Category: Music

Carillon Improv

carillonbyu
Centennial Tower — BYU Carillon

A carillon is a large musical instrument that is kept in a bell tower. The carillon has bells of various sizes that can be played with a manual [keyboard] of batons arranged like a piano keyboard or an organ manual. A friend took me on a tour of the Centennial Tower carillon at Brigham Young University and I had the opportunity to play it. Below is a video of my improv, which should help you understand how the instrument works. I decided to improv in a minor key because the top of each bell is tuned to a different pitch than the bottom. This causes notes to ‘sour’ (explaining why so much of carillon music sounds dissonant and spooky). I decided it would be lean into the bells’ natural creepiness and have fun in a minor key.

 

-M.M.

Fantastic Beasts Medley

I loved J.K. Rowling’s most recent film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Naturally, I loved the music and as soon as I got home from the theatre started a google quest. Despite my best searching efforts as well as hours of Youtube research yielded no good arrangements of the best themes from the movie. So I took matters into my own hands and listened through the score, marking my favorite parts. The end product was the Fantastic Beasts Medley. Below you will find the free sheet music as well as a video of the medley.

Fantastic Beast Medley Sheet Music

Audio Download

Also, feel free to browse more free sheet music here.

-M.M.

Fireflies Sheet Music

I received a request in a comment on Youtube to post sheet music to my cover of “Fireflies” by Owl City. I dug back through my archives and found some sheet music I created back when I first started creating electronic sheet music. I have decided to post it here in case you too are interested in playing it. Click the underlined link below to access the pdf.

finale-printmusic-2006-fireflies-arr

And in case you missed the original Youtube video, posted years ago, here it is:

Space Between Us – Lyrics

Space Between Us

 

VERSE

It’s hard on you when he’s lost out there

lightyears away,

Past Saturn’s rings and earthly things

So how can you say

You love him

With stars in your eyes?

There’re stars in his too

But they’re meant for the skies.

 

He loves the moon, the midnight sky,

the rapture, the glow.

He loves the way the planets dance

as he stares from below.

But you will never join the dance;

He won’t even know.

Your heart will break, wide awake,

with nothing to show.

 

There’s no U in his universe,

But there’s U in ours. . .

 

CHORUS

Let’s gravitate a little more.

There’s space between us.

Can you feel it there, running through the floor,

woah-oh

Let the moment reel you in.

Close your eyes, pause, and then

try to let your heart begin

love again.

 

Let’s gravitate a little more

There’s space between us.

Open up this silent door

Oh oh.

Galileo got it wrong—

You’ve been my center all along.

But you won’t hear it in this song

’cause there’s still space between us.

 

VERSE

You’re at the wrong end of his telescope,

the dark side of the moon.

I’m calling you like a satelite.

I hope you answer soon.

I hope my message gets to you,

I hope my heart’s in tune,

I hope and try to cage my pain

but nobody’s immune.

 

You’re the only U in my Universe,

Only you.

 

CHORUS

Let’s gravitate a little more.

There’s space between us.

Can you feel it there, running through the floor,

woah-oh

Let the moment reel you in.

Close your eyes, pause, and then

try to let your heart begin

love again.

 

Let’s gravitate a little more

There’s space between us.

Open up this silent door

Oh oh.

Galileo got it wrong—

You’ve been my center all along.

But you won’t hear it in this song

’cause there’s still space—

 

BRIDGE

Let’s take one small step for mankind

and take two for love.

One for patience,

One for grace,

and take two for love.

And once we’re finally in our place

and once we finally embrace

We find that we are right where we belong.

 

CHORUS

Let’s gravitate a little more.

There’s space between us.

Can you feel it there, running through the floor,

woah-oh

Let the moment reel you in.

Close your eyes, pause, and then

try to let your heart begin

love again.

 

Let’s gravitate a little more

Oh, oh

Open up this silent door

Oh oh.

Galileo got it wrong—

You’ve been my center all along.

But you won’t hear it in this song

’cause there’s still space between us.

-M.M.

La Cathédrale Engloutie

la_cathedrale_engloutie

Credit: kyotokid.deviantart.com

One of my favorite composers is Claude Debussy. I recorded his piece “La cathédrale engloutie” [the swalowed/engulfed/sunken cathedral]. I hope you like it. Click the link below to listen to download the audio.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By2Jaqrpo1ywOXMxZ2hscEVDT0k/edit?usp=sharing

The piece tells the story of an ancient catheral that rises up out of the sea (or possibly a swamp or marsh). Debussy, in a truly impressionistic fashion, paints a picture of curch bells and an organ playing first above water, once the cathedral has emerged, and then underwater, once the cathedral has sunk back into the sea. It is a very beautiful piece.

-M.M.

 

 

Go the Distance

hercules

I love the music in Disney’s Hercules. My favorite song from the film is “Go the Distance”. I love its message of perseverance and finding a place in the world. Here is an audio recording of a piano reduction of “Go the Distance”. Click the link below to download it.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By2Jaqrpo1ywLWd6djMtLUpuR3M/edit?usp=sharing

The lyrics to “Go the Distance” go like this:

Go the Distance

I have often dreamed
Of a far-off place
Where a great warm welcome
Will be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer
When they see my face
And a voice keeps saying
This is where I’m meant to be

I will find my way
I can go the distance
I’ll be there someday
If I can be strong
I know ev’ry mile
Will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere
to feel like I belong

I am on my way
I can go the distance
I don’t care how far
Somehow I’ll be strong
I know ev’ry mile
Will be worth my while
I will go most anywhere
to find where I belong

(Reprise)

I will beat the odds
I can go the distance
I will face the world
Fearless, proud and strong
I will please the gods
I can go the distance
Till I find my hero’s welcome
Right where I belong!

Lyric Credit: LetsSingIt

hi-jacked by a wild ukulelist

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Smiles in the Sky has been Hi-jacked. By D.M.

Fear me.

I am considering changing the name of this blog to “Frowns in the Ground.” Or “Smirks in the Mirk.” Maybe “Furrows in the Burrows?”

We’ll see.

I am a wild ukulelist on a mission, seeking to convince the world that the Ukulele is a legitimate instrument destined for greater things than “Hey Soul Sister” and “I’m Yours” around a campfire.

Don’t try to find me. I’m fleeing the country in a few days. For a couple years.

But, for the past several months, I have been composing a work. For SOLO CLASSICAL UKULELE. That’s right. No cheesy lyrics. And it involves more than the four chords you likely know how to play. *gasp*

Mourning Breaks, my Suite for Classical Ukulele had its world-wide debut on SoundCloud today, December 23, 2015.

Chapters from Guilt, Beans, and Broken Bones

arm

 

 

Chapters from Guilt, Beans, and Broken Bones

 

In One we met on a kindergarten playground.

The colors were primary

and so were we.

 

In Two I stuck out my foot to trip you

just to see what you would look like

as you fell.

I didn’t want to know you had broken your arm.

 

In Three I sat practicing my crude handwriting

while you were borne off by a swarm of adults

to the nurse’s office.

 

In Four you came to school in a cast

and I came in a car,

neither healed nor whole.

 

In Five we sat across from each other

pretending to count beans to learn

our numbers.

All I learned was numbness.

 

In Six the teacher said it was snack time.

She said not to eat our beans by accident,

but I wanted to.

And tried to.

Which made you laugh.

 

In Seven I gave you my animal crackers,

and you let me doodle my forgiveness on your cast,

the stick-figure story

of guilt, beans, and broken bones.

-M.M.