Love Story

I’m taking requests now. I’m backlogged about five weeks worth of requests, and all of them are songs I’ve never played before. So this will be a learning experience. Thanks, Ashley Peterson, for the first request — good choice.   I’ll be back with “Circle of Life” next week, God willing.

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“Turns Toward Dawn” (Studio Version)

“Turns Toward Dawn” — Studio Version. Recorded (along with five other songs) on Cooper Knutson’s last day, serving as the main character, Winston Greene, in our ongoing Eden in Babylon workshop. Cooper Knutson and Keva Shull, vocals. Andy Pope, piano. Sound design by Liam Robert Marchant. I am at this stage nothing but proud of everyone involved. The world has yet to hear a better “Turns Toward Dawn” than this.

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Love Theme

This is from a while back.   Something told me it would be pertinent, so I revisited it.  It’s the Love Theme from the Zefferilli film Romeo and Juliet, by Nino Rota.  It’s somewhat mercurial – but I think it winds up addressing many levels of love.

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A little bit goes a long, long way. 


Simple Love Song

Before we go much further, I probably ought to let my close followers know how the radio show went.  It went great.  And not only that, but a couple of very interesting events occurred immediately before and after the interview.  

Not having done a radio interview since 1987, I was extremely nervous.  I was so nervous, I had a hard time praying before the show.  I was grabbing a bite to eat at the Courtyard, when I prayed: “Lord, please let me run into another believer who will pray for me, because I cannot pray.” (Ironically, when I said, “I cannot pray,” I was praying.) 

I believe that prayer was heard.   I had barely taken one step out the door of the Courtyard, when someone locking their bicycle said hi to me.  But I didn’t recognize her with helmet and haircut.  As she took off the helmet, I realized she was Amanda from my church.

So I explained the situation and asked her to pray.   Then I got to the studio right on time, and the entire event flowed beautifully.   It wasn’t perfect, of course.  But it was a lot better than I’d feared!

Immediately after the three hour event was over, I went to the bathroom and thanked the Lord.  Then I asked Him what I should do next.  (I’ve been doing that a lot lately, because I’m such a space case I often don’t know what the next logical thing to do is.)

The still small voice clearly said: “Relax and rejoice.”  I’d never heard that combination before.  But it sounded right to me.

As I left the studio, an incredible peace came over my entire being.  It was the most peace I had felt in my spirit since the day when I played the entire score on the piano of Dan Bukvich, the noted composer and percussionist.   His reply had been: “We gotta get this thing staged!”

After that, I was at peace for about six hours.  I’m not a person who ordinarily experiences that depth of peace.  (In case anyone hasn’t noticed, I’m one of those “high strung space cases.”)

This time, the peace was not quite so enduring.  But while I was immersed in a blissful peace, approximately five minutes after I had left the studio, I saw a fellow with a backpack, and I heard a familiar phrase.

“Hey, you dropped your smile!”

This expression was used a lot by panhandlers in Berkeley, during the years when I was homeless there.   Sometimes people were offended.  In this case, the young woman merely smiled.  You see, we have only one visible homeless person in this entire town.   So it’s very unusual to run into a homeless chap up here. 

Smiling, I asked him: “Did you just say, ‘you dropped your smile?””

“Yeah!  Are you homeless?”

“Not anymore.”

“Me neither.   I just got myself a small house on the edge of town, after being homeless in Seattle for years.”

After a brief but warm conversation, we parted ways.   I then reflected on how this sudden radio show had come about.   I had played a song at the Open Mike which we hold on the last Friday of each month in the quiet little Art-positive hamlet in which I dwell.   Then I found myself shooting the breeze with one of the other participants in the event, and it turned out he needed somebody for his radio show the following day.

The song that he heard, by the way, was this:

“Simple Love Song” © 1976, 2019 by Andrew Michael Pope

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A little bit goes a long, long way.  


Baby Steps

I’m sitting in the local pub in a highly neurotic state.  No worries – I’m not drinking, and perish the thought.  But when the clock struck 4:20 a few minutes ago, I must admit I experienced more than a vague inkling to dip into the dubious diversion of delectable desirability, duck into the nearest dark alley, and burn one.   It’s hard for me to deal with anxiety; and as I expressed quite emphatically earlier, taking a valium or a klonopin is no longer a viable option for me.

Since the previous post, I actually went back to the beginning of the script and wrote up to p.53 a second time, making adjustments – some minor, some fairly significant.  I got into the “zone” at one point and completely rewrote the intro to the female antagonist’s first song, which I call “Midnight Screams.”  I sent it to my brother and my daughter hoping for feedback, haven’t heard from either, and am feeling a bit pathetic on this whole feedback thing.  I hate it when I become “insistent” that people peruse my work.  It never works in the first place, not to mention it makes me feel like an annoying pest.

leonid_pasternak_-_the_passion_of_creationThere’s no getting around it.  I’m going to have to break out of isolation here, and present myself as best I can to the world of other artists and writers  engaged in projects of equal importance to them.   So, I more-or-less boldly wrote to the fellow who teaches the current undergraduate Playwriting class at the University, even though I could already feel the stab of rejection slicing through my heart over the Intraweb — pseudo-prophetically, as it were.  My confidence is at an all time low.

But – it was a baby step.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll see if there’s a Meet-Up group of some sort.  Either way, I’m going to have to stop bugging my friends and family members for feedback.  I need to go about this decently and properly.  Bottom line is, the idea of sitting around a table in a classroom and sharing all my crazy ideas with a bunch of other writers is scaring the living daylights out of me.  But that’s all the more reason why I’ve got to take the plunge.  You don’t learn how to swim, after all, by avoiding the water.

Opening up to p.53 and the current minor impasse.  The wheels are starting to spin.  Obviously, a twisted love song is in order, both lover and lovee a bit on the delusional side.  Welcome to the wonderful world of Musical Theatre.  Maybe if the owner of the pub steps in, she’ll let me play the piano for a free meal like she did last Saturday.  Here’s hoping.