using Zoom Pro and other software tweaks, pa1189j created an enhanced audio livestream, My Broadcast, of Angelina’s 1-hour July 10th concert at Kurbadhagen. The sound quality is pristine. You can now hear every nuance of Angelina’s amazing voice! He said he will try to separate and title each song before Christmas.

January 10, 2023: For Angelina’s 17th birthday today, Pontus Österlin at PO Talks posted 17 Reactors 1st Time Hearing Angelina Jordan. Love it! Happy Birthday, Angelina!

January 13, 2023: With yesterday’s sudden and unexpected passing of Lisa Marie Presley (54), Angelina Jordan posted an emotional tribute with this message of condolences—You will never be forgotten Lisa Marie❤️Rest in Peace❤️—and an Elvis Presley cover of Only Fools Rush In, to Priscilla and the Presley family on her TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

Conclusion: Fill my heart with song and let me sing for evermore

Today, Sept 22, 2021, is the Autumnal Equinox, and as I was listening to Angelina Jordan (8) – Fly Me To The Moon – The View 2014, these words from the song caught my attention: ‘Fill my heart with song and let me sing for evermore.’ I realized it echoed her quote at the top of this post. Singing is her raison d’être! She wants to fill the world with song and love.

Posts on other great musical artists

The hauntingly beautiful voice of Eva Cassidy || My Mind by YEBBA at Sofar will blow your mind! || Lissie @lissiemusic and her connections to Twin Peaks, Fairfield and #TranscendentalMeditation || Colin Hay’s song—I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You—is so relevant during these tough times || Leonard Cohen said there’s a crack in everything—how the light gets in. It came thru him & lit up a broken humanity. || Hafiz said to leave something in the marketplace, and Jesse Winchester sure did before he left us. || The hauntingly beautiful music of Davy Spillane played on uilleann pipes and low whistle || Bill Evans’s Peace Piece is musical onomatopoeia || Bobby Hutcherson plays Bouquet with Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock at One Night with Blue Note || Celebrating Paul Horn and his Contribution to Jazz, World Music, Meditation and Spirituality

Donovan celebrates 75th birthday, releases video of ‘I Am The Shaman’ produced by David Lynch

May 9, 2021

Donovan celebrates his 75th birthday with the release of a video single ‘I Am The Shaman’ in collaboration with David Lynch and launches an appeal for teaching Transcendental Meditation to students in Ireland.

Photographer : Jamue Caldentey : c Donovan Discs 2021

Donovan, world famous singer songwriter, who shot to fame with his extraordinary folk music in the 1960s and spent time with Maharishi and the Beatles in Rishikesh, India, now celebrates his 75th birthday on May 10th 2021. To mark the occasion Donovan is releasing a new video single with iconic filmmaker David Lynch. 

‘I Am The Shaman’ is available on: www.donovan.ie, Spotify, You Tube, and other platforms after May 10th.

At the same time Donovan is launching an appeal for teaching Transcendental Meditation to students in his native Ireland. If you would like to contribute: paypal.me/donovanleitch.

Also, please consider leaving a birthday greeting on his official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DonovanOfficial.

Donovan, who was inducted to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014, says: “David and I are compadres on a creative path rarely travelled, and we bring Transcendental Meditation to the world. Thanks for all your support!”

How it happened

“It was all impromptu,” Donovan explains. “I visited the studio and David said, ‘Sit at the mics with your guitar Don.’” He continued, “He had asked me to only bring in a song just emerging, not anywhere near finished. We would see what happens. It happened!”

Donovan said he “composed extempore … the verses came naturally. New chord patterns effortlessly appeared. He added, “On another day David ‘sound sculpted’ my Ferrington acoustic guitar ‘Kelly’ and he played his unique Modal Chord Ferrington Guitar textures with ‘effects’.”

The video was released today, May 10 for Donovan’s 75th birthday, in hopes of raising money to help him “give students TM Meditation.” Transcendental Meditation is a type of meditation that is taught to students one-on-one. Lynch is another major proponent of it, and organized a livestream festival benefitting his Meditate America initiative for the David Lynch Foundation. Donovan stated, “David and I are ‘compadres’ on a creative path rarely travelled. And we bring TM Meditation to the world.” 

Some news coverage

wxdmw: This article goes into how the song and video came together in David Lynch’s LA studio: Donovan Enlists David Lynch to Direct New Video for “I Am The Shaman”.

Pitchfork: David Lynch Directs New Video for Donovan Song “I Am the Shaman”: Watch. The song was produced by Lynch and mixed by collaborator Dean Hurley.

Rolling Stone: Donovan Taps David Lynch to Direct New Video for 2010 Song ‘I Am the Shaman’. Filmmaker also co-produced the song, which first appeared on the folk legend’s album, Ritual Groove.

IndieWire: David Lynch Directs Psychedelic Music Video to Celebrate Donovan’s 75th Birthday — Watch. With black-and-white images of stars and skulls and a droning soundscape, “I Am the Shaman” is a very Lynchian affair.

NME: David Lynch directs video for new Donovan song, ‘I Am The Shaman’. “David and I are ‘Compadres’ on a creative path rarely travelled”.

Stereogum: David Lynch Directs Donovan’s “I Am The Shaman” Video.

This news was reported on IMDb and many more places on the internet.

# # #

The last time Donovan was in Fairfield he performed at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts and at Fairfest 2016: Sunshine Superman Donovan is a Very Mellow Fellow, a Hurdy Gurdy Man with Loving Vibes.

Don Henley and Lissie use the same approach to writing songs—don’t force it and wash the dishes!

October 4, 2020

I enjoy listening to songwriters talk about their creative process—how they approach the task of writing a song, the kind of strategies they use.

How Don Henley writes his songs

I recently watched a 92nd Street Y interview posted on YouTube in 2015. American Rock royalty Billy Joel and Eagles drummer and singer-songwriter Don Henley covered a lot of ground in 85 minutes. One of the things Joel asked Henley about was what does he do to get himself into the space where he can write songs.

Don tells Billy how he may hole up in a cabin, or somewhere where he won’t be disturbed, and shuts out all electronic distractions. He also says he doesn’t just sit there and write; he can’t force the words to come. He says he follows the zen-like advice to do a simple task first.

He tells the audience, “I’m dead serious. I’ve written some of my best stuff loading and unloading the dishwasher! Because you’re distracted and yet you’re not. I don’t know how to explain the thing. But I’ve read about the zen masters saying the same thing—if you can just do a menial task instead of sitting there with a pen and paper, in front of you going, (he clenches his fists and grunts).” The embedded video may play from the beginning, but that part of the discussion starts at 57:14.

How Lissie writes her songs

That reminds me of the exact same thing Lissie said in The A-Sides Interview. She discusses how she is learning to balance art with commerce, and spontaneity with structure. Describing her creative process she usually comes up with a melody, sometimes working with other musicians, then later writes the lyrics alone.

When writing lyrics, she’s “careful to not force it” and is always surprised when rhyming phrases pop into her head “when washing the dishes, not focusing hard on the lyrics.” That’s when she’s presented with newer better word choices she hadn’t thought of.

She emphasizes finding a balance: “being spontaneous, yet structured.” The embedded video may play from the beginning, but that part of the interview starts at 4:58.

How Colin Hay writes his songs

Another singer-songwriter I had discovered and recently wrote about is Colin Hay. When it comes to writing songs he says he likes to have as empty a mind as possible and puts himself in a space where he won’t be interrupted. He emphasizes that time is important, to give himself enough time to fail. He describes a scene where he’s all alone for 3 or 4 hours without any distractions, just sitting with his acoustic guitar doing nothing, just idling, coming up with musical ideas.

At other times, a friend may drop by and mention something in passing that will act as a catalyst to what he’s been thinking about. It triggers the melody, and then the words spontaneously come out in one take. In those cases he’ll quickly finish a song in under an hour. That’s how he wrote Waiting for my Real Life to Begin.

He explains all this in a 2011 CNN interview with Brooke Baldwin when she asks him where he was when he wrote that song, then quotes some of the lyrics to him. The embedded video may play from the beginning, but that part of the interview starts at 3:52.

TM, creativity, and the default mode network

Our minds are usually working on a particular problem, consciously and unconsciously. I’ve had the same thing happen to me when I’m writing a poem or a blog post and reach an impasse. I give up, let it go, and, surprisingly, the right solution later presents itself when I least expect it.

Science calls that place in our brains the default mode network (DMN), a.k.a. the imagination network or genius lounge. It’s activated when the mind is daydreaming, not engaged or concentrating on anything, just “idling” as Colin Hay put it. The key is to be easy. Focusing or “forcing it” turns it off.

Interestingly, the DMN is also activated during the effortless practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique as practitioners experience a state of “restful alertness.” Sometimes great ideas may show up during, but more likely after TM, what David Lynch calls, “Catching the Big Fish.” He often tells students, “TM is a boon for the filmmaker.” It facilitates access to one’s inner resources to create and think out of the box.

Jon Bon Jovi says washing dishes brings on hit songs

Addendum: Jon Bon Jovi, who loves doing TM, shared the same experience as Don Henley and Lissie on Monday night’s A Late Show with Stephen Colbert when they discussed the events that influenced his new album, Bon Jovi 2020. He told Colbert how the song Do What You Can came about when he was washing dishes in one of their JBJ Soul Kitchens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bon Jovi concluded, “Washing dishes brings on hit songs, Stephen.

Related: Lissie @lissiemusic and her connections to Twin Peaks, Fairfield and #TranscendentalMeditation and Colin Hay’s song—I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You—is so relevant during these tough times


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