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#1146986 - 12/11/18 08:35 PM If I Pen a Masterpiece  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,540
couchgrouch Online content
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couchgrouch  Online Content
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cochise, az, usa
I was kicking back, drinking a decaf and thinking about JPF. I thought, "JPF is a great site but what it really needs is more ME!!"


Mike did the demo. I hope you like it. smile

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal/if-i-pen-a-masterpiece


If I Pen a Masterpiece © 9/17/2008 Robert George BMI

I can paint a bubbling fountain,
Mold the canyons of a mountain
With the rhythm of a simple line
Violet moonsÖthe sun and Venus,
I have touched them with the freeness
Of a man who wanders verse and rhyme

But as yet I canít uncover
Phrases that describe a lover
With all my tomorrows in her hand
Looking back on all Iíve written
I can find your beauty hidden
In each rhyme about foreverís plan

Someday I will write a song, for a love that will not cease
I will name it after you, if I pen a masterpiece

And when doubts have robbed my spirit
In the darkness I can hear it
Somehow when you hold me silently
And when life seems cruel and lawless
Even songs provide no solace
You can find the words to comfort me

So, Iíve tried to see each daisy
Evíry river running lazy
In a light thatís soft and lyrical
When I feel the warmth within you
Know, my love, that Iíll continue
Trying to describe a miracle

Someday I will write a song, for a love that will not cease
I will name it after you, if I pen a masterpiece

And for a man so small
What I need most of all
Is for someone to believe in me
Youíve helped me understand
That heavenís open hand
Blesses evíry sparrowÖeven me

Someday I will write a song, for a love that will not cease
I will name it after you, if I pen a masterpiece

#1147022 - 12/12/18 06:55 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,302
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Texas
I saw, I opened the link... I listened to the song. It impresses me a great deal to know I played a very small part in enabling a very talented guy (Mike Z.) to do his magic with all the musical tools at his command. He has mastered so many elements needed to provide proper backing for his vocals which appear to get better with each and every song he does. Bravo on your vocal and phrasing, Mike... and Robert, your words enabled the Geni to emerge from the bottle... and for that, you should be proud.

Bravo and curtain call!

One small note... my ears detected many of the chords heard in "Amazing Grace"... and whether or not that was intentional does not matter. If anything, it elevates the work even more for me. Because I spend too much time cooped-up in my own little studio... I don't know which of you wrote the melody?

Thanks, guys... enjoyed my listen. ----Dave

#1147023 - 12/12/18 09:43 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Aug 2007
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Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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It's a pretty song Robert.

Nicely written. I remember it from the lyrics section. Liked it then too, without music. A bit flowery, but pretty.
Enjoyed the slanted rhymes. They worked well,
Mike's interpretation of it's mood into music was very nicely married.

After 3 or 4 centuries "Amazing Grace" should be in the public domain. I personally thought it was plenty different from that.

Martin

#1147024 - 12/12/18 10:18 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,134
Vicarn Offline
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Vicarn  Offline
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UK
Nice song.
Mike did his thing.

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.

http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/vicarnold2

http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold

#1147025 - 12/13/18 12:22 AM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Texas
Hi Martin... my intent was not to accuse anyone of plagerizing "Amazing Grace." Only to point out that there were many notes, phrases and chords with sufficient differences and subtle similarities here and there to cause the connection... to me. No harm, no foul. ----Dave

#1147048 - 12/13/18 03:52 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
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couchgrouch Online content
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Thanks guys. And I wasn't offended with the comparison to Amazing Grace. smile

#1147063 - 12/14/18 01:44 AM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
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Deej56 Offline
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Hi, Couch and Mike:

This is nicely done overall . . . great lyrics, production, vocals and all. I read the lyrics before listening, and I expected something a bit more upbeatójust a subjective thing, and ultimately my interpretation of the lyrics . . . but I like the sound of this regardless of my preconceptions.

There is an ďAmazing GraceĒ similarity to this one . . . itís not a bad thing because the songís strong enough to carry itself, but some might find it distracting. Itís a fine balance, because the melody you have works really well, but is the trailing melody too close? Iím a bit torn. For example, the bridge departs and really has its own identity (actually, the bridge freakiní slays and is quite distinctówell done!), as does the ending. But that ďGraceĒ melody underneath gives me pause (to my ears, at least).

Dunno. Just something for you boys to think about. Personally, and itís just a subjective opinion, as thereís no right or wrong when it comes to music, Iíd dial the similarity down a bit. Lyrically, Couch, itís one of your more accessible, closer to conversational song lyrics Iíve read from you. Which is to say, that they are really good and I really liked them.

My best regards to both of you,

Deej

#1147078 - 12/14/18 03:17 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Jul 2006
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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California
Hey, thanks all.

Dave,

Rob is the sole composer on this. Though he has little formal training and unlike Travis he does not sing the melody he wants, to me, we have set up a system we are comfortable with. Like BIAB can be used to create melodies, styles, etc., based on preferences one chooses. So I become a human BIAB and have Rob do some EXTREMELY specific choosing (what melody to base the verse loosely on, what melody to base the chorus loosely on, what melody the bridge, what pieces are examples of the song's tone, etc...) Rob's script is so specific, in fact, that I rarely feel like I am making much personal choice, in terms of how the composition unfolds, saving my creativity for some arranging ideas, though Rob can be really specific about that as well, and all-in-all this is a process that works for us and we are both happy with..

Traditional composition involves a kind of "imitation of God," if you will, in that we can fool ourselves into believing we are creating stuff "from a void," whereas really, we bring to a piece our entire history of everything we've experienced including every piece of music we've heard. So this method Rob and I use makes that explicit and honors that very powerful idea, that intention is the "void kiler" --so to speak.. In other words--if you want to write a song and have strong intentions about how you want it to go, but have no formal training, tell it to me any way you can. Use analogies and examples from the history of music. Communicate in any way you can!

I don't think Quentin Tarentino was ashamed that he brought an encyclopedic knowledge of movies to help him jump from being a video store clerk to directing Reservoir Dogs. I bet, instead, he used that knowledge. It was his ace-in-the-hole, and one reason why he became a great movie maker--he LOVES movies!


Deej and Dave,

There is some similarity to the first line of the chorus of Rob's song and the first line of Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace starts out:

so DO, MI re do MI, Re DO, LA SO

and the beginning of the chorus of 'Masterpiece is:

SO la DO, la DO re mi, MI re DO, la DO, la SO

Well, upon further looking..less than I thought, though they both start and land in the same place, they both go up in the middle, and both use a 5 note (pentatonic scale). The melody that the chorus was based is an old Charley Patton blues song, but tweaked enough to be unique.

But the analogy begins and ends with the line, "someday I will write a song/for a love that will not cease"

But if some folks are hearing Amazing Grace in there, I think this is a good thing since the underlying tone of both songs are of humility and an incompleteness in the singer that is made complete by God, in AG, and by the unnamed woman in IIPAM. So AG is not bucking Rob's message but organically working with it, in my humble opinion.

Mike




Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 12/14/18 07:45 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)
#1147080 - 12/14/18 03:49 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,302
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Posts: 7,302
Texas
Thanks for "Chiming In"... Mike:

I appreciate the explanation of your working relationship with "Couch!" IMHO... whatever works is how it needs to be done. It's obvious to me, you guys have established a great working relationship. Makes me proud. After all, we here at JPF are a group with many common goals... and creativity comes in so many forms and styles. I love it when something "moves me" as I listen... or look, in the form of pure art... like a painting or photo.

Thanks, also... for confirming what I thought I heard... and don't be concerned, those same notes are heard in more songs than I can list. You are 100% right... it is good to remind listeners of the message being borne by the song.

One thing for sure, Mike... your posts (always so informative) have been missed. Glad to see you "surface again"... if only for a brief time.

Merry Christmas and thanks for all you have done for all of us. ----Dave

#1147083 - 12/14/18 07:14 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,917
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,917
California
Originally Posted by Dave Rice
I saw, I opened the link... I listened to the song. It impresses me a great deal to know I played a very small part in enabling a very talented guy (Mike Z.) to do his magic with all the musical tools at his command. He has mastered so many elements needed to provide proper backing for his vocals which appear to get better with each and every song he does. Bravo on your vocal and phrasing, Mike... and Robert, your words enabled the Geni to emerge from the bottle... and for that, you should be proud.

Bravo and curtain call!

One small note... my ears detected many of the chords heard in "Amazing Grace"... and whether or not that was intentional does not matter. If anything, it elevates the work even more for me. Because I spend too much time cooped-up in my own little studio... I don't know which of you wrote the melody?

Thanks, guys... enjoyed my listen. ----Dave



Hi Dave,

Thanks for the above as well. You were one of first few customers and if not for your enthusiasm, I doubt I could've kept on.

Rob and I have an okay working relationship, I think, though he can tell you I remain highly critical of his particular manner of critiquing.

Oh..that's the other way around--it's JPF and you folks that have really helped me over the years. At present, at least, I've been pretty selfish with my time and that weighs on me, but in about a year, there's a clearing..and in the clearing stands a boxer..haha.. smile

Merry Christmas!

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)
#1147085 - 12/14/18 08:13 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,540
couchgrouch Online content
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couchgrouch  Online Content
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cochise, az, usa
I loved the strings. smile

#1147088 - 12/14/18 10:03 PM Re: If I Pen a Masterpiece [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,038
Deej56 Offline
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Deej56  Offline
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Hi, Mike (and Couch):

Thanks for providing insight into your thinking and song writing process. A lot of good stuff there. And you're right that sometimes slight familiarity between songs can enhance and strengthen the song. So I totally understand and appreciate the artistic choices both you and Couch have made here. And again, it's a real nice piece. Congrats again to both of you on the effort!

And, if I may, I'll just echo Mr. Rice's sentiment that's it's good to see you on the board again. Seems like you have a lot going on right now, but check in on us from time to time when you get a chance. Your voice is missed.

My best to both of you,

Deej


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