Magic Box

YOWZA! I finally am in control of my mixes. I even figured out why the Cello was so muddy as well as other recording and mixing problems. I hope to share these in another post soon.

I thought the mics used on the guitar cabinet were the SM57 and NT1A, but it was actually the SM57 and SE7 small diaphragm, with the low cut switch on and the mic pointed at the right side of the speaker. Happy accident – this is my best mix yet.

For those who hear
Into the ether

For those who see
Through the lens

For those who say
Into the Mic

A slight of hand
A magic box
The golden age
Opportunity knocks

in a nutshell

  • Most major modern inventions between 1822 – 1922
  • Camera, bicycle, radio, automobile, home electricity
  • Small simple boxes that seemed like magic


My father was born February 12, 1922, so I thought it would be cool to Google the Modern Invention Timeline. Sure enough, I would argue the most important modern day inventions all happened in the 100 years before my father was born. I’m also reading a fascinating book on Photography that has both the cultural as well as technical aspects of photography.


My favorite inventions are the Camera, Bicycle, Radio and Microphone. It took many other inventions leading up to each of these, but all these years later, these inventions still are extremely important. Fun fact – the first mechanical computer was invented the  same year as the camera – 1822. Today, the Smart Phone has a camera, radio, microphone and computer built in!


I’m still blown away by inventors and what they invent. The human imagination is such a gift and wonder. It is magic!

The Cello as Vox Humana

Today I had my 9th Cello lesson, and besides the usual workbook exercises, my niece has been fabulous in discussing the practical approach I’m taking to writing songs with it.

Last week we discussed and played pizzicato – that it can be a stand up bass. This week I found my vocal range on the D string and then it clicked – its hands down the best instrument to write a vocal melody. The piano is a close second, but the Cello can be played in different ways that is more expressive, coming closer to how expressive the human voice is.

I have no problem writing lyrics or musical melodies, but now that I’m trying to sing I understand that there is a big difference between a vocal and instrumental melody. You might get lucky and write both, but I think an instrumental melody is much easier to write.

I didn’t have the time for a vocal melody today, but I enjoy writing both kinds of songs equally.

Vox Humana – Pipe Organ Reeds
The Cello is a Vox Humana
It has vocal cord like strings
A semi human body
And a voice box that sings

You can pluck it or bow it
And play its harmonics
You can play Rock and Roll
Or Musical Sonnets

You can find your voice
And learn to sing
Write new melodies
Oh what joy it brings!

The Sound of Bow Bells

My Grandfather was a Cockney
Hammersmith and Bow
Born in London Town
Near the Thames I'm told

Christmas time is here
New Years don't you you know?
Wrapping on the presents
Ribbons and a Bow

Taking Cello lessons
Started kind of slow
Then a Festivus Miracle happened
I learned to hold the bow

New Day Sun

I’ve been playing Cello for 1 1/2 weeks so far. I have my first lesson via Zoom on Monday, and my Niece is my teacher. Pardon the songs lately because I’m a rank beginner, but trying to write songs for Cello is a fabulous exercise. Even though I’m getting older, it’s like the new light of a new day – learning something new makes me feel much younger.

No matter how young or old
You can do whatever you want
If it comes from your soul

If it's from the heart
You will succeed
Jump right in and start

With a song on your lips
And a whistle in the wind
No one can sink your ship

The Day Fall Fell

Today was the day Fall Fell
The last leaves of Autumn are on the wing
Cars had Christmas trees on the roof
Soon it will be time to sing (Auld Lang Syne)

Today was the day Fall Fell
The ornaments and lights are going up
Thanksgiving was great fun
Life with you is a Golden Cup

Today was the day Fall Fell
Happy Birthday my Dear
My life is wonderful
With you, and every year

The Magic Cello

Giving thanks for
Orange and Yellow
The sound it makes
The Magic Cello

Like a Bass
And Violin
The sound it makes
Always wins

Mellow, haunting
Moody, smooth
The sound it makes
Is in the groove

Two Sheriffs

Its taken me 6 years to get over the horror of the Political Stain on America. While it still wreaks of that subhuman filth ex President, I realize in many ways it just doesn’t matter – that we have been here before, it just has seemed worse than ever. Time has – and is – showing us that like all other real and wannabe dictators who rise on a platform of hate – that the platform is like a bullies – all mouth and very weak. Look at how it ended for ALL dictators – they ALL collapsed under their own “hate weight”. Love will conquer the hate and haters. Accentuate the positive!

This song is a fairy tale – a modern day Grimms?

This song has my first Cello parts. I’m a total Cello neophyte.

All my children
Gather around
I'm going to tell you
'Bout the new sheriff in town

One, a hard worker
Quiet and humble
Two, a spoiled brat
A fool and a bumbler

One, tall and thin
And quite debonaire
Two, a fat oaf
Donkey straw for hair

One, an honest man
Who tells us the truth
Two, a rotten crook
Only lies through his tooth

One, a good husband
Who loves his family
Two, a philanderer
Only cares about He

One, a kind leader
Vaccinated The People
Two, a virus spreader
A real Grim Reaper

One, a Catholic
Who is devout
Two, a charlatan
Jesus threw out

One, a kind giver
Who overcame grief
Two, constant taker
Grifter and thief

One, empathetic
Open and kind
Two, narcissist
Out of his mind

One, plays it careful
Saves everything
Two, spendthrift fool
Bankruptcy King

One, wouldn't be sheriff
If Two weren't so awful
Two, he is his own worst enemy
Crooked, unrepentent, unlawful

That is the story
Please tell your friends
Selfish people fail
Its a means to and end

New Cello

My high back chair
Does rest my soul
And loves to hear
My New Cello

The way it stands
So straight and sleek
My New Cello
Is quite unique

The rosined bow
Glides right across
The beautiful bridge
It's pretty gloss

The silky notes
The mellow roar
It's soulful sound
I so adore