West Meets East

Please give my latest work a listen, it’s a little over 8 minutes long, and like and post it. I’m getting the word out that I do this type of thing. Thank you.

Robert Abate
[email protected]
231-421-1401
robertabate.com

Green

Recently I was approached by Michigan poet Robb Astor to provide a musical background for his written in Tanzania poem “Green”, here’s what we came up with:

 

green, how green

leaves of banana trees

fields

where crowned cranes danced

fields how yellow

dabs of yellow dappled fields

of african daisies

fireflies green with light

 

in darkness

shone stars i did not know

had never seen

rigel kentaurus

canopus

aldeberon

how we lay those nights

beneath the stars

show me you said

the southern cross

lost in interstices

of sky above the alleys

 

a green dress

satin shining in the shop window

your eyes in the glass

beneath old electric speakers

wired in the heights of marinets

the fullness of your hair eclipsing

clouds of magellan

 

how you danced

in midnight streets humming

that sappy bollywood music

the silhouette of you

beneath the screen and me

but oh how far from green i’ve wandered

 

how far

alcor

mizar

how cloudy my vision

all things colored

even the black mold

clinging to white stone

ruins where i used to sit

in forlorn grasses

drawing doorways in time-worn walls

Dominant Chords An Augmented 4th Apart In The Root

Dominant Chords An Augmented 4th Apart In The Root

The most powerful and most used progression in music is dropping a 5th in the root.  Anyone has merely to play a Dominant chord of a key followed by the 1st chord or Tonic of that key to understand why the monks of Europe in the Dark Ages named the 5th chord of a key Dominant.  It is an inherent rule of music that the Dominant chord leads to the Tonic.  Anyone can hear the settling of the tone center when this particular chord change is played.

#13 3rd's and 7th's REVERSEFor this particular example of chord substitution I’m going to use an E7 going to an A7 resolving to a Dmaj7.  The A7 chord in this progression is going to be substituted by an Eb7 chord which is the same chord type an augmented 4th away in the root.  You can hear in the example that this is a pleasing similar sound.  I don’t know why this works but it does.  It also happens that the 3rd’s and 7th’s of the A7 and the Eb7 are the same notes reversed in position, making the different chords quite alike.  What you can realized out of this harmonic device is a chromatically descending chord progression that is different from the cycle of 5th’s with the same amount of solidity and power.  When using this device you must adjust the chords to reflect the notes of the melody that are happening when the chord substitution is being played.

 

Chemical Reaction

Chemical Reaction, I’m feeling kind of hot

Chemical Reaction, You know I just can’t stop

‘Cuz you’re looking kind of sexy

And whatever comes I will

Chemical Reaction, I just can’t get my fill

 

When I see you walking down the street

I see you talking to the people that you meet

I want to tell you that I love you

But I can’t get up the nerve

The nerve, the nerve, the nerve

To say it’s so

 

 

Progressions In Harmony

There is so much to think about when discussing chord progressions it boggles the mind.

A good starting point in understanding chord progressions is the flow inherent in most any musical piece.  Fast or slow, happy or sad, poignant or ludicrous, rebellious or patriotic each tune is built around defining the flow of the piece reflected in style, tempo, rhythmic and harmonic structure.

There are two basic overall rhythmic flow types in music: vertical and horizontal.  A good example of vertical music would be a John Philips Sousa march where the rhythm is defined by micro stops in time enforced by emphasis.  A good example of horizontal music would be a Bill Evans ballad that magically floats thru time and space.  Most tunes are somewhere in between.

Musical compositions are based on establishing a tonal center, going away from it, coming back to it.  How you do this is dictated by the style of music and the level of the composer/arranger.  There are 3 basic types of harmonic chordal progression: diatonic scale motion (Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7,etc.), cycle of fifthing (C7,F7, Bb7, Eb7, etc.) and going from relative major to relative minor (Cmaj7 – Am7).  You must remember that these progression types have been noted in a simplified manner.  The amount of sophistication, creativity and inventiveness that can be applied is endless.  The goal of jazz progressions is to proceed fluidly forward with no effort.