Tag: Music

Michael Jackson’s movie »Moonwalker«

moonwalker_198x198»Moonwalker« is a musical film from 1988 starring Michael Jackson. The movie is a wild and trendy mixture of music videos, live concert recordings, action scenes, science fiction effects and cartoons – so less of a classical movie, but more so an anthology. The plot revolves around how Michael saves three children (i.e. played by Sean Lennon, John Lennon’s son) and the children of the world from the deadly intrigues of the villain Mr. Big (played by Joe Pesci). [read more]

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The Moon in »Space Oddity« by David Bowie

space-oddity_198x198The song »Space Oddity« by the British musician David Bowie (1947–2016) made history. Bowie’s inspiration for this piece composed in 1968, was the science fiction classic »2001: A Space Odyssey« by Stanley Kubrick.

It tells the fictional story of the astronaut Major Tom, who leaves his spacecraft during a flight through space and says his farewell to the people. The last four lines of the lyrics also mention the Moon: [read more]

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»The Moonlit Night« by Joseph von Eichendorff

eichendorff_198x198The German poet and novelist Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788–1857) counts among the foremost representatives of Romanticism. Many of his poems had been set to music and were sung.

Von Eichendorff, born in Ratibor (today Racibórz in Poland), studied originally law and worked in a variety of administrative civil service positions, up until he retired. Simultaneously, he devoted his time to his writing and publishing skills, until he died from pneumonia in 1857. [read more]

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The song »Fly Me To The Moon«

frank-sinatra_198x198The jazz classic »Fly Me To The Moon«, originally written by Bart Howard in 1954, gained worldwide fame through Frank Sinatra (1915–1998). His version from 1964 accompanied the space mission Apollo 10 to the Moon in May of 1969, and was played when the spaceship orbited the Moon. Further, it was the first song ever that was played on the Moon, when Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon with a portable cassette player during the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969. [read more]

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»The Moon has been arising« …

matthias-claudius_198x198… this line from the poem »Evening Song« from 1778, by the poet Matthias Claudius (1740–1815), belongs to the best-known poems in German literature, not least of all because it was set to music many times; hence, it does not only remain in one’s memory because of its lyrics, but also because of its melody. Especially as a lullaby, everyone has surely heard it before or even sang it to the children:
[read more]

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»Moondance« by Van Morrison

moondance_198x198It is time again to write about a song on the theme of the Moon: »Moondance« by Van Morrison. Released in February of 1970, on the album with the same title, by the musician from Northern Ireland, belongs to the classics amongst the moon songs. It hovers stylistically between rhythm & blues and country rock, but also jazz influences can be recognized. »Moondance« was placed in the English and American Charts. It was never a smash hit, but still today belongs to the concert repertoire of ›Van the Man‹ and can be heard time and again on the radio.   [read more]

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»Bad Moon Rising« by CCR

ccr_198x198It is 1969 – John Fogerty, the front man and lead guitarist of the rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) writes the song »Bad Moon Rising«. He was inspired by a black-and-white movie called »The Devil and Daniel Webster«, in which almost an entire city is obliterated by a hurricane. Fogerty creates gloomy lyrics that warn about the threat of destruction and its  bringer of ill luck, being the rising Moon. [read more]

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The »moonwalk« dance move

»Moonwalk« is a dance technique which fakes a forward motion by moving legs and feet, while in reality you are moving backwards. This is how the illusion is created that the floor is pulling away in a gliding motion, underneath the feet of the dancer. No other name can be more closely connected to this move than the name of Michael Jackson (who was born on 29th August 1958 on a full moon). Even though he is not the founder, in this case, one can refer to him as the figurehead. The key moment was Jackson’s performance of »Billie Jean« at the anniversary celebration »Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever« in 1983. From this moment on, the moonwalk’s triumph was not to be stopped and Michael Jackson had shaped his signature move. [read more]

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»Full Moon« by The Black Ghosts

There are quite a few full moon songs, with Frank Sinatra’s »full moon and empty arms« leading the way, from 1945, which was inspired by Rachmaninoff’s piano concert No. 2 (you can hear this in the comparison). A newer example would be the »full moon song« by Peter Bradley Adams from 2011, or the song »full moon« by the British music duo The Black Ghosts (Theo Keating and Simon William Lord) from 2006, which achieved a high level of publicity in 2008 as the soundtrack of the movie »Twilight«. The song may have probably not been that successful, if the music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas hadn’t chosen it for the soundtrack. [read more]

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»Moon Over Bourbon Street« by Sting

In his first solo album »The Dream of the Blue Turtle« from 1985, Sting published the Song »Moon over Bourbon Street«, which is not just about the Moon. He sings about the existence as a vampire, which he had turned into years ago, and which condemned him to follow passers-by in this street, in the moonlight and the pale lamplight …

It is characteristic for this song that it spares the bloody part of the crime and only leaves an indirect description. The word vampire is also not mentioned, however, it is clearly focused on, for example in the following line: »… you’ll never see my shade or hear the sound of my feet …« [read more]

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The »Moon Pie«

We have already reported about full moon delicacies, which are being produced during the full moon. Especially popular are full moon bread, cheese, sausage, coffee, beer and water. But there are also foods that have been simply connected to the Moon via their shape and therefore carry the moon in their name. For example the mooncake at the Chinese festival or the American »Moon Pie«, a sandwich cookie that has been made since 1917. [read more]

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»Full Moon Song« by Peter Bradley Adams

Peter Bradley Adams is an American singer-songwriter, who has managed amid the flood of commercial songs and loud beats, to tell his own story – with a warm voice and quiet sounds.

His song »Full Moon Song« from 2011 is one of those stories.  According to his own statement, this song came to fruition after a short stay in prison (from which he did not break out as stated in the lyrics, but was released on bail). He talks about freedom that now becomes significant to him and makes a new life possible. He wants to see the world through the eyes of a child and experience love without fear of losing something. [read more]

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Nena and the full moon

Nena and her band belong to the most successful artists in German music history. With »99 Luftballons« from 1983, she made a name for herself internationally and also reached 2nd place in the US charts with the English version »99 red balloons« [*]. This has only been accomplished by very few German musicians.

In the song »Vollmond« [full moon], also from 1983, Nena sings about the silver Moon and describes the romantic longing and restlessness, which can capture us during a full moon: [read more]

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Full moon magic in »Corpse Bride«

Fitting in with today’s full moon and the forthcoming events of Halloween, we dedicate this article to the stop motion movie »Corpse Bride« (2005) by Tim Burton, the master of bizarre and subtle productions. The movie is based on a Russian legend »Corpse Bride« and captures the story of a wedding between two people of varying social backgrounds (Victor & Victoria) or rather differing worlds (Victor & Emily), with the resulting tension. [read more]

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The Kinks and their song »full moon«

In 1977 the English music group The Kinks, released their album »Sleepwalker«, with which they returned to the more rocky sounds of the 60s after a more conceptual and overtexted phase, and thus were at least able to resume their previous success.

The Kinks are considered to be one of the most important British rock bands of this time, next to The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who. [read more]

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Sinatra meets Rachmaninoff

They have properly never met in person, Frank Sinatra (1915–1998), the American singer and entertainer and Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943), the Russian pianist and composer, although, mathematically it could have been possible. However, almost two generations lay between both musicians and stylistically they are probably worlds apart. But there is a meeting point indeed, that even has to do with the full moon. [read more]

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The full moon in opera

Let us still stay with the music for a little while and let us bring our attention to a grand musical genre of theatre, the opera. We recently saw TOSCA (from Puccini) in Madrid and lo and behold! In the first act, we suddenly heard »luna piena«, which is Italian for full moon. A real highlight!

Then we had the idea to rummage through some libretti (opera lyrics) to find out if the full moon motif may also play a part in other operas. For this purpose, one can view the libretti online. We were interested in particular in the actual mentioning of it, as these were created by the composers themselves, whereas the appearance of the full moon on stage was usually the part of the stage designer. [read more]

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Full moon songs

It is self-evident to sing about the moon and some may have caught themselves humming a few quiet sounds while gazing into the full moon light. There are a large number of folk songs in all cultures addressing the full moon and having been passed on from generation to generation. Quite often, songs were sung in the evenings and hence it was natural that the moon would come into play. It appears to contain something inspiring. We have compiled a few examples of comtemporary songs about the full moon and realised that the word full moon can be found in numerous songs across all music genres, from Rock to Pop, from Jazz to New Age. Maybe it is the unattainability of the moon that is reflected in so many areas and experiences. [read more]

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Full moon above Swan Lake

We recently went to a ballet performance – Swan Lake by Tschaikowsky – with the Moscow Ballet. Immediately, after the curtain rose for the first time, the stage set showed a nighttime scenery, with a castle at a lake and high in the sky a wonderful full moon. Later, when the »swans« appeared and everything was bathed in a bluish light, the entire room was  permeated with a fantastic and subtle atmosphere.

The dancers were sensational. Every movement danced with absolute emotional power and perfect precision. We were amazed and in awe. A true delight for the senses …

In the finale, the castle scenery came into action again and the entire performance was surrounded by full moon light.

Whether Tschaikowsky had the full moon in mind?

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