Friday, March 13, 2015

A Bit Of Magic!

Several years ago, while on a Cruise to Alaska, my wife, daughter and I attended a Magic show.

I have always LOVED magic!  I still watch in awe as Illusionists and Magicians make things disappear, tell me what card I am thinking of, and otherwise outmaneuver my ability to reason and logically analyze things!

On this occasion, we had the pleasure of watching World Champion Magician, Shawn Farquhar, perform an original and truly wonderful card trick set to a beautiful song by Sting.  This has been imitated and "re-done" by others since, but the experience...and the look of wonder in my wife and daughter's eyes will forever cause me to fondly recall this song and this performance.

Prior to his unique "sleight of hand" performance you can hear him say, "It's my favorite...

It is mine as well.  Enjoy.

Shape Of My Heart


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Whiter Shade Of Pale

The English rock group, Procol Harum, recorded this song in 1967.  The groups name?  It came from the Pedigreed (think formal/fancy) name of a friend's Burmese cat.  Yep, really!

This was an unusual song, with a structure reminiscent of Baroque Music and was based on J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite #3 in D Major.  Matthew Fisher plays the Hammond Organ and once heard, this song is hard to forget for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost is the haunting Organ Riff that opens and sustains the song.  It isnt often a rock song is based on a Bach classic!  It is instantly recognizable and combines with the rather "simple" drums and unique voice of Gary Brooker, to make the song a "one of a kind".  Second...and no less unique, are the cryptic lyrics that one struggles to make sense of!

The song Hit #1 in the UK as well as Australia, making it to #5 here in the USA.

The song is presented here in it's "Electronically Enhanced For Stereo" album version.  The original was a mono recording and this Album was produced in a manner that tried (Not very successfully) to take advantage of the rather "new" technology of "Stereo Recording".  I recorded it straight off the 1967 Album using my vintage turntable!    Check it out.

A Whiter Shade Of Pale