Long version: Z.M. Wise is a proud Illinois native from Chicago, poet, essayist, occasional playwright, seldom screenwriter, co-editor and arts activist, writing since his first steps as a child. He was selected to be a performer in the Word Around Town Tour in 2013, a Houston citywide tour. He is co-owner and co-editor of Transcendent Zero Press, an independent publishing house for poetry that produces an international quarterly journal known as Harbinger Asylum. The journal was nominated Best Poetry Journal in 2013 at the National Poetry Awards. He has five books of published poetry, including: Take Me Back, Kingswood Clock! (MavLit Press, 2013), The Wandering Poet (Transcendent Zero Press, 2014), Wolf: An Epic & Other Poems (Weasel Press, 2015), Cuentos de Amor (Red Ferret Press, 2015), and Kosmish and the Horned Ones (Weasel Press, 2018). His debut play, Bottles of Emerald for the Demon Queen (Transcendent Zero Press, 2019), was published in late December of 2019. His sixth book of poetry, Illinois Infinitarium (Cherry House Press, 2020), will be published in the summer months of 2020. Other than these books, his poems, lyrics, essays, and book reviews have been published in various journals, magazines, and anthologies. The motto that keeps him going: POETRY LIVES AND LONG LIVE THE ARTS! Mr. Wise will make sure to spread that message and the love of the arts, making sure it remains vibrant for the rest of his days and beyond. Besides poetry and other forms of writing, his other passions/interests include professional voice acting, singing/lyricism/songwriting, playing a few instruments, fitness, and reading. Besides poetry and other forms of writing, his other passions/interests include professional voice acting, singing/lyricism/songwriting, playing a few instruments, fitness, and reading.
In fact, this was one of my first “adopted” rehearsal spaces.
The church was always open. 24 hours. I liked that. So I spent a lot of time here. It was my sanctuary. A place where I asked questions, cried, sang and waited. No. I wasn’t a member. I kept a low profile. It was on the UW-Madison block. So they were accustomed to people my age hanging out from time to time.
The open room and cement interior provided an amazing natural reverb for both my vocals and piano. The room was always lit just like this. I liked that. It made me feel less embarrassed about praying. And it felt cool. Like a cave. Safe.
I played this exact piano. Not sure what ever happened to it……..that piano was one of my favorites. The way that the sound bounced around when I played and sang. I can hear it in my mind now. I learned a lot about the science of acoustics in this room.
I remember working on one of my first songs, “He’s Like the Wind” on that piano. Let me tell you. It sounded way better in that stone room. Memories.
Open Your Mouthwritten, recorded and arranged by Angela Mack in the late 1990s.
Published for the first time on the Internet. Here. Right now. First time the public is hearing it. Please know that I produced this going on 20 years ago now. This is part of my musical archive that I will begin sharing. Living and breathing music almost everyday since this was recorded has obviously matured me as a musician.
But there are elements in this song that remain true today.
One. I love major seventh chords. This song was built on major seventh chords. It lends itself to go jazz, or whatever.
I originally wanted to have a million musicians on this. Like a John Tesh Live on the Red Rocks kind of thing.
But, I was raising three busy boys at the time, didn’t have a car, nor the money to pay musicians. So I played every instrument on my Korg N264 and wound up with a total of 17 layers. I turned my townhouse living room into my music studio. We lived at 142 W. Falls Rd. in Grafton. (My boys used to call it “the ghetto of Grafton.”) Gosh. When I think about how much time it took me to record these, I have to give myself a little respect. Or attribute it to being somewhat miraculous.
Of course, there are stories and meanings behind this song that I will share as time goes on…….
On another note, I would love to do an acoustic remix with as many singers as possible….harmonizing…. and, of course, I would love a full orchestra and band. #gobigorgohome
I will be posting more music and content in my spare time. (ha!)
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