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#1098800 - 01/17/16 10:10 PM One and Only Friend  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

Top 40 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Minneapolis
Here's one for my one and only. Hope you like it, and all comments and critiques are most welcome.

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13298750

[Linked Image]

One and Only Friend

In the morning glow
As we say hello
Something brightly burning in your eyes
Like the flame that rose
To my face, it shows
How I know my one and only friend…


Friends I’ll keep and love for all my life
And then there is my one and only friend
Every single husband, every wife
Should understand my one and only friend by my side

One and only friend
There until the end
Laughing in the corners of my mind
One who stays
Never runs away
And who loves me more
Today than yesterday

When I was a young man
I was searching for a lover
Much to my surprise I found my one and only friend
Someone on whose everflowing love I can depend
My one and only friend

Someone breathing gently through the night
Could only be my one and only friend
Smiling as we ride into the light
Could only be my one and only friend by my side

One and only friend
With me till the end
Laughing in the corners of my mind
One who stays
Never runs away
And who loves me more
Today than yesterday

If you're very lucky
You will find yourself a lover
Luckiest of all to find your one and only friend
Someone to receive the lonely signals that you send
Your one and only friend

Someone breathing gently through the night
Could only be my one and only friend
Smiling in the sunlight as we ride
And always with my one and only friend by my side

My one and only friend

Copyright 2016 Mark Kaufman

#1098806 - 01/18/16 12:02 AM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 19,570
Calvin Online content
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Calvin  Online Content
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 19,570
Okeechobee, Florida U.S.A.
Hi Mark,

A beautiful tribute/love song.

Calvin


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/calvinstewart

#1098833 - 01/18/16 02:38 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Calvin]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Joined: Sep 2007
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Minneapolis
Thanks Calvin! smile

#1098835 - 01/18/16 02:48 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,732
Ricki E. Bellos Offline
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Ricki E. Bellos  Offline
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Wisconsin
Beautiful, Mark. "Someone to receive the lonely signals that you send". I'm happy to say I have one of those myself and I was with you all the way, up until, "Someone breathing gently through the night"... grin

Other than that, it's just like you say. Rock on.

Ricki


#1098838 - 01/18/16 05:35 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Minneapolis
I think my wife feels the same as you! I do not always breathe gentle in that good night...

Thanks Ricki!

#1098872 - 01/19/16 12:41 AM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
California
Hi Mark,

I was hearing Brian Wilson in the beautiful melody, and then the falsetto harmonies kicked in and, yeah..you have a knack of retaining the essence of music you've digested over the years, and spinning something original from all those influences. I get deja vu from your music more than anyone else's--music that feels familiar and new simultaneously, and it's all flowing from your endless creativity, and I find your talent staggering and it's a joy for my ears to behold. smile

Mike


Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1098883 - 01/19/16 04:46 AM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,573
Little_stevie_b Offline
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Little_stevie_b  Offline
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Hickory, North Carolina USA
Always love hearing your productions and songs. This is great. Great, and surprising chord changes which makes it absolutely beautiful. This is my favorite of yours so far and that's saying something significant, Mark.

Stevie

#1098918 - 01/19/16 06:28 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Little_stevie_b]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,749
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Posts: 6,749
Texas
Very nice Mark:

Your creativity amazes me. Put me down for a big "ditto" of what Stevie and Zaneski said. A most enjoyable listen. Thanks for sharing. ----Dave

#1098924 - 01/19/16 08:05 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,712
Jim Colyer Offline
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Jim Colyer  Offline
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Nashville, Tennessee usa
Lovely, Mark, and a great tribute to your wife.

#1098929 - 01/19/16 08:49 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
California
It's almost as if you have access to a parallel universe, like in the TV series Fringe and you are covering hit/classic tunes from that universe and can't "let on" cuz no one would believe you ..

I'm "as if" wondering.. .. ..can you spare a little Cortexiphan? grin

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 01/19/16 09:05 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1098998 - 01/21/16 01:42 AM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,140
E Swartz Offline
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E Swartz  Offline
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Ohio
Hey Mark!

What a great melody and arrangement. Super work.

steady-eddie.

#1099014 - 01/21/16 02:12 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: E Swartz]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 763
Doug Healey Offline
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Doug Healey  Offline
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Posts: 763
Anaheim calif. Mickey Mouse
Can I have some cortexiphan too!
Doug

Oh yeah... Mark, always love your art!
Ps
Will send SASE


Learn all the musical rules inside and out- Then break 'em...
Grace..Peace...Love

#1099016 - 01/21/16 03:49 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Doug Healey]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

Top 40 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Minneapolis
[Linked Image]

#1099017 - 01/21/16 05:05 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

Top 40 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Minneapolis
Thanks so much to all of you for the shockingly nice things you're saying. It's very gratifying, and despite the temptation to let my head swell, I find it humbling.

I haven't been very participative on songwriting boards in the last several years, other than to post a few drive-by songs or argue some hot politics or just make silly comments on the general thread. There came a point at which I just stopped believing in the critique process——I know that's a contentious notion, but I just don't like imposing my methods on others, and I rarely followed anyone else's advice anyway. It's not a defensible position, I know.

But I do really love to hear what writers say about their own work. I think there is more to learn from that, because the reader can pick and choose what matters, rather than being lectured by someone with different goals, methods and outlook about what to do.

This song first popped into my head when I just sort of "heard" that part with the Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do major scale that is heard when I sing "Friends I'll keep and love for all my life". But I worried about it, because the next line reminded my too much of Stevie Wonder's "Ordinary Pain". In fact, whenever I would try to imagine/write this song in my head, my thoughts would shift right into that Stevie Wonder song, and off it went, lost in Stevie Wonderland.

So, for months, this song kept simmering, occurring to me as I took showers or sat at the keyboard. Over time it finally escaped from Stevie's powerful orbit and showed itself to sound nothing at all like "Ordinary Pain".

The phrase "one and only friend" kept nagging at me. I knew I meant my dear wife, but it didn't make logical sense. How could I call her my one and only friend when I have so many close friends, and so many more acquaintances that I consider friends? Was this song going to be a jerk? But I couldn't let it go. More months passed.

I thought to heck with it, I'll start recording the beast and work on finishing the composition first, then figure out the lyrics later. This, by the way, was David Bowie's go-to style of songwriting. He would fully compose and record the music before he even attempted to settle on the final melodies and lyrics, which often got tacked on weeks after the musicians had recorded their tracks.

So I found myself looking at a very strange structure...one that eventually ended up with three introductions before kicking into what I suppose is the chorus, that major scale DoReMi thingamabob. It just worked out that way over time, and I liked it, so I kept it.

It constantly changes keys, and it took a lot of maddening brainwork before I figured out a way to bring it all back around to the same place without repeating the original section in the wrong key. That section with "One and only friend, there until the end" lands me in a different key, and the earliest versions of the next section ("When I was a young ma...") would always end up finishing in yet ANOTHER key, until I finally came up with a way to lead it back to the original, by coming up with the two key shifts you hear in "Someone on whose everflowing love I can depend, my one and only friend", which at last brought it back home, ready to repeat.

That was one of the most difficult puzzles I've ever composed my way out of. It's not something you can explain to people in a typical conversation. They just look at you.

Composing is lonely work.

When I finally tackled the lyric, I came to understand what I wanted to say. It's not written so much FOR Teresa as ABOUT the sort of relationship we share...it's really FOR other people. I say the word "friend" about 900 times on purpose. I want people who marry or commit themselves for life to hear that word in particular. See, to me the secret of love is friendship. Too many people regard their spouse or lover as the one they love, but never think of them as their friend. But to me, the friendship is the key to longevity. I know people who don't especially like their life partner. They love them, but they don't think of them as a friend. That's sad to me. I wanted to inspire people to think a little harder about what they bring to their long-term relationships. I wanted to make them consider how good of a friend they could be to that most important person. A little preachy, I guess, but I'm preaching it anyway, because it matters to me.

I'm 53. I was born "hearing" songs in a visual way...I can "see" notes, and they always made sense to me. I could hear the notes that made up chords, and different chords had recognizable "personalities" that I still see and recognize. Musical notation, once I studied it, sort of bothered me. It's like a boring, emotionless method of mapping music...but it isn't at all what I "see" in my musical imagination. That's what people call "an ear for music" or "having an ear"...but to me, it's more like having a third eye. So for as long as I can remember, I was harmonizing to my Mom when she sang, and imagining symphony orchestras play imaginary music.

This is to say I always composed music, but never viewed it as business. Now, at 53, I've just finally reached an important epiphany about it all: I only want to write what matters to me. I don't care about any other aspect of it. I just want to follow those sounds and record them.

David Bowie's final months have shook me to the core. As he wrestled with the overwhelming, all-consuming process of dying from terminal cancer, he chose to take on a Herculean task. A final album, and an extremely challenging and sophisticated one at that. Conceiving, filming and starring in two astonishing videos from that album, an album which is all about his own death. And writing and collaborating on an off-Broadway show called "Lazarus", which continues the tale of "The Man Who Fell to Earth".

I just cannot fathom the strength of character it takes to do what he just did. But it kicked me into high gear, and I intend to spend the rest of my life taking my music as seriously as I take anything else that truly matters. From now on, I will not compromise whatever nutty idea I get. I will "see" it through, whether anyone likes it or not. It feels good to say so.

I wish the best to anyone interested enough to have read this. May you be your own best advocate for following your musical heart. Thank you for your fellowship. Like Elton and Bernie wrote, I thank the Lord there's people out there like you.


#1099028 - 01/21/16 07:58 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
California
Hi Mark,

What a great post! I am always curious about how other composers I respect do their thing, and so I find learning more about your process a really great thing.

Yes, the Bowie way of working makes sense, otherwise it's like we're trying to build a mountain rock by rock, where it might be easier and more sensible to get the shape of the mountain first, then subdivide..it also shows that we trust our imaginations to produce the melodic goods, on down the road. Melodies are the most detailed fractals of a musical mountain, and they need time to gestate..but there are many composers (lots of jazz and Broadway composers) who write melodies first and compose the chords later, and this is equally valid, and leads to a completely different narrative style, like..the melody is "the hero" going on a journey..

I need to listen to your song a bunch more to hear what you're talking about with the modulation, and that will be a joy..I use solfeggio a lot, too, to help me modulate. I will substitute a "wrong" solfeggio scale step, and pretend it is correct, and Voila! (as in..sing the notes C, D, and E, but the words "do, re, sol..and then immediately think of "sol" AS sol, and you're about to modulate from the key of C maj to A maj..)

But yeah.. we have so little time here on this planet..focusing on essentials..or maybe losing that which is not essential, seems to be what what life is all about now..

Oh..I never felt you were literally saying your wife was your only friend..there are levels and kinds of intimacy with a spouse that's not there with other friends..that's how I took it..your lyric made that clear to me.

Anyway, great to hear from you at length. We don't transact all that much, but I consider you a friend, cuz I feel right at home in your company.

Mike


Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1099036 - 01/21/16 08:38 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

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Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,434
Minneapolis
Oh we're friends all right, Michael! We just haven't met properly. smile

I almost never do all the music first, the way Bowie described. It starts from wherever, a little different every time. Sometimes a melody, sometimes a fragment of a lyric, sometimes a title, sometimes a bass line, sometimes I just sit down with a frown and demand something to happen and then just hammer it into shape. Most often is probably a chord pattern that comes from messing around on guitar. I never get the usual writer's block of no idea to be found, it's more like I fall into periods of avoidance.

#1099042 - 01/21/16 10:32 PM Re: One and Only Friend [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,694
California
Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman

Now, at 53, I've just finally reached an important epiphany about it all: I only want to write what matters to me. I don't care about any other aspect of it. I just want to follow those sounds and record them.


Mark,

I forgot to add that qhat you are describing here is probably the only way to uncover anything of depth from within ourselves, and from that to the universal. And moreover it's a rather brave thing to do--a brave way to approach one's art.

There's two or three songs in me, that I need to write, but..I'm just not "man enough" yet to face the fear of writing them, and so they continue to simmer..and haunt me.

(BTW..sorry I kinda put you on the spot with my last post when I said "I've always considered you my friend.." I raced back from the grocery store, realize that it sounded like I was putting your friendship to me in question, when that was the farthest thing from my mind and intention! Years of living in semi-isolation has rendered me a rather socially awkward person, and I apologize..)

Oh..and I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets spooked by my own writing! I've written melodies I was absolutely certain I was ripping off from someone..and then vetted the damn thing 'til I was sick with worry..at least with "One And Only Friend" you knew it was Wonder's song that was biting you!

And also don't feel bad not having been very participative--I ain't that crazy about the critiquing process either, these days. It seems like what you are describing is that you are accepting that you're an artist. In doing that, the business aspects tend to recede into the background. Good to know you are following your bliss!

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 01/22/16 12:13 AM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)

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