Friday, May 26, 2017

Humanizing, harmonizing effects of music aren't a myth

From ScienceDaily:

Jake Harwood turned his lifelong hobby as a musician into a scholarly question: Could the sharing of music help ease interpersonal relations between people from different backgrounds, such as Americans and Arabs?

To explore the issue, and building on his years of research on intergroup communication, Harwood began collaborating two to three years ago with his graduate students and other researchers on a number of studies, finding that music is not merely a universal language. It appears to produce a humanizing effect for members of groups experiencing social and political opposition.

"Music would not have developed in our civilizations if it did not do very important things to us," said Harwood, a professor in the University of Arizona Department of Communication. "Music allows us to communicate common humanity to each other. It models the value of diversity in ways you don't readily see in other parts of our lives."

Read the entire article HERE.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hello again, Square One – Starting a Band, Part 2

Hello again, Square One – Starting a Band, Part 2

By Thom Suggs

A graduate English professor of mine once said that “Irony is great in literature, but hell in real life.” Yep. A few months ago I had planned on focusing the second installment of this blog chronicling the start of Five Minutes Left ( on the importance of solid organization, flexibility, and having a “Plan B.” Well, here we are a few months removed from that first blog, and I’m pretty sure I’m on “Plan C” at this point. Irony… awesome.

Once you commit to forming a band, a clear, simple plan with concrete goals is critical for success because when a hundred unexpected things change, and a band finds itself drifting and unsure, being able to focus on specific steps toward a specific goal is invaluable. That doesn’t sound particularly profound – and it’s not – but you’d be surprised how easily the unexpected can sidetrack and frustrate you, and before you know it, you’re not making the progress you wanted.

Poetry Series: A BIRTHDAY POEM

~A Birthday Poem~
Liz Fink Davenport

God has a great sense of humor. He seldom gives you what you asked for and generously gives you what you begged not for. My darling, there are years that will ask you why you rowed so far ahead. And years that cry over your turned cold shoulder. And years that you will always try to say "I did my best". But your best failed. Life is funny like that. You fail. Life bites.

But here's what I know, when you hear the rush of love or waterfalls. Paddle towards them. With all your might. Love and waterfalls are always worth it. You will tumble. And you will come up with water in your ears and your nose and your mouth. Sputtering. But you will also learn the rush and the wake. You will feel more alive.

I once heard said that instead of counting towards our days we should count away. I have less than 40 summers coming to me. If I am blessed. I have spent 40 summers frivolously. May I revel in these next 40 like they are softly turned earth.

I'm gonna row. Hard. Toward the spray of the fall. Toward stupid doomed love. Towards destiny. Towards my word. Serendipity. Toward 40 warm and leafy summers.

I row. God and His sense of humor gives me the giggles. And I row. The spray of the water is on my lips.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Its not every player who can play with equal passion and authenticity in a variety of styles, but Udi Levy is on the short list.

An in demand session player in New York, he has been immersed in the world of jazz for years, even playing with jazz greats - and Miles Davis alumni - Marcus Miller and John Scofield, toured the world. and seen his music on the charts.

But now Udi has released an album of shredding instrumental rock music that sounds like he's been doing it his entire life!

Learn more about Udi Levy at his website, and be sure to check out his music and videos.

I had a chance to chat with Udi recently - check it out!