A new thing I'll be doing this year will be promotional videos for shows and upcoming events. Video and video editing is something I've wanted to take on for quite a while, and so, I am making baby steps toward that end.
This past weekend I unveiled a little Promo video for my show this coming Sunday at the Exit/In in Nashville. Many folks have never actually seen me perform live even though they may already have some of my songs. So then, of course, my goal was simple: to give people a taste what they might expect when they see me perform.
I decided to play a song called "Arabesque". It's probably the most classically-influenced piece I've written. It's a challenge to play but a ton of fun.
Heavy on the arpeggios and calling on my love for Russian and Baroque-style classical music, it's a fanciful little tune about a father expressing his pride over watching his son dance ballet and ultimately fulfill a life-long dream . . .
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If you are curious, here are the lyrics:
Music and Lyrics by Gordon Roque
Just a little boy
Who wanted to dance
I let him go
and he took his chance
He took his chance
He's my son
And I will profess
That I am so proud
To see him stand
In an Arabesque
On pointed toes
With arms to the sky
On a stage of the world
He'll soar and fly
Soar and fly
A graceful pirouette
Is the backbone of my boy
And he becomes a man
He becomes a man
He becomes a man
According to dictionary(dot)com, the word "Arabesque" --pronounced (ār'ə-běsk')--is a noun defined as such:
A ballet position in
which the dancer bends forward while standing on one straight leg with
the arm extended forward and the other arm and leg extended backward.
complex, ornate design of intertwined floral, foliate, and geometric
Music An ornate, whimsical composition
especially for piano.
An intricate or elaborate pattern
or design: "the fluctuating shapes of a cloudscape, the complex
arabesque of a camera movement, the blink of a character's eye" (Nigel
I have to say, 3 out of 4 ain't bad. It's actually one of my favorite words ever and is one I am also ecstatic to use in this ornate and whimsical piece.
PS. It's not too late to purchase tickets for my show on 3/21. Send me a message at gordon(at)gordonroque(dot)com to purchase in cash or get them online here: https://tickets.aftonshows.com/GordonRoqu
I just wanted to give an extra special thanks to Gretel Parker for her lovely review of my album "Seahorses". For anyone out there who hasn't seen it yet, just go here:http://allaroundus.blogspot.com This link will take you directly to the review in her blog "Middle of Nowhere". Otherwise, you can see other reviews and submit one of your own on either my Amazon or Itunes stores. Just click on these links: On another note, I spent a good deal of time on the piano on Wednesday going over a few things. There's a batch of newer material that I've been slowly working on over the last few weeks. There's a song in particular that I performed at a couple of my Nashville shows last fall. It's called "Arabesque", and I really love playing it. I've only played it solo with just my keyboard, but the original vision for it involves a WHOLE LOT of instrumentation. It's one of those kinds of songs that swoops and sways. Here are some lyrics . . .Arabesque (© 2008 Lyrics by Gordon Roque) Just a little boy Who wanted to dance I let him go And he took his chance He took his chance He is my son And I will profess That I am so proud To see him stand In an Arabesque On pointed toes With arms to the sky On a stage of the world He'll soar and fly Soar and fly He is my son And I will profess That I am so proud To see him stand In an Arabesque A graceful pirouette Is the backbone of my boy And he becomes a man He becomes a man He becomes a man Oh, he becomes a man He is my son And I will profess That I am so proud To see him stand In an Arabesque This song has elements from classical music that I love . . . a pretty melody, a bit of drama, and with all the other instrumentation in it, a full and sweeping crescendo. Too fun. In my humble opinion, anyone who says songwriting is easy is probably on crack. While it's certainly a lot of fun (and I do enjoy the heck out of it), it's also a lot of hard work. There has to be a certain sense of balance along with a certain sense of risk. Every song I've released or performed so far has involved some kind of risk--some in the music, or the lyrics, or the instrumentation. I also have to be aware that I'm not copying someone else's work. This is wrong on so many levels, and I pursue every effort not to do so. This makes everything even more challenging. I have written some songs very quickly. "Villain" is an example of this, and the full bulk of it, minus some minor changes, was done in less than an hour. Most other songs take months. I never try to force something into being. I let a song unravel in its own time which is usually painstakingly slow. I have this place in my head that I like to call "The Coccoon". It is in this place that I keep works in progress, little shards of unfinished and orphaned snippets, and songs that I ONLY play when no one else is around. There's a lot of stuff in there that I visit fairly regularly. I keep them couped up for only so long until I let them out and play for a little while. They take in some shimmering sunlight and frolic on rich, overgrown grass before I call them back in. Some of them are dying to venture further out into the world while others are quite content to stay hidden in their warm and cozy home. We all decide together who gets to stay and who is set completely free. In any case, I've made a commitment to myself to perform a new song at every show that I play this year. I don't really know why, but playing a new song for a live audience really helps to flesh out what works (or doesn't work) for the song. So we'll see. I might play "Arabesque" at my Cafe Coco show or, more likely, something else. Since I'll be in Atlanta this weekend, I won't be able to blog until at least Monday, and so, my weekly Sunday morning post will not be happening. I hope there's enough content in this post to chew on until then. So, on to Atlanta. O and B are already ready to go. -g
Last semester, one of the parts of my Literature class's curriculum was to do an in-depth analysis of multiple Seamus Heaney poems. For a little background, Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet famous of poems such as "Death of a Naturalist." He passed away last year.
A majority of his poems that we studied centered around one theme: childhood. He talked about his experiences as a kid, and he used a tone of nostalgia, implying that he wanted to go back. It frustrated me that he mainly talked about this topic.
In my eyes, his life was divided into two parts. The first, his childhood, was spent having all these amazing experiences that shaped his life. The second, his adulthood, was spent writing about his childhood.
To me, all he wanted to do was to go back. I felt as if he didn't enjoy his current life (adulthood) and reminiscing about his past was his way of coping. Now yes this is most likely an overgeneralization, but it made me think of this question: