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#1171782 11/28/20 01:49 PM
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Last edited by VNORTH2; 01/07/21 10:11 AM.

Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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Today marks 53 years since MLK was assassinated


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This is obviously something that really weighs on you, as it should weigh upon all of God's children.

That's the reason I'm so compelled to ask you, who are "They" in your song? If you believe I'm just trying to start a political argument with you, please reconsider. I'd really like to know how racism in America is viewed from Canada.


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Originally Posted by JAPOV
This is obviously something that really weighs on you, as it should weigh upon all of God's children.

That's the reason I'm so compelled to ask you, who are "They" in your song? If you believe I'm just trying to start a political argument with you, please reconsider. I'd really like to know how racism in America is viewed from Canada.



Thanks JAPOV for the listen and comment. I very much respect what you say on many of the posts.

They, IMO are those who really wished MLK would just go away and I believe that list was long and diverse, representing many aspects of society, including government officials. You can pick your own poison when it comes to "they". As far as how Canadians view racism in America, 36 million people live in Canada so you probably have 36 million opinions. By the way we are quite adept at racism ourselves in this country starting with the treatment of our First Nations people.

Personally I believe racism exists, to a certain extent, in everyone with most being unaware of it in themselves (unconscious racism????)

I wouldn't say this topic was overly weighing on me and yes I agree with your statement that it should, but I tend to write about issues having written songs about, bullying, spousal abuse and injustice on a global scale.

The video is, of course, about freedom and MLK's speech in August 1963 is one of the finest ever written. The question I posed was "has anything changed" or are we just more subtle in our approach to inequality? A few years ago I watched some young black people being interviewed on TV at a MLK rally and one of the young girls said "you know we're still not free" I had just written the song about a month prior and I was stunned by the confirmation that what I had written was actually being felt by these young adults all these years later.


Steve


Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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Racism is so politically charged in America right now that it's hard to have a meaningful and honest conversation about it. When folks from both sides of the issue are so emotionally invested in being right, even the most innocent of common everyday interactions quickly devolve into argument. "Unconscious Racism" is a perfect example lol... I simply believe that "Birds of a feather" is the natural order of things and no one should be ashamed of the statistical exceptions.

I'm actually not surprised to hear that Canada has its own racial issues. The world has shrunk drastically in the last 100yrs, and consequently, the roll of government has become rather universal. However, I wonder if you can relate to this... By mere virtue of being white, and born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1966, I've been an assumed racist all my life. I'm really not exaggerating. I had the benefit of a military upbringing, I've lived all over the US literally from coast to coast and South to North. Everywhere "This kid" went with his thick southern accent, I was stigmatized and degraded by racial stereotype; Especially in California, Boston, and Philadelphia.

I've actually held MLKJr in high esteem all my life. He had a brilliant way of speaking and reasoning without perpetuating the cause of racism. He obviously understood racism for what it is, and made a case and point of never lowering himself to its standard. He always spoke of men, and to men, as a man. However, and sadly, the date of his assassination is also the date that racism was institutionalized within the US government. Today, there is a very loud and shameful faction of government in the USA that simply wouldn't have a reason to exist without perpetuating the cause of racism. The irony is that one particular political party is responsible for that faction and, of course, blames the other party for its necessity. It's a vicious circular argument, and a never ending cycle of hatred and blame, that I am positively certain Martin Luther King Jr would be horrified to have his name associated with.

Please make no mistake, I have absolutely no problem with honoring the man, Martin Luther King Jr. His intellect is sorely missed today. So, since loose allusions and vagaries are common tools of the liberal agendists, shouldn't we take great care to honor him as specifically as he applied himself to the cause of equality?


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Racism is so politically charged in America right now that it's hard to have a meaningful and honest conversation about it. When folks from both sides of the issue are so emotionally invested in being right, even the most innocent of common everyday interactions quickly devolve into argument. "Unconscious Racism" is a perfect example lol... I simply believe that "Birds of a feather" is the natural order of things and no one should be ashamed of the statistical exceptions.

I believe the operative word is "politically" pertaining to "right now" because racism has always been and will probably always be a major issue. If racism is just flat out wrong, what is the other side of the issue that somehow it might be right to be racist? i think everyday interactions end up in argument because no one can hear the other side over their own shouting. Perhaps less talk and more breaking of bread??? I'm also not sure "Birds of a feather" is the natural order of things but perhaps evolved out of generational indoctrination because racism is not about the color of ones skin...... to be continued


Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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I'm glad that it seems you're taking this in stride, and have decided to engage/indulge me in this. So, for the sake of continuity I will withhold comment and politely wait lol... wink


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I'm actually not surprised to hear that Canada has its own racial issues. The world has shrunk drastically in the last 100yrs, and consequently, the roll of government has become rather universal. However, I wonder if you can relate to this... By mere virtue of being white, and born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1966, I've been an assumed racist all my life. I'm really not exaggerating. I had the benefit of a military upbringing, I've lived all over the US literally from coast to coast and South to North. Everywhere "This kid" went with his thick southern accent, I was stigmatized and degraded by racial stereotype; Especially in California, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Every country has racial issues, Canada being no different. We just didn't have significant minorities in our population base until probably the 1960/70's which, IMO allowed white folks to decide what was best for said minorities. Google Africville Halifax (Wiki) and you'll get an eye opener as to how we demonstrated our racist tendencies.
In no way can I ever relate to your experience but perhaps your civil struggle in the 1800"s created generational indoctrination and stereotyping of all people from the south. I believe that those who degraded you were, in fact, the real racist because racism is about ethnic superiority. The accent would tip them off. .... episode 3 to follow

Last edited by VNORTH2; 04/08/21 09:08 AM.

Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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"Ethnic Superiority..." Now I'm dying to comment lol... You should think further back in history, but please continue... smile


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I don't believe there's really any such thing as racism. It's a farce, a tool used by corrupt governments to antagonize, then subjugate the public. Throughout history all forms of government have followed one simple pattern; The many, subjugated by the few, who pledge allegiance to one. How you describe and name any particular government simply depends upon what kind of megalomaniacal a$$ that "one" is. The more government subjugates the population, the more it has to justify itself... and the easiest, and most advantageous of all justification is ethnicity. From the government's perspective, racial division accomplishes two important things. It assures the loyalty of the "privileged class" while distracting "all classes" from the roll government plays in engineering their discord. Currently, I see things like "Critical Race Theory" and "Racial Programming" being propagated by "The Woke" and "BLM" as proof that corrupt politicians are actually engineering the supply of racism to meet their own demand. Just today the CDC announced, in the middle of a world wide pandemic, that "racism is a serious public health threat".

Racism has never been about ethnicity, it has always been about power, authority, and control. As evidenced by the fact that, up until the American Civil War, slavery was prevalent throughout every nation in the world. Even the Indians practiced slavery among their warring tribes. The reason that the European slave trade was so internationally successful is only because Africans were selling Africans. Why? Because there were two classes of Africans; Those who organized and defended themselves, and those who couldn't. Money, Power, Authority, and Control. These are the things that have not changed in literally thousands of years. It's the ignorance of those who allow themselves to be led by such corruption, and the malice of those who profit from such corruption, that need to be addressed and held accountable. The problem is, no standing government ever allows itself to be challenged by an ill-educated public, or takes responsibility for the ignorance of the subjugated. So, the result is always violence... and whoever's left assigns the blame... Why do you think all corrupt governments have always disarmed their populations?


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Hopefully you're beginning to see that, from my perspective, your title is more "spot on" than you think smile


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Please make no mistake, I have absolutely no problem with honoring the man, Martin Luther King Jr. His intellect is sorely missed today. So, since loose allusions and vagaries are common tools of the liberal agendists, shouldn't we take great care to honor him as specifically as he applied himself to the cause of equality?

JAPOV
I couldn't agree more, with you, that we should honor him as so many have already done. I could not do it justice and so I deliberately stayed away from doing so in this song.


Steve


Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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This video is about this day






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This gave me goosebumps!!!! Strong message. Very well done. The music is layered underneath the lyric delivery. Cool mix. Man, you certainly know what you're doing. I love this one.

All the best - Robert

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Hi Steve,

I love the epic sound you get with the reverb and dreamy pads, then so intimate with the incredible close mic'd vocals! So, in terms of space, you've got massive detail as well as massive perspective. This makes a perfect bed for a song concerning MLK, I believe.

I love how your B and C sections are so rubato and so tied to the lyric that coming back to the A feels strange, at first, like...the song is musically gonna plow forward without returning to the A...then you finally do with the sax!

Beautiful song.

EDIT: And so very moving, direct, and timely...

I'm hearing a little "Van Dyke Parks" influence in terms of adventurousness, structurally and musically. But your style here feels fresh and unique, to me.

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 08/31/23 01:27 PM.

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

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Originally Posted by Rob B.
This gave me goosebumps!!!! Strong message. Very well done. The music is layered underneath the lyric delivery. Cool mix. Man, you certainly know what you're doing. I love this one.

All the best - Robert

Hey Rob

Thanks so much for your kind words.Most appreciated. This one was a long time in the making....I have worked with the same engineer on my songs for over 20 years and I think he really captured exactly what I was hearing in my head.

Steve


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[quote=Michael Zaneski]Hi Steve,

I love the epic sound you get with the reverb and dreamy pads, then so intimate with the incredible close mic'd vocals! So, in terms of space, you've got massive detail as well as massive perspective. This makes a perfect bed for a song concerning MLK, I believe.

I love how your B and C sections are so rubato and so tied to the lyric that coming back to the A feels strange, at first, like...the song is musically gonna plow forward without returning to the A...then you finally do with the sax!

Beautiful song.

EDIT: And so very moving, direct, and timely...

I'm hearing a little "Van Dyke Parks" influence in terms of adventurousness, structurally and musically. But your style here feels fresh and unique, to me.

Hi Mike

Thanks, so much for the listen and your thoughtful critique. I’m a huge fan of pads...they add a fullness to the music and there are thousands at your fingertips. I’m glad you noticed the close mic’d vocals, that was deliberate. I’m also big on what is happening musically when I’m not singing and the fellow I work with on my songs is a genius when I comes to filling in the empty spaces to give it fullness.

The B and C sections came about because I didn’t want to write a song, I wanted to tell a story and I plowed through the beat vocally which gave contrast to the next line “then why did you have to die”

Van Dyke Parks, now there is a different fellow...

I’m giving away my age but as a 16 year old in 1963 I heard MLK’s I have A Dream speech (IMO one of the best ever given by a great orator.) But the idea for the song came from an article I read about the Banks in Chicago redlining areas in Chicago (Drawing a red line around areas on a map of the city where they would not lend money to anybody, primarily African American neighbourhoods). It took me back to his speech and I asked the question “What has changed” Back in the 1800’s it was called slavery and it was abolished but if you read the words in the video, aren’t we just using different words today that imply a continuing lack of freedom and equality. What I found interesting was in 2018 I was watching CNN or CBSN coverage of the 50th anniversary of Kings assassination where a bunch of young African Americans were being interviewed and were asked about the importance of the day and one of the ladies responded “you know, we’re still not free”. That knocked me back but it gave me the impetus to finish the song

Steve

Last edited by VNORTH2; 09/02/23 03:44 PM.

Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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Steve,

Thanks for the additional background into how you got the title line and all.

Indeed, we just have to look at what's happening in various States to know racism is still a big problem.

I was actually rooting for the structure to keep moving forward (on to D, E, F, etc...) --you hear that sometimes in modern operatic form but never in popular music. It can really keep a listener "in the moment" but perhaps at the expense of giving that same listener little anchoring.

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 09/02/23 05:14 PM.

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

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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
Steve,

Thanks for the additional background into how you got the title line and all.

Indeed, we just have to look at what's happening in various States to know racism is still a big problem.

I was actually rooting for the structure to keep moving forward (on to D, E, F, etc...) --you hear that sometimes in modern operatic form but never in popular music. It can really keep a listener "in the moment" but perhaps at the expense of giving that same listener little anchoring.

Mike


I love trying things as you suggested here with structure...to just move away from the expected format...and have done a couple of songs along those lines. The trick/challenge is to keep the listener interested...I wrote and recorded a song with 2 lines...and the length was 7 minutes...it seemed to work...I will post it at JPF in a bit...the response from one person was .."that's the fastest 7 minute song I've ever heard" LOL

Steve


Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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I'm looking forward to that!

You might enjoy certain middle period works of (modern classical composer) Steve Reich, such as "Proverb" which is a 14 minute piece around the Wittgenstein text, "how small a thought it takes to fill a whole life":


Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 09/02/23 05:58 PM.

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Very Meditative, thank you


Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald
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In Memory Of MLK


Creators of music have a responsibility to their craft. When they have finished using all the notes and words, they must pass them down to the next generation with a simple request. “Use these to create new music.”...Steven McDonald

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