Vance Joy • Secret Weapon • Memories • Billie Jean • Autumn Leaves
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Apologies for no Resonate last week - time ran off and left me floundering! In the meantime, the Australian ukulele-wielding composer and performer, Vance Joy
(who can forget Riptide...?) won an ARIA for Best Male Artist on Thursday night and performed Fire and the Flood from his album Dream Your Life Away. A songsheet for Fire and the Flood can be conveniently found on the Ukulele Central site!
Meanwhile, in the Philippines...
Protesters at an APEC leaders summit two weeks ago became agitated, broke police lines and were sprayed with water cannons. However, before things got violent, the police used a very different secret weapon and started playing Katy Perry's Roar at incredible volume through a PA. This was followed by songs including Islands in the Sun (Kenny & Dolly) and the Bee Gees' How Deep is your Love. It sounds like the move elicited a combination of somewhat frustrated incredulity and laughter from protesters, but it had the desired effect and no further police intervention was required. Read all about it here. I think repertoire choice could mean the difference between being becalmed or seriously annoyed, though.

Remembering How to Play Songs
Whilst looking for bright ideas on ways to learn songs so you remember them, I found the US Memory and Music site. This wonderful, non-profit organisation takes iPods to the elderly or infirm and customises playlists for them so that they can benefit from listening to music they enjoy and which in most cases proves to be beneficial to their mental, emotional and sometimes even physical health. It is yet another example of the close neurological relationship humans have with music. I did find a couple of guitar-related sites with useful song-memorizing advice - nothing new, but it helps to remember what the best ways to remember are!
Tips for Memorizing songs      Ear Training 
Billie Jean and her very good friend James Hill
Oh how incredibly lucky the Ukastle Ukestra was on Tuesday night to not only play host to the participants of the Level 1 and Level 2 James Hill Ukulele Initiative being held in Australia, but to the calm, good humoured Canadian himself. Special thanks to leaders of the Newcastle ukulele scene, Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart, who after completing their own Level 3 accreditation, put in the incredible energy, connections and commitment required to bring James and the JHUI course to Australia, in our beautful city of Newcastle. James joined us for a few numbers, then lead the way with his signature one-man-band cover of Billie Jean. Naturally we all joined in, as conducted by Mark with the sort of barely controlled mania he's developed for directing this song. I play UBass with the Ukestra and over the years have received a few requests for the Billie Jean bass line, so I've finally written it out - go for it UBassers!
"These Autumn L(v)eaves" Lviv, Ukraine - Original Ukulele Song
Our friend Ben from Ukulele Road Trips has posted some beautiful photos of Autumn in the Ukrainian town of Lviv. His smooth, jazzy song These Autumn Lvivs (leaves), begins in French, segues into English and verse/choruses back and forth between the two, punctuated by some 'human kazoo' accompaniment, as only he can tastefully manage.
We'll try and think about autumn when it's
40 deg C here this week!
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