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fascinating fun Memoir poems

A Truly Widespread Orchestra

Back in March of this year, about a week after I went into self-isolation from C19, like many, I was feeling pretty low, lost and lethargic, forcing myself into routines so that I didn’t lose my mind in a vast field of worry. But even though I was flying solo on this journey, I knew wasn’t actually alone. While doing mundane tasks like household chores and sorting of things that I’d put on The Wayside, I realized that so many of the people I love (along with those I hardly know, but who are very lovely) were probably doing the exact same things and quite possibly at the exact same time. I often imagine how many people might be laughing while I am laughing, crying while I am crying, eating toast at the precise moment I am eating toast. The great potential for this sort of banal synchronicity fascinates me. So I jotted down a quick poem and called it “Widespread Orchestra,” a phrase I’d had rolling around like a fat marble in my head for the better part of decade. The poem got a good response from folks, especially from my friend Noah Luna, composer and fellow San Joser, who took the poem and gave it a sound I am incapable of formulating or performing. Over the last several months, he’s built a beautiful song out of my words, which renders me speechless every time I see and hear it. Check it out for yourself.

Noah had asked me sometime in late spring if he could play with it. I love poetry over music, so I was emphatic in my affirmation. Noah asked world class cellist Joshua Roman to play the composition he had written for cello. Then they both recruited a number of vocalists from all over (I’d like to say the world, but I don’t actually know where they’re all located) to record themselves singing and to capture it on video. Through the awesome support of Town Hall Seattle, where Joshua is the current Artist in Residence, he and Noah were able to stitch together all of the vocal tracks and footage to make what you see and hear in the video.

We had a video debut of the song over Zoom the other day a good number of the vocalists joined us. Many of them commented on how it was the first time they had to listen to themselves sing solo for a chorus. Noah commented that is was the first time he’d ever heard every voice in a chorus individually as he put the track together. Very fascinating work.

They made a widespread “orchestra” and turned my little poem into a much, much bigger song. My mind is blown and I cannot thank them enough.

Many, many thanks and kudos to Noah Luna and Joshua Roman for their incredible, remarkable work. Huge thanks to the vocalists who participated in this strange and beautiful endeavor. Major thanks and gratitude to the folks at Town Hall Seattle for their part in making this happen.

Wow.

Noah and I are already talking about future projects. Stay tuned.

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“Mighty” Mike McGee – Cassiopeia & Orion Lead Me Home (feat. Hannah Hayes on accordion)

“Mighty” Mike McGee on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel. Show number 1442.

Check out the direct link here.

From the digital album Harmony. Listen and download it here.

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Check out this review of my album Harmony!

Big thanks to @ThePoetryQuestion for being so awesome.

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Harmony by “Mighty” Mike McGee

This!

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3736681172/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=f171a2/transparent=true/

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My new album “Harmony” will be up and live today around 3:33pm, Pacific Time. It is $6. You can preorder it now to get the first three tracks.

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http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149713074/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

A preview track from my upcoming album Harmony, available May 27 right here.

And another track here.

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http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/146217757/stream?client_id=3cQaPshpEeLqMsNFAUw1Q?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Always (A Break Up Piece) :: From my much delayed, but thoroughly en route album Harmony. Due out this month.

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New Album Update!

I should have known in November that selecting a near Xmas release date for my new album Harmony wouldn’t be as harmonious as I’d hoped. With too much to do, a California visit, and a new job to boot, I had to shelve the recording process for a few weeks.

I apologize to those still waiting on the album. It is coming!

Another obstacle, and the most unexpected one to boot, was the loss of recording space due to ambient sound issues. I had originally thought the solitude of my bathroom would suffice for recording, however, the sound of water rushing through pipes in my old building was clear and ever-present.

I began to worry about finding a space filled with PURE SILENCE in order to create an album of PURE VOICE. I spent weeks investigating other methods and space.

Then it hit me: I wouldn’t buy the album I’d envisioned. I am not in any way interested in making an album that focuses entirely on my voice. So why am I worried about noise? I love noise. Why should I fight against ambient sounds? I am a poet who lives downtown and on the road.

This album has the opportunity to sound like the places the poems came from.

So I am making an album on location. Harmony is about me and you and place.

I have been carefully considering how and where and why I am recording this. It’s becoming a very neat project. So far, I have recorded most of the tracks outdoors and it sounds great.

I truly believe this could be my best album to date.

I have moved the release to March 3, 2014. The release will come with a digital chapbook of all the poems/stories featured.

The pre-order price will remain $5 until the day of release.

Anyone who pre-ordered via mail or PayPal before Xmas will receive their download codes on the day of release.

I just want this to be as great as I can make it.

I will tour throughout the spring and into the summer. Lots of shows coming up!

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Harmonious Update #1

Today I recorded my dear friend Sarah Goodin playing piano and guitar, and singing some loverly vocals for my album Harmony. Will be recording my voice all day tomorrow.

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$5 pre-sale for my upcoming digital album of poetry & humor Harmony. It goes to a good cause: Living. Every $5 PayPal’d to ilikemike@gmail.com gets one code and postcard by December 20, 2013.