Gone but still moving, Ennio Morricone, epic music composer of many great films

Rest in Peace, Ennio Morricone, legendary Italian music composer, conductor, and much more. He passed away today at age 91, from medical complications stemming from a bad fall in Rome.

Ennio Morricone scored more than 500 films, most notably of his epic musical numbers of some great films including Cinema Paradiso, The Thing, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, and Sergio Leone’s Dollars spaghetti western trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. His work adds dignity and beauty, enhancing each film with his work.

My favorite musical work of his shall always a top best film that I have watched many times, Once Upon a Time in the West, starring Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson. This work combining a range of emotional vocals, smooth orchestrals, and some practical sound effects, enhances the film so much, and often finding myself humming the tunes. I feel his combinations at its best here (also because I really love this film).

Here’s the best of that work, below. Enjoy, and keep the adventurous, wild spirit of his work moving along in your head.

Working, listening, thinking to some chill, lo-fi rhythms

I work at home during this strange pandemic now.

That includes some freelance projects for clients, mostly involved with digital media management. That routine can be stressful sometimes. The work I do takes a lot of focus and dedication to nor waste time getting stuck or distracted. So, I put on my headphones to block the outside world. Then, I have the Youtube, Spotify, Soundcloud, with the seemingly infinite plethora of musical access possibilities of the Internet.

Then, I have a mode that demands more focus and relaxation, to progress further through a mind that needs proper, encouraging flow. I feed that with some good music, and daily goals will be met. So many discoveries I look to now, some eventually bookmarked, favorited, playlisted, and noted.

With that in mind, I find a lot of chill beats more on YouTube now. Many are described as lo-fi, a term that I think will grow further in this new decade of growing anxiety.

This one above has been the most popular, helping to start this new trend of relaxing mixes with looping pictures…

I also get recommendations from friends, or stumble upon them in live streams or suggested by algorithm. If you have some, feel free to add in the comments!

In the meantime, back to productivity!

Orion T

On a side note, i wrote an article for another site (strangerworlds.com) featuring more relaxing and loFi mixes and soundtracks to popular Nintendo games across all generations. Do give it a chance, or listen to this awesome Legend of Zelda series one that is a saved favorite of mine now. Enjoy!

What we leave behind…

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What we leave behind for others is some rhythm.

The beat goes on in our heads, those jams of good times and shared love. We keep going, with what keeps us alive and smiling among us. For me, it’s the simple joys of walking and finding remnants of good times people have. A Pride Parade happened over the weekend, of which I heard went well. I missed it, being busy with matters. But, I see the pictures and stories on social media. I felt some of the fun, and appreciate remembering what others shared (mostly whimsical, colorful outfits with some nonsensical cultural references). I smile at some moments, then moving on.

The picture is from last Sunday morning. I was in a hurry for a meeting, then stopped for a moment to observe what was left behind. A small Guitar Hero instrument, adorned with Pride-friendly stickers. Whether leaving this behind was intentional or not, the applier was happy for the moment shared in sticking. I stopped for a moment, and smiled back.

Then, I took a picture. Maybe sharing it will keep the happy rhythm going.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 7/7/2017, Music in the Park

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A small concert presentation in the park is a pleasant way to end the afternoon and move gently into the evening.

Such was today, passing through Freeway Park in downtown Seattle. The happening was a welcome surprise put on by the Seattle Chamber Music Society for their Summer Festival. The small event was free, before a gathering of locals relaxed in chairs and lawn spaces.

My ears appreciated and enjoyed the music. I hope to randomly find more when walking in the parks.

– Orion T

Wonderful Honkfest West 2017 happenings…

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The weekend in Seattle held plenty for those with little in time, especially moments with great band music.

For me, I spent a little time for the second day of HonkFest West, a three-day grassroots, non-profit musical festival run and produced by volunteers. Much of the big sounds are from street bands coming from a variety of locations and backgrounds, to perform along three days in local areas. All performance are free and open to the public. However, donations in monetary supp ort are highly encouraged.

I had a little time on Saturday, passing through Pioneer Square’s Occidental Square, where nearby folk can hear the music and cheers from around the block. Coming closer brought a special awe to ears, with large group performances involving all the best instruments of the big band sound. I mainly stuck around for two main featured bands.

One group being The M9 (the M is Minor), a local band using high-energy in its brass combinations to bring about “global fusion sounds of the rich Balkan Romani brass tradition form the core of a repertoire which excites, invigorates, and inspires curiosity about one of Europe’s most misunderstood minorities.” Here’s a sample:

The other being Love-Bomb Go-Go, a PNW band from Portland, Oregon, a retro-future intergalactic band group dressed in funky attire, using an awesome blend of brass and dance. They are on “a mission to mend, with music, the divisions of civilization; seeking universal equality and striving, even, to re-establish purposefulness for each and every life.” Here’s a sample:

After both bands, I was treated to another gathered performance of the M9 and some added performers for another amazing jam session.

I share some choice pics I took of the excitement, below. For more on Honkfest West, check out  www.honkfestwest.org.

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– Orion T

Of the 46th NW Folklife Festival, 2017

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This Memorial Day Weekend, I took a little time out to check out the 46th annual Northwest Folklife Festival. The event is a wonderful combination of music (mostly) and artists gathering for free (donations highly encouraged) performance for the thousands of visitors present.

All located in the Seattle Center by the world-famous Space Needle, there was something extra special added to the grand mix of delights. That, being a full weekend of warm weather, supported by the blue sky and the sunshine. After nearly half a year of wet, cold, and gloomy weather, such kindness felt deserved for the locals and an extra bonus for incoming tourists.

I meanwhile did not spend as much time as needed, being that I had many errands and some projects to work on. Still, there were some good hours I got at the NW Folklife, checking out a nice variety of international sounds. Here, are some highlights in pics (with some video links)…

3 Play Ricochet, ” bluegrass band.

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The”New Genesis Gospel Choir,” I think. I forgot to write this one down, but the schedule I believe matches the time I took the pic.

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The Debaucherauntes,” a Jewish fusion folk band

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“See Beeze,” sidewalk performance

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The “Bollywood Stars”

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Greg Youmans, of the “Not Quite Full Harmonic Orchestra” one-man band

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A picture from my cellphone, showing the great Space Needle, with some reggae band playing. Sadly, I could not stick around to enjoy the entire show.

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That’s all for this year’s 2017 Northwest Folklife Festival. The past years, I covered more time, but at least I discovered some new music with a nice international variety. This year will likely not be last, and I look forward to checking out new acts, and hopefully more pleasant weather.

-Orion T

Fantastic Times at the 2016 NW Folklife Festival

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I was at the annual Northwest Folklife Music Festival, again..

This, being my fourth time of attending this huge annual extravaganza of folk music and dancing, from all over the world. Since 1971, it’s brought a large array of arts, crafts, dancing, and sounds from multiple ethnic varieties to the Pacific Northwest, backed by donation and volunteer support. Held once again at the Seattle Center by the great Space Needle I attended Saturday and Sunday, with no energy left for the sunny Monday finale. Overall, some great times were had…

Here are some pics…

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The Freelance Reveleers, a ragtime blues group doin some sweet street performing..
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Tom Day Wait James with Dave Acker and the Growing Boys for some serious country folk jamming..

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This Balkan dance group (missed their names) showed some fantastic choreography, and among my favorites for this year

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More Eastern European dancing, from Saturday night.

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A mighty drum circle underneath the Rhythm Tent..

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A street performer (name was lost to me), with his awesome didgeridoo..

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Inside one of the many booths present selling eccentric home-crafted delights. The food selection was great too.

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Another shot of the good times, of which made up an overall great time for many..

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That’s all for now!

– Orion T

 

Honk! Fest West 2015 weekend fun at Gas Works Park..

   

After the Solstice Parade last Saturday (see last entry), I enjoyed some evening jams at Gasworks Park.

I give huge thanks to the 2015 Honk!Fest musical happening, featuring a variety of big band ensembles. All free, yet donor and volunteer backed.

Above pics are of the (EDIT: I learned the above band is actually  The Extraordinary Rendition Band from Providence, Rhode Island…oops.)

Below, are pics on the Junkadelic Brass Band from Perth Australia.. 

 

 

– Orion T

Weekend Pic Fun at the NW Folklife Festival 2015

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Good times!!

The 2015 Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival brought much joy to the many festive folk attending in Seattle, this Memorial Day weekend. Much of this was in thanks to the monetary support from the visitors, business donors and merchants. Further support was also in part to volunteers, who also made this wonderful event possible. For me, it was just relaxing and sampling of new and exotic musical and dance talents (while tipping many in appreciation). There was something for everyone here, I felt. And for that, I had to see what everyone had.

I took some pictures with notes, featured below..

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Near the International Fountain, there was a drum (mostly) circle. Beats combined created a nice fusion, mostly of a constant tribal pattern calling many to the center to shake and dance wildly.

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Many got their motions on, some with fantastic visual attire and style.

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There were some big stages, where some larger acts took place. I was drawn to the jazzy stuff. This is M9, a Romani-style brass band, from the local area. I enjoyed their music.

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One of my favorite things about the Folklife Festival are the surprise sidewalk performances. You just have to be at the right place, at the right time to discover and enjoy something new and exciting. For this year, it was a mix of some Celtic (not sure) and country ho-down fun. I meant to ask more info on this group. I hope to see them again someday.

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I noticed many sidewalk performers had their dogs with them, which I think added a lot of charm to the overall atmosphere.

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Another favorite sidewalk performance. I was hoping to get a name, but couldn’t hold out until the full act was over to ask. The steel drum (I think) produced a cool Caribbean beat when tapped, combined with the stepping of the speaker he sat on it. The effect was a hypnotic awesome rhythm.

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Some fantastic locking and popping happened here. Loved this, as these sick moves brought me back to my early years on the streets of San Francisco.

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Not sure what dancing this is. There was some fiddle music from the stage at this time, and the line moved all around.

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Not all was music. Some fun came from people finding their own ways to share the delight.

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Anthony Briscoe and his band Down North brought some serious fire to the Saturday Night, fuming with a combo of rock, R&B, and soul.

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I didn’t catch the name of the guest guitarist who Anthony brought on stage for one jam, but daaamn, he was good.

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More drums!

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More dancin!

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Festivals are not complete without some crazy food choices.

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Not that it ever really gets hot here in Seattle, but the trees make for great shade and atmosphere.

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Overall, a lot of cheer from many. I was happy to be a part of all this. Thanks again to the PNW Folklife Festival and all involved, for making this happen.

– Orion T

Pictures of Today 5/22/15, Living the Folklife..

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The Northwest Folklife Festival kicks off this Memorial Day weekend with groovy vibes and solid rhythms.

This Friday evening, I dropped by the ol Seattle Center park for this annual tradition. The festival is free to all and run as a non-profit event, since 1972. It’s made possible by donations big and small by many supporters. Here, you can listen to many folk beats from many musicians on stage, or just hanging out by a tree. Many ethnic variations involving different styles of dance, vocals, and instruments are proudly presented. Listeners are encouraged to groove, and perhaps dance with the soulful sounds.

I highly recommend attending for anyone looking to chill and enjoy some cool jams with other like-minded spirits. Though, I also encourage visitors to bring whatever loose change and dollars they happen to have. Though you will find company backed stage performances, there are also many more small acts in between, and throughout the park area. You may enjoy them, and smile; perhaps even dance and cheer to these wonderful performers mere footsteps away. If so, show some appreciation and drop them some of that cash down. Becoming part of that action is what keeps the NW Folklife Festival fun.

You may also visit the many food and merch stands scattered about. For more info on the Festival, visit nwfolklife.org.

I will be back tomorrow, and likely on some grass for much of the day, enjoying this Folklife. If you see me, come and say hello. I promise to return the favor. I might even buy you some roasted corn on the cob.

Meanwhile, here are a few other pics of today’s Folklife opening day…

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-Orion T