Meet Deke Sharon, the man behind the current a cappella revolution, vocal arranger for Broadway’s first a cappella musical, In Transit, coming this fall, and author of the new book, The Heart of Vocal Harmony. Deke spoke with Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about how he got involved with a cappella, how it’s changed, and his time with the actresses of the hit movie, Pitch Perfect! Listen to the interview below!
Most choirs spend their rehearsal time focusing on notes, rhythms, and precision. They rarely, if ever, discuss a song’s meaning and feeling, even though those elements are precisely what draws people to the music in the first place. Thousands of books have been written about choral technique, teaching people how to sing technically well. What sets The Heart of Vocal Harmony apart is its focus on honest unified expression and the process of delivering an emotionally compelling performance. It delves into an underdeveloped vocal topic – the heart of the music and the process involved with expressing it.
The Heart of Vocal Harmony is not just for a cappella groups – it is also for vocal harmony groups, ensembles, and choirs at all levels, with or without instruments. In addition to the process, the book features discussions with some of the biggest luminaries in vocal harmony: composers, arrangers, directors, singers, and groups – including Eric Whitacre, Pentatonix, the Manhattan Transfer, and more!
Welcome to The Fender Archives – part history, part archive, part scrapbook, and part treasure chest. You are invited along on a research expedition, a sort of archeological dig through several sites: file folders in Fender’s offices; the family archives of Don Randall; author/curator Richard Smith’s collections; the photo galleries of John Peden and Fretted Americana; jammed metal cabinets in a sweltering warehouse near the Corona factory; and the home of the late Bob Perine in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, just blocks from the beach where he and Ned Jacoby took now-iconic photos of high school kids, surfboards, palm trees, and chrome-clad rocket-ship guitars in Shoreline Gold and Daphne Blue and Candy Apple Red.
The Fender Archives looks at the company from the inside. Handwritten letters, production totals, personal logbooks, in-house memos, Leo Fender’s drawing-board sketches, financial reports-such documents are freed here from long confinement in cardboard boxes and filing cabinets, dusted off, and promoted from background to spotlight.
The Fender Archives sheds new light on the inspirations for revolutionary instruments and amplifiers, their sometimes difficult births and growing pains, the environment into which they were unleashed upon the world, and the motivations and personalities of key players.
Today would have been the legendary Billy Eckstine’s 100th birthday! Yesterday, Tom Vitale of All Things Considered did a great segment on the talented and suave musician in which Cary Ginell, author of Mr. B: The Music and Life of Billy Eckstine, is featured. Please enjoy the slideshow below!
Audio courtesy of NPR
Images featured from Mr. B