The Arizona Book Shelf Book Store features several local Tucson, Arizona authors who have released several new books on the shelves and online. These local books can be purchased in Tucson bookstores, including Mostly Books, Antigone Books, Summit Hut, Oracle Inn and online at Amazon.com.
Authors Robert Zucker, William Flint Carter and Ron Quinn are featured in an upcoming edition of “Arizona Book Shelf” available at the above locations, public libraries and there Tucson, AZ outlets in September. These books are published through BZB Publishing (owners of Entertainment Magazine and EMOL.org website).
This Month’s Featured Arizona Books from BZB Publishing
Fifty years of Tucson entertainment, thousands of entertainers and hundreds of bands in Tucson, Arizona between the 1950s into the 2000s. Read chapters and download free PDFsample.
Legends of lost mines, lost cities and a lost mission in the Santa Catalina Mountains, North of Tucson, Arizona, have been passed down by word of mouth for generations. Read chapters and download free PDF sample.
Tucson Local Authors
Local Tucson authors have released several new books on the shelves and online. These books can be purchased in Tucson bookstores and Amazon.com. Read sample pages, download free PDF samples. Read the new edition of Tucson Bookshelf and Arizona Bookshelf publication.
The Entertainment Book company no longer has a Tucson, Arizona office. The new Tucson entertainment book edition is available through the official Entertainment web site.
Fifty years of Tucson entertainment, thousands of entertainers and hundreds of bands in Tucson, Arizona between the 1950s into the 2000s. Read chapters and download free PDFsample.
Legends of lost mines, lost cities and a lost mission in the Santa Catalina Mountains, North of Tucson, Arizona, have been passed down by word of mouth for generations. Read chapters and download free PDF sample.
Read more Tucson Local Author’s Book Shelf.
“One of the most important lessons in life,” says keyboardist-composer Timothy Wenzel, “is to learn to concentrate on what we have rather than what we don’t have. As a reminder of that I titled my new album What We Hold Dear and each of the musical themes reflects various aspects of life that are especially meaningful to me.”
Wenzel goes on to explain, “As the album cover artwork shows, if after a natural disaster you have your arms around your family, you still have the most important things in your life. Everything is secondary to those whom I hold dear. Number one is the people I love. But moving down my own personal list, I also have strong love for music, nature, our world and the universe, spirituality, dreams, special places I have lived and traveled to, wonderful people I have come in to contact with, and the power of rivers, lakes and oceans.”
Timothy Wenzel is a former scientist who has become a leading new age music keyboardist over the past few years. He uses his music to explore both major universal concepts as well as philosophies, feelings and adventures that pertain to our daily lives. Musically Wenzel places the most emphasis on piano, which he has played all his life, but he also is a master synthesist and augments the piano parts with a wide variety of instrumental sounds including flute, woodwinds, harp, guitars, strings, bass, drums and percussion. Wenzel’s music has great appeal in the new age genre, especially because of the haunting melodies and dreamy arrangements that create a sense of peacefulness and relaxation.
Wenzel is joined on What We Hold Dear by several special guests — violinist Josie Quick who plays on 10 of the 12 tracks (she also appeared on his last recording), cellist Jordan Schug (who is on half of the tunes) and singer Sarah Joerz (who vocalizes wordlessly on one piece). Quick is a member of the progressive groups Perpetual Motion, The Coyote Poets of the Universe and the Frontera String Quartet. Schug, who has backed Richie Cole and Jon Hendricks in concert, plays jazz cello in a number of groups including The Wildcats, The Schug-Jellick Duo and the Detroit Jazz Legacy Ensemble.
What We Hold Dear follows Wenzel’s previous albums Mountains Take Wing (on which he explored earth and nature), A Coalescence of Dreams (centered on dreams and our personal journey), River Serene (a flowing river serves as an analogy for life), Summon the Wind (using the wind metaphor to explore life’s pervasive forces) and Distant Horseman (extending thoughts about life to include the entire universe). He also recently recorded a duet CD, Such a Long Time, with singer Anne Cozean. More information on Timothy Wenzel is available at his website (timothywenzel.com). All of his CDs and digital download tracks from those recordings are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others.
His albums regularly receive airplay on hundreds of radio stations and channels around the world, and always race into the Top 10 on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 monthly airplay chart. Distant Horseman was the #3 album on the ZMR Chart and went #1 on numerous monthly New Age Music Charts: Got Radio’s New Age Nuance Channel, Our Place Radio Channel, Montana Public Radio, WAWL (Chattanooga, Tennessee), WFCF (St. Augustine, Florida), KRCB (Rohnert Park, California) and WVUD (Newark, Delaware).
There is always a visual element within Wenzel’s music which is often inspired by dreams, films, stories and nature scenery. In addition, for each tune he usually seeks out an appropriate piece of artwork which he makes available for viewing on his website. Wenzel also is an avid photographer.
Some of the music on What We Hold Dear was inspired by nature. Wenzel turned the idea of “Murmuration” into music (it is a collective term for starlings). “When thousands of starlings swirl in the air together as a unit, it is like a dance of nature.” Wenzel wrote “Appalachian Waters” about his time living in West Virginia (“I loved the beauty of nature there and the traditional mountain music.”). “Desert Dream” grew out of the feeling “of being in the Southwestern desert with a tribe long ago going through a deep mysterious spiritual rite.” The composition “On A Quiet Night” came from a thrilling night of photography when Wenzel went out into the country alone to capture the aurora borealis. Wenzel has often explored water themes which he returns to with “Turquoise Sky, Emerald Sea.” “Waves on the ocean can be very lulling and soothing, but this simple melody also affected me emotionally because it brought back memories of youth and falling in love.”
Other tunes on the recording explore the spirituality of our lives — “Ascension” (“My aspiration is to rise higher both spiritually and musically, to ascend beyond boundaries and limits.”), “Incantations” (“Spells and chants can lead to a powerful personal transformation especially when you get so enraptured and caught up in the vision that you go beyond your normal realm.”) and “Moon Dance” (“Humans have always looked up at the moon, felt its magic, and been inspired, even compelled, to dance happily through the night.”).
While the title tune, “What We Hold Dear,” musically summarizes what is most important to each of us, on other tunes Wenzel explores a variety of life’s meaningful moments. “Hypnotized” is a love song. “When you feel the hypnotic effect of love it is a remarkable kind of mesmerizing experience.” Wenzel taps into the sadness of being separated from family and friends in the piece “In A Little While” (“The sense of leaving, of displacement, and the yearning for reunion evokes strong emotions.”). For “A Spring Day in Autumn,” Wenzel fantasizes about “what if an older person suddenly was able to experience their youth again, but with the perspective that all of their years have given them.”
Wenzel spent his childhood in South Haven, Michigan, where he was born and raised. As a boy he divided his time between being outdoors enjoying nature, but also inside playing the piano. “There was always a piano in our house. It was built by my grandfather who worked in a piano factory.” Tim’s mother played piano and encouraged him to play. He started plunking on the keys when he was three and two years later was taking lessons. Wenzel says, “I was deeply into classical music at first, but later I started being influenced by rock’n’roll and what I heard on the radio.” Initially Wenzel enjoyed Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues, and later Fleetwood Mac and U2. As he got older he began to appreciate new age music (“George Winston and the whole rosters of the Windham Hill and Narada labels”) and Celtic sounds — Loreena McKennitt, Clannad, Enya and Sara McLachlan.
Music is Wenzel’s second fulltime career following an initial career in science. “Music and science have always been my two main passions. I see a correlation between them. Scientific exploration is full of creativity and is very much like writing a song. In both cases you start with an idea and then explore the possibilities of where it can lead.” He earned a BS degree in Chemistry at the University of Missouri, then his Masters and PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry at Cornell University. He first served as a post-doctoral researcher in organometallic chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. This led to a career in research science, first with Union Carbide in West Virginia, and then with Dow Chemical back in Michigan where he still lives. “I primarily worked in making polymers using catalysts. Polymers are a chemical compound of repeating structural units. My work was primarily in polyethylene using a new generation of catalysts to make different plastics. The highlight of my career was when they let me run with a far-out idea I had, and I headed a team that found a way to make two catalysts talk to each other. It is a powerful technique to make new types of polymers. It was a major discovery.”
Wenzel says, “Life is full of loss, but even when we lose people or things it helps us put life into perspective and teaches us that what is most important is what we still have. I hope the music on What We Hold Dear is not only entertaining, but also provokes some thoughts about what are actually the most important things in our lives.”
Guitarist Jack Gates enjoys incorporating into his sound subtle musical stylistic traits, motifs and rhythms from around the world, which explains the title of his new album, Bring The Flavors. “Music can be like cooking where you add a variety of spices to come up with something new,” he states.
Gates has spent his career studying many music genres especially from India, South and Central America, Cuba and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. His music includes a raga form here, a samba beat there, an Afro-Cuban structure elsewhere, and much more. Those world-fusion elements are then blended with the sounds of new age, jazz and folk to create a delectable mix with broad appeal to many audiences.
“This album was written and recorded while I was living in a forest in the mountains above Santa Cruz, California, where I was studying Tibetan Buddhism,” says Gates. “The music has a peaceful quality and is certainly an outgrowth of meditation and being close to nature in a place where I could explore music without a lot if interruptions. I found a recording studio in those mountains down a winding dirt road and it had just the right ambience.”
Gates is joined on most of the tunes on the album by drummer and percussionist Steve Robertson and acoustic bassist Stan Poplin. Other guests include Damien Masterson on harmonica on two tracks, and Michal Palzewicz playing cello on one piece. “We all had the same sensibilities because all of these players have studied widely in both the world music and jazz arenas.” Robertson (Tassajara Trio, Deepak Ram, The White Album Ensemble) has studied North Indian classical music and sacred sounds from around the world. Poplin has played with Robben Ford, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dave Brubeck and Dub Nation. Masterson (San Francisco Harmonica Ensemble, Zerro Santos, Gerald Beckett) has spent extensive time in Brazil, Cuba and Africa. Palzewicz is a member of Duo Sapphire, Elsner String Quarter, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Orchestra and the world-fusion band Trine.
Gates’ previous recordings are New Geography (produced by Mark Lemaire, and featuring Michael Manring and Phil Thompson), Earth Messenger (with drummer Kevin Mummey and bassist David Motto), the solo guitar album Boulevard (including original material as well as compositions by Jobim, Egberto Gismonti, Baden Powell, Cole Porter, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Lennon/McCartney), and Voyage of the Troubadour (with Phil Thompson, Dean Muench and Sharyl Gates). Jack Gates also has recorded two duo albums with sitarist Tim White, Morning Song Evening Song and Impromptu.
More information on Jack Gates is available at his website (jackgatesmusic.com). His CDs and digital download tracks from those recordings are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others.
In addition, Gates is a longtime live performer, producer, arranger, session musician, composer and guitar teacher. He has produced albums and sessions for Larry Stefl, Bill Meyer, Marc Silber and Deborah Henson-Conant. Gates also arranged and played guitar on an album for singer Helene Attia that also featured musicians such as Norton Buffalo, Roger Glenn and Celso Alberti. Gates has performed on recordings by Silvia Nakkach and Kit Walker (with Paul McCandless), Joanne Shenandoah, Steve Deutsch (with Omar Sosa), Chris Saunders, Juanita Newland, Rafael Manriquez and Quique Cruz, Fernando Sanjines and Samba do Coracao, Faranak, Bob Giles and many others. Gates has performed live with Frank Biner (Tower of Power), Tyler Eng (Greg Kihn), Claudia Gomez, Jeff Narell, Klezmania, Chalo Eduardo, Monica Pasqual, Marcos Silva and others.
Jack grew up in Northern California in the Berkeley-Kensington-El Cerrito area. When he was young his parents introduced him to classical music and a little later on to folk-singers (Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs). Soon he was listening to the guitarists Andres Segovia and John Fahey. Gates took some folk guitar and flamenco lessons as a youngster, but it was jazz guitar lessons when he was 16 that opened new doors of understanding and he started appreciating George Benson, Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass. After becoming enthralled with the playing of Jimi Hendrix, Gates put together a rock’n’roll band, Underock, at age 18 to play at local dances and eventually nightclubs. While a music major at Cal State Hayward, Gates began playing classical guitar. He studied with the renowned David Tanenbaum and also audited a master class taught by Julian Bream at the San Francisco Conservatory. Gates had the opportunity to go to the John Cabot School in Italy for six months and study art history (while there he also played music with his friend Tim White). After returning home, the association with White led to Gates studying North Indian classical music under famed musician Ali Akbar Khan and learning to play the sarod.
After switching his focus back to guitar, Gates broadened his musical studies even further. First he immersed himself in Sixties jazz (John Coltrane, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner), then R&B and finally Latin music. “Getting deep into Brazilian music was a revelation,” says Gates, who began exploring the music of Jobim, Baden Powell and Milton Nascimento. “This was important for my guitar playing because it showed me how to stretch and simultaneously incorporate many elements into my music. South and Central America have always been a fertile place for music where so many styles have come together including jazz, blues, indigenous music and elements from Portugal, Spain and Africa.”
For his Bring the Flavors album, Gates plays both nylon-string acoustic guitars as well as electric guitars, often overdubbing them onto the same piece to create interesting interplay and deep textures. The album opens with the Latin-tinged title tune featuring Gates on two acoustics “plus there is an electric guitar in the background playing shimmering chords.” The track “Time In,” featuring harmonica, “takes a cue from Brazilian traditional choro music.”
Gates calls “Wave Theory” a “psychedelic piece combining the Northeastern Brazilian rhythmic style called baiao with music from the Sixties like Quicksilver Messenger Service or the Grateful Dead, and I have been spending a lot of time at the beach watching the waves and surfers.” The piece “Waterfalls” features Gates’ friend Michal Palzewicz on cello (“we have often improvised together during summer music retreats”). “Seraphic Journey,” the longest composition on the album at more than eight-minutes, “starts as an acoustic guitar Renaissance classical piece and then becomes more of a Brazilian samba when the electric rock guitar part joins in.” There also is acoustic and electric guitar interplay on “Enigmatic Land” (“my sonic description of the huge trees in the Santa Cruz forest, an almost primeval environment”). Its companion piece is “Cloud Forest” featuring Gates playing both classical and flamenco guitars with Robertson on pandeiro, a Brazilian hand frame-drum.
“‘Marketplace’ is my interpretation of an African market where I play the rhythm on an electric Stratocaster and the melodic part on an acoustic flamenco guitar.” The one solo acoustic guitar tune on the recording is an Afro-Samba piece titled “The Magician,” influenced by Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell and “Candomble” (“a syncretic religious practice that combines West African indigenous ritual with Catholicism and White Voodoo”). The acoustic-guitar and harmonica duet “Dawn Walker” refers to early mankind, the hunter-gatherer, with the unusual chords inspired by Brazilian jazz guitarist Toninho Horta. “Beach Traffic” incorporates acoustic strumming with electric soloing over a Latin-Cuban groove with conga. On “Choco Latte” Gates tips his hat to Afro-Cuban jazz using two acoustic guitars, while the following “Electric Sonata” includes solos on both electric and acoustic guitars. The recording closes with a raga-influenced number, “Liquid Entropy,” utilizing two electric guitars.
“When you are in a restaurant you might say, ‘Bring the flavors!’ That is exactly what I said in the recording studio to myself and the other musicians. I wanted all of us to explore different sounds, tastes and textures by bringing in elements from all over.”
Multi-instrumentalist David Franklin hears music and rhythm patterns everywhere in his day-to-day life whether it is machines, telephones, a vacuum, vibrating objects, a door closing or a baby crying; he uses these “found sounds” as inspiration or even directly in his compositions. In addition, whether playing piano, guitar, synth or percussion, Franklin usually is not content to simply pick up an instument and make traditional notes and melodies, but instead enjoys manipulating the music by trying unusual tunings, using reverb or distortion, recording the sounds backwards, or playing the instrument in an unorthodox style. All of this and more comes into play on Franklin’s latest recording, Songs of Potential Embrace, an eclectic collection of 16 pieces that could be categorized as new age avant-garde.
“I like sounds and I have been playing with sounds all my life,” explains Franklin. “I started out as a drummer, and I have always been a person who hits different objects just to see what it sounds like. Or I might spot a construction site, stop my car and go sing into an 80-foot pipe to find out what it does to my voice. It’s like there is a symphony of sounds going on around us all the time, and I often collect the sounds I hear by recording them on my phone. When I finally heard artists like John Cage and Steve Reich I realized I wasn’t crazy when I was hitting garbage-can lids and pipes. My guitar playing was hugely influenced by Michael Hedges because of the different tunings he used, and I found that open tunings, for example, push me to explore different places musically.”
Songs of Potential Embrace is David Franklin’s ninth album. He began as a folk-pop singer, did a Christmas solo piano album, released an experimental avant-garde recording geared to induce trance-state healing, and most recently released a successful instrumental melodic new age album (Playing With Shadows) which also featured renowned fretless bassist Michael Manring. That album spent two months in the Top 10 of the international Top 100 Zone Music Reporter Chart (the most important listing of successful new age recordings). Songs of Potential Embrace and other recordings by David Franklin are available as CDs and digital downloads through his website (DavidFranklin.com) as well as many online sales sites including iTunes and Amazon.
Franklin believes music is one of humanity’s most powerful tools for healing, and he hopes his music will help listeners connect to their inner feelings and ultimately create more of a sense of connection in their lives. Franklin, who also is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Northern California, says, “Music influences us on many levels, such as relaxing us, making us feel better, serving as a bridge that connects us to ourselves and others, helping individuals form a deeper understanding of life, and serving as a healing tool.”
On Songs of Potential Embrace Franklin brings together elements of “found sounds,” avant-garde, new age and ambient music. “I like to explore some of the many different possibilities of music, and I don’t like limiting myself in creating music. The idea behind the album title is really asking the world a question. Can all the people of this planet try to understand our connectedness, and accept each other as part of humanity rather than rejecting one another because of religion or politics or anything we don’t agree on?”
The music includes new compositions, several tracks created specifically to accompany performances by a San Francisco dance troupe, and a couple of tunes originally on Franklin’s avant-garde Shadowlands album that have been reworked and remixed.
Several pieces are only acoustic piano — “Mourning in America” (“I haven’t given up on America, but I am saddened by many things that have happened in our country”), “Inbal’s Theme” (a very slow, sparse, ambient tune created for a woman dying of cancer), “Shade and Shadow” (overdubbed piano about which Franklin says, “I like it when the music challenges me”), and the companion piece (also with two piano parts) “Shade and Darkness” (“I went to Italy last year and played this live while a dance troupe performed in this ancient square”). A couple of tunes are all synthesizer — “Whirling,” “Ambient Fog” and “Xas10Shl (existential)” — and one, “Allowing,” combines piano and synth.
Other music on the album features both piano and guitars. Regarding “The Failed Experiment of Consciousness,” Franklin says, “Global warming and climate changes are issues I am very concerned about, and I am cautiously hopeful the human race will wake up and rectify some of these uncomfortable truths.” On that tune he uses an acoustic baritone guitar with altered strings and an alternative tuning, and he adds some electric guitar toward the end. Another piano-guitar piece is the melodic “So Far Below” which uses the same altered baritone guitar and which was written in a cemetary.
The more experimental, avant-garde material on the recording includes “Calling” which uses a telephone ringing as a rhythm pattern behind an out-of-tune piano from the 1800s, a plucked violin and wordless vocalizing. “Piece for Vacuum and 3 Voices” uses a vacuum as a background drone sound with the voices capturing the feeling of music from India including a rhythmic tabla-like part. “RH Factor” features a backwards guitar and a baby crying (“The sound of a baby crying resonates deep within us biologically.”). “Swamps of New Jersey” includes an udu (an African hand percussion pot) recorded backwards, bass notes from a harp guitar (some bowed), water sounds from a drum with ballbearings inside, and stream of consciousness vocals. “Quotes” is comprised of snippets of conversations with troubled teenagers mixed with unusual guitar sounds — a guitar lightly bumping against a shelf, a clicking sound from an electric guitar and purposely “cranked distortion.” “The Wildness” is a 57-second tune containing singing bowls and Franklin reciting a poem.
Franklin was born and raised in New Jersey. In the fifth grade he discovered drums, in sixth grade he picked up guitar and started writing songs, and in high school he was also playing piano and singing. He played drums in rock bands through high school and college, while earning a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science at Pennsylvania State University. While at college he also performed as a singer-songwriter. After college he worked in New York City for three years using his environmental degree and taking air samples inside office buildings while also playing keyboards in a rock band.
Wanting to make more of a difference by calling attention to environmental problems and solutions, Franklin took a year off to join 90 other environmentalists in The Global Walk for a Livable World, a year-long hike across the country. Along the way they spoke at schools, to the media and to politicians. Franklin wrote and recorded songs throughout the trek, and that music was released as an album, Our Children’s Only Home. The albums that followed also were primarily vocal folk-pop projects — such as Patterns Yet Unknown and Strangers and Angels. Franklin also did a solo piano album called Traditional Christmas Melodies. Additionally he embraced avant-garde, experimental music with Shadowlands, his first venture to explore “found sounds” (such as the rhythmic sound of computer printers).
Franklin later returned to college and earned his Masters in Counseling and went on to become licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in working with teenagers, and often incorporating music into his work.
“Music can be a powerful healer and an important soundtrack as we access and understand the deeper parts of ourselves,” Franklin says. “Ultimately I hope this music helps some listeners experience a sense of connection to themselves and to others.”
“I try not to limit myself to just one way of looking at things or doing something,” explains musician Nathan Speir. That philosophy has led to an eclectic and varied musical career with his recordings having been described as ambient chamber music, acoustic-ambient, piano-oriented new age, and avant-garde. His ninth album, Part of a Kindly Plan, continues his fascinating experimentation.
The new album mostly contains acoustic instruments — acoustic piano, steel and nylon-string acoustic guitars, wooden flute, cello, harmonica, rain-stick and singing bowls — but a couple of tunes also include a little synthesizer (primarily replicating a string-section). “In addition,” states Speir, “silence has a big place in my music and I pay a lot of attention to the spaces between the notes.”
Part of a Kindly Plan (on the Neptic Music label) and Nathan Speir’s previous albums — Between Earth & Sky, Nathan’s Piano, Brighter Days, A Day of Poetry, Ambient Piano Christmas Volume 1, The Emotive Leaf, Ambient Piano Christmas Volume 2 (and the associated 3-song CD Warmth in Winter with additional instrumentation), and Improv 16 — are available at his website (NathanSpeir.com) and as CDs and digital downloads at a variety of online sales sites including CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic and many others.
Some of the inspiration for Part of a Kindly Plan came from a poem by Thomas Hardy, “On A Fine Morning,” written in the early 1900s and printed on the back of Speir’s CD. Speir explains, “At the beginning the poem asks a question: What is solace? Hardy says it is not this or exactly that, but at the end he is happy and content because he says everything is part of a benign or kindly plan that is proof that earth was made for man. I liked the sentiments expressed so I paraphrased various lines for the name of the album and several tune titles.”
The first piece on the album, “Hued Embowment,” could be described as “vibrant ambient.” It features piano, cello and singing bowls. “I was feeling motion like tides going in and out, perhaps at sunrise.” The composition “As We Turn” blends an acoustic-steel string guitar with piano, rainstick shaker, some sampled tympani and synth strings. “There are lots of turns in life, and as we grow older our perspective of life changes.” On “Good Seasons” Speir primarily plays guitar (with a string section and a bit of cello) and says, “This was influenced by some of the early acoustic guitar bands I listened to such as Acoustic Alchemy and Wind Machine.”
For “A Taste of Solace,” Speir plays both piano and steel-string guitar to give the music some counterpoint. “We all need a time for stillness, quiet, healing, meditation and contemplation. It helps us physically, mentally and spiritually.” He notes that “Open Ranges” was influenced by trips he has taken to the American Southwest, so he added harmonica to this piano piece. On the rapid, melodic, piano-cello “Passing Charcoal Clouds,” Speir says he went for a neo-classical feeling (“This was inspired by Patrick O’Hearn and his versatility.”). To capture the right atmosphere on “Serenity In This House,” Speir started with piano and nylon-string guitar, and then added wind chimes, some noises from his home, and an oldtime squeaky round spinning piano stool.
The tune “Praxis” mixes nylon-string guitar and Native American wood flute with a rhythmic drum-sound created by Speir hitting the cello fretboard with his open hand. “The idea behind this piece is that everyone should chose a discipline of some sort, seriously practice it, persevere, improve, and also enjoy the journey.” Regarding “Familiar Orbits” (piano, synth string drone, cello and singing bowls), Speir says, “The title refers to many things — astronomical bodies going around a star, the molecular energy within us and around us, and the regular pathways we follow in life.” The album ends with the very slow, nearly-nine-minute “Breathing On This Shore” (piano, strings and singing bowls) created by Speir at 62-beats per minute “like slow, regular breathing, perhaps during meditation on a beach.”
Speir was born in Southern California, but his father worked in the aerospace industry (including the Kennedy Space Center), so the family moved around and Nathan also grew up in Florida and Connecticut. “My appreciation for music started at an early age because my grandfather built an extensive high-end stereo system with more than a hundred speakers and he had a collection of more than a thousand classical albums. For several years we had the system in our house and listening to music on it was an awesome experience.” Nathan started playing piano at age eight and composing when he was twelve (“I remember one of my first songs was called ‘Suspenseful Dream’.”). “One of the things that influenced me the most as a child was seeing George Winston and Yanni perform on PBS television. In addition, my father turned me on to music by Cusco, Patrick O’Hearn and Tangerine Dream. I also took a course on MIDI music in high school.”
Speir attended Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida and earned his Bachelors degree in Music Theory and Composition. “I took a computer with me to college and it allowed me to create music on the spot. I could work out ideas wearing headphones. I also helped make recordings of recitals and learned about recording gear. Part of my music scholarship required me to be part of a concert choir, and the college choir traveled to Europe and we sang some sacred works in cathedrals around Krakow, Poland.” In addition to music, Speir during his university days also was involved with visual art (drawing, illustrating and painting), and in recent years has designed most of his album covers.
After college, Speir, who now lives in North Carolina, began to actively record his own original music and release an impressive series of albums and singles that include recordings ranging from solo piano to all-synthesized as well as a combination of the two keyboard sounds sometimes supplemented with other instrumentation such as Native American flute, guitars and cello. He has sometimes recorded alternate arrangements of some of his compositions.
Speir draws musical inspiration from a wide variety of sources including modern classical, jazz, new age, minimalist composers and Sacred Byzantine music. “I got my Byzantine bug from my college choir director who turned me on to the modern religious-music composer John Tavener. In recent years I have produced three vocal albums by the group Byzantine Ark. I have spent a lot of time studying this type of music which precedes and has a different approach than Gregorian chants.” Other musicians who have influenced his music include George Winston, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, Steve Roach (“who reminded me to not forget about ambient”), Harold Budd, R. Carlos Nakai, Chopin and Erik Satie. Speir also gets inspiration from his family, poetry, fine art, space and astronomy, the study of religions, and nature.
“I have a perpetual need to create,” explains Speir, “and making music teaches me many lessons in life. I hope that my creations enhance the ambience in the listener’s life, and in doing so, the listener holistically benefits. This kind of music lends itself to solace, relaxing, thinking and reflecting on life. Studying your inner life and identifying your personal beliefs is serious business, but I believe that serious things can bring great joy. I want the music to feel like taking a pastoral retreat, or going to space and then returning to earth, but afterwards feeling more at one with things. I feel strongly that each person needs to contribute in some way to our world. With my music I try to do my small part.”
By Robert Zucker
(Note: this futuristic science-fiction story was first written in 2001, but it may soon come true)
Since dollar bills have been found contaminated on the West Coast recently in another terrorist attack, businesses have stopped accepting cash. Now everyone needs a credit card or become “SMART.”
I received my new “SMART ID” card in the mail last week. There’s an amazingly large, 3-D, hologram of my face on the front – almost like Washington on the dollar bill. When I turn the card, I can even see the bald spot growing on the back of my head.
But, I still have to go downtown to one of the government buildings, the post office, bank or the airport to redo my fingerprint smudge on the back side of the card. It looks like my thumb is a butt print. I also notice on the back of a dollar bill my new card has a strange design. But it glows and looks 3-D when I rotate it. Cool!
This new ID replaces my driver’s license when I had to write a check and show ID. The cashier just scans that SMART ID and it automatically deducts from either my savings or credit account. No need to show ID’s that eye scan on the back of the card and face-recognition scan of my head immediately identifies me after a quick blink into the lens. Whenever I buy food, clothes, gas, whatever, I don’t need to reach for change. I am Master of my own MasterCard. Fast!
At work, I slide the card past the time clock and slip into my cubicle. There’s a ton of e-mail messages waiting for my response. Most seem to be daily reports that Homeland Security sends everyone. It’s mandatory to review in order to prevent ID fraud. I could also go online and let those “cookies” do the work for me, but I am still uneasy with someone tracking me while I watch.
Now that the government will issue every American their own smartphone, we can automatically keep tupdated on our personal travels, upcoming appointments, transactions and even have that nifty GIS locator keep track of where I’ve been. That way, I won’t have to type in my nearest intersection coordinates. I really like using my Palm to call home or whoever I want to speak to for free. I don’t want to complain, but I don’t like having to scan that card every time I flush the toilet.
I also don’t like scanning my card every time I get stopped at one of those “surprise” check points. They seem to pop up just after I make a right-hand turn. I knew those cameras perched like silver cones in the intersection were going to be used for something. Even before I turn the corner, the officers know who I am. They scan my car’s front license plate and have my ID ready for me. I hate when they flash that light in my face. It seems someone else also has a similar eye pattern. It has been embarrassing when I scan at the supermarket.
DUI checkpoints have disappeared since that suicide car bomb spree blamed on some new terrorist group. Now, everyone blows their breath into one of those strange plastic tubes at these stops. Luckily, mine always turns blue. Someone once told me their tube turned red, but an on-the-spot chemical analysis only showed extra onions from yesterday’s lunch. Imagine having to go through your smartphones log in front of some strange officer, in the middle of the street, just to prove the onions from Burger King could signal a red. I heard it can detect chemicals from three feet away.
Yesterday, I was stopped during a police “field interview.” It seems I drove by a house yesterday just after a burglar alarm was tripped. That turned out to be a false alarm. But, I still have to scan my card, just in case. This officer doesn’t take VISA.
Other scans seem to speed things up. I can scan in and out quickly when I need to visit the library, the mall and even the ballgame. No more ID checkpoint lines. I’m SMART.
These new SMART ID’s do make life easier. I can quickly get into the movies without going through that annoying background check for people without SMARTS, I am able to buy whatever I want whenever I need it and all those sales receipts are automatically sent to IRS so I never have to do taxes. Finally, I don’t have to pay taxes anymore. The government has direct withdrawal from my accounts. Direct deposit in, direct withdrawal out. Simple. Sorry, Wyatt. It looks like I won’t need an accountant now.
I can pay my bills, my mortgage, even my credit cards easily online by scanning my card into my Palm or computer at home or work. I gaze into that little camera perched above the screen and, wham, everything is paid at once. No more checks, no more postage.
I can get SMART by ordering anything I want online. I just scan my card and pick it up on the way home. The Post Office may still may still deliver it, but then it will have to be scanned again when I take it out of my mail box. Also, when it’s sanitized in the mailbox, it may drip anti-bacterium into the package. Not good for takeout food.
The SMART CARD may be a smart idea when the government soon offers an alternative to the National ID idea. This is a softer way to keep a free society, yet allow the necessary oversee needed to keep it a clean society. And, no more racial profiling. It’s in my Card.
I am even considering a SMART chip. That way, I don’t have it scan my card. It’s in my head.
Robert E. Zucker is publisher of the Entertainment Magazine web site at EMOL.org. The web site has been online since 1995.
Twilight of Consciousness
How to Control Your Deams with Astral Projection
"Twilight of Consciousness" by publisher and author Robert E. Zucker, examines the dream state and how to achieve astral projection using simple, easy to follow, techniques.
In our dreams, we become completely engrossed in acting out a kaleidoscope of situations and fail to realize we are in a different place than in the working world.
A dozen elephants could be roller backwards down a freeway and this scene may not even phase the unaware dreamer. The dream would be less likely remembered after waking. The Astral Plane becomes lost in a dream.
We visit the Astral Plane every night while asleep and remember our experiences as dreams after we awake.
Most of us, unfortunately, are swept across the Astral Plane unaware of anything between falling asleep and waking up. The Astral becomes a nighttime fantasy clouded over by the veils of sleep and quickly slips away from consciousness.
As soon as the morning alarm jolts us into wakefulness the rushing of thoughts and concerns for the coming day turn an evening of bizarre adventures into a confused, often fragmented, series of hazy memories.
Waking, resting, sleeping and dreaming are different phases of consciousness.
Conscious dreaming, or lucid dreaming, is still another “world” that we can become aware while having a dream
A vivid, or lucid awakening (astral projection), will enable you to taste and apple you pluck from a tree or you might reach out and touch a wall and feel the plaster or brick against your fingers. Maybe you can even see your fingers move through the wall.
The Santa Catalina Mountains, north of Tucson, Arizona, have a looming and ominous presence. They are an undeniable landmark to the north of the city– seen for miles in all directions. Their peaceful sentry, however, hides some deep mysteries that continue to lure the risk takers.
The mountain range stretches and shape-shifts across the entire Tucson cityscape. The peak, at Mt. Lemmon, reaches 9,157 feet above sea level. A twenty-plus degree difference in temperature separates Tucson on the desert floor from the village of Summerhaven on top of Mt. Lemmon. Within the Santa Catalina range are several major landmarks: the Cañada del Oro (Canyon of Gold), Ventaña Canyon (The Window), the old Indian ruins, Samaniego Ridge and Oracle Ridge.
The Santa Catalina Mountains earn their name as a “sky island” since they jut out in the middle of the Sonoran desert. Named by Father Kino in 1697, they are now under the protection of the Coronado National Forest, and the Oracle and Catalina State Parks.
Besides its beauty, the Santa Catalina Mountains are also the source of mystique, lost treasure legends and a long documented history of precious metal mining. The history of the mountains is also displayed in Indian carvings found on boulders and the ruins near the canyon.
As prospectors, eager to find its riches staked out claims around the mountain range, they learned about the tales of the Santa Catalinas. When the settlers and prospectors arrived, they heard the tales of gold in the Canada del Oro and the lost Spanish Iron Door Mine. Those stories became part of Arizona’s early history.
Today hikers still find remnants from a long forgotten time– old mining tunnels, abandoned equipment, artifacts, arrastras, and stone ruins. Modern prospectors still hunch over the winding creeks hoping to pan some gold nuggets or even flakes.
The whole Santa Catalina mountain range had been engraved with gold, silver, and copper mostly embedded in quartz veins. A substantial amount of minerals have already been taken from the mountains. Yet, there is still more buried within those rocks.
The daunting mountains may seem quiet now. But there is a lot of forgotten history, as well as many legends, still to uncover.
Read more about the legends the Santa Catalina Mountains and the comprehensive book, “Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains,” by Robert E. Zucker.
- Historical Tucson Timeline Dates
- Legends and History of the Santa Catalina Mountains
- Mine with the Iron Door legend
- Mission of the Santa Catalinas
Photo: The old military plaza in Tucson in the eary 1900’s.
Tucson’s modern history, as we know it, began hundreds of years ago, although humans have been continuously living in the Tucson-area for possibly 15,000 years.
Hohokam, O’odham, Sobaipuri tribes lived throughout the Tucson basin for centuries. They roamed from the Santa Cruz River to the Canada del Oro to the Rillito Rivers depending on the seasons and available water. Even though they fought with neighboring tribes, when the Spanish first trekked through in the 1550s, they had no idea of the changes that would come from these outsiders visits and eventual conquest.
Tucson in the 1600s remained relatively serene until the end of the century when a new wave of Spanish infiltration began with the journeys of Father Eusebio Kino. The Tucson of the 1700s was shaped by the effort of the Jesuits and the Spanish miitary to exploit mineral and human resources as they settled the Tucson valley. The Royal Spanish Presidio of San Augustin del Tucson was established on August 20, 1775.
Each year, Los Decendientes del Presidio de Tucson, Los Cascarones, and other local organizations host events to celebrate Tucson’s official birthdate in 1775. The annual Tucson birthday celebration is held the 3rd week of every August. This special event recognizes the five different flags that have flown over the city of Tucson since its founding in 1775.
San Xavier mission plays a large role in the establishment of Tucson’s long history. Other evidence proves humans have inhabited the Tucson area for tens of thousands of years.
Tucson’s other early mission- Mission Santa Catalina de Cuitakbagu. Somewhere near the the Cañada del Oro, north of Tucson, Arizona, there may have beem another early Jesuit mission called the “Mission of Santa Catalina (Catarina).” There is a legend of a lost mission in the Santa Catalina mountains that was destroyed by Apache Indians.
Read more about the Tucson’s history timeline year by year as Tucson grew from a tiny Indian pueblo.
Treasures of the Santa Catalina Mountains is one of the most comprehensive books written on the legends and history of the Catalina mountains, north of Tucson. Learn about the Iron Door mIne, Buffalo Bill Cody’s mining interest in the Catalinas and how the lure of gold brought prospectors to the Cañada del Oro– the Canyon of Gold. The story of the the lost mine, the lost city and the lost mission. Read sample chapters online and download a free PDF sample of the book.
Travelocity’s Promotional codes provide an exclusive discount for spring, summer, fall and winter air and hotel rates. These special prices are discounted for a limited time. Travelocity promotional codes offers selected deals only through authorized affiliate links (see below).
The best time to book is at least two months before your departure. That’s when you should survey all available offers and book through one package deal. The closer you get to your departure, the higher airfare and hotel room rates increase. When you use a promo web code from Travelocity, your discount is even steeper than the retail pricing. Your discount is deducted during check out after you enter the specific Travelocity web code. Last minute travel deals can be found occasionally when you use a promo code.
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Discover the lost and forgotten secrets of the Kabbalah (Qabalah) through the words of famous rabbis and authors throughout history. Follow a historical time line of Judaic mysticism and learn the principles of Kabbalah as it unfolded over the centuries from the words of famous Rabbis and Kabbalists.
Devise your own Kabbalah Wheel to spin the legendary 231 Gates of combinations and permutations, as described in the ancient book on Jewish mysticism- Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Creation or the Book of Formation).
“Kabbalah’s Secret Circles,” by author and publisher Robert E. Zucker, covers nearly 350 pages with hundreds of references on Kabbalah, including instructions to recreate the 231 Holy Gates in a new format. The comprehensive study also covers the ancient Book of Raziel and other books on Jewish mysticism, and explores the first two chapters from the Book of Formation. “Kabbalah’s Secret Circles” is available on Amazon.com in print and Kindle formats, and in dozens of online book stores internationally, including Barnes & Noble, Walmart.com and Google Books. See Robert Zucker’s Amazon’s Author’s Page.
Download a free PDF sample of “Kabbalah’s Secret Circles” with the Table of Contents and complete index and a selection of chapters from the full edition. This sample PDF is only authorized to the person who requests the download.
Read from "Kabbalah’s Secret Circles"
Kabbalah in Biblical Times
- Biblical Mysticism
- Adam & the Angel Raziel
- 72 Angels
- 72 Names of God
- "The Sons of God"
- Merkabah– RIding the Chariot
- Abraham’s Books
- Ushabtis– Egyptian Answerers
- Moses and the Oral Tradition
Ancient Kabbalah Manuscripts
- 13th Century Kabbalah
- 16th Century Christian Cabalah
- Rabbi Eleazar of Worms– the Kabbalist
- Abraham Abulafia’s Magic Circles
The Kabbalah Wheel Instructions to create your own magical device.
Return to continue reading from Kabbalah’s Secret Circles
Enjoy! Bob Zucker
Little did he realize when he was five years old that Frank Mills Miranda would become an international Chicano radio icon. As fate would have it, watershed moments that often reveal our future life’s work come unexpectedly, even when one doesn’t recognize that that prescient moment marked the starting point of a much traveled life in the broadcasting and recording industry.
Miranda grew up on a poultry ranch where his parents worked in Tucson, Arizona; his closest neighbors were approximately ten miles away, therefore his best friend was the Sonoran Desert. There was little (if no) interaction with other kids so the only life he knew was with his family. It wasn’t until the weekends that he encountered other people when his parents took him into town to get a bowl of menudo. It was then that Frank not only had one of his favorite all time meals, he also had his first taste of the radio world.
Oftentimes a guy named Gabriel would also join the Miranda Family for a hearty bowl of his favorite Mexican breakfast; he was a close friend of his parents and relatives.
Frank can still remember at that tender age that when Gabriel would speak, he would be floored and in awe by the sound of Gabriel’s voice, a deep vibrato tone, and so filled with authority.
While growing up there was a protocol like in most Chicano families in their respective communities that you were to remain quiet not to chime in while adults were talking. One-day Frankie decided he would learn more about Gabriel when he joined the family for breakfast, that one Sunday morning and Frankie boldly (but respectfully) asked him what he did. Gabriel told Frankie that he worked at a local radio station. Frankie was all ears. After explaining what he did, Gabriel seeing a gleam in Frankie’s eyes and asked his parents if they could bring Frankie to the station, and he would show him around. At that age time moved too slowly for Frank as the seven days before the next weekend seemed like months.
When Sunday came around, Frankie was excitedly up early to see this radio station that was described the week before.
First Gabriel introduced him to the other air personalities and the rest of the staff. After a few friendly exchanges, Gabriel took him to one of the small broadcasting booths and then allowed him to talk into one of the microphones in the production room. When Gabriel played the recording back, Frankie’s eyes grew wide with excitement. Right then, in his mind, Frankie felt like he was the biggest star in the world. Little did he know then that in the future Frank Mills Miranda would eventually play a big part in the broadcasting arena, primarily to his fellow Chicanos throughout the Southwest, and now internationally, as the founder of the Chicano Radio Network U.S.A..
JOA: Your broadcasting die may have been cast at the tender age of 5; but at what point did you see your dream becoming true?
CRN: “In 1982, right out of High School, I started Star Sound Productions, which became the umbrella of every -thing I would be doing in entertainment in the future. My objective in the beginning was simply to provide local entertainment with band promotions and disc jockey services around the Tucson area. At first it was a stage set-ups and disc jockey services. I would do concert set-ups where I provided all the sound equipment, speakers, microphones and I also ran the mixer board. Our local on-air personalities would be the disc jockeys or Masters of Ceremonies for events in the Tucson area.”
JOA: There must have been other folks around that could do that kind of work, what made you so unique?
CRN: “The uniqueness is that I would only hire my local on air personality friends. We owned the town during that period. Then we started distributing music. This is how I came to know Art Laboe, the legendary DJ who invented the Oldies but Goodies, Golden Oldies and Dedicated to you volumes. I would get record labels to give me exclusivity in my markets so that I would be the only one supplying those areas. Plus, I signed exclusive talent contracts as well.
Since the company’s early beginnings, we have done music publishing, record label releases, managed artists and everything radio. Among the many cool things we did were some very important collaborations like being the media sponsor for the ALMA Awards since 2006, Licensing for the East Side Story series (these series are a staple of Chicano’s everywhere), Thump Records, plus many others including movies just to name a few.
JOA: When did you decide to actually get involved with radio stations?
CRN: “In the mid-90’s, I Managed radio stations KOHT, KXEW, KTZR for the Art Laboe company. This was another blessing because I was able to run the very first radio station (KOHT) in the country to go bilingual English/Spanish. I wish I could take credit for it but that was the brain child of my friends the Manic Hispanic (James Rivas) and Rick Verdugo.
I can’t remember the call letters when I first stepped in to the KXEW 1600AM station at the age of five but when I managed it as an adult I changed the format from regional Mexican music to Tejano (Texan) music in 1994 overnight.
I remember getting so many positive messages for KOHT saying how ground breaking the format was. I even heard from a local professor who taught Spanish, saying, he instructed his students to listen to our station because it was the closest too full (Spanish and English language) assimilation.
Photo: The radio network was created on the second floor of my house in Dana Point, California in Orange Country.
JOA: When did you decide to start your radio network?
CRN: “In 1995, while living in Dana Point in Orange County, California I decided to start a new network for Chicanos by Chicanos, this would allow me the opportunity to see first-hand if my formula would work. I called it the Aztlan Radio Network. I had a transmitter under the low power FCC laws that was heard in Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Capistrano Beach and San Clemente, California
When I started the network we didn’t have streaming so our programming consisted of a one hour show in loop. Even when streaming was introduced, I would attend the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) conferences to see what was new in technology. About two to three years later, streaming was at the same quality that our loops were so we introduced it to our listeners. Since then, we broadcast our feeds in HD digital. During this time the issue of how the artists were going to be compensated was still up in the air.
I was always on a quest to find everything consistent with Chicano music, and I felt I was the only one who could pull it off. Plus, I had in past years represented some of the nation’s largest Chicano music publishing catalogs so I knew where to go when looking for certain tracks.”
JOA: All new ventures encounter road blocks in their journey, what were some of yours?
CRN: “The first two years were a bit prehistoric in the sense that streaming was years away and so we were limited to a one-hour show that would repeat. We would update that show once a month. Now, with streaming, unless it’s a special program that included a host and staff and artists, it is automated. We insert the shows when they are sent to us and the rest is programmed to reflect what our Chicano community’s ask for and enjoy. I would tell people if anyone listened to our network for just 10 minutes, they would be hooked. I still say that.
About four years into the network, we realized that most people didn’t know how to spell Aztlan, much less know what the name meant, so we changed the name from Aztlan Radio network to Chicano Radio Network. The name change was very specific to our Chicano community so more listeners were joining us.
“Then in 2001, I made it a point to reach out to other cultures by changing our name for the last time to CRNLive, which allowed us to have our artists showcased to a whole new demographic. The stage was set for us to reach higher than we had before because of the new listenership base.”
JOA: CRN is now networking not just with recording artists, but it appears that many major institutions have joined the party.
CRN:” Yes, we are proud that many Latino organizations realized that CRN had the power to get the Latino message out to the majority of the Latino community. LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) at the time reached out to us, we had great conversations and I decided later that I would allow CRN to network with LULAC and, so, to this day we continue to promote their efforts.
Obviously our exposure was impacting us more than we could imagine and many other entities (besides Latino groups) began contacting us. We became a media source for the American Library Association including NCLR, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association. The television game show, Jeopardy, became a constant caller to confirm Chicano and native related questions for their program. The last time they called was to confirm which of the Peruvian warriors was Tupac named after. We found out through his mother that it was the first Tupac Amaru (Thupaq Amaru) and not the son with the same name.
When Los Lonely Boys released their hit “Heaven” they had our network give tickets and meet and greets as they crisscrossed around the nation. We were the only Latino network solicited for the Lollapalooza. Record companies used our network to test market new Latino releases. Another example is when “The Mexicans” were the WWE’s (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.) hottest acts the WWE called and asked us if we can have a themes song written and produced for the wrestlers. When Eddy Guerrero one of the top wrestlers went solo, they called us back to have a theme song written and produced for him as well.
WWE Wrestling Champion Eddy Guerrero
In essence CRN became the sort of official entity to contact for all things Chicano. It is then when we knew we had arrived!”
JOA: Is this when you chose to become more involved with Chicano social issues?
CRN: “I’ve been a Latino activist all my adult life however, it didn’t take long for me to realize how CRNLive could be a platform to engage the government and people when the basic rights of Latinos were challenged. CRNLive was a constant presence at most events that challenged our oppressors. Sometimes coordinating street teams to join in the protests. In 2006, Latino advocates from coast to coast came together to fight against various acts of legislation that were not sensitive to the Latino community, such as the Jim Sensenbrenner Bill HR 4437.
We quickly set up our CRNLive Communications Center’s where we coordinated protests across the country with various national organizations and provided a news point for people to get the latest up to date information about rallies and protest marches. We helped defeat the bill but the win was bitter sweet as we saw that the law didn’t pass, but it made ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), more aggressive with their raids.”
Photo taken at the Arizona State Senate with Attorney General Horn as he was ridding the state of Mexican American Studies
JOA: The word is out that that you didn’t just sit back in your radio console chair:
CRN: “Yes, not only did I participate in many of the protests, I personally contacted my neighboring states to meet its leaders and to have them come together and help because the next battle ground might be in their own back yard. The brotherhood that came out of that meeting is still strong today as we continue to be the ones being dehumanized.”
JOA: After those crisis situations, you had to go back and keep the ship afloat, right?
CRN: “Of course. For example, back in 2009, it was important to see my vision grow. I made another trek to California to meet with my movie star, musician and comedian friends to make them understand that like the era in the 60’s, when Dylan, Lennon and those music icons made songs to protest the war, I explained to them that today is our 60’s; if the message in our music is not heard loud and clear, the tide of hate against Mexicans can consume us all if we just let it run its course.
Some of the songs they recorded in that era are in rotation on our network to serve as a reminder of what can happen when we think of these things as someone else’s problems and then a knock comes to your door. Sadly, crisis situations against minorities, especially Mexicans and 3rd world immigrants are growing instead of abating.
At any given time CRNLive is working on as many as 5-10 issues at a time. I receive calls for help in issues of immigration, domestic violence, and many discrimination cases. We are thankful that those that need help find us through the various channels we developed where we work with other organizations to find solutions for whatever plight our people are experiencing at the time.
For example, when SB 1070 was introduced by the vile Russell Pearce out of Arizona, just like a fireman with his boots nearby, we strapped up for our next challenge. The remnants of this hate bill is still being worked out today. My home state of Arizona seems to be the proving grounds for hate bills from that time on, such as birthright, harboring the undocumented, and other laws designed to discount the nation’s future leaders.”
JOA: You have been in this war for over 20 years now, and I assume you will continue to helm the ship?
CRN: Yes! We have developed plans and programs to respond to most crisis situations. But, my Chicano music vision needs to be stoked on a daily basis to stay alive. Today we are poised to unleash our Studio B once again. At its first run there was plenty of movement in the area of Latino rap, and show out of LA (Pocos Pero Locos) was syndicated to other states where our Brothers and Sisters were being featured. There were many record companies large and small putting out some great music, stories, and production. Upstairs Records from Texas, Low profile from San Diego, Dead Silence out of East Los Angeles, to name a few. With our resources being exhausted with battling hate bills, we felt we would put Studio B on hiatus, so we did.
Now I feel our music development talents are stagnant, Record companies have abandoned their Chicano Hip Hop releases because of the lack of radio stations to play them. Not because we have none but because all our ways to promote it have fallen to the way side. That’s why we are resurrecting Studio B now. Another big reason is because now we can be heard in digital in your car, Smartphone, SmartTV and streaming which means you can start at Olvera Street in East Los Aztlan and drive all the way to New York without missing a beat. Our feed originated from 6th and Grand in downtown Los Angeles. In recent months we moved our servers to San Francisco. We upload in digital to all devices and in some areas we’re on your FM dial.
Studio B is un-cut, meaning that you will hear music in its entirety. Since we mix in a lot of variations you can hear something hilarious to something deep; this is truly the whole spectrum for our 18 plus listeners.”
JOA: Besides your advocacy and music aimed at your audience, what other projects do you have in mind?
CRN: I’m glad you asked that question. We are most excited about the relationship we have developed with the legendary Mark Guerrero, who is known not only for his Chicano music recording career, but for his historical archive of everything to do with the birth and history of Chicano music. Mark (son of legendary Chicano music icon Lalo Guerrero) is currently conducting a show on CRNLive, which includes interviews with a myriad of Chicano musicians and performers, which is called Chicano Music Chronicles. No one knows the history or the original performers of Chicano music like Mark Guerrero. It’s now our number one show. People just love it!
Also, we are courting a long time national radio talk show host to hopefully come out of retirement. We can’t mention his name but if we can get him to join us, it would be a major broadcasting coup for CRN and the entire Chicano community.”
JOA: You would think that a radio communications entity like CRN Live would (or should) have a large staff. How many people do you employ?
CRN: Besides a few devoted volunteers who come in and out on a regular basis, and assist us, it’s really a small operation. With four or five collaborators, unless it’s a special program with a host, all else is automated. We insert the shows when they are sent to us and the rest is programmed to reflect Chicano music and news pertinent to our respective community.”
JOA: To what do you attribute your success?
CRN: While I was growing up I’ve had many blessings in my life that allowed my life to be full and exciting.
I attribute it to the love and encouragement from my parents and later my wife and children. Just as important are the listeners, participants, volunteers and supporters we have throughout the world.”
Frank Mills Miranda and Mark Guerrero are available for interviews; Call 909-965-3695 or (480) 748-1793
[Joe Ortiz Associates is a full-service public relations company, founded by Joe Ortiz, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. Ortiz has the distinction of being the first Mexican American to host a talk show on an English-language, commercial radio station, at KABC Talk Radio in Los Angeles]
This summer, The Entertainment Magazine (EMOL.org) presents some summer travel tips and special offers from affiliate advertisers.
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