Cal Poly Pomona Music Professor Arthur Winer’s song “The Minor Key” won a Silver Medal in the 2019 Global Music Awards, an international songwriting competition. The song was released on Oct. 15 through Canaveral Skies Music and Winer’s band MacArthur.
The award-winning recording of “The Minor Key” features CPP music alumna Kylie Mayhew on vocals as well as music faculty members Jeremy Conrad (drums), Ana Maldonado (cellos), and Winer on guitars/mandolin. Winer’s friend David Gould plays bass on the recording. Winer produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered the song in the CPP music department’s recording studios—the very same ones in which he instructs and encourages music students to create and fine-tune their own projects.
Winer is a specialist in audio technology for music production and has been teaching at Cal Poly Pomona since 2005. He is also the founder and director of the Songwriter Showcase, an ensemble that promotes the original songwriting of students. Mayhew, the featured vocalist on the “The Minor Key,” was a star performer in previous Songwriter Showcase concerts. In further collaboration with Mayhew, Winer’s record label and music publisher Canaveral Skies Music will be releasing recordings of her songs, starting with “Bruised” on Nov. 1.
“’The Minor Key’ reflects my observations about the language of indoctrination and how it is used to hide truths,” Winer said of the lyrical content of the song. “In the music underneath the lyrics, the ideas of dubious truth have a major musical feel, while the hidden-truth ideas have a more minor musical feel. Thus, the lyric ‘The truth resides in the minor keys.’”
As a musical joke, Winer said that he included a chord that is neither major nor minor.
“And of course, a ‘key’ is a double entendre here,” Winer added. “It can refer to the music, or it can refer to a lock.”