Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 39 - "That is How You Get to Sesame Street"

The original Sesame Street song is filled with the plaintive cries of children begging for directions to Sesame Street.  This call has never been unanswered . . . until now!  "That is How You Get to Sesame Street" is the missing half of the song that gives directions to weary travelers that have spent the last 40 years searching in vain for Sesame Street.

JFK is the airport you fly into.
Hailing a cab is the next thing you want to do.
And you tell the cabbie to take you to the Port Authority in Manhattan.

Then you buy a Metro Card in the booth at the station,
So you can ride several forms of public transportation.
Then you take a subway train or a bus to the Upper West Side.

Ride until you reach a street that's called Sesame.
Walk until the apartment building 1 - 2 - 3
and that is how you get, how you get to Sesame Street.
That's how you get to Sesame

Friday, September 21, 2012

Week 38 - "Happy Birthday for Amateurs"

Jeff Yunek and I were talking today and we decided that most performances of "Happy Birthday to You" are just dreadful. To remedy this, we have adapted the song in order to make it more accessible to amateur performers. Some of the changes we made include discarding 3/4 time in favor of the more familiar 4/4, beginning on scale degree 1 instead of 5, and eliminating all large melodic leaps. You may access the musical score

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Jeff.
Happy birthday to you.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Patrick.
Happy birthday to you.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Tiffany.
Happy birthday to you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 37 - "Commander Data (Cool, Clean, Sentient Machine)"

This song is a tribute to Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek:The Next Generation.  The instrumental track was made entirely by layering different sounds from my RD-600 keyboard, as opposed to last week's "Ode to Spot," which was entirely notated on Finale on the computer and played through the XV-5080 sound module.

It's true that I've met quite a few mellow guys.
But I've never met one with yellow eyes.
He's really strong and he can run very fast
But teaching him to whistle is a difficult task.

Commander Data.
He's a cool, clean, sentient machine
Making calculations like you ain't never seen.
You'll not see a sleeker robot
So intellectually keen.

He cannot say contractions no matter how hard he tries.
He sometimes seems naive although he is very wise.
The things he says will make you ask if he's sane.
But I bet you can't out-think his positronic brain.

With human feelings he can be such a dip
Unless he activates his emotion chip.
With stand-up humor, didn't make it too far,
But at least he made it with Tasha Yar.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Week 36 - "Ode to Spot"

The text of this song is from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Schisms" in which Data recites the poem "Ode to Spot," in honor of his pet cat.  I have also incorporated video clips from the show.  This is my most complex attempt at syncing audio with video clips thus far in the Year of Song project.

The instrumental track was entirely notated on Finale on the computer and played through the XV-5080 sound module.  I used Audacity to align the audio clips from the Star Trek episode with the Xv-5080 audio playback.

This song was played on the Dr. Demento Show on September 15, 2012.

Data: Poets have composed odes to individuals who have had a profound effect upon their lives.  In keeping with that tradition, I have written my next poem in honor of my cat.  I call it, "Ode to Spot."

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses, yeah.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection, yeah.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

Data: Commander, you have anticipated my denouement.  However, the sentiment is appreciated.  I will continue.

O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

O spot, you're a true and valued friend.