GRATEFUL, The Songs of John Bucchino
The companion songbook to the “Grateful…” CD.
2. SWEET DREAMS
3. THAT SMILE
4. IT FEELS LIKE HOME
5. A POWERFUL MAN
9. IF I EVER SAY I'M OVER YOU
10. SEPIA LIFE
11. THE SONG WITH THE VIOLINS
12. IN A RESTAURANT BY THE SEA
13. NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY
14. TAKING THE WHEEL
15. BETTER THAN I
16. THIS MOMENT
(Now Available: Note for note transpositions of all the songs! Click here for information.)
Since I don't read music, getting these songs onto paper has meant translating that which is most dear to me into a language I don't speak. Add to that the fact that freezing something which I see as a living, evolving piece of art onto a page feels much like pinning a butterfly to a board. I never play the songs the same way twice -- there's always the serendipity of the moment affecting a chord choice, tempo or a bit of counterpoint. So, determining the essence of each song and how to standardize it for a printed version posed a problem. And then there was the issue of trust -- finding someone to facilitate the notation process who would be as committed as I to transcribing my truest intentions. Through a long series of phone calls and referrals I was led to the only person I believe could have seen this project through. His name is Mario Vaz De Mello. Mario came to New York City from Brazil where he had a very successful career as a composer, primarily of incidental music for plays and films. He is the most patient person I've ever met, an attribute which may have saved both our lives -- anyone else would have surely killed me and/or themselves! We worked like this: I would play the song into his computer via two electronic keyboards, the left hand part on one and the right hand part on the other, so the computer could tell what was in the treble clef and what was in the bass clef. Then came the tedious tasks (usually at least 10 days) of cleaning up the computer's inaccuracies and over-accuracies, separating voices, playing in the melody, changing notes and rhythms again and again, typing in the lyric, deciding on the appropriate expression markings and, finally, coming up with chord symbols that would encapsulate the often contrapuntal harmonic motion (pianists, PLEASE read the notes as much as possible!). Through it all, Mario served as friend and expert guide. And so it is to him that I owe the greatest debt of gratitude for this songbook. It would not exist were it not for his talent, good humor and able assistance.
Enormous thanks also go to Maxyne Berman Lang and everyone at Williamson Music. Again, this book would not exist without their faith, support and hard work on my behalf.
Thanks to pianist/songwriter Steve Sweeting who generously lent his time and expertise proofreading the manuscripts, and pianists Christopher Denny and Alex Lacamoire who gave them a final once-over.
And thanks to you, dear reader, for doing me the honor of singing and playing my words and music. The best advice I can give you is to sing them conversationally. The written rhythms of the melodies are as close as we could get to the natural rhythms of speech. When in doubt, sing it the way you would say it. I hope you enjoy!
New York City
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