|  | 

Technology

VOA Connect 14 Full Show

VOA — CONNECT

Episode 14

[AIR DATE: 04 20 2018]

[FINAL TRANSCRIPT]

OPEN ((VO/NAT))

((Banner))

Music Therapy

((SOT))

I just want to make sure that what I am good at in this world can be used for somebody’s stress relief.

((Animation Transition))

((Banner))

A Musician’s Life

((SOT))

I think country music has always reflected the views and the

desires of working Americans.

((Animation Transition))

((Banner))

Musical Improv

((SOT))

The last 20 years, I’ve been inventing instruments, close to a hundred instruments, some of which work a lot better than others.

((Open Animation))

BLOCK A

((Banner: Musical Connections))

((PKG)) SONIC BLOSSOM

((Banner: A Gift Between Strangers))

((Reporter/Camera: Gabrielle Weiss))

((Map: Washington D.C.))

((Courtesy: National Portrait Gallery, Sonic Blossom Performance))

((Lee Mingwei, Artist and Creator of Sonic Blossom))

My mother would play (Franz) Schubert’s lieder (songs) for me when I was running around the garden to quiet me down, but she’d play it in a very soft volume. So I would say, please turn up the volume for me, I couldn’t hear Schubert singing. And she just said, Well, honey, you just need to be very quiet and sit down and you can listen and hear Schubert singing. So that was a very beautiful moment of me spending with my parents and my siblings hot summer nights in Taiwan.

((Singing))

((Lee Mingwei, Artist and Creator of Sonic Blossom))

So when I was taking care of her when she was ill, I played the same Schubert’s lieder for her, for the next three weeks we were in the hospital together, and that was the idea, using Schubert’s song as a gift between strangers, instead of between people we know. ((Singing))

((Lee Mingwei, Artist and Creator of Sonic Blossom))

When Sonic Blossom is on, the singer will be wearing a costume which is made by those two pieces of obi. So, the singer walks very stately and slowly through the gallery to make his or her encounter. But when she selected the person she might say, may I give you a gift of song and then invite this person back to the chair, turn around and just sing one of the five Schubert lied that she chooses.

((Singing))

((Lee Mingwei, Artist and Creator of Sonic Blossom))

Before the show opens, I will come back for two or three days to work with the selected singers for this project. Although I am the originator of the idea, but I don’t have the talent to carry it out. So, you’re all the demigods who will help me to bring the gift from Schubert to this world. It’s really quite amazing, in a way, Schubert is collaborating with us.

((Singer))

This idea that we are this living breathing..

((Lee Mingwei))

..Yeah, you are.

((Singer))

..piece of art. It’s a new mentality for me.

((Lee Mingwei, Artist and Creator of Sonic Blossom))

..Most of the people thought that you were miked or it’s lip- syncing or something. No, you’re not. You’re just doing it live and it’s an incredible gift for most of us really.

((Singing))

It is my task to help them get ready for this work because it’s unusual. So, I would say to them the first time you do Sonic Blossom, it’s the most difficult. It gets easier and easier. So, do not give up. You see how you yourself become a part of the work. So, the tension lies between the singer and the receiver.

((Singer))

Please come with me. Thank you.

((Greta Mosher, Visitor, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery))

I was just invited to hear this song by this beautiful opera singer.

((Singing))

((Greta Mosher, Visitor, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery))

There was so much tension in the way she looked at me and then my responses to her. But, what she had coming, what she, you could see by her face, what she was going to bring to the table and it was gorgeous.

((Lee Mingwei, Artist and Creator of Sonic Blossom))

Originally, I thought the singer is giving a gift to the receiver.

((Singing))

((Lee Mingwei, Artist and Creator of Sonic Blossom))

However very quickly I realized, the gift is returning back to the singer at that very moment when she or he sang the song.

((Singing))

((PKG)) STREET MUSICIAN

((Banner: Rock Together))

((Reporter/Camera: Daniel Brown))

((Map: United States / New York / New York City))

((NATS))

((Matt Vorzimer, Musician, The eCussionist))

My name is Matt Vorzimer, otherwise known as eCussionist – a hybrid, live drum jockey.

I went to school for music at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Jazz is the foundation for me. It’s also such a rich American music cultural heritage. It was one of my first musical loves. My dad put me onto jazz when I was a young man and it’s just taught me so much about life. I had really fantastic mentors growing up and they mean a lot to me and they taught me a lot, pretty much everything I know about being a professional.

I guess what I’m known for in New York City and then the rest of the world found out was these pop-up parties that I was doing in the subway.

((NATS))

A pop-up party is a judgment free place where people can get together under one roof and rock together.

((NATS))

Generally, how I play at the pop-up parties is just a reflection of my music taste. It’s open format, whatever I feel like needs to move the people, so I try and be prepared, different BPM’s (beats per minute) require different feelings. I like to play tropical feels, feel good house, Jersey club, future vibes, throwback classic and everything in-between.

((NATS))

Music therapy is kind of something that I do at my pop-up parties, but I don’t consider myself a music therapist outside of somebody who he himself is trying to seek therapy for, you know, his struggles and his stresses. I find myself in the same place with everybody else. I just want to connect. I just want to make sure that what it is that I am good at in this world can be used for somebody’s stress relief, and in that sense, there is musical therapy that goes on. I will say for somebody who is trying to achieve their dream is find your people, you know.

((NATS))

TEASE ((VO/NAT))

Coming up.

((Banner))

Prison Song

((SOT))

This class has changed me. I can say it changed my life.

BREAK ONE

BUMP IN ((ANIM))

BLOCK B

((Banner: Improvisation))

((PKG)) EARTH HARP

((Banner: Earthly Sounds))

((Reporter/Camera: Mike O’Sullivan))

((Adapted by: Bronwyn Benito))

((Map: United States / California / Malibu))

((NATS))

((William Close, Earth Harpist))

The original Earth Harp, in a way, was almost an environmental piece.

((NATS))

The first time I created it, I set it up on one side of a canyon, to put the chambers, and ran the strings to the other side. The idea was, let’s turn the earth into an instrument.

((NATS))

((Courtesy: William Close))

I’ve strung it to the top of skyscrapers, Grand Theatre in Shanghai. I think it’s really emotional for people. I mean, it’s a string sound, but it’s also just encompassing. People love it.

It’s almost like having a string section at your fingertips. It’s very symphonic sounding, but there are more high-end harmonics in it I find, so it’s different than a violin or a cello. It’s got a unique quality to it.

((NATS))

The last 20 years, I’ve been inventing instruments, close to a hundred instruments, some of which work a lot better than others.

The reason it’s sort of the first of its kind is because the technology had to exist in order to make strings that are literally hundreds of feet long.

((NATS))

This uses what’s called a longitudinal vibration, or a compression wave is another version of it. Basically, if you can imagine a slinky, a very long one, and you were to push that slinky out and pull it back, you’d see a wave that would go through the slinky, and that’s what’s happening with these strings.

((William Close, Earth Harpist))

I’m activating the molecules of the material. It’s different from a plucked string or a bowed string. It’s kind of like running your finger around the edge of a wine glass.

((NATS))

Here in the studios, the strings are going from the bridge behind me, and they’re travelling out an opening in the architecture, and up to the side of a mountain.

The rain has actually helped it. It oxidizes the strings slightly and that mellows the tone, and so it actually makes it a little richer sounding. And these strings have been in place, some of them have been in place now for 7 years.

((NATS))

((PKG)) PRISON MUSIC

((Banner: Jailhouse Blues))

((Reporter/Camera: Mike O’Sullivan))

((Adapted by: Bronwyn Benito))

((Map: United States / California / Norco))

((NATS))

((Wayne Kramer, Co-Founder, Jail Guitar Doors))

Art is the most powerful thing that I know of, to combat the negative effects of life in one of these penitentiaries.

((Raymond Malachi Embry, Inmate Musician))

If I didn’t have a way to have an outlet, I would feel tense and bitter and clogged up. Here with this program, I’m at ease, I’m relaxed, I’m of value to this planet. I’m able to give more than what I’ve been taking.

((Montrell Harrell, Inmate Musician))

It opens your mind, opens your heart, and I think this class should be mandatory for everyone to take. It changes everything. It changes the way you think. I’ve been a lot happier. This class has changed me. I can say it changed my life.

((Raymond Malachi Embry, Inmate Musician))

Not only the tragedies that one has in life, but also the accomplishments. For me, they have to be expressed through music.

((Wayne Kramer, Co-Founder, Jail Guitar Doors))

In 1970’s, I served a prison term and while I was in prison, it became clear to me that music was crucial, in not only surviving, but in learning how to thrive.

((Raymond Malachi Embry, Inmate Musician))

It builds your soul up, big time.

((Osmar Castro, Inmate Musician))

When I’m inside this class and I’m contributing with my fellow inmates, I feel free, to be honest with you, and I find it very, very intriguing how we’re able to come together. A lot of us don’t know each other, we don’t hang around, but when we come in this class, it just feels like we’re a unit. We’re a team.

((Montrell Harrell, Inmate Musician))

There’s guys I wouldn’t even talk to on the yard. But we come in here and make incredible music, and you build relationships.

((Wayne Kramer, Co-Founder, Jail Guitar Doors))

We can talk about anybody and anything, but we cannot use racist humor, or sexist humor. We have to treat each other with dignity and respect.

((Montrell Harrell, Inmate Musician))

Working with different people, different races, different backgrounds, it’s amazing. It changes you, it changes your thought process.

((Raymond Malachi Embry, Inmate Musician))

People would probably think that the diversity would separate, and unfortunately, in the prison system here in California, it does do that. We’re intended to be separate. You have your different cultures and stuff, or different cliques. However, when we all come in here, the diversity turns into unity.

((Osmar Castro, Inmate Musician))

It just works, for some reason, we come in here, we’ll argue for about an hour about a song, and then it seems like at the last moment we just pull together. And it comes out pretty good. It’s the camaraderie.

((Wayne Kramer, Co-Founder, Jail Guitar Doors))

All prison politics stay out on the yard. And in our workshop, it’s a safe space. And the men appreciate that, have a chance to be human beings, to be just regular guys. Guys that love doing music together.

((Raymond Malachi Embry, Inmate Musician))

That’s the clique for me. That’s what I get down with.

TEASE ((VO/NAT))

Coming up.

((Banner))

Heartland Beat

((SOT))

My mother-in-law is an incredible, like, world class Persian cook, so when she comes to visit us, she comes in always with a cooler full of food that she’s made for us.

BREAK TWO

BUMP IN ((ANIM))

BLOCK C

((PKG)) COUNTRY SINGER

((Banner: A Musician’s Life))

((Reporter/Camera: Gabrielle Weiss))

((Map: United States / Texas / Austin))

((NATS / singing))

There’s a southern accent

Where I come from

The young’uns call it country

The old Yankees call it dumb

There you go, dude. That’s good, yeah!

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

Howdy doozy, my name is Corey Baum, and I am the songwriter, singer and frontman for the band Croy and the Boys.

((NATS))

Ok, cool, that’s good. Love y’all.

Amitiss Mahvash, Wife

I love you

Corey

Bye, Johnny

Amitiss Mahvash, Wife

Say bye, papa

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

The music that I’m making right now, I’m just trying to talk about what I think are some of the most pressing issues for working people in America today. So that’s downtown Austin, Texas in front of us, which has gone through a lot of changes since I’ve been living on the East Side. Almost unrecognizable.

This is what I’m talking about, like the Arnold, whatever the hell this is. Who knows, like, yuppies sitting on a patio. It’s insane. And it goes all the way down. Basically, it’s like, this was all low buildings. Now it’s, like, condos up and down the street, on all sides.

This is Hotel Vegas right here. You see the sign blinking.

Ok, we’re going to do kind of a thinking song now, so put your little thinking caps on. This song has some big words in it. It was hard for me to even fit them in a damn country song, so I just spelled them out instead. So we’re going to spell out the words ‘gentrification’, ‘cultural elitism’, ‘hegemony’, and ‘coded racism’.

((NATS / singing))

G-E-N-T-R-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N,

C-U-L-T-U-R-A-L E-L-I-T-I-S-M,

H-E-G-E-M-O-N-Y,

White washing society

Words like safety and development

That’s coded R-A-C-I-S-M

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

Even when I’m dealing with serious concepts, I try to have some humor about it, and it’s danceable. So, I want people to enjoy themselves while they listen to it, and I want to restore dignity to working people. I think that a lot of people work really hard and they don’t have a lot to show for it, and, they’ve kind of been made to feel that that’s their fault. And I try to draw stories and show examples in ways of which it’s not their fault, that they’re being taken advantage of, and that they deserve what they think they deserve, which is just a healthy, middle class, American life.

((NATS / singing))

It used to be you didn’t need a lot to enjoy life,

Just load up the family into the car and head out to see the sights,

But second jobs and part time gigs means no vacation days,

Can’t get enough hours for benefits or to qualify for a raise,

Oh it seems like you can’t just be poor anymore

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

You know, I come from the Midwest originally, and I come from a working class background, and I am recently retired to become a stay-at-home dad. My wife just went back to work. And I love it so far. I think it’s really great. I’m really enjoying spending all this time with my son. I’m also actually finding that I already have more time to write now, because when he goes down for a nap, I can pick up the guitar, and work on that. So, I was worried about how I was going to balance the two and I’m already finding that there’s a really great balance there. It’s really nice.

((NATS))

Wife

Mom and dad are here, taking care of Johnny. One of my first nights out, since I had the baby. Tonight, I’m here to see Croy and the Boys play.

((Amitiss Mahvash, Corey’s wife))

Being married to Corey of Croy and the Boys, bad boy Corey, is incredible. I love what he writes about. Since the first night we met, we bonded over music, so it’s like been a big part of both of our lives before we met, and it continues to be a big part of our lives. So, I love being married to a musician.

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

My wife is an Iranian-American, she’s a first generation American. Her parents moved to America in the early to mid 70s, and then she was born here. I didn’t know much about Persian culture, Iranian people, before we got together, and it has been an absolute pleasure getting to experience the wealth of Persian culture.

((NATS))

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

My mother-in-law is an incredible, like, world class Persian cook, so when she comes to visit us, she comes in always with a cooler full of food that she’s made for us.

((Lili Nosrat, Corey’s Mother-in-law))

I brought rice and green beans and meat.

Corey

That’s the best. I’m really lucky.

Lili Nosrat

Green beans and rice. You’ve had it before.

Corey

Best cook in America. And Iran, probably.

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

It’s been a cool experience becoming a father, because I think my goals and aspirations as a musician and as an artist have never really centered that much around money. There’s never been a time limit on it. It’s like, yeah, hopefully someday this works out. And so then, basically, the moment that my son was born, that all became a lot more like, oh, this has to become a sustainable thing for me or it has to become just a hobby that I really like, fairly soon.

((NATS))

If we work on this more, it should be more, like, not just me leading it with you playing piano, but like, you leading sometimes.

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

We got nominated for best country band in Austin this year. I feel like I had an idea of what to do locally, and I feel like I’ve accomplished those things. But I don’t know how to take it next. I just had a kid. It’s make it or break it right now. It’s got to happen this year or I’m out of the game.

((Corey Baum, Songwriter and Singer of Croy and the Boys))

I think country music has always reflected the views and the desires of working Americans. You know, we go into country dance halls around Texas, and we go into working class places and people respond to what we’re saying. I don’t think I’m doing anything new with country music by expressing more leftist ideas. I’m just doing something that hasn’t been done in a while in country music.

Let’s do Your friends, not mine real quick. This is a more class conscious one.

((NATS / singing))

Nine hundred thousand dollar home

With a bigger one in mind,

That’s your friends, not mine.

Four car garage with four new cars

And I bet you can guess what kind (BMW),

That’s your friends, not mine.

Your friends, not mine.

CLOSING ((ANIM))

(Join) Facebook, (Follow) Twitter, (Watch) YouTube

BREAK THREE

BUMP IN ((ANIM))

SHOW ENDS

Source: Voice of America


The iran News Gazette is mainly concerned with news and information about the Arab region and also covers international issues. Its main objective is to provide reliable and verified information on the Arab region for publishing on the digital landscape.