Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Gamble Music Production and Archive / Awaken to Afro American Music

There are several of my family, friends and professional friends that have asked me to post my thoughts about music and this is my first blog to post. It will be a strong attempt to help those folks out there who have hard to find pieces of music, and show them how to go about finding the music they seek.  From the folks that have brought me the "one line hummed lines" to my main problem of "three word lyrics" from a song (that people bring me) and try to find the WHOLE song from just a few word hint. That is a challenge.

We here at GMP&A have an extensive collection of 53,500 cds that date back to 1984 (ADD, AAD) and some 8300 78's and or 33 1/3 LP.  WE DO NOT SELL THE CD (that is free), we do charge a minimal fee to apply the music you want, don't have (in your current collection) and want, or just want a copy of an unusual performance that I have in the collection. 

I love God, my family and music in that order.
God has given me blessings beyond measure.
My Family, again, mostly my son, has bailed me out more than one could think.
Finally music, mainly classical music (my friend too) has taken me to other worlds and has soothed my soul at the same time.
Born in Larisa, Greece put up for adoption in Athens, Greece and apoted by the Gamble's James and Blanche... these people, my parents, who gave me a chance here in the UNITED STATES. To them I owe everything. They will not be able, in this life or in Heaven, understand the joy that I have had here in the United States.

My interest are: Classical Music. Mainly Baroque and Early Romantic. I also collect autographs of composers, conductors and artists. I have about 260 plus and they grace my walls of my small museum. One such artist is George Skaroulis, the very one who is playing this piece you are listening to "Se Ymnumen". (add music here). 

First let's discuss why I love classical music.  In 1982 I joined the US Air Force and was stationed at Gunter AFS (Montgomery, Al.), there and Maxwell AFB, at night in 1983, I would take several classes to get my BS degree.  Night school being what it was I was tired from the day and then go to class was "not really good".  
I took a music appreciation class from Dr. Jane Sentell whom taught me how to listen to music, especially classical and more over baroque. Dr. Sentell blog page will be added to this blog soon, you can read about her yourself. Her passion of music instilled in my heart a overwhelming desire to captivate the human essence in the art of music.  See she was a musician herself and her love for baroque music lead me to understand her passion so easily, I assume it rolled over into my own heart and mind. Then in 1983, almost 30 years ago, I remember well why I was so attracted to classical music. She taught us DO NOT LISTEN to classical (regardless as to what type or genre), or any music for that fact as "one piece" but in your mind SEPARATE the instruments and differentiate what each instrument is saying to the other.  It changed my world, including yes the dreaded OPERA, that most of you love to hate.
This website perhaps will enlighten you to enjoy OPERA and classical music a little more than you do and if you like a certain type of music on this sight it is purchasable.

This website will not be a boring site but one to help you find music and to enjoy music. It will show you if you are musicologist already as to what to do in certain cases (in which you can't find a certain piece of music).  Even if you are a professional musicologist, this site may still offer you a remedy to find a piece you've been looking for a long time.  Let's start:  I married in 1984, money was tight but my wife allowed me to buy cassettes (cd's were just being discovered), and the cassettes that I bought were the "same old" pieces that everyone has in their collection.  I would listen to pieces on the radio (and the radio sometimes would have "static" and it would "drive me crazy" to not be able to listen to it in its entirety).  We moved to Orlando Florida in 1986, upon getting out of the Air Force and I worked for Disney for about 6 months and then for a major RW (refrigeration wholesaler).  While at these places I ran into so many different nationalities,  each one "loving" their own type of music. I can recall understanding more and more about different genre and music types during the 3 years that we lived there than any other time in my life. We met so many different friends and were introduced to so many different types of music including but not limited to: Greek, Polish, Italian, American, Iranian, Chinese, Japanese, (at Epcot there were a host of different music to listen to); living in Orlando and going to Disney and the other major theme parks there was always music ALL THE TIME.  My point is, I took my "musical life lessons" learned in Orlando and applied them to what Dr. Sentell taught me a few year prior to this point.  We would attend the Florida Symphony Orchestra for that 1986 to 1989 year span and be overwhelmed with the different music that one could get exposed to in a lifetime.  What better place in the world than going to ORLANDO FLORIDA to get a lesson in musicology.  During this time I collected some cassettes here and there and my collection was not that impressive but included some 50 plus cassettes. When my son was born in 1989, we decided to move back to Montgomery Alabama. There too, is a great place to catch a few major lessons in music. 
EVERYONE in this world (I do not care who they are, loves a certain type of music), it is instilled in us from the time we are born to the time we die.  It is part of our rhythmic and biological clock, that from the time we first hear our mother's heartbeat while laying on their chest just "cuddling", to the symphony of sounds that are gathered daily in our world. Look around, it's all around, the trees sway back and forth to a song of the wind and birds singing, the Maestro in the clouds allows this to happen daily because God does know that we have to have music (one way or the other to survive).  I have studied music (as you will continue to read on in this blog) from the earliest forms of music (some 35,000 years ago to what we have current). It amazes me to know that people get uneasy when they don't have music on around them, even in the car/truck they drive or in the homes they live in.  Sorry, got on a rant, I will do that from time to time. In 1990 only a year moving back to Montgomery, I got involved heavily with Black gospel music and other types of classical music. I became a season ticket holder for Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and Fellowship Series. Any music that came into Montgomery I went to. My son late 1993 (then, he was only 4 almost five) went to his first classical music event. The Tokyo String Quartet (approached he and afterwards and commented) that they had never seen a child sit through something like that so quietly. He does not care for classical now but then he seemed to love it. 
In 1994, I got involved in Afro-American music. OK here is the rub, I had taken music appreciation classes and had audited some as well (because I had friends that were instructors that taught it at Alabama State, AUM, Troy State Montgomery) and would sit in from time to time as a refresher. Hardly in any of those classes was an exclusive class being taught on Afro-American composers and OR Black composers.  I looked in my collection and I had NO BLACK COMPOSERS. 

This really bothered me and I started one of many quest that would change my life forever.  As a musicologist (whether you have a degree it music or not), the study within itself is so gratifying that you will learn other life lessons along the way. Having no black composers in my 1994 collection of almost 600 cds, made me realize that someone had not taught me all there was to know about music or "had" and there was a hidden meaning behind not being taught fully about these composers.  Perhaps themselves didn't know about black composers. My search lead to Alabama State University to which Dr. Pamela Burns, lead me to Stephen L. Hayes, artistic director, conductor, choir director for Tuskegee University.  Stephen and I became friends very quickly because he could tell I was not black, what was this "white" guy trying to find out about black composers ? It became evident when he saw that I wanted very badly to find out about these composers, whom up until this time only consisted of William Grant Still and William Dawson.  I arrived there on campus of Tuskegee University that ceremony day of William Dawson's birthday and went on into the chapel where the event was held. There under the direction of Stephen L. Hayes he directed the choir to sing "There is a Balm in Gilead". 
If God was ever present at an event He was there this day. I thought that the angels in heaven had come to earth. Clear and acclimated voices that one only dreams about hearing and then being able to hear it. Absolutely unbelievable to hear such beauty.
After a graveside ceremony behind the chapel standing by the final laying places of William Dawson and his wife, it was time for me to go to class.  Stephen asked me why do you want this so bad ? I don't know, I think it's because if I am on a quest to learn music and different types of it, I should be taught EVERYTHING including what some professors don't deem necessary or important. TO ME black / Afro-American composers are just as important as any other nationality. So without question Stephen Hayes believed my gut wrenching truth then he told me this very PROFOUND statement "to know where we are going in music (as black people) you have to know where we've been".  WOW. Oh my God, what a slap in the head for reality. Stephen said go across the street to the home of Booker T. Washington (tour it) then to the Cultural Arts Museum and tour there before you come back here for your music lesson.  Stephen Hayes and I became lifelong friends that day, I still talk to him from time to time still learning everything I can about the art of black music that I was taught that day. OH WHAT'S RIGHT ? Negro spirituals, black music, "black" composers, how to say that right without offending anyone ? The answer is simple. Stephen taught me that day, black people in general WILL NEVER GET UPSET with you promoting and respecting their lives in calling genre negro spirituals or black composers as to what other people may call it that don't have a clue. YOU ARE talking up their lives.  DO IT WITH RESPECT !!!With this I became more aware of my Afro-American friends and their lives, have sang in several black churches and IF I miss a Family and Friends day at Saint Stephens Church in Gordon, Alabama and not sing, my name is mud !!!!!  We went on to do a show about black composers and their music in Feb. of 1995 for WTSU 89.9 in Troy Alabama in which I understand was rebroadcasted by popular demand for a couple of years after we aired that show.

Stephen L. Hayes is a Music Educator, Conductor and Expert, his achivements include Assistant Professor and Director of Music at Wiley College in Marshal Texas the home of "The Great Debaters".   His prior teaching professions include:  Charles A. Tindley Academy of Music (San Franscisco, CA), LeMoyne-Owen Collge and Tuskegee University.  For 25 years he has been:  Conductor and Performances: 52nd Inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton (US Capitol), Carnegie Hall, JFKennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House (East Room), Madison Square Garden, The National Prayer Breakfast, Music Hall (Cincinnati, OH), Capital (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Beacon Hill), Arkansas State Capital, Presidential Inaugural Gala (Capital Center, MD), Yale University, Mt. Holyoke College
Awards: American Negro Spiritual Festival (2-Time Winner) and Vocal Extravaganza In Black (Las Vegas, NV)

I've been asked to post my autographs. Mind you there are about 30 plus more.... here are about 260

Peter Feranec – conductor of Bolshoi after Lazarev
John Williams – composer and conductor
Basil Poledouris – composer and conductor
Art Reynolds – composer
Rachel Varga – violinist
Emi Ohi Resnick – violinist
Mosie Lister – composer of Christian Music
Glenn Bostick – singer w/ John Paul Walters
John Paul Walters – singer, composer
Alexander Simionescu – violinist
Phillipe Entremont – pianist, composer, conductor
Claudio Abbado - conductor, artist and composer
Ricardo Abbado - conductor, artist and composer (nephew of Claudio)
Tokyo String Quartet – all violinist
Alexander Lazarev – conductor for Bolshoi Symphony
Kurt Masur – conductor
Leonard Slatkin – conductor
Kathleen Battle – opera singer
Janos Starker – violinist
Miami String Quartet – all violinist
American Chamber Players – all violinist
American String Quartet – all violinist
Ying Quartet – All 4
Reiko Uchida – pianist
Peter Mark – operatic singer, composer and conductor VSO
Joann Falletta – conductor, composer
Karl Haas – pianist, conductor, composer, radio host AIGM
Pierre-Laurent Aimord – pianist
Camp Kirkland – Christian composer, conductor, singer, pianist
Squire Parsons – Christian composer
Russell Mauldin – Christian composer
Mikhail Petukhov – pianist
Ray Walker – singer with the Jordanaires
Dwane – autograph on cd
Christopher Timothy – actor (All Creatures Great & Small)
Larnell Harris – Christian Singer & composer
Don Russell – Pianist met on cruise ship (Holiday)
Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio – all 3
Albert Wolff – Vocal and composition
Art Hague – composer “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Carl Stalling – cartoon music
Yo Yo Ma – cellist and composer
Ramon Vargas – Opera singer (tenor)
Martin O’donnell – Halo 1,2 & 3 composer
Jeremy Soule - composer of Oblivion Elder Scrolls
Stanton Lanier – pianist and composer (Christian)
Mike Hughes Chamberlin – orchestra composer (Floating By)
Zubin Metna – Conductor and composer
Dariusz Skoraczewski – cellist (fellow of MSO)
Heidi Williams – pianist accomp Dariusz
Rachel Portman – composer
BruceBroughton – composer
Elmer Bernstien – composer and conductor
Jennifer Larmore – Opera Singer
Gregory Vajada – conductor and composer
Ben Zander – conductor and composer
George Skaroulis – pianist and composer
Steve Haun – pianist and composer
Tim Heintz - pianist and composer
Richard Pearson Thomas - Murals in Dothan composer
Jamie Eubanks - blues composer and artist
John Masenu - organist, Callaway Gardens
Mei Ann Chen - composer and conductor of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Hayes - composer, artist, teacher, Afro-American Music
Thomas Hinds - conductor and artist for Montgomery Symphony
Eric Whitacre - composer, vocal and artist
Gerald Wolfe - composer, artist of Gospel Music
Jeanne Shaffer - composer, artist, great friend of women composer music
Mike Whetsel - composer, artist, vocal of Gospel Music
Kyle Underwood - composer, artist, vocal of Gospel Music
Richard and Robert Sherman - disney composers and artist
Guarneri Quartet - all four
The Lark Quartet - all four
Will Wiley - artist and composer
Tim Laughlin - male vocalist, composer, artist
Gaither Vocal Band -
James Glass - professor, pianist and composer
Michael Shinn - composer, artist and teacher
Marian McKay - female vocalist
Skillet - all members
Celtic Women - Chole and Lisa
Jennifer Lamore - opera soprano
ASO conductor - Cinderella opera
Tenor - Cinderella opera
Dawn Upshaw - soprano
Harold Rohlig - organist, composer and professor
Thomas Britton - writter, composer and artist
Jane Sentell - Music Appreciation Professor
Pepper Choplin - composer, artist, church leader
George Gershwin - composer, artist
Gearld Wirth - conductor of the Vienna Boys Choir and several members
Andrew Lloyd Weber - composer, artist.
Danny Elfman - composer, artist
Greater Vision - all three including Gerald Wolfe
** Victor Herbert - composer, artist, master of many things (most expensive autograph)
James Horner - composer, artist
Mosie Lister - full autograph studio
Leslie Caron - actress (of movie my fav Lili)
 Lukas Karytinos (conductor), Dimitra Theodossiou (Norma), Dimitris Kavrakos (Oroveso), Angelo Simos (Pollione), Nikos Stefanou (Flavio) (all from the National Opera of Greece) June 12th 2010
Charles Édouard Dutoit - conductor for the  Philadelphia Orchestra
Paul Groves - my favorite tenor. (his autograph the night I heard the Phil Orchestra)
SAKIS TOLIAS - GREEK COMPOSER (I hope to meet in Dec 2011 when I go back)
Helen Bruner & Terry Jones - GRAMMY NOMINEES (I met in Philadelphia @ Phil Intl Records)
Mikos Theodorakis - Greek COMPOSER
Gene Montgomery - organist
Christopher Confessore - Alabama Symphony Orchestra
Robert Merrill - (1917 - 2004) American Opera Singer
Richard Shermann - by himself autograph
Xavier Quijas Yxayotl - Myan and Aztec music

My friend "Music"

by Scott Gamble on Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 1:28pm ·

It speaks but does not listen, it's comforting and not over bearing, it moves the soul and sometimes plucks your heart to do spontaneous things. At the impluse of a fraction of a second, a mind could be changed or decision could be altered. Meet my friend Music, first name Classical. For an estimated 35,000 years ago, (evidence of the first bone flute found in Germany), it has been around. I heard once from musicologist gathered around speaking that in the 12 tonal note system, if with the sharps and flats that combine with A through G, that there are a billion times a billion combinations of music, enough songs to last 675 million years, that is a lot of music. I'll be back to talk up some more music.

>> GERMAN RESEARCHERS have discovered what is believed to be the world’s oldest musical instrument – a 35,000-year-old primitive flute fashioned from a vulture’s wing-bone.

Some 20cm long with five finger holes, the instrument was found in the same cavern in southwestern Germany where archaeologists found a 35,000-year-old Venus figurine, believed to be the oldest sculpture of the human form.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that music was part of day-to-day life,” said Prof Nicholas Conard, the archaeologist who led the dig team from Tübingen University.

“Music was used in many kinds of social contexts: perhaps religious, possibly recreational, much like how we use music today in different settings.”

Three other flutes were found in the dig, made from mammoth ivory. “It’s really quite a surprise that these flutes were not just made from bird bones, which are hollow and ideal for making flutes, but also from mammoth ivory, a material that’s very hard to work,” he said.

The instruments are not just proof of the age of man’s musical legacy, he said, but an indication that, even 35,000 years ago, our forefathers had leisure time for hand crafts. Humans of the time were no longer merely hunters and gatherers, but artists too.

No one has tried to play the ancient flute – archaeologists assume the player blew through two V-shaped incisions in one end – but Conard said on German radio yesterday that a curious colleague had made a replica from vulture bone. “It sounded awful, really awful,” he said.

Presenting their findings in the journal Nature, the Tübingen team suggested this early emergence of art could be a clue as to why early modern humans survived while the Neanderthals eventually died out.

“Music may have contributed to the maintenance of larger social networks,” the researchers said.

“This perhaps helped facilitate the demographic and territorial expansion of modern humans relative to a culturally more conservative and demographically more isolated Neanderthal populations.”

There is little dispute that the instruments found by Conard are the world’s oldest, a title held until now by a group of 22 flutes found in the French Pyrenees and estimated to be 30,000 years old.

The flutes were found in a cave near Ulm in Germany’s Swabia region, where Conard’s team have found dozens of priceless artifacts. Conard said it was “plausible” that the flutes were carved by the same people as the recently presented “Venus” figurine.

>> At least 35,000 years ago, in the depths of the last ice age, the sound of music filled a cave in what is now southwestern Germany, the same place and time early Homo sapiens were also carving the oldest known examples of figurative art in the world.

IDEAS & TRENDS: Pondering Prehistoric Melodies (June 28, 2009)
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H. Jensen/University of Tübingen
Scientists say that this bone flute, found at Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany, is at least 35,000 years old.
Music and sculpture — expressions of artistic creativity, it seems — were emerging in tandem among some of the first modern humans when they began spreading through Europe or soon thereafter.

Archaeologists Wednesday reported the discovery last fall of a bone flute and two fragments of ivory flutes that they said represented the earliest known flowering of music-making in Stone Age culture. They said the bone flute with five finger holes, found at Hohle Fels Cave in the hills west of Ulm, was “by far the most complete of the musical instruments so far recovered from the caves” in a region where pieces of other flutes have been turning up in recent years.

A three-hole flute carved from mammoth ivory was uncovered a few years ago at another cave, as well as two flutes made from the wing bones of a mute swan. In the same cave, archaeologists also found beautiful carvings of animals.

But until now the artifacts appeared to be too rare and were not dated precisely enough to support wider interpretations of the early rise of music. The earliest solid evidence of musical instruments previously came from France and Austria, but dated much more recently than 30,000 years ago.

In an article published online by the journal Nature, Nicholas J. Conard of the University of Tübingen, in Germany, and colleagues wrote, “These finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe.”

Although radiocarbon dates earlier than 30,000 years ago can be imprecise, samples from the bones and associated material were tested independently by two laboratories, in England and Germany, using different methods. Scientists said the data agreed on ages of at least 35,000 years.

Dr. Conard, a professor of archaeology, said in an e-mail message from Germany that “the new flutes must be very close to 40,000 calendar years old and certainly date to the initial settlement of the region.”

Dr. Conard’s team said an abundance of stone and ivory artifacts, flint-knapping debris and bones of hunted animals had been found in the sediments with the flutes. Many people appeared to have lived and worked there soon after their arrival in Europe, assumed to be around 40,000 years ago and 10,000 years before the native Neanderthals became extinct.

The Neanderthals, close human relatives, apparently left no firm evidence of having been musical.

The most significant of the new artifacts, the archaeologists said, was a flute made from a hollow bone from a griffon vulture; griffon skeletons are often found in these caves. The preserved portion is about 8.5 inches long and includes the end of the instrument into which the musician blew. The maker carved two deep, V-shaped notches there, and four fine lines near the finger holes. The other end appears to have been broken off; judging by the typical length of these bird bones, two or three inches are missing.

Dr. Conard’s discovery in 2004 of the seven-inch three-hole ivory flute at the Geissenklösterle cave, also near Ulm, inspired him to widen his search of caves, saying at the time that southern Germany “may have been one of the places where human culture originated.”

Friedrich Seeberger, a German specialist in ancient music, reproduced the ivory flute in wood. Experimenting with the replica, he found that the ancient flute produced a range of notes comparable in many ways to modern flutes. “The tones are quite harmonic,” he said.

A replica has yet to be made of the recent discovery, but the archaeologists said they expected the five-hole flute with its larger diameter to “provide a comparable, or perhaps greater, range of notes and musical possibilities.”

This week, Dr. Conard began a new season of exploration at Hohle Fels Cave. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said by e-mail. “I never have expectations. One never finds what one is looking for, but one normally finds something interesting.”

Archaeologists and other scholars can only speculate as to what moved these early Europeans to make music.

It so happens that the Hohle Fels flute was uncovered in sediments a few feet away from the carved figurine of a busty, nude woman, also around 35,000 years old, noted Dr. Conard and his co-authors, Susanne C. Münzel of Tübingen and Maria Malina of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. That discovery was announced in May by Dr. Conard.

Was this evidence of happy hours after the hunt? Fertility rites or social bonding? The German archaeologists suggested that music in the Stone Age “could have contributed to the maintenance of larger social networks, and thereby perhaps have helped facilitate the demographic and territorial expansion of modern humans.”