A Beating Heart (re-visited!)

I have been watching a TV series called “Peaky Blinders” recently.

It’s quite dark yet beautifully made — and reminds me of a similarly high-quality series called “House Of Cards” from several years ago.

Both of them explore power and how we human beings are often overtaken and damaged by it.

Image by Gloria Williams from Pixabay

They also both opened my eyes to how complicated, interconnected and corrupt our human-created world can be… especially when our wounded hearts lead us astray into greed, retribution, domination and revenge.

I watched several episodes before bedtime; so it is probably not a surprise that I woke up in the middle of the night and was unable to fall back asleep…

So I got out of bed and skimmed my inbox — which these days means that I deleted inumerable emails asking for money from all sorts of political candidates and organizations — until I found two uplifting pieces of information.

1) News that Catherine Cortez Masso is projected to win her senate race here in the USA.

2) A wonderful blog post from Canada about the Japanese concept of IKIGAI which you can read by clicking here.

As Michelle explains it on her Boomer Eco Crusader blog, ikigai is similar to the French idea of raison d’être — which means “reason or justification for existence.”

And one can explore ikigai by reflecting upon four ideas/concepts/topics:

A) one’s own skills

B) the things one loves to do,

C) the things that the world needs,

and

D) activities one can be paid for.

Image by Angela C from Pixabay

Where all of these ideas/concepts/topics overlap is where one’s ikigai may be found.

And finding one’s ikigai can give one a reason to get up out of bed each morning…

Reading her blog post made me think immediately of a song I wrote called “A Beating Heart” — which I first shared in a blog post on April 29, 2014.

“A beating heart means you’re not dead.

A brand new start — get out of bed.

Your mission calls, and we all hope that you’ll succeed!

The time is here; the time is now.

So persevere; embrace the Tao.

Dear Lao Tse once decreed: only change is guaranteed…”

Image by Bohdan Chreptak from Pixabay

Deep breath in (like a whale…)

Deep breath out (like a whale…)

I have previously voiced a personal goal — which is to write shorter blog posts.

So I will end this blog post with a sincere hope that you, dear reader, are well on your way to finding your own ikigai!

And with thanks to Michelle for her inspiring blog.

And with thanks to the wonderful photographers and graphic artists at Pixabay.

And with thanks to Doug Hammer, for playing his Schimmel grand piano while also recording us at his terrific home studio.

And with thanks to Ashley Lieberman, who recently performed “A Beating Heart” here in the Boston area.

And with thanks to YOU for reading and listening to yet another one of my blog posts!

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find many songs and learn more about my musical life here on planet earth if you are curious.

You can also find “A Beating Heart” on various digital music platforms by clicking here.

You can also find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music, YouTube and other digital music platforms.

Any song you “like” or “heart” or add to one of your playlists will improve the algorithmic activity of my music there!

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Very gratefully yours,

— will

The Beauty All Around (version 3…)

It’s autumn here in New England.

I am not a big fan of autumn — with ever-lengthening nights and ever-colder temperatures…

But I understand that I can’t experience spring and summer without also experiencing autumn and winter.

So I strive to accept and make peace with the arrival of autumn.

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

This week I rode my bike from East Arlington (where I live) to Arlington Heights (where I lead Music Together classes three mornings per week) via a rail-to-trail bike path.

At one point there was a stretch of sugar maple trees with orange, red and yellow leaves silhouetted against a very blue sky.

And I had to acknowledge the beauty of autumn…

Another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Dedicated readers of this blog may remember a song called “The Beauty All Around” which I wrote not long after taking a class called “Ukulele for the Almost Musical” led by a wonderful teacher, Danno Sullivan.

Image by Ulrike Draper from Pixabay 

I recorded it using my ukulele and Apple’s wonderful GarageBand application, and then I recorded a new piano/vocal version a few years later with pianist/engineer Doug Hammer at his terrific home studio.

You can hear both versions in a blog post dated March 27, 2014 if you are curious.

I had been sitting on the Doug Hammer version for many years, intending to overdub a bunch of harmony vocals before releasing it.

But then I crossed paths with singer Carole Bundy and singer/pianist/songwriter/arranger Molly Ruggles.

And Molly added harmony lines for her and Carole to sing.

And we included it in a service at their Unitarian-Universalist church in Medford, MA.

And we sang it during several Porchfest performances.

And finally last December we recorded it for our first 8-song CD.

Hurrah!

So far we’ve given away or sold about 50 CDs and also have begun releasing some of the songs via digital music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora.

Right now we are working on new songs for a benefit performance on Saturday, October 29th at 7:30pm to raise money for the social justice programs at the UU Church in Medford.

Among other things that church runs a much-needed food pantry and is currently hosting a family who managed to get out of Afghanistan earlier this year.

We’ve been rehearsing in the main sanctuary of the church, and it has been a great pleasure to experience the excellent acoustics of the space.

So much is happening right now in the USA — and all around this small, blue-green planet!

Accelerating climate catastrophes such as drought, forest fires, hurricanes, flooding, polar ice/ permafrost melting…

Ongoing health anxieties related to COVID, the flu, monkeypox, and whatever else may be coming down the pike…

The horrible war in Ukraine…

The rise of fascist political rhetoric and activity and actions here in the USA and in many other countries around the world…

And the list goes on and on…

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

My coping methods to deal with all of these challenges include:

Image by Johnnys_pic from Pixabay 

1) Personalizing and sending lots of cards and letters to potential voters in swing states…

2) Riding my bike, walking, or taking public transportation…

3) Singing with the families in my Music Together classes and also with Carole and Molly…

4) Donating tiny amounts of money to tight political races all around the country…

5) Savoring moments of beauty in the non-human world…

So far we have not yet had a frost; so the cosmos, zinnias, and daisies in my neighbors’ front yards are still blooming brilliantly.

And the basil and marigolds on my back porch are still going strong, too!

Thank you to Carole and Molly for our ongoing musical journey.

Thank you to my Music Together families — past, present and future!

Thank you for a roof over my head, clean drinking water, food to eat (much of it from a local organic farmshare!), a steadfast and loving partner, and a still-beating heart.

Thank you to Peter Kontrimas, who did the initial recording of our eight songs, and to Doug Hammer, who helped us mix and master them via Zoom.

Thank you for the great photographs from Pixabay.

And thank YOU for reading and listening to another one of my (not-particularly-frequent) blog posts.

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

PS: You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find many songs (and learn more about my musical life here on planet earth if you are curious).

You can also find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music, YouTube and other digital music platforms.

Boomer Eco Crusader!

Image by Christy Mesker from Pixabay

Today we are experiencing unseasonably cool and windy weather in the Greater Boston area.

I sit on my back porch (wearing a winter coat for warmth) and listen to the cardinals, robins and mockingbirds who are all taking turns singing from the tops of nearby trees, roofs, and utility poles…

I also savor the marigolds, basil, kale, cilantro, and sunflowers sprouting in pots around me.

Sprouting seeds and growing plants fill my heart with hope.

Image by MetsikGarden from Pixabay

It is such a weird and wonderful thing that a tiny speck of a seed can transform into a seedling!

To me it feels very similar to the mysterious miracle of how a caterpillar can transform into a butterfly…

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

I am deeply honored to learn that last Friday Michelle at Boomer Eco Crusader published an entire blog post featuring my song “We’re Running A Big Experiment.”

I have been reading her blog for a couple of years.

I always find inspiration about ways to improve my life right now — as well as ways to improve the future lives of our children, grandchildren, and all the other beings who will inherit the fossil-fuel-driven messes that we are leaving as our legacy here on planet earth.

If you are not already following her blog, I heartily recommend you check it out by clicking here.

THANK YOU to Michelle and to everyone else who has been listening to — and sharing! — this song after it was officially distributed to various digital platforms earlier this month.

Image by Peggychoucair from Pixabay

I am aware that music can at times be considered somewhat trivial/pointless/insignificant.

But at other times, it can be a vital glue that brings us together and inspires us.

If you are curious to listen to “We’re Running A Big Experiment” directly, you can click here for links to various digital music platforms (such as YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.)

And if you resonate with it — please feel free to share it with other kindred spirits.

Image by tookapic from Pixabay 

Thank you to Doug Hammer for playing the piano on this song and also recording, engineering, mixing, and mastering it with me.

Thank you to Stephen Fischer and his graphic design students who helped to create the artwork for this song.

Thank you to the photographers at Pixabay for their wonderful images.

And Happy Juneteenth to any/all readers in the USA!!!

Image by janeb13 from Pixabay 

Simple Rules…

Greetings after another long pause between blog posts!

I hope you remain well — fellow blogger or visitor from beyond the world of WordPress — and I am very grateful that you are reading this blog post.

I have continued reading (and commenting on) other blog posts during the past many months, but I didn’t have anything I felt compelled to blog about.

When I logged into my account yesterday, however, and looked at my stats, I was delighted to find that people have continued visiting my blog and listening to music even when I am not actively blogging.

Thank you!!!

Photo of Åland Islands by Lau Svensson — licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

It is truly inspiring to learn that — in the first three weeks of May — folks have visited from the USA, the UK, South Africa, Canada, Poland, Australia, Norway, Germany, India, Italy, China, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the Åland Islands (which I just learned are part of Finland at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea).

I’ll say/write it again.

Thank you!!!

Molly, me and Carole after a porch gig in Maine

Today’s blog post features a song called “Simple Rules” written by my friend Molly Ruggles.

Molly is a songwriter, pianist, arranger and singer who recently retired from her day job at MIT.

She created this lovely vocal arrangement for her and me and our friend Carole to sing — and we recorded it during a brief lull in the Covid pandemic last December.

Molly, Carole and I — as well as the recording engineer Peter Kontrimas at whose studio we were fortunate to book a session — were well-vaccinated AND wore masks except for when we were in our separate recording booths (connected via headphones with each other and with Peter).

We then fixed/mixed/tweaked/mastered it via Zoom with another great recording engineer, Doug Hammer — whose name will be familiar to many of my blog readers because he is also an astounding pianist with whom I have recorded many, many songs.

Molly’s song has inspired me to think about other “simple rules” that we human beings would do well to honor.

For example, this morning I read details on a BBC website about how many of the staff members at 10 Downing Street chose to ignore the official guidelines for appropriate behavior during a pandemic. One staffer explains that they felt that they were in a bubble (of privilege? of denial?) and thus ignored what the official guidelines were.

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

One of my favorite “simple rules” is the rule/fact that we animals breathe out what plants need to stay alive (CO2) — and plants breathe out what WE need to stay alive (O2).

Photo of red panda eating bamboo by Pexels from Pixabay

I often feel as though we have done a very poor job educating each other about this profoundly simple rule.

Healthy oceans (full of plants ranging from single-celled phytoplankton to forests of kelp) and healthy forests (such as the Amazon jungle) and healthy agricultural fields and healthy gardens are not optional.

They are vital to every breath we are blessed to breathe — and which we hope to continue to breathe — here on planet earth!

Another simple rule/guideline which bears repeating again and again and again is the profound power of apology.

We all make mistakes.

In fact, making mistakes is an important way that we learn things — about how stoves can be too hot to touch, about how we need to look both ways before we cross a street, and about how lemon extract tastes more burningly bitter than delightfully sour (a shocking revelation which I learned at an early age when experimenting in the kitchen with my sister and one of her friends).

Photo by kalhh from Pixabay 

Apologies exist to repair human relationships when one person makes a mistake and hurts another person. Or another species. Or another community. Or an entire ecosystem.

In fact, I feel that much of the stress which we experience these days — directly in our own lives and indirectly from politicians, business leaders, and other authority figures — is due to past injuries for which no one has ever sincerely, authentically, and heartfully apologized.

Apologizing is not easy — but it is very worthwhile to do.

And if we are able to make amends for our mistake — taking action to make up for what has happened in the past — that is an even more profound act of healing.

Another deep breath in.

And another deep breath out.

I will end with one final simple rule: short blog posts are easier to read than long ones!

I am aware that I have written way-too-many, way-too-long blog posts in the past.

So I will cut this short and end with my customary thank yous… along with a lovely underwater photo of kelp (breathing in C02 and breathing out 02…)

Photo by Benjamin Davies from Pixabay 

Thank YOU for reading and listening to this blog post.

Thank you to Molly Ruggles and Carole Bundy for their friendship and for our shared love of music.

Thank you to Peter Kontrimas and to Doug Hammer — for their patient engineering expertise.

And thank you to the photographers at Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons for their lovely images.

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find more songs (and learn more about my musical life here on planet earth if you are curious).

You can also find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music and other digital music platforms.

Carole, me and Molly performing in upstate New York

I earn only a fraction of a cent any time someone plays one of my recordings on a digital music service — but they all add up…

And if you are inspired to create a “Will McMillan featuring Doug Hammer” channel, that is even more helpful.

Lastly, if you live in the Boston area, Carole, Molly and I will be performing as part of Arlington Porchfest on Saturday, June 18th (rain date: Sunday, June 19th) here in East Arlington, MA.

We would love to see you if you decide to drop by for a song (or more!)

We’re Running A Big Experiment…

Thank you to everyone who read and listened to and commented on my last blog post!

It has been lovely to re-connect with WordPress friends and acquaintances after my three-month hiatus from blogging (although I did continue to read a fair number of other people’s blog posts during that fallow time).

Last night I was unable to fall asleep.

I am guessing it was a combination of reading two more chapters of Deep Adaptation (which can be profoundly terrifying and heart-breaking) combined with falling asleep for an hour during an unsatisfying football game earlier this evening (our New England Patriots fell ignominiously to the Buffalo Bills with a final score of 17 to 47) combined with the several chocolate truffles (made in Canada for Trader Joe’s) which I ate in the late afternoon before bundling up in many layers — t-shirt, hoodie, thin down jacket, thick down vest, thin black jacket, hat, gloves, and huge winter parka — and walking around a local lake in the very cold, refreshing winter air.

I have included another new song in the player at the beginning of this blog post.

I had intended to release it at the very beginning of 2022, but two things have delayed me.

One is some confusion about whether I should continue to use CD Baby (the company that has been distributing my recordings with pianist Doug Hammer to various digital music platforms) as my publishing administrator.

In case you do not know, when one records a song, there are two main copyrights for that recording.

One is a copyright for the actual recording.

That is usually owned or controlled by the recording artist (such as Lady Gaga or Tony Bennett or an independent musician like me) or by the recording artist’s record label (which may have advanced the money needed to make the recording…)

The other is a copyright for the song itself.

That is usually owned by the songwriter(s) and/or their publishing company.

So when I record a song written by someone else (Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, for example), I own the copyright for my specific recording, and I pay a mechanical royalty in advance to the entity which owns the compositional copyright for that song.

When I record and release one of my original songs, I act as my own record label AND publishing company — and up until this point I’ve been using CD Baby as my publishing administrator.

A publishing administrator helps to track down earnings on behalf of the person who wrote the song.

I recently took an online class to learn more about how one might get one’s songs placed in TV shows and movies — and it turns out that one option is to find a sync rep to help me pitch my songs to music supervisors (who find songs for TV shows, movies, advertisements, and video games).

And some sync reps also like to act as one’s publisher — so having an agreement with CD Baby to be the publishing administrator for my original songs might be a detrimental to building a relationship with a sync rep…

So I’ve been stalled for the past month, wondering exactly what to do next regarding my publishing administration options.

And sadly, CD Baby — which once offered immediate phone assistance when it was a groovy, independent company — now only offers phone callbacks (during a window of time over a couple of days) or email responses (which also can take many days to get a response).

I assume this is because they were bought up by a larger company who decided that the immediate phone assistance option was too expensive and/or inefficient.

And it took two weeks for them to respond to my most recent questions about their publishing administration option — maybe because it was the holiday season and/or maybe because my question didn’t fit perfectly into one of their dropdown menu options for customer service assistance…

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

Another reason why I have been delayed in releasing my new songs is because a few of them are about challenging topics such as our climate change/disaster and our current Covid epidemic/disaster — which I am guessing might elicit strong feedback/pushback (the prospect of which I find scary…)

And of course there is probably good-old-fashioned denial at work, too.

Sharing songs such as “We’re Running A Big Experiment” with the rest of the world (or rather with the people who have electricity and smart phones/computers and access to digital music platforms such as Spotify and Pandora and Apple Music around the world) somehow makes the topics I am writing about more real.

I can no longer hide in my own little puddle of denial once I put them out there.

And denial is an extraordinarily wily and powerful psychological mechanism/phenomenon.

One of the things I’ve been observing — in a spirit of curiosity rather than judgement — is how much denial can be triggered when one begins reading Deep Adaptation.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, a friend invited a group of us (seven total) to read it together and also to discuss it each month via Zoom.

Since we began this process, some of us have managed to write down the wrong time for our Zoom meetings, some have taken a nap and almost missed a Zoom meeting (until someone else called and woke them up), and some have gotten ill and missed a Zoom meeting.

And many of us — myself very much included — have struggled to read the recommended chapters before each monthly Zoom meeting.

What have been YOUR experiences with denial?

And with climate change?

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

I wrote in my last email that I was going to write shorter blog posts; so I’d better end this one now.

I am very grateful to you if you have managed to read this far and perhaps have also listened to “We’re Running A Big Experiment.”

Thank you!

I am also very grateful to Doug Hammer — for his wonderful piano playing AND his engineering skills AND his advice/input regarding the harmonies I sang on this song — as well as to the photographers and artists at Pixabay for their magnificent images.

And I remain truly grateful for all the blessings I currently have in my life — food, shelter, heat, warm clothing, electricity, a functional computer, access to the internet, a reliable bicycle, family, friends, and the WordPress community (to name just a few!)

One final deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

PS: You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find many songs (and learn more about my musical life here on planet earth if you are curious).

You can also find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music and other digital music platforms.

And if you are hungry for a more uplifting song as an antidote to “We’re Running A Big Experiment,” you are welcome to click here and listen to a song I wrote a few years ago when visiting friends in Toronto called “Another Good Morning” (which I recorded with Doug Hammer and released on a bunch of different digital music platforms last year).

I earn only a fraction of a cent any time someone plays one of my recordings on a digital music service — but they all add up!

PPS: If I have mis-explained the basic copyright concepts regarding recorded songs, please correct me in the comments section!

6/13/22 I finally distributed “We’re Running A Big Experiment” via CD Baby to various digital music platforms! You can click here to listen on Pandora, Youtube, Apple Music, Spotify, and more…

My Sweet Honeydew

Thank you to everyone who has continued to visit my blog even though I have written no fresh posts in the past three months.

After this fallow period of non-blogging, today I am happy to be writing a new post.

As faithful readers may remember, for the past year and a half I’ve been focused on recording, fixing, mixing, and releasing decent versions of songs with significant amounts of input, collaboration and expertise from pianist/engineer Doug Hammer.

“My Sweet Honeydew” — featured in the player at the top of this post — is part of a new crop of original songs I’ll be sharing in 2022.

Image by sandid from Pixabay

Some of these songs attempt to make sense out of the tipping point which human civilization — along with the rest of the extraordinary web of life here on planet earth — is now experiencing due to our overconsumption of fossil fuels during the past 150 years or so.

“My Sweet Honeydew” highlights the gratitude I attempt to practice every day despite horrible news such as the accelerating extinction of plant and animal species; the increasing frequency and severity of fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes; and the political unrest/discord which these events stir up!

I am very grateful to live in the United States of America and specifically in Massachusetts, which is currently led by a rare Republican governor who believes in science and who continues to respect the ever-evolving recommendations of public health experts during our ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Because of these two geographical blessings, I have so far been spared most of the anguish and shortages and panic and destruction that so many other beings on planet earth are already experiencing.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

But I am aware that this could change — and possibly much faster than most of us who currently have access to food and clean water and shelter and electricity and computers and the internet would like to think is possible…

That’s because I’ve been reading a book called DEEP ADAPTATION with a small group of friends.

So far it’s been a very sobering experience — as you may know if you have already read it.

Another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Image by Hilary Clark from Pixabay

I’ll probably write more about DEEP ADAPTATION in future blog posts.

Please let me know in the comments section if you have already read it — and what YOU make of it…

Yet another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

I have a few resolutions for 2022.

One is to continue to decrease the impact of my life on all of the ecosystems which support our lives here on planet earth.

Image by Hajnalka Mahler from Pixabay

Another is to write shorter blog posts.

And a third is to remain curious (if that is possible) rather than terrified or furious or disheartened or disgusted about everything that continues to unfold here in these not-very-United-States.

One more deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find many songs (and learn more about my musical life here on planet earth if you are curious).

You can also find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music and other digital music platforms.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay 

And if you are hungry for more music, you are welcome to click here and listen to a sweet version of the jazz standard “Skylark” by Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael which I recorded with Doug Hammer on a bunch of different digital music platforms.

I earn only a fraction of a cent any time someone plays one of my recordings on a digital music service — but they all add up.

Thank you to the wonderful photographers and graphic artists at Pixabay.

And thank YOU for reading yet another one of my blog posts!

Image by Bernadette Wurzinger from Pixabay 

I welcome your comments below if you are moved to leave one.

Perhaps 2022 will be better than 2021.

We shall see…

One final deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Overjoyed…

I picked today’s song because WordPress tells me that this is my 100th blog post.

If I had been asked to guess how many blog posts I’ve written since I started in 2013, I would have said 30 – 40.

So I am surprised to discover that this is #100.

As loyal readers from the past years can attest, I do not write on a regular schedule.

If I do the math, however, I find that I have averaged one post per month.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay 

I am often happy — and sometimes even overjoyed — to be part of our WordPress writing community.

It is thrilling to check my statistics and find that folks have been reading and listening from different countries around the planet.

THANK YOU to everyone who has read and/or listened to one of my blog posts during the past eight years!

And a special thank you to the folks who have taken the time to leave a comment.

Reading and responding to these comments — and also writing comments after reading other people’s blog posts — is how the WordPress community comes to life!

“Overjoyed” was written by Stevland Hardaway Morris a.k.a Stevie Wonder and first appeared in 1985 on his 20th studio album, In Square Circle.

I am not sure when I first heard it — maybe when he performed it on Saturday Night Live or perhaps when a college friend, Rex Dean, sang it?

It became somewhat of an obsession for me and several of my musical friends…

Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

I finally performed “Overjoyed” in 2006 as part of a program of songs written by people named Steve — which also featured songs by Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Foster, Stephen Sondheim, Cat Stevens, Stephen Flaherty, Steve Schalchlin, and my friend Steve Sweeting (several of whose songs have been highlighted in previous blog posts).

This recording is from a rehearsal at pianist Doug Hammer‘s studio north of Boston, MA, which was attended by a journalist, Joel Brown, who ended up writing a lovely feature story in the Boston Globe to help spread the word before my performance at Scullers Jazz Club.

If you are curious, you can read it on my website (look for “Interviews — Boston Globe June 4, 2006).

This recording also features a wonderful musician, Mike Callahan, playing clarinet.

Photo from MSU Website

I met Mike when he was an undergraduate at Harvard.

He arranged a bunch of songs for me to sing with the Harvard Pops Orchestra — and then later with the Timberlane Pops. You can click here to see him and me in action if you are curious.

He can play just about any instrument (which is very useful when one is arranging a song for an entire orchestra) and is also a delightful human being.

Mike went from Harvard to the Eastman School Of Music, where he earned an MA and a PhD and is now a professor at Michigan State.

If you click here, you can read his bio to learn more details about his outstanding musical life.

Finding strong takes from previously recorded rehearsals and then polishing them with Doug via Zoom has also been a process which has given me much joy during the past year.

And — well-masked — we’ve even started recording a new batch of my original songs in the past month (I take off my mask when I am in the vocal recording booth…)

Hopefully a few of them will turn out well enough for me to share them in future blog posts.

Watching things grow in the planters on my back porch this past summer has also been a quietly joyful pastime.

Photo by Carole Bundy

I started with kale, basil, tomatoes and marigolds.

The tomatoes yielded a small but sublime harvest of vegetable gems.

Mine were yellow, and I did not document them with a photograph because they were so tasty I had to eat them as soon as they became ripe.

But my friend Carole Bundy sent me this lovely photo of HER first two tomatoes.

I’ve also been eating one brilliant green leaf of kale every week or so…

When the tomatoes were done, I replaced them with cut up chunks of a potato which my mother brought to family gathering earlier this summer.

It was one of a batch which she described as being the most delicious potatoes she had eaten in a long time.

I wasn’t sure if the cut up chunks would grow, but they did have many “eyes” on them…

Now I am overjoyed that one of them has sprouted, grown tall, and even flowered!

I was very surprised by the flowers, which are quite pretty and fragrant.

Photo by me

They have also lasted a long time.

Now the soil under the flowering plant is starting to bulge a bit.

I think I may need to pile more dirt on top of what may be one or more baby potatoes growing down below…

The cat in this photo lives with our neighbors upstairs.

I may write about her in a future blog post.

Trixie did something on 9/11/21 which was heart-wrenching (not to her but to me and maybe also to her owner).

But that is a story for another day and another blog post.

Today’s theme is joy and gratitude.

Thank you to the great photographers who share their photos with the world via Pixabay.

I am overjoyed that I can include your photos in my blog posts.

Thank you to all the great songwriters named Steve.

I am overjoyed to sing your songs.

Thank you to Doug and Mike for your musical gifts — and thank you to Doug for your engineering magic, too.

I am overjoyed to be able to make music with you both.

Image by Mircea Ploscar from Pixabay 

Thank you to the plants which have been so patient and cooperative with my humble attempts at gardening — as well as generous with their fruits and leaves and roots!

I am overjoyed that you breath out what I breath in and vice-versa.

I know I thanked my readers earlier in this blog post, but I will now thank you again!

THANK YOU.

It is a pleasure and an honor to be part of this WordPress community.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay 

PS: You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find all sorts of songs.

Or you can find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music and other digital music platforms.

And if you are hungry for more music, you are welcome to listen to a sublime version of “In My Life” which I recorded with Doug Hammer.on a bunch of different digital music platforms.

In Praise of Food…and Lillian Rozin!

I am well aware that all sorts of challenging — and often heart-breaking — situations continue to unfold here on planet earth.

However, I have decided in recent blog posts to accentuate the positive.

Part of the fun of re-vamping my website earlier this year was re-visiting my musical past.

When I first started working at the Cambridge Center For Adult Education in Harvard Square, we co-produced a lot of events — open mics, workshops, seminars, performances — with the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA).

BACA is a humble and surprisingly resilient non-profit group which a bunch of us helped to start over 25 years ago.

And it is still going strong — an ongoing labor of love — due to the efforts of a generous and ever-evolving group of singers, musicians, songwriters and music fans who serve on its board, bless them.

I do not remember exactly how I met singer/actor Lillian Rozin, who is now a psychotherapist, yoga instructor and author, too.

Maybe at a BACA open mic?

In any case, we hit it off and Lillian started creating lavish spreads of appetizers and desserts for our open mic nights.

I am not someone who follows recipes or considers himself to be much of a cook.

But Lillian is an inspired and inspiring goddess in the kitchen.

She learned to love food and cooking from — among other people — her mother, the much-published food writer, Elizabeth Rozin.

Eventually we started performing together as “The Will & Lil Show” — co-creating two different shows of music and ideas before she moved from the Boston area back to her homeland of Philadelphia.

Our first show focused on the subject of water — in rivers, clouds, oceans, harbors, showers, wading pools, and even our own metabolisms.

We followed that with a show called We Are What We Eat — A Potluck Cabaret which featured songs about eating, serving and preparing food such as Cole Porter’s “The Tale of the Oyster,” Bernstein, Comden and Green’s “I Can Cook, Too,” Stephen Sondheim’s “The Ladies Who Lunch,” the Sherman Brothers’ “Feed The Birds,” and Stephen Schwartz’s “It’s An Art.”

The show began with Lillian and me on stage chopping and slicing and preparing various finger-foods while audience members were finding their seats.

Once everyone had arrived, we began singing a song (in the player at the start of the blog post) from William Finn’s musical “March Of The Falsettos” while serving the audience what we had been preparing onstage.

It was a lot of fun.

The original lyrics for “Making A Home” included some references to food — to which we added a few more.

Recently I was happy to find a computer disk which contained some of our original PR photos as well as a script for our food show.

Here’s a list of food-related items that we used during the show:

Image by Bernadette Wurzinger from Pixabay

Microwave pre-set with popcorn.

Baguette. 

Hardboiled eggs.

Little pots of strawberry jam.

Toast.

English muffin.

Little jar of mustard.

Watercress or heavy duty parsley.

Hamsteak.

Bones/chew toys.

Root vegetables.

Image by Jordan Stimpson from Pixabay 

Brie, cheddar, harvarti dill, goat, and cream cheeses.

Grapes.

Olives.

Cornichon.

Pop tarts.

Pringles potato chips.

Spam.

Count Chocula/Cocoa Puffs/Lucky Charms cereal boxes.

Jello.

Bacon bits.

Strawberry Newtons.

One pound of smoked fish.

Horseradish.

Lots of crackers.

Cider.

Bag of salad.

Packets of Sweet & Lo.

Vinegar cruet.

Celery.

Peanut butter and peanuts.

Bologna.

Non-dairy whipped topping.

Bananas.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 

Melon.

Bosco.

Two pie plates.

Marischino cherries.

Cutting boards.

And knives.

As you can probably extrapolate from this list of props, we covered a lot of ground in this show — from the processed food industry (for which Lillian’s mother had once consulted) to food norms in different cultures (Lillian has traveled a lot) to my past as a child actor doing commercials for various food products (such as Ring Ding Juniors, Lifesavers, Imperial margarine, and Oreo cookies).

Here’s an excerpt from what we said after we sang “Making A Home” while serving appetizers to the audience.

Lil: “Will and I love to cook.”

Will: “And we love to feed other people what we have cooked.”

Lil: “And we love to eat; so this show was a no-brainer.

Will: “Eating is something that is easy to take for granted. 

Lillian Rozin and Will McMillan standing back to back and smiling...
Photo by Stephen C. Fischer

Lil: “We do it several times a day, often out of habit or while we are focused on something else.”

Will: “But eating is really a magical process.  Think about it… radiation from a nearby star is captured by plants who transform it into something that we can absorb into our bodies, which becomes… us.”

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

Over twenty years later I am still amazed by how life works here on planet earth!

Near the end of the show Lillian tied me to a chair while singing “Have An Eggroll Mr. Goldstein” from Gypsy and stuffing all sorts of delicious, cut-up fruit into my mouth.

Then we sang “You’re The Cream In My Coffee” while throwing pie plates full of non-dairy whipped topping in each other’s faces.

Our encore was “Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries.”

This delightful anthem was written by Lew Brown (lyrics) and Ray Henderson (music) for Ethel Merman to sing in George White’s Scandals of 1931 after she had rejected another song they had wanted her to perform.

I am very thankful that Ms. Merman knew — when she was still in the early years of her extraordinary career the entertainment industry — what kind of song she could and couldn’t deliver to an audience.

Otherwise Ray and Lew might not have written this musical gem.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Thank you for reading and listening to this somewhat light-hearted blog post.

I will undoubtedly return to more serious topics in the future.

Today I have been inspired by a statement currently circulating (I hope accurately) on FaceBook from a Hopi Indian Chief named White Eagle.

“This moment humanity is experiencing can be seen as a door or a hole. The decision to fall in the hole or walk through the door is up to you.

“If you consume the news 24 hours a day, with negative energy, constantly nervous, with pessimism, you will fall into this hole. But if you take the opportunity to look at yourself, to rethink life and death, to take care of yourself and others, then you will walk through the portal…

“Don’t feel guilty for feeling blessed in these troubled times. Being sad or angry doesn’t help at all…

Lillian with her beloved dog Albee!

“Show resistance through art, joy, trust and love.”

Another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Thank you to Lillian Rozin for being one of my favorite collaborators… and one of my favorite chefs, too!

Thank you to Doug Hammer for playing piano AND recording the rehearsal from which we recently selected and mixed these songs.

Thank you to Ray Brown and Lew Henderson for writing “LIfe Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries” — and to Ethel Merman for inspiring them to do so.

Thank you to William Finn for writing “Making A Home.”

You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find more songs from The Will & Lil Show celebrating food.

Or you can find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music and other digital music platforms.

And if you are hungry for more music, you are welcome to listen to my latest release, “The Carter Family” by Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman on a bunch of different digital music platforms.

A Love Letter to the Postal Service…

As some of you may know, postal rates are going up at the end of the month — August 29th.

A regular stamp will cost 58 cents, and postcard stamps will go up to 40 cents.

If you are a fan of sending and receiving cards and letters (or you still pay some of your bills by mail…) now is the time to stock up on stamps!

I am a huge fan of stamps AND of the US postal service.

You can click here to see all the stamps currently for sale by the US Post Office online.

I am using some of my recent favorites to illustrate this blog post.

I feel the postal service is one of the things that still connects all of us — and that we all continue to use on a regular basis — regardless of political ideology, religious affiliation, racial ancestry, and socio-economic status (although the rates going up and up and up certainly make it more expensive to use…)

I also like our postal carrier, Rob.

He has been assigned to our neighborhood for the past decade (at least), and his familiar face — and warm personality — weave all of us in this section of East Arlington together on a daily basis.

Mostly what I receive in the mail are bills, credit card statements, requests for money from organizations to which I may have given a tiny amount of money in the past (or from new organizations to whom someone has given or sold my name and address) and advertisements.

On very rare occasions, I get a handwritten — and sometimes even a handcrafted! — card.

And I savor it…

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

I am not sure exactly what makes a hand-written card/note/letter different from an email/text message.

There is the pleasure of seeing a person’s individual, idiosyncratic, and — in a few cases — beautiful handwriting.

I also like knowing that the person who wrote it has touched the same paper and the envelope and the stamp that I am now touching as I rip it open and read it.

And I like seeing what stamp they have selected.

But there is also — for me at least — an element of respect that is somehow implied by the fact that they found the time to find a card (or piece of paper), write something on it, put it into an envelope, address it, stamp it, and get it into the mail.

And then, somewhat magically, it finds its way to me!

I have had jobs which included dropping off mail at both a local office and at a huge regional mail sorting center.

I have seen the people and conveyor belts and sorting machines and wheeled carts and trucks that are responsible for a card or letter or package getting from point A to point B.

It is quite a feat of logistics which most of us take for granted.

And I have never had a card or letter or bill payment (that I know of…) get lost.

On rare occasions I have received something which got a little chewed up en route.

But it was still legible.

In particular I love to send “thank you” cards.

It became a habit when I was given a promotion from part-time events coordinator to full-time PR director (who still coordinated a lot of events) at the Cambridge Center For Adult Education over twenty years ago.

Email was just becoming a regular thing — and hand-written cards were becoming more of a rarity.

Any time a media person included one of our classes or events in a calendar listing, or mentioned us in an article, or interviewed one of our teachers, or mentioned us on the radio, or covered us in any way — I sent them a hand-written “thank you” card.

I wanted to thank them, AND I also wanted to jumpstart (and then nurture) a relationship with them so that when they were next on a deadline and needed some expert to interview for a story, they might be more inclined to think of us as a potential resource.

Or when they had to choose an event to feature in their weekly calendar, they might be a little more likely to select one of our offerings.

Or they might even come and take one of our classes — or attend one of our poetry readings or concerts or workshops.

I was happily surprised (and a little bit embarrassed) to learn, when I attended an annual conference of local black journalists one year, that I had even become slightly infamous when an editor from The Boston Globe referred to me as “the guy who sends all of those ‘thank you’ notes.”

I continue to send “thank you” cards after every one of my gigs to the person who booked us — and sometimes also to the person who welcomed us and made sure we were all set up, too.

And I send “thank you” notes for gifts I receive, to family or friends who feed me dinner or host me on trips, and to local media folks who write about me and my musical life here on planet earth.

I love the cards at Trader Joe’s (only a buck each) and have learned that if I see something I like, I need to buy a bunch of them because I may never see them again for sale.

And every six months or so I go to a local discount department store, TJ Maxx, in a strip mall located a 12-minute bike ride from home.

If I am lucky, they have a bunch of simple, elegant “thank you” cards (in boxes of 12 or 15 or even 20!) at a half or a third of their regular price.

This translates to anywhere from 25 to 50 cents per card.

Then I buy 5-10 boxes of whatever is nicest (because I’ll probably never see any of THEM for sale either) and ride home feeling very rich in ‘thank you” cards.

Same thing for stamps.

If I see some I like, I buy many sheets (or rolls) of that particular design because there is no telling when they will sell out at my local post office — located a four-minute walk from my home.

I guess I could order them online, but I love going to an actual post office and talking with an actual postal employee.

I don’t love putting on two face masks — a medical one and a fabric one — before I go inside, but the more infectious Delta mutation is on the rise even here in relatively well-vaccinated Massachusetts.

So I am using face masks again when I am inside a public space like a post office or grocery store.

Last week when I bought a bunch of stamps, I was the only customer in the post office — which made my visit short and sweet.

I purchased $800 worth of postcard stamps — with a selection of beautiful barns on them — to go along with the 10,000 postcards I ordered earlier this year.

Actually I only ordered 5,000 postcards, but the printer did not understand the four-card template I sent to them and misprinted the first 5,000 (with four small messages rather than one big message on each card).

Then they very generously reprinted them correctly at no extra cost; so I ended up with 10,000 cards total — half of which say “The future belongs to those who vote,” and half of which say the same thing but four times and in much small type.

I mail them — along with a recommended hand-written message — to potential voters all over the USA who have a local election coming up (which they may or may not be aware of…)

It is one of the ways I attempt to ward off my profound disappointment — verging at times on terror — with how political events have been unfolding recently in these not-very-United States.

But this blog post is not intended to be a downer.

The recording I’ve included is a fun take of “Please Mr. Postman” written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland, and Robert Bateman. 

Wikipedia reminded me that it was the debut single by a Motown/Tamla group called The Marvelettes — originally released sixty years ago in August 1961.

Apparently the songwriter credits have varied over time — but the current copyright, I am happy to see, includes Georgia Dobbins, who was the original lead singer for The Marvelettes.

She helped create the first version of the song (which she and her bandmates sang when they auditioned for Motown/Tamla) by adapting a blues written by her friend William Garrett.

Her version was then re-worked by several Motown/Tamla songwriter/producers, including Freddie Gorman — who was also an actual Detroit postman.

I am particularly glad that she is included as a co-songwriter, because Wikipedia reports that Ms. Dobbins left the group soon after they were signed by Berry Gordy and before they recorded “Please Mr. Postman.”

There must be more to THAT story…

The song she helped to write became a hit — crossing the Atlantic to the UK where The Beatles quickly added it into their repertoire and eventually recorded it two years later in 1963.

Another thing I learned is that Marvin Gaye played drums on The Marvelettes’ version!

The Carpenters made it a hit yet again in 1975, and their version was sampled and used in another song called “Oh Yes” by the rapper Juelz Santana in 2006.

It is fascinating to see how songs, like viruses, move from one human host to another and creatively mutate over time…

The version at the beginning of this blog post is from a rehearsal I did a few years ago with the wonderful pianist Doug Hammer and a wonderful singer named Lynn Fischer.

In addition to being a life-long performer, Lynn is also the the executive director and co-artistic director of the Mass Transit Theater company in New York City.

I love the playful and spontaneous spirit of this recording, which I think was take number three during our rehearsal for the opening of an art exhibit called ART/Word which my sweetheart produces each year with a different theme.

The artistic theme that year was “Letters.”

I will end by thanking Lynn Fischer for joining me in our fun rendition of this song.

And thanking Doug Hammer for his gifts as a pianist AND engineer/producer.

And thanking the US postal service for continuing to exist and function!

And thanking the artists who create such an extraordinary variety of artwork for our stamps.

And thanking YOU for reading and listening to yet another one of my blog posts.

Do you still send hand-written cards and letters to anyone?

If you are hungry for more music, you are welcome to listen to my latest release, “The Carter Family” by Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman on a bunch of different digital music platforms.

And you are always welcome to visit my website — or you can find me singing (with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano) on SpotifyPandoraApple Music and other digital music platforms.

Let’s continue to find new ways to reduce our carbon footprint on this precious planet each and every day!

There are far too many forest fires and floods and mudslides happening these days…

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out!

Nice Work If You Can Get It…

I recently completed a ten-day course via Zoom about how one can use Facebook ads to expand one’s circle of musical supporters.

 Photo by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay 

It was a very worthwhile AND affordable undertaking — only $100 for 25+ hours of instruction which included many opportunities to ask questions and get help.

I came away from the learning experience with many new ideas… and a few reservations.

The first thing I liked about this training course was the opportunity to spend time with a hundred other musicians from around the world who also wanted to learn how to expand THEIR listening audiences. 

I felt both reassured and inspired to see that I am not the only musician with challenges, questions, concerns, anxieties, insecurities, ambivalences and dreams.

 Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

The man leading the ten-day course was himself a musician who had formed a band with several high school classmates and toured around the USA for several years.

They ended up working with very good producers, recording a bunch of powerful songs, selling tens of thousands of CDS, gaining millions of views on Youtube, and becoming successful without the services of a manager or a record label.

Then he got married (to someone he met as a result of his band’s performances), started having children, and realized that he didn’t want to tour any more.

 Photo by sarahbernier3140 from Pixabay 

He wanted to stay home with his burgeoning family.

So he began coaching other musicians on how to increase THEIR musical audiences and advance THEIR careers.

And he appears to be successful doing this as well…

Another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Photo of George and Ira Gershwin from the Library of Congress

This whole process reminded me of a classic song written by the Gershwin Brothers in 1927 — “Nice Work If You Can Get It” — which was one of nine songs Ira and George created for the movie A Damsel In Distress, which starred Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns and Gracie Allen. 

It was also one of the last songs George finished before he died — much too young at the age of 38 — in 1937 (as Hitler rose to power in Germany and opened the Buchenwald concentration camp near the city of Weimar…)

All of the the successful Jewish songwriters, performers, directors, producers, designers, movie moguls, etc. were very aware of what was unfolding in Europe in the 1930s…

Jewish composer Kurt Weill — one of the Gershwins’ peers — for example, had fled from Germany to Paris in 1933 and then moved to New York City in 1935.

Anti-Jewish German Newspaper courtesy of WIkimedia

I can only imagine how ambivalent the Gershwins, Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Irving Berlin, RIchard Rodgers, Larry Hart and their Jewish friends and co-workers must have felt about their extraordinary success in America while Europe was hurtling into war and genocide.

Fred Astaire (whom some biographers claim had partial Jewish ancestry which he chose not to share with the public during his lifetime) was the first person to perform “Nice Work If You Can Get It.”

I wonder if Ira’s lyrics might have been inspired in part by the opulent lifestyle he and his brother and their family were enjoying in Hollywood at the time — living in big houses with swimming pools and tennis courts and huge lawns (perfect for fancy parties under rented tents) —  while much of the world was still struggling to dig its way out of the Great Depression.

Life is full of strange historical juxtapositions…

Yet another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Let’s return to my recent ten-day course in music marketing.

All of us participants wanted to learn how to share our musical gifts with more people.

And the guy leading the course was showing us how…while simultaneously grooming us to want to sign up for even more coaching.

Photo by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay 

I became increasingly aware during the ten-day-process that he and his excellent support team were both educating us AND laying the groundwork to pitch us more intensive/expensive coaching opportunities at the end of our time together.

I found myself simultaneously admiring their marketing system AND being somewhat repulsed by it.

The first step involves reaching out to potential new fans using short (20-30 second) videos which one can make using one’s cell phone.

Photo by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Then for as little as $3 per day one pays Facebook to share these videos with Facebook users who have in some way indicated that they are fans of a particular genre of music (such as reggae, hip hop, pop, rock, R&B, folk, musical theater, etc) and/or a particular recording artist (such as Ella Fitzgerald, The Eurythmics, James Taylor, Coldplay, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rosemary Clooney, Bob Marley, etc.)

Then one begins interacting via FB Messenger with the folks who respond to one’s ads by sharing a link to one’s own songs — and if they like THAT, one continues interacting with them to get a better sense of their musical taste, if they have ever gone to a live concert, if they have ever bought merchandise (such as T-shirts, hoodies, a mug, a poster, a CD, a magnet), if they have ever supported the career of a favorite musical artist with monthly donations, etc.

Photo by unpetitvoyou from Pixabay 

All of this seems OK and possibly quite exciting — especially if total strangers from around the world respond favorably to one’s marketing outreach and genuinely like one’s music.

On the final day of the training, however, some of the woman musicians started sharing about interactions with new fans which had begun well and then turned into scary stalker situations.

One person in England, in fact, was in the midst of talking with lawyers and protective services while she was simultaneously participating in our ten-day training program.

Argh!!!

The shiny, happy, everyone-can-learn-how-to-increase-one’s-fanbase-using-these-simple-practices vibe of the training sessions became much more nuanced and grounded and real.

Another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Having had a few days to reflect upon the training session, I have concluded that sharing authentic interactions with people who like one’s music seems do-able and not-too-morally-bankrupt (although the astounding and somewhat terrifying amount of data that Facebook collects about each one of us in order to be able to sell these specifically-targeted ads is something that deserves much more discussion and regulation…)

However, if one is successful in jumpstarting these authentic conversations with new fans (with whom one is careful not to share too much personal information such as street addresses or phone numbers so that they are less likely to become stalkers…) via FB Messenger and continues to run ads, eventually one becomes unable to keep up with all of these human interactions…

So the next step — not taught in our ten-day workshop but available as a much-more-expensive coaching opportunity — is how to automate one’s responses using chatbot programs.

This is where my reservations really kick in…

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Would new fans understand that they are interacting with very sophisticated, well-programmed chatbots?

Or would they think they are actually interacting with me?

And does this transform an authentic interaction with another human being into yet another cynical marketing campaign/ploy?

I am currently thinking a lot about this potential developmental step in my career.

And I am also realizing how many of the music industry people whose free videos I have watched on YouTube are using a similar chatbot-powered system to interact with me in a seemingly authentic way when I leave grateful comments on their websites.

Hmmm.

How misled have I felt after realizing that I have been getting auto-generated “thank you” messages from them after giving them my email address?

A little…

And then how disappointed/exploited have I felt when I have started to receive a chatty barrage of pre-programmed email messages from them inviting me to continue to interact with them (and eventually sign up for some sort of in-depth, paid, educational experience they are offering)?

Somewhat…

Photo by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay 

But it doesn’t stop me from continuing to learn from them via their free YouTube videos.

So maybe potential new music fans (who have only interacted with a chatbot version of me) would be remain similarly engaged with my music if they found some authentic value from it?

My final misgiving about this generous ten-day training program was that it never mentioned climate change and the environmental impact of using email and Facebook and Spotify/Pandora/YouTube/Amazon/Apple/Etc to share one’s music with the rest of the world.

The training session existed in a bubble of denial untouched by the increasing reverberations of climate change.

And it was being led by a late twenty-something (or early thirty-something?) father of two small children whom I hope is giving SOME thought to the future on behalf of his daughter and son…

One final deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Photo by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay 

What have your experiences been with marketing to other human beings… and with being the target of marketing by other human beings (and/or their chatbots)?

What are your thoughts and feelings about the environmental impact of our amazing digital communications?

Thank you to the photographers at Pixabay for their lovely images.

Thank you to Doug Hammer for his wonderful piano accompaniment AND his significant production/engineering skills.

Thank you to the Gershwin Brothers for their terrific, timeless songs.

And thank YOU for reading and listening to another one of my blog posts.

Photo by Arek Socha from Pixabay 

You are always welcome to visit my website, and you can find me singing (with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano) on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and other digital music platforms.