Barb’s Music Blog

Archive for the 'Berkleemusic' Category

Now on Sound Cloud

Just a note to let you know that I now have a Sound Cloud account. The URL is

Check out “Maybe This Time” and “Ojala Esta Vez” (same song, Spanish lyrics). This was a co-write of a 6/8 pop/rock song with a classical touch that I did with Alex Heinrich (Brazil) and Lauren Gonzalez (Austria). I haven’t had a chance to post it to my website yet, but you can listen to it on Sound Cloud.

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Touch of Class

Here’s a classical-type piece I wrote for string quartet, flute and harp.  Enjoy!

icon for podpress  Touch of Class: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Over Here (Am I Invisible?)

Here’s a song I wrote for lesson 1 of Songwriting for Film and TV.  I’m sick following an exposure to fragrance so was unable to record the vocal; hence the piano melody.


Over here, can’t you see that I need help?
Over here, I can’t make it by myself.
Lift your head up, look around with open eyes;
Stop your talking long enough to hear my cries.

Time is racing through the glass,
Running out and I can’t last.
Am I invisible?

Over here, ev’ry breath is coming hard.
Over here, veins are full of icy shards.
Ev’ry second finds me sinking farther down;
Someone help me get my feet back on the ground.

Am I invisible… invisible?

This song is dedicated to all those suffering from mental illness.

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Composing Music for Film & TV

I am delighted to report that I successfully completed Composing Music for Film and TV–another course taught by Ben Newhouse at Berklee.  As expected, the course was a great deal of work–and worth every minute and penny spent on it.

Each week we studied a different kind of cue–romantic, action, adventure, and so forth–looking at portions of actual Hollywood scores and examining them from the standpoint of harmony, melody, tempo and rhythm, and orchestration.  Then we were given a cut scene from a commercial movie (Iron Man, Sense & Sensibility, Lady in the Water, etc.)  that called for the type of cue we’d studied that week.  Our assignment was to score and sequence the cue.  As you know from previous posts, this was a real challenge for me–but I did it!

Check the player on the right side of the screen to listen to the cues I wrote and orchestrated.  You can also listen to my 3-minute demo reel from the link in this post.  I’d love to hear what you think of these cues.  (I’ve got two more that need further work; when they are ready, I’ll add them to the player.)

Now…one final class to get my Master Orchestration for Film and TV certificate from Berklee.  I can hardly believe I’m nearly finished!

icon for podpress  Demo Reel 1 (3 min.): Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


She’s Beautiful – Vocal Version

Since I still don’t have my singing voice back, my brother Harvey sang the vocal part for me.  (Thanks, Harv!)

Both the vocal and instrumental versions are available.  I updated the instrumental mix today.

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Aliah says “Grandma”

Well, it finally happened yesterday–quite unexpectedly.  Aliah came to me, wanting to be picked up…and said “Grandma”.  What a huge moment! The day before, she said “Grandpa”.  All in all, it was a visit of note.

Aliah was enthralled with John’s cat, which she calls “Me oo”.  I love the way she separates those syllables so distinctly.  Unfortunately, “Me oo” was not as enthalled with Aliah, although she stayed close enough for Aliah to see her.  I’ve never heard Aliah “talk” so much all at once before.  Apparently there were a number of things she wanted the cat to know.

P.S. I got an A on my final project and course–but that was almost anticlimactic after “Grandma”.

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She’s Beautiful (Final Project)

I just uploaded my final project for Arranging: Contemporary Styles tonight and feel like celebrating.  That’s course #6, so I’ve only got two more to go for my Masters certificate in Orchestrating for Film and TV.

This was a really great course.  I was worried about whether I was going to be able to do it or not, but it was well-written and presented logically, with each lesson building on those that came before.  In the end, it just came down to perseverance–and a whole lot of time.  Apparently there are benefits to being stubborn and persistent!  I surprised myself tonight when I suddenly realized I hardly even feel “groove-challenged” anymore.

Our final assignment was to create a “fusion” piece.  In other words, an arrangement that has more than one style influence.  I elected to write an original piece with bossa nova/rock/afro influences.  It’s actually a tribute to my mother (despite the genre).

I still don’t have my singing voice back since I got so sick from a reaction to fragrance the beginning of June, so I did this as an instrumental.  Lyrics are below.

icon for podpress  She's Beautiful: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


She’s beautiful with her gentle ways
Never mind the lines upon her face
Look at her… although her eyes are dim
Love and laughter shine from within
She’s beautiful, ‘though her back is bent
So beautiful, she must be heaven-sent
To share with those in need
And show what kindness means
She’s beautiful

Bridge 1:
People stop and talk to her
Because they know she cares
When they hurt, she finds the words to say
Then she lifts them to the Lord in pray’r

(Repeat chorus)

Bridge 2:
Nature is a living book, she’s read ev’ry page
Calls each tree and flow’r by its name
Ev’ry spring she waits for birds to fly from southern skies
And I swear her feathered friends show off to make her smile

(Repeat chorus)

So beautiful
In ev’ry single way that counts
She’s beautiful

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Hip Hop Jazz

Wow.  There’s a post title I bet you didn’t expect to see from me!

This is what I did for my assignment in lesson 11 of my Arranging: Contemporary Styles course.  I can’t say that I expect to do much more of this, but–like funk–the groove is really quite fascinating and catchy.  Perhaps I’ll just use those elements I think are cool and apply them in my own way to my own material.  Time will tell!

In the meantime, here’s some lounge-type club music.  (Better turn your volume down a bit!)

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First Soul

I’ve completed just over half of Arranging: Contemporary Styles…and feel like celebrating a bit.

Here’s my first attempt at “soul” music.  I went in the ditch a number of times as I tried to get this genre to fit me.  I think I’ve succeeded (but my instructor may not think so!)

Anyway, here’s a little music from my soul to yours.  Relax and groove at the same time!

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Gettin’ Around

Believe it or not, I survived Arranging 1: Rhythm Section.  I expect I’ll likely always be rhythm- and groove-challenged.  Nevertheless, I learned a lot in this course and feel there’s actually hope for me!

I’ve posted my final project, “Gettin’ Around” (both in this post and in the player). If you get a few minutes, put your feet up and enjoy the music.  This is done completely with samples, so I hope I don’t offend anyone’s ears.  Also, if you happen to know of a group that does this kind of music, please let me know.  I’d love to get it recorded live.

I’m taking the summer term off and will take my next course in September. There’s golf to be played and a granddaughter to hang out with, after all!

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