Saturday, July 17, 2010


WHEW! We are still experience a heat wave, but we exhausted that subject last week.

Interesting things have been happening with the lcoal Lowrey program. John, our new "class leader" is working with us each Thursday morning from 9:30 to 10:00. We have playing time after that. The group is more cohesive and spirits are rising. Maybe not exactly soaring yet, but definitely on the rise. You see, we have been through about three years of uncertainty and some are still skeptical that this good turn is going to last. But, I am very optimistic and look forward to seeing the program not only continue, but thrive. John has a lot he can do with us, given some time to work out the kinks.

Our group is very broad in both capability and length of time in the program. Some like myself have been there for ten plus years; some are relatively new. Not only do we differ in that respect, we also differ in our expectations and purpose. PURPOSE? A HOBBY HAS A PURPOSE? Well, in my mind it does. My "purpose" is to entertain.
I like entertaining myself and I like entertaining others. I am not a stage performer and do not have the skills to "go far" but I love playing for others. And I will play for one for as many as the room will accommodate. At the Veterans' Home there are usually from three to twenty. At the adult day care there are up to 35. Of course, they are a captive audience. Maybe I love it more than they do. I would like better organs in both places, but can still make music on the old Century (once the top of the Lowrey line) and the Premiere, a nice but limited mid-size instrument.

Hot as it was today, only three faithful people came to Stoney Creek for our usual Saturday gathering. I do not have AC and warned people they would be coming at their own heated peril. The fans are humming. We had fruit and coffee cake. There was coffee, of course, but I also made ice tea and lemonade. Thankfully, both will keep and I will enjoy their cooling FX all weekend.

As I write this there is a light breeze moving the tops of the tall pines behind my condo.
Thus, "The Breeze and I"

This song was written by Ernesto Lecuona, an exceptionally talented composer, bandleader, song writer and pioneer in Latin music. He was born in Cuba in 1895, and died in Teneriffe, Canary Is. in 1963. the song, The Breeze and I, was originally a part of "Andalucia" which was part of his "Spanish Suite." It is certainly one of the best known and loved of his compositions, although his "Malaguena (1927) is one of my favorites. A lyricist, Al Stillman, wrote the words which Bob Eberly recorded with Jimmy Dorsey. The words tell are a lament that the singer's love is known only to the breeze. But the music, in my opinion, is so enjoyable that the words don't spoil the mood. To me it is still a "love song" even if it is love unrequited.

Today's home organs bring an orchestra into our living rooms. The small organs have trios, or eight piece bands, but the larger ones have huge orchestras - dance bands, symphonic, marching and all other rhythms from Calypso to Salsa to Waltz. Marvels of modern technology. It just takes a little time and effort to learn your way around your orchestra. You are the leader of your band so you need to get acquainted with your musicians. The Latin trumpet is wonderful for some parts of the "Breeze" and the Pan Flute makes a beautiful change in the bridge. Experiment with it. It's a fun song. Recently I made a couple of very noticeable errors in a trumpet solo part of a piece. When I finished I turned to the room and said, "I am going to fire that trumpeter. She isn't practicing enough." Some people caught the joke and we shared a moment of light humor.

I have talked myself right into closing out this blog, going to my Lowrey Prestige and seeing how many different ways I can play THE BREEZE AND I.

Keep a song in your heart and keep the music playing.


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