Cold Play, on the “Up&Up”

Coldplay’s Up&Up… an amazing video! 
On par with my reaction, ages ago, to Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Among the best videos ever.
What are your favorite videos of all time?

Reveals behind the music: Imagine Dragons

Axyl Thorne illustration

My character, Axyl Thorne, is a famous rock star  in the Fae realm of Delfaerune… easily as famous as Imagine Dragons in our human world. 😀 Art by Stacy Lefevre

While conducting research on some of my favorite bands, I found out some fascinating trivia about the musicians behind the music, and thought you might get a kick out of it, too.

Let’s start with Imagine Dragons, a four-member alternative/pop/indie rock band based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Did you know…

  • Three of the four members in the band share the first name “Daniel:”
    • Dan Reynolds (lead singer)
    • Daniel Wayne Sermon (guitar)
    • Daniel Platzman (drums)
    • Ben McKee (bass)
  • Reynolds, child #7 in a family with 9 children, earned Eagle Scout status. He also stands 6’4″ tall.
  • Sermon is one of five children.
  • All the members of the band except Reynolds, attended the Berklee School of Music in California.
  • Platzman received his degree in film scoring, and has received the Vic Firth Award for Outstanding Musicianship and the Michael Rendish Award in Film Scoring.
  • Two of the Dans—Reynolds and Sermon—are Mormon, and married, girls. Sorry.
  • Reynolds’ wife Aja Volkman is an American musician, best known as the front woman for the indie rock band Nico Vega.
  • Sermon married ballerina/writer/photographer Alexandra Hill.
  • McKee was arrested on the Las Vegas Strip for public nudity. He later stated in a Billboard interview, “There were some bad choices being made. Vegas is a crazy place.”

What other trivia do you know about Imagine Dragons?




Carpool karaoke: Jam with James Corden


This BuzzFeed sampling shows you a video series that totally delights me. James Corden, of The Late, Late Show fame, sings along with Adele, Sia, One Direction, Stevie Wonder

Thank you, you brilliant funny man, for Carpool Karaoke.

Who would you like to see riding in James’ van as he sings his way to work?
Do you already have a favorite?

If music plays in the forest, you should be there to hear it.


Xylophone in the Forest,” in the Hokkaido Garden Show, was used to advertise a Japanese mobile phone company.

This happens to be an indescribably beautiful idea. When I have my own forest, I will make one of these instruments.

Cheers to Ruben Mandolini for posting this video.

Hear 38 songs future readers contributed to my novel

Song of the Ocarina cover

The cover! Illustration John Taylor, production layout Michael Feather

I just created a Spotify playlist so you can hear 38 of the nearly 50 songs my future readers contributed to my pending novel Song of the Ocarina. Each of these songs will appear in the book as a tune my heroine Lark plays on her iPod, a melody one of the characters hums, or as background music at events throughout the plot line.

The story is filled with musicians, and my heroine is a musical prodigy, so expect a wide range of genres, with quite a few geared toward the 18–25-aged crowd.

Every future reader who suggested a song will see their name printed in my novel when it’s published (soon!). Check out my other blog entry for a sneak peak of that list.

Tell me what you think!


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

Discover at least two unique musical textures

River stone path

Like these river stones—on a path in Highlands Ranch, CO— I love the varying textures in both of these songs.

I simply had to share these two completely different musical gems:

  • Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” (Sung in 20 Styles) by Ten Second Songs.
    Talk about your diverse vocal stylings… 

What do you think?
Are you amazed, too?

What do John Denver and Fred Stobaugh have in common?

They both wrote touching music for their wives.

John Denver's guitar at the MIM

Though probably not on “This Old Guitar,” displayed at the Musical Instrument Museum,” Denver did compose “Annie’s Song” for his wife. Just like Fred composed “Sweet Lorraine.”

One of my all-time favorite John Denver songs, “Annie’s Song,” he wrote for his wife at the time, Annie Martell Denver. It became Denver’s second number-one song in the United States, so ranked for two weeks in July 1974. [It carries a specific connection for me, too, as it inspired a pivotal scene for my Rhythms & Muse novel.]

Fred Stobaugh wrote “Sweet Lorraine” after the passing of his wife of 73 years in 2013. He entered it into Green Shoe Studios‘ songwriting contest, by sending in an old-school, hand-written letter. Touched by the heartfelt lyrics, Green Shoe brought Fred’s song to life through its generous creativity and production. The song reached #1 in the iTunes singer/songwriter category in August 2013.

For the whole story, see the sweet little documentary, “A Letter from Fred,” on YouTube.

I simply needed to share this, even if it is a year old. Prepare for inspiration and subsequent tears.

Can you share a similar story?


Write on! (or in this case, “Far-r-r-r Out!)
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

Brilliant idea to turn subway turnstiles into music

NYC deserves as much beauty underground as it does topside, don't you think? Photo: ©2008 ANVidean

NYC deserves as much beauty underground as it does topside, don’t you think?
Photo: ©2008 ANVidean

Leave it to a musician to think of a way to make the New York subways more beautiful! Musician James Murphy suggests, in this video, how the city might replace the unpleasant turnstile notes that benefit sightless folk, with harmonic tones to please everyone. Tuned notes would chime as people pass through the turnstiles, making music instead of mismatched sounds. He also suggests a way that won’t cost the city additional monies.

Eric Whitacre answers audience questions at ASU, Oct. 24.  Photo: ©ANVidean 2013

Eric Whitacre answers audience questions at ASU, Oct. 24.
Photo: ©ANVidean 2013

Did I mention “brilliant?”

Thank you, composer Eric Whitacre for yet another wonderful share. You always demonstrate such exceptional ideas on how music can benefit our lives!

Sleep to dream… Listen to my son’s dreams.

Five-song demo release, week of Feb. 10–15. © 2014 Cutter Videan

Five-song demo release, week of Feb. 10–15.
© 2014 Cutter Videan

I like to support young creatives, especially when it involves music… and, even more so, when it’s my son’s compositions.

Check out Cutter Videan’s five-song demo releasing this week, one song per day, on tumblr and bandcamp.

The first 200 downloads are free!