Dedicated Song for a Friend

I started working this song in January, 2014.  After playing with some ideas, I put it aside and did not approach it again until this past Sunday (March 7th).  I keep playing with certain harmonies and rhythmic possibilities, but the attached version is getting closer.

This morning I found out that a dear friend from my childhood and high school band days is fighting leukemia. She fought cancer just a few years ago and won!  This is devastating news to find out that she is in a great Birmingham hospital fighting for her life.

I made the decision this morning to dedicate this song to her and I pray for the remission of this cancer in her body.  She is an intelligent woman of great strength, grace, and beauty.  She was 1st Runner-up in the Miss Alabama Beauty Pageant several years back. Get well, Diane.

NOTE: All music that I compose is filed with the US Copyright Office and also registered with ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) which is a performing rights organization. Copyright infringement is costly to anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. READ: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

https://www.reverbnation.com/richardmclendon/song/25482542-a-struggle-for-life

But My Mom Thinks It Is A Bad Idea

by Richard McLendon   March 5, 2016

People can be funny and not always in a good-humored way. Amazing how our close family and friends are there for us when we need them, yet even they can “miss the boat” sometimes. Is it because they fear for us, for themselves, or is it envy or just jealousy? When we take on a new calling, career, or adventure, what do we do when their support/enthusiasm waxes and wanes or is nonexistent?

The easy answer is don’t sweat it too much. Based on your moral standards, do what you must in order to be successful. Allow yourself to become who you were meant to be. Don’t let anyone discourage you because most times change is difficult even with enthusiastic support.

The closer the friend or family member is to your heart, the more difficult the decision to move or change becomes. Sure, listen to the advice even if you’ve heard it 100 times before. Consider the risks, but also consider the gains. Only you can determine their value or cost.

Add to this that you’re a musician, composer, or some other music-related professional or your goal is to be one. If finances are an issue, my advice is that you should choose a career that gives stability and comfort in your life, but keep working toward your goal. All the while you should keep in mind that you will need to continue gaining exposure (networking) and more possibly more education while pursuing your dream job in music. You’ll know the right time to change to your dream career.

There are no easy answers, but beware – “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon, (1980) “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”

In other words, time is precious and events (positive and negative) will continue on whether you work, sleep, eat, play, or plan the best of plans. Make your time count. Make your time benefit others as well as yourself. Ultimately, how do you want to be remembered? Did your life contribute to the benefit of others or was it all about you?

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

RM Music Logo #5 (larger)

by Richard McLendon     March 1, 2016

Music is as old as the human species itself.  It has held people together surrounded by darkness with only the light of a fire to any number of venues where music is performed today.  It has taken people to war.  It has helped people through war and conflict. It continues to bring people together for different types of celebration and for remembrance. It has an intrinsic or fundamental value after many thousands of years.

Composers and musicians put in lengthy hours and years of studying, practicing, and perfecting their art, their skills, and their understanding of the complexities of music.  It never stops since true learning lasts a lifetime.  So many people enjoy music in the moment while at a concert or while driving or while shopping or while exercising, that most do not realize or fully appreciate the investment of time, money, and life into a music person’s gift.  Many people just take for granted that the music is like air – its there and free.  I am always taken aback when I hear someone make a comment like, “Well, you should’ve gotten a real job.”  Yes, there are still people that think that way.

It is the goal of true artists to make a living doing what they love – music.  Those people that give away their art in large quantities and the streaming industries that display artists that they use and pay very poorly, contribute to the mentality that many people have come to expect – free music or overly cheap music.

As in all things in life, there are disconnects in thinking. In the case of music, people think that artists are rich because the concert tickets were so expensive, or the band playing at the club must be rich because of the expensive tab last night and the place was packed again, yet people forget or don’t realize an important fact. Instruments, equipment, and education are expensive and in some instances very expensive.  I’ve always believed quality in will most always produce quality out.  You start with what you can afford with the goal to trade up in instrument quality.  As an example, really good artists know that the better quality of instrument that they own, the better the music will sound when they make it. That then makes for a better response from those that support musicians by buying their music. In turn, that results in a greater satisfaction for the artists in knowing that the job (performance) was well done.

Remember the old saying: “You get what you pay for.” I would say to the general public, stop expecting music for free.  Stop looking for ways to cheat artists. Stop hurting artists livelihoods by depriving them of being paid a fair wage for their hard work and investment of time and money.

When the public needs music, we don’t just jump out of caves with our clay pot drums and sing and grunt, or speed write a song or symphony or film score on demand.  Support the arts and support the artists that make the arts possible in today’s world. The artists in music deserve nothing less.  Don’t forget, we have to pay our bills and support our loved ones, too.

Let me know what you think.

RM Music Logo #5 (larger)

Spring Concert

by Richard McLendon   February 29, 2016

Music has been and will continue to be my life.  I’ve been a performer, teacher, mentor, conductor, arranger, composer, music editor, music copyist, and music consumer at various times of my life since the age of five.  I’ve seen people change because of the influences of music including myself.  Music brings us back to memories of another time in history and in our own lives, also.

Music speaks to us where stories and film are unable for various reasons. Music touches our emotions and our emotions stimulate our memories.  Combining music with film creates a unique, powerful, and at times an unforgettable experience.  I hope that you will take time to truly enjoy music and listen to some music that is new to you, but may be from an earlier century, from a few decades ago, or a new artist has a new song available. After all, variety IS the spice of life.

Leave a comment and let me know how you feel about music.