Tagged with "memory"
Music Therapy for people suffering with Alzheimer Disease Tags: music therapy alzheimer disease memory loss word life production health mental wellness feature blog

Music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease.

When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.

This happens because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success.

Music Associations. Most people associate music with important events and a wide array of emotions. The connection can be so strong that hearing a tune long after the occurrence evokes a memory of it.

Prior experience with the piece is the greatest indicator of an individual’s likely response. A melody that is soothing for one person may remind another of the loss of a loved one and be tragically sad.

If the links with the music are unknown, it is difficult to predict an individual’s response. Therefore, observe a person’s reaction to a particular arrangement and discontinue it if it evokes distress, such as agitation, facial grimaces or increasing muscular tension.

Top Ten Picks. Selections from the individual’s young adult years—ages 18 to 25—are most likely to have the strongest responses and the most potential for engagement.

Unfamiliar music can also be beneficial because it carries no memories or emotions. This may be the best choice when developing new responses, such as physical relaxation designed to manage stress or enhance sleep.

As individuals progress into late-stage dementia, music from their childhood, such as folk songs, work well. Singing these songs in the language in which they were learned sparks the greatest involvement.

Sound of Music. Typically, “stimulative music” activates, while “sedative music” quiets. Stimulative music, with percussive sounds and fairly quick tempos, tends to naturally promote movement, such as toe taps. Look to dance tunes of any era for examples. Slightly stimulative music can assist with activities of daily living: for example, at mealtime to rouse individuals who tend to fall asleep at the table or during bathing to facilitate movement from one room to another.

On the other hand, the characteristics of sedative music—ballads and lullabies—include unaccented beats, no syncopation, slow tempos, and little percussive sound. This is the best choice when preparing for bed or any change in routine that might cause agitation.

Responses that are opposite of those expected can occur and are likely due to a person’s specific associations with the piece or style of music.

Agitation Management. Non-verbal individuals in late dementia often become agitated out of frustration and sensory overload from the inability to process environmental stimuli. Engaging them in singing, rhythm playing, dancing, physical exercise, and other structured music activities can diffuse this behavior and redirect their attention.

For best outcomes, carefully observe an individual’s patterns in order to use music therapies just prior to the time of day when disruptive behaviors usually occur.

Emotional Closeness. As dementia progresses, individuals typically lose the ability to share thoughts and gestures of affection with their loved ones. However, they retain their ability to move with the beat until very late in the disease process.

Ambulatory individuals can be easily directed to couple dance, which may evoke hugs, kisses or caresses; those who are no longer walking can follow cues to rhythmically swing their arms. They often allow gentle rocking or patting in beat to the music and may reciprocate with affection.

An alternative to moving or touching is singing, which is associated with safety and security from early life. Any reciprocal engagement provides an opportunity for caregivers and care receivers to connect with one another, even when the disease has deprived them of traditional forms of closeness.

How-to of music therapy:

Early stage—

Go out dancing or dance in the house.

Listen to music that the person liked in the past—whether swing or Sinatra or salsa. Recognize that perceptual changes can alter the way individuals with dementia hear music. If they say it sounds horrible, turn it off; it may to them.

Experiment with various types of concerts and venues, giving consideration to endurance and temperament.

Encourage an individual who played an instrument to try it again.

Compile a musical history of favorite recordings, which can be used to help in reminiscence and memory recall.

Early and middle stages—

Use song sheets or a karaokeplayer so the individual can sing along with old-time favorites.

Middle stage—

Play music or sing as the individual is walking to improve balance or gait.

Use background music to enhance mood.

Opt for relaxing music—a familiar, non-rhythmic song—to reduce sundowning, or behavior problems at nighttime.

Late stage—

Utilize the music collection of old favorites that you made earlier.

Do sing-alongs, with “When the Saints Go Marching In” or other tunes sung by rote in that person’s generation.

Play soothing music to provide a sense of comfort.

Exercise to music.

Do drumming or other rhythm-based activities.

Use facial expressions to communicate feelings when involved in these activities.

Contributed by Alicia Ann Clair, Ph.D., MT-BC, professor and director of the Division of Music Education and Music at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. “How-to” section contributed by Concetta M. Tomaino, DA, MT-BC, vice president for music therapy and director of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, Bronx, NY.

For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care.

Otis Redding is a Legend that made history in his short time here Tags: otis redding legend memory love one word life production feature

Otis Redding's grainy voice and galvanizing stage shows made him one of the greatest soul singers of all time. At the time of his death, he was being hailed as the King of Southern Soul and was making his first significant impact on the pop audience after years as a favorite among blacks. Redding's songs have been covered by numerous artists: Aretha Franklin recorded the definitive version of "Respect," taking it to Number One in 1967; more than two decades later, the Black Crowes scored a hit with Redding's "Hard to Handle."

Born Otis Ray Redding, Jr. in Dawson, Georgia, on September 9, 1941, he was five when his family moved to Macon, the Georgia town Little Richard had put on the music map. In his youth, Redding was hugely influenced by Little Richard as well as Sam Cooke; early in Redding's career he was a member of Little Richard's backing band, the Upsetters. In the late Fifties, Redding met Johnny Jenkins, a local guitarist who invited him to join his group, the Pinetoppers, managed by Phil Walden, who later would manage the Allman Brothers Band. Feeling that he'd gone as far as he could go in Macon, Redding moved to L.A. in 1960. There he cut a handful of singles, including the Little Richard-esque "Gamma Lamma." Upon returning to Macon in 1961, he recorded "Shout Bamalama" and garnered some local attention.

After taking odd jobs around the South, Redding was working as a chauffeur and collaborating again with Jenkins when the guitarist landed a contract with Atlantic. One day in October 1962, when it seemed that Jenkins' session wasn't going anywhere, Redding hastily recorded his own ballad, "These Arms of Mine." He had accompanied Jenkins to the session hoping to get a chance to record. By 1963, "These Arms of Mine" had become Redding's first hit, reaching Number 20 on the R&B chart and establishing Redding as a recording artist. But it was his impassioned performances on the so-called chitlin' circuit that made Redding, next to James Brown, the most popular black entertainer of the mid-Sixties.

Redding wrote many of his own hits, including "Mr. Pitiful" (Number 41 pop, Number 10 R&B, 1965), "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" (Number 29 pop, Number 12 R&B, 1966), and "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" (Number One pop, Number One R&B, 1968), all co-credited to Stax session guitarist Steve Cropper; "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (Number 21 pop, Number Two R&B, 1965), with Jerry Butler; "Respect" (Number 35 pop, Number Four R&B, 1965), "I Can't Turn You Loose" (Number 11 R&B, 1965), and "My Lover's Prayer" (Number 61 pop, Number 10 R&B, 1966).

He also had hits with the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" (Number 31 pop, Number Four R&B, 1966) and Sam Cooke's "Shake" (Number 47 pop, Number 16 R&B, 1967). Among his albums, Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul (Number 73 pop, Number 5 R&B, 1966) is considered one of the best examples of the Memphis soul sound.

Redding also played an important role in the careers of other singers. In 1967 he cut a duet album with Carla Thomas, King and Queen, which had a hit in "Tramp" (Number 26 pop, Number Two R&B). Redding produced his protégé Arthur Conley's tribute "Sweet Soul Music" (Number Two pop and R&B, 1967) — an adaptation of Sam Cooke's "Yeah Man" — which became a soul standard. Also, Redding established his own label, Jotis, and was planning to get more deeply involved in talent management, development, and production.

Redding's appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 introduced the singer to white rock fans. His intense performance (captured in the film Monterey Pop and on the album Otis Redding/Jimi Hendrix) was enthusiastically received. As a gesture of thanks, Redding and Steve Cropper wrote "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay." It was recorded on December 6, 1967, at the end of a long session. The whistling at the end came about, Cropper claims, because Redding forgot a vocal fadeout he had rehearsed before. It would become his biggest hit, yet Redding never lived to see its release.

Four days after the recording session, on December 10, 1967, his chartered plane crashed into a Wisconsin lake, killing Redding and four members of his backup band, the Bar-Kays. In early 1968 "The Dock of the Bay" hit Number One on both the pop and R&B charts.

Redding had recorded enough material for Atlantic to release three more successful studio albums — The Immortal Otis Redding (Number 58 pop, Number 3 R&B, 1968), Love Man (Number 46 pop, Number 8 R&B, 1969), and Tell the Truth (1970) — and the hits kept coming after his death: "Amen" (Number 36 pop, Number 15 R&B, 1968), "The Happy Song (Dum-Dum)" (Number 25 pop, Number 10 R&B, 1968), "A Lover's Question" (Number 48 pop, Number 20 R&B, 1969), "Love Man" (Number 72 pop, Number 17 R&B, 1969), as well as such defining songs as "Hard to Handle" and "I've Got Dreams to Remember." In addition, a live album, In Person at the Whisky a Go Go, recorded in 1966, produced the 1969 hit "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" (Number 21 pop, Number 10 R&B).

In 1982, Redding's two sons and a nephew formed their own group, the Reddings, and covered "The Dock of the Bay" (Number 55 pop, Number 21 R&B). Little Richard inducted Redding into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Ten years later the singer received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. In 2008 Rolling Stone listed Redding among the top ten greatest singers of all time. The following year a tribute concert in Atlanta featured performances of Redding's songs by sons Dexter and Otis III, as well as a younger generation of R&B and hip-hop artists including Anthony Hamilton, Estelle, and rapper Ludacris.

Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001). Mark Kemp contributed to this article.



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/otis-redding/biography#ixzz2fkK8yMxC
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Honoring the memory of the late, Tammi Terrell Tags: tammie terrel memory honor motown word life production feature

 

 

 

 

 

Tammi Terrell (born Thomasina Winifred Montgomery; April 29, 1945 – March 16, 1970) was an American recording artist, best known as a star singer for Motown Records during the 1960s, most notably for a series of duets with singer Marvin Gaye.

Terrell's career began as a teenager, first recording for Scepter/Wand Records, before spending nearly two years as a member of James Brown's Revue, recording for Brown's Try Me label. After a period attending college, Terrell recorded briefly for Checker Records, before signing with Motown in 1965.

With Gaye, Terrell scored seven Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need to Get By". Terrell's career was interrupted when she collapsed into Gaye's arms as the two performed at a concert at Hampden-Sydney College on October 14, 1967, with Terrell later being diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had eight unsuccessful operations before succumbing to the illness on March 16, 1970 at the age of 24.

Childhood

Terrell was born as Thomasina Montgomery in Philadelphia to Jennie (née Graham) and Thomas Montgomery. Jennie was an actress and Thomas was a barbershop owner and local politician. Tammi was the eldest of two. According to the Unsung documentary, her younger sister Ludie Marianna said that they had thought Terrell would be a boy and therefore she would be named after her father. However, when she was born, the parents settled on the name Thomasina, nicknaming her "Tommie". She later changed it to "Tammy" after seeing the film, Tammy and the Bachelor, and hearing its theme song, "Tammy", at the age of 12. Starting around this time, Terrell started to have migraine headaches. While it was not thought to be of significance at the time, family members would later state that these headaches might have been related to her later diagnosis of brain cancer. According to her sister, Terrell's mother suffered from mental illness.

Career

Early recordings

Before turning 15, Terrell signed under the Wand subsidiary of Scepter Records after being discovered by Luther Dixon, recording the ballad, "If You See Bill", under the name Tammy Montgomery. After another single, Terrell left the label and, after being introduced to James Brown, signed a contract with him and began singing backup for his Revue concert tours. In 1963, she recorded the song "I Cried". Released on Brown's Try Me Records, it became her first charting single reaching no.99 on the Billboard Hot 100.

After this tenure ended, Terrell signed with Checker Records and released the Bert Berns produced duet, "If I Would Marry You" with Jimmy Radcliffe, in which Terrell co-composed herself. Following this relative failure, Terrell announced a semi-retirement from the music business and enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in pre-med, staying at the school for two years. In the middle of this, Terrell was asked by Jerry Butler to sing with him in a series of shows in nightclubs. After an arrangement was made by Butler to assure Terrell that she could continue her schooling, she began touring with Butler.

In April 1965, during a performance at the Twenty Grand Club in Detroit, she was spotted by Motown CEO Berry Gordy, who promised to sign her to Motown. Terrell agreed and signed with the label on April 29, her 20th birthday. Before releasing her first single with Motown's Tamla subsidiary, "I Can't Believe You Love Me", Gordy suggested a name change. Figuring "Tammy Montgomery" was too long of a name to put on a single, Gordy changed it to "Tammi Terrell". He felt this name screamed "sex appeal". "I Can't Believe You Love Me" became Terrell's first R&B top forty single, followed almost immediately by "Come On and See Me". In 1966, Terrell recorded two future classics, Stevie Wonder's "All I Do (Is Think About You)" and The Isley Brothers' "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)". Terrell joined the Motortown Revue after the release of her first single. During a tour in which she opened for The Temptations, Terrell met the band's lead singer David Ruffin and embarked on a torrid romance.

In early 1967, Motown hired Terrell to sing duets with Marvin Gaye, who had achieved duet success with Mary Wells and Kim Weston as well as having recorded duets with Oma Heard. During recording sessions, Gaye would recall later that he didn't know how gifted Terrell was until they began singing together.

At first the duets were recorded separately. For sessions of their first recording, the Ashford & Simpson composition, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", both Gaye and Terrell recorded separate versions. Motown remixed the vocals and edited out the background vocals, giving just Gaye and Terrell vocal dominance. The song became a crossover pop hit in the spring of 1967, reaching number nineteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the R&B charts, making Terrell a star. Their follow-up, "Your Precious Love", became an even bigger hit reaching number five on the pop chart, and number-two on the R&B chart. At the end of the year, the duo scored another top ten single with "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You", which peaked at number ten on the pop chart and number-two on the R&B chart. The song's B-side, the Marvin Gaye composition, "If This World Were Mine", became a modest hit on both charts, reaching number sixty-eight on the pop chart and number twenty-seven on the R&B chart. Gaye would later cite the song as "one of Tammi's favorites".

All four songs were included on Gaye and Terrell's first duet album, United, released in the late summer of 1967. Throughout that year, Gaye and Terrell began performing together and Terrell became a vocal and performance inspiration for the shy and laid-back Gaye, who hated live performing. The duo even performed together on TV shows to their hits. While Terrell was finally being established as a star, the migraines and headaches that she suffered with as a child were becoming more constant. While she complained of pains, she insisted to people close to her that she was well enough to perform. However, on October 14, 1967, while performing with Gaye at Hampden-Sydney College, just outside the town of Farmville, Virginia, Terrell fell and buckled onstage; Gaye quickly responded by grabbing her by the arms and helping her offstage. Shortly after returning from Virginia, doctors diagnosed a malignant tumor on the right side of her brain.

After recovering from her first operation, Terrell returned to Hitsville studios in Detroit and recorded "You're All I Need to Get By". Both that song and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing", reached number-one on the R&B charts. Despite Terrell's optimism, her tumor got worse requiring more operations. By 1969, Terrell had retired from live performances as she had been ordered by doctors not to perform due to her tumors.

Both Marvin Gaye and Valerie Simpson gave different stories on how the production of Terrell's and Gaye's third album together, Easy, was released. According to reports, Terrell had gotten so ill from her operations that she couldn't record and once Motown opted to have Valerie Simpson sub in for Terrell, a report that was repeated on the book, Marvin Gaye: What's Going On and the Last Days of the Motown Sound. Gaye would later say the move was "another moneymaking scheme on BG's part". Valerie Simpson stated that while Terrell was sick, she was brought into the studio to record over Simpson's guide vocals, insisting Terrell sung on the album. Easy produced the singles, "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy to Come By", "What You Gave Me", "California Soul" and the UK top ten hit, "The Onion Song".

Late in 1969, Terrell made her final public appearance at the Apollo Theater where Marvin Gaye was headlining the bill. As soon as Terrell was spotted by Gaye, he rushed to her side and the duo began singing "You're All I Need to Get By" together. Motown issued Terrell's first and only solo album, Irresistible, also released in 1969. Terrell was too ill and sick to promote the recordings.

Personal life

In her memoirs about her famous sister, Ludie Montgomery writes that Terrell was the victim of sexual molestation by three boys after leaving a neighborhood party at the age of eleven. The boys were arrested and convicted on a rape charge. The incident led to a change in Terrell's behavior. During her early career, Terrell dated many men both in the music business and out. Though they never dated, Terrell had been romantically interested in singer Sam Cooke and she had a budding friendship with Gene Chandler. In 1962, at 17, she signed with James Brown and the two engaged in a sexual relationship. However, this relationship turned out to be abusive. After a horrific incident with Brown backstage after a show, Terrell asked Chandler, who witnessed the incident first hand, to take her to the bus station so she could go home. He later called Terrell's mother to pick her up. This ended Terrell's two-year affair with Brown.

In 1965, Terrell forged on a romance with then-Temptations singer David Ruffin. The following year, Ruffin surprised Terrell with a marriage proposal. However, Terrell was devastated once she learned that Ruffin had a wife and three children and another girlfriend, also living in Detroit. This led to the couple having public fights. Though it was later claimed that Ruffin had hit Terrell with a hammer and a machete, these claims were denied by Terrell's family and her Motown label mates, though Ludie Montgomery confirmed a story that Terrell was hit on the side of her face by Ruffin's motorcycle helmet, leading to the end of their relationship in 1967.

After signing with Motown, she forged friendships with some of the label's artists. One of her closest was with her duet partner, Marvin Gaye, with whom she had a close platonic affair. Though it's often alleged their relationship grew into a brief romance, those close to the singers denied this claim. Ashford & Simpson, and Gaye in later years, stated the relationship was almost sibling-like. Nevertheless they were reported as having opposite personalities: Gaye being shy and introvert, Terrell being streetwise and extrovert. What they shared was their charisma as a performing couple and their sense of humor. Gaye would later call Terrell "sweet" and "misunderstood" and stated that Terrell was his "perfect [musical] partner". At the time of her death, she was engaged to be married to Ernest Garrett, who was a doctor at Terrell's hospital but not her personal doctor.

Death

By early 1970 Terrell was confined to a wheelchair, suffered from blindness and hair loss, and weighed a scant 93 lb. Following her eighth and final operation on January 25, 1970, Terrell went into a coma for the remaining month and a half of her life.

On March 16, Terrell died of complications from brain cancer. She was six weeks short of her 25th birthday. Her funeral was held at the Jane Methodist Church in Philadelphia. At the funeral, Gaye delivered a final eulogy while "You're All I Need to Get By" was playing. According to Terrell's fiancé, Dr. Garrett, who knew Gaye, her mother angrily barred everyone at Motown but Gaye from her funeral.

Aftermath

Already depressed from the first diagnosis of her illness back in late 1967 and from her onstage collapse, Marvin Gaye further withdrew from performing following Terrell's death, re-emerging two years later performing during a benefit concert at the then newly-opened Kennedy Center at Washington, D.C. in May 1972. Terrell's mother criticized Motown for not helping with Terrell's illness accusing the label for covering up the singer's condition releasing albums of Terrell's work without her consent. Gaye had also contended that he felt Motown was taking advantage of Terrell's illness and refused to promote the Easy album despite Motown telling him it would cover Terrell's health expenses.

Gaye never fully got over Terrell's death, according to several biographers who have stated that Terrell's death led Gaye to depression and drug abuse. In addition, Gaye's classic album What's Going On, an introspective, low-key work which dealt with mature themes released in 1971, was in part a reaction to Terrell's death. In July 1970, four months after Terrell's untimely passing, a dramatic rearrangement of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", was released by Diana Ross, becoming a number-one hit and one of Ross' signature songs.

On October 8, 2010, Hip-O Select released, “Come on and See Me.” The Complete Solo Collection, a collection of all of Terrell's solo work dating back to high school, plus never before released songs and 13 minutes of the only known live stage recordings.

Source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammi_Terrell

The beautiful presence of Aaliyah is truly missed in R&B Tags: aaliyah talented r&b music beautiful word live production memory

Brooklyn-born Aaliyah Dana Haughton  started voice lessons shortly after she  learned to talk. Determined to be a star, she signed a contract with Jive Records at the age of 12 and came to popular acclaim in 1994. On her way home from a music video shoot in 2001, a plane crash killed Aaliyah and eight members of her film crew. She was 22 years old at the time of her death.

Singer and actress Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979, in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Detroit, Michigan, the young singer competed unsuccessfully on the television program Star Search at age 11. Later that same year, she performed with R&B legend Gladys Knight, the former wife of her uncle and manager, Barry Hankerson, at a five-night stand in Las Vegas.

Big Break

In 1994, at the age of 15, Aaliyah catapulted onto the R&B charts herself with her debut album, Age Ain't Nothing But a Number. Produced by the successful singer R. Kelly, the album quickly sold a million copies and eventually earned platinum status based largely on the success of two hit singles, "Back and Forth" and "At Your Best (You Are Love)." Later that year, tabloid reports surfaced claiming that the sultry teen singer had married the 27-year-old Kelly, but Aaliyah denied the union and the marriage was reportedly annulled.

While a student in the dance program at Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts (she graduated in 1997), Aaliyah released her sophomore album, One in a Million (1996). Helmed by the well-known pop producer Timbaland and featuring rap performer Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, One in a Million portrayed the 17-year-old singer as a sultry hip-hop chanteuse with a self-confidence well beyond her years. The album garnered favorable reviews and sold two million copies.

Commercial Success

Aaliyah gained even more recognition in 1997 when she recorded "Journey to the Past," the Academy Award-nominated theme song to the animated feature Anastasia. She also performed the song for the Oscar telecast in 1998. Her next soundtrack effort, "Are You That Somebody?" for 1998's Dr. Dolittle, starring Eddie Murphy, went to No. 1 on the R&B charts, was a pop crossover hit, and earned Aaliyah her first Grammy Award nomination.

Budding Film Career

In 2000, Aaliyah made her acting debut in the surprise action hit Romeo Must Die, starring opposite martial arts star Jet Li in a Romeo and Juliet-inspired story set in modern-day Los Angeles. She was also an executive producer of the movie's soundtrack and performed the hit single "Try Again," which netted her a second Grammy nomination as well as two MTV Music Video Awards for Best Female Video and Best Video From a Film.

Her third album, Aaliyah, was released in July 2001 and reached No. 2 on the Billboard album chart. Also in 2001, she played the title role in Queen of the Damned, based on the bestselling novel by Anne Rice and set for release in 2002. She scored a major casting coup when she signed to appear in two upcoming sequels to the blockbuster sci-fi thriller The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne.

Tragic Death

Tragically, Aaliyah was killed on August 25, 2001, when a small Cessna passenger plane carrying the singer and her video crew crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Abaco Island in the Bahamas, where they had just completed work on a video. The plane was headed for Miami, Florida. Aaliyah and seven other people, including the pilot, were believed to have died instantly,

while a ninth passenger died later at a Bahamian hospital. Aaliyah was 22 years old at the time of her death. She is survived by her parents, Diane and Michael Haughton, and an older brother, Rashaad.

http://www.biography.com/people/aaliyah-9542434

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IN MEMEORY OF HIP HOP ARTIST, EYEDEA Tags: eyedea and abilities in memory of featured artist word life production

 

 Eyedea and Abilities is what you get when you combine the very best of two opposite ends of Hip-Hop's musical spectrum. On one end you have the M.C./Lyricist, Eyedea, who has proven himself time and time again not only as an extraordinary song writer, but also as a master at battling and the art of freestyling. On the other end you have Abilities, the D.J./Turntablist, who's talent from the battle, to the mix tape, to production has resonated on the underground for quite some time now. When you put these two extremes together, you get the new, innovative and exciting dynamic we like to call E&A.

Between the years of 1997 and 2001, E&A completely conquered the competitive circuit. (Winning national and regional battles such as: Scribble Jam ?99, RockSteady 2000, Blaze-Battle Chicago 2000, HBO Televised Blaze-Battle World Championship New York 2000, ?99 DMC Regional, 2001 DMC Regional, and many more!) During this time E&A was also laying groundwork and establishing a fan base for themselves with Rhymesayers labelmates Atmosphere by doing self promoted U.S.. tours, traveling state to state selling their product hand to hand. Since then they have established themselves as a phenomenal live act, having performed with everyone from De La Soul to The Roots, to American Head Charge. (As well as doing full blown tours with artists such as: Prince Paul, Aceyalone, Cannibal Ox, Living Legends and more.)

Lauded as one of URB Magazines Next 100, Eyedea and Abilities dropped their first full length album entitled First Born in the Fall of 2001. This conceptual masterpiece caught many fans off guard, as they expected a more battle oriented approach to the songs. But as unexpected as it was, First Born proved that a powerful battle M.C. and Turntabilist could create a clever and cohesive concept album.

 

"...you can?t argue with the musically inventive use of samples here or the range of subject matter covered. The record carries real emotional weight because of the subjects dealt with and that?s still all too rare in Hip Hop." (5 out of 5 - Will Ashon/Muzik Issue #77 10/01)

"...First Born is a decidedly indie-style Hip Hop album full of intricate wordplay, austere beat science and headey lyrical content. Those expecting slice and dice battle techniques from Eyedea or Abilities will probably be disappointed, as First born is dominated by Eyedea?s introspective, angst-y lyrics and Abilities? equally moody sound structures, all late-night jazz flourishes and towering drum loops...this is Hip Hop as therapy session-freudian funk for distressed heads." (3.5 out of 5 - Michael Endelman/URB Issue #88 10/01)

A little less than a year later, Eyedea released a self-produced, completely self-contained full-length c.d. titled The Many faces of Oliver Hart or: How Eye One the Write Too Think. This helped showcase Eyedea?s skills as a producer, as well as give people one more reason to consider him one of the best song writers out there.

"...Any review would be remiss, however, if it did not mention the breath taking "Bottle Dreams," seriously one of the most profound songs in hip-hop history. With a laid back, compassionate delivery, Eyedea tells a tale of a young violin prodigy, sexually abused by her widower father. She keeps her horrible secret bottled inside, but finds expression through writing in her diary. Finally, one day she decides to end her life, and what the police find with her body at the bottom of the lake will give you goose bumps if you are human...Eyedea?s ability to make a chilling song like this truly separates him from other emcees." (Review from Hip-Hop Infinity.com)

In the past year or so,in addition to doing numerous side-projects (including Abilities performing all the scratches for El-p?s critically acclaimed Fantastic Damage, pairing up with I Self Divine of The Micranots to create the group Semi. Offical and Eyedea?s Oliver Hart projects.), E&A have developed an aesthetic that will completely set them apart from the rest. The way they play off of each other as M.C. and D.J.(or more fittingly, as Lyricist and Turntablist) both live and on record, has been compared to the call and response type solos exhibited by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. They have completely meshed the worlds of the turntables and the microphone. Sometimes the very structure of Eyedea?s flow is based off of the rhythm of a scratch, and vise versa. This is hip hop at the threshold of complexity. One M.C. and one D.J. both shining as the soloist, back and forth and at the same time. With their new album E&A, Eyedea & Abilities have not only grown and settled into their own but have found a way to bridge their battle driven Hip Hop beginnings with their desire to be thought provoking creative artists.

 

 

 


 

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