Música

I started watching the recordings for another five-day songwriting workshop that a family friend is doing this week. I watched the first video at 11:00 this morning, and glanced st the homework front he next two days before joining the noon live video for today. I’ve done one of these workshops before – that’s what got me those first several songs earlier this summer – so I wasn’t too worried about participating today without having finished the other videos yet. I just followed the guidelines from Monday’s video, and from the snippets I’d watched of Tuesday and Wednesday for the homework for each, and I was ready for today.

While the basic process is rather the same, the approach and specifics were different this time around, so I embraced the opportunity for something new. We were told to find a specific song for inspiration, after doing some topic-finding and lyric-writing work; a song that held a comparable space to the one we wanted our own song to hold.

My song? “When There Was Me And You”, as sung by Vanessa Hudgens in High School Musical. And the topic I had chosen and the lyrics I was writing that had this song somehow be appropriate for portraying the write musical feeling? Overcoming emotional and sexual abuse. Kind of an odd combination, don’tchya say?

Nonetheless, it all turned out beautifully. Hours later, after many, many breaks to go do other things and to allow stuff to sit or to mull, I had a completed song, recorded and shared with the world of my social media friends. And, what’s more, I went back to the piano just about ten minutes ago, and I played through the song again – and I remembered how it all went, and I loved the sang (two very good and rather important signs of song completion).

I sent off the audio recording to my small list of private listeners – you could call them the in club of my music-writing – got a bit of feedback (positive – woohoo!), and then shared the video recording of my playing and singing online. We only were supposed to select five people to hear our songs so far as part of our homework tonight… I had forgotten about that until just now… guess I did much more than five… haha… that’s silly.

Anyway, I shared it with four people privately, and I am planning to play it live for a student of mine tomorrow morning, so I guess that handles the five intentional shares, as well as an open share with my somewhat large but private world on social media.

Well… this has felt really, really good today. I even screamed just before showering a bit ago, I was so filled with excitement and energy that I needed to release in order to begin to relax for the night. It was a very, very good and satisfying scream. Man… these songs just feel right. I’ve been wanting to write novels, yet, when I set myself to work for only a few hours on a song, one just kind of evolves like the chia seeds in the chia pet commercials (“Ch-ch-ch-chia!”). Perhaps today was an opportunity for me to see how ideas that get in the way of a different story I want to use for writing my novel, those ideas can go into a song – they can be heard that way. Then, I can go back to writing my novel’s story, no longer with the former distraction of a different story asking to be told. Today’s song topic was definitely one of those ideas…

Hmm… interesting.

Anyway, I’m off to read some young adult fun and then pass out hardcore (Please…).

P.S. My song doesn’t sound almost anything like Vanessa Hudgens’ song, by the way – it started with the same foundation of chords, but quickly developed into a very different song. If I hadn’t told you they were connected, you likely never would have noticed. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

The music in me

Na-nah-naah-na….

Na-nah-naah-na…. yeah…

Well, I have been watching the glorious High School Musical stuff over the past several days, and I am in love all over again. But it feels a bit different this time… this time, it keeps making me want to perform – to sing and dance, to play piano and share music with the world… and it has been making me want to write more songs again. I had a bout of that back in April and May, I believe it was, and then I stopped. I expressed everything that was needing to be expressed at the time through music. And it now feels like music wants to be expressed, instead of specific experiences and thoughts. Perhaps, I am filled with sentiments now that are ready to begin producing solid form through music… an artistic 3-D, let’s say.

And there just so happens to be another songwriting workshop happening this week…, so, I think I know what is on my schedule for the rest of this week, now. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Disney repeats

I’ve been considering the film version of the Disney musical “The Little Mermaid” tonight. As I found myself not only singing “Poor, Unfortunate Souls” while readying myself for bed, cleaning my teeth and putting in my retainers, but also saying with accurate intonation all the dialogue that exists throughout it and directly after it, I began to wonder if I knew more than I had passively considered. I hadn’t much thought about it, but I was a little bit surprised at my having known even that little bit of dialogue outside of the one song. Once I truly considered it, though, it seemed silly that I would be surprised at this knowledge, for the simple fact that I very likely could dialogue my way through almost the entire film, and with minimal error. The fact is: I know that era of Disney films quite well.

A Japanese friend once asked me, as I sang along to a Lion King song that was playing over a speaker at a Harajuku outdoor shop, why all Americans know the words to Disney songs. I laughed rather hard at her question before answering. My initial thought was, ‘Well, duh – how could we not?’ But I found the reasoning for such an automatic thought, and explained it to her, how Disney films were such a huge part of US culture in the 90s and early 2000s especially, so kJ so that their music became big parts of pop culture, so even people who didn’t watch much of the movies still knew the main songs from them.

That being said, I was one of the people who watched the films over and over again. When I find a movie I love, I tend to watch it regularly and somewhat often (when I’m in a movie phase or mood, anyway). Only the really amazing movies that actually are sad movies or depressing ones are the ones that I tend not to rewatch. The rest of the ones I love, I probably have seen them loads of times, up to dozens, perhaps. And certain Disney films fall into that category of films I have watched an absurd number of times, “The Little Mermaid” being among them. That and “Aladdin” probably have the highest number of viewings for me among the Disney animated films.

And so, it should come as little to no surprise that I would know so many lines from the film, and possibly could recite the whole darn thing. 🙂

Though, that makes it no less absurd that I can do that in the first place… 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Late-night calls

For the second night in a row, instead of going to bed when I was feeling like doing so, I ended up on the phone with a good friend of mine in and from Australia.

And, because it was early afternoon for him, he wasn’t in much of any hurry to get off the call…, so we talked for a good while.

However, both times we ended up spending some good, dedicated time to my playing around on the piano, singing songs for him (and for me) to enjoy. It was actually quite funny yesterday, because he was just on his way home from a tough day of work, end of the workweek, and had been thinking about a nap… so, once again, we came very close to his falling asleep while I sang to him. How adorable, right? Haha

Anyway, I love it, and I love this friend. As we discussed tonight, we both really would like for scientists to get their acts together around the world, and figure out this teleportation thing already. 😛 We miss seeing one another (and I don’t just mean because of the current state of affairs, but because of our being all the way around the world from one another$.

By the way, did you know that Australia is approximately 77% the size of the USA? I had absolutely no idea that Australia was that large – not a clue. And I have definitely looked at it on many a map and many a digital map… nonetheless, I was utterly unaware of this fact… approximately 7.6 million km squared to 9.8 million km squared. Crazy, right? But, yet, also not… also, they have a huge dessert in the middle, in which no one lives, so they don’t have as much habitable land, but still… Alaska has a bunch of uninhabitable land, too… hmm… I’ll have to check what the habitable land of each country is, because the population of Australia is ridiculously low for its land size.

Anyway, I’m exhausted… goodnight!

Post-a-day 2020

Only the best

Daveed Diggs makes my heart go kaboom, jumping up and down, spinning around in a chest explosion of dancing to a quick, funky beat…

He makes my throat feel jittery, and my spine prickle with total joy, and excitement.

He makes my entire being smile with pure delight.

And, when he smiles, I might as well be melting to the floor…

And – and this is a bit and – I could hardly say that I even know the guy – I’ve never met him, and I only know about him, really, rather than knowing him, himself.

And yeah, I don’t really see logically that anything ever would develop between us, for many, many reasons, which I have accepted rather easily (again, recall that we do not know one another, anyway.

However, what has struck me as extremely important about his presence in my life?

The fact that, if he sparks such emotions and physical response as no one in my actual life has ever struck for me, then I very clearly have not yet met the right men, the right man… anyone I have crossed so far has come nowhere near arousing such excitement and true joy within me (along with such a cool and comfortable calmness that he carries casually to me)… so, no wonder nothing has ever come of any of those interactions, relationships.

If it had, it could only have been settling, on my part.

And so, Daveed Diggs, in all his masterful and joyful and humble and gorgeous glory, reminds me, just by being himself, that 1)I must be always myself, 2)that is exactly how I will find the perfect partner in life for me, and 3)I must remember never to settle, and always to stand for the greatest and purest form of delight, joy, and utter love within me, when it comes to my relationship with a partner in my life.

Daveed Diggs, you are a beast, I love you in gratitude for all you are and all you share with the world, and I am extremely grateful for the inspiration and reminder you have provided me specifically in my life. 🙂

Thank you. ❤

P.S. Spectacular name, man! ❤

Post-a-day 2020

32,000 troops in New York Harbor

I just e-mailed a history expert in order to find a possible answer to two questions my mom and I had out of watching “Hamilton”.

1) How many men would have been aboard each ship?

2) How long was the journey from England to New York in 1776?

We wanted to know how many ships were in the harbor in order to produce 32,000 troops, as the line in the song says, and realized that we had no idea how big the ships even were and what their capacities were for men (and ammunition, etc.).

And that set of thoughts led us to wondering how long they had had to spend at sea.

And so, rather than put forth lots of effort in researching myself, I figured it smartest to reach out to an expert first, and doing further personal research second, if needed.

Why does this even matter?

Because we are total nerds in my family, and we care about things like this. 😛

I mean, what else would one be asking after watching “Hamilton”? Haha

Post-a-day 2020

Homophones ;)

I never quite understood what was going on in the song, though I listened to it multiple times… I attributed this to my lack of knowledge on the history being referenced within it…

Even when I watched it happen on the stage, and I listened carefully and understood almost every single word in it, I was still slightly lost… as I considered it afterward, I saw that it just still didn’t quite make sense to me – why such a title and then have the song be talking so much about what it was discussing?

I was guessing that it was showing how problems in the government’s leaders’ lives always had a risk of being life-threatening, and so there were two sides to being in politics at the time (and a third during the war itself, but from an enemy, not an ally)… thus the “dual” of it… the duality, would it be?

Anyway…

It suddenly clicked for me tonight, though, as I prepared myself for sleep, and contemplated Lafayette’s 19 words in under three seconds –

And I’m never gonna stop until I make ‘em
Drop and burn ‘em up and scatter their remains, I’m

Is it “duel” instead of “dual”?! I asked myself in sudden doofusfeeling inspiration.

I quickly checked, and, of course, it is, indeed, the “Ten Duel Commandments”.

Still a play on history and phrasing, but not in the way I was interpreting it… similar, but not really at all the same idea. 😂

Oh, the fun of spelling. 😛

P.S. Extreme gratitude yet again for the beautiful gifts that Lin-Manuel Miranda shares with the world at large… Thank you, good sir… 🙂

P.P.S. Daveed Diggs,…. dude… I kind of love you for your space of fun and for your spectacular precision. 😀

Post-a-day 2020

The story for tonight

Tonight, I keep it extremely short:

Lin-Manuel Miranda, I thank you – you have given the world such wonder and love and beautiful creativity and expression, and we, the people, are grateful. 😉

And for all of it – you are a gift, and you have shared your treasure with the world at large… for that, and for following your passion and love, you have helped to make the world a better place on both a personal and a global level.

Thank you.

Post-a-day 2020

A Memory

I think it was the summer before my junior year in high school that I didn’t really put much effort into playing the trumpet… I had played since sixth grade, and had never had to work too hard to have a good sound and play decently.

At this point, I think I had taken it a bit too much for granted, and so practicing had dropped quite low on my list of activities the summer before junior year.

I had also just spend a chunk of the summer studying in Spain, so my focus was more on Spanish – a subject I did not study in school – than on preparing for August chair placements for band.

My brother picked me up from the audition/chair test – he was an alum of the school, and so had spent a bit of time looking around while we were doing the test – and drove me on his motorcycle to a dance class.  I wasn’t taking the dance class, but I was working the welcome desk for it, in exchange for a free group class of my choosing later on… I also had the added benefit of watching this class happen, and learning from the seated sidelines.

Basically, I was focused on doing my best to live frugally with dance, because I was all too aware of my family’s financial situation – well, my mom’s side, anyway… my dad’s was a different story, but I functioned with the mind of one with extremely limited funds, so that’s why I was spending hours of my time working the welcome table at dance classes, in exchange for a ten-dollar class…

Anyway, so I rushed from the chair test to the dance class, loving the first ride on my brother’s motorcycle – while simultaneously being terrified(!) – and had asked a classmate to send me a text message with the results, when they came out in another ten or so minutes.

I was placed absurdly low in terms of capability…, and it hurt my spirit a lot.

But, I imagine, it was entirely valid based on the amount of practice I had put into it all.

I had begun this with a certain incident in mind, but I am not wondering if that incident was even that year… I am beginning to think it was the following year, my senior year, that this incident happened…, but I’m really not sure.

I shall continue with the incident, nonetheless…

So, I was placed after this one kid, who had become a semi-distant friend of mine.  We sat side-by-side five mornings a week for 45 minutes, and chatted here and there, so we were comfortable with one another’s company, but we didn’t spend time together outside of band, right?

Anyway, I had liked being in the Jazz Band, and you had to be placed so high in the count of trumpets in order to be included in the Jazz Band each year.  I had placed one below what was included in Jazz Band membership.  So, I initiated a challenge.  The two band directors each picked a selection of our current music, and told us to prepare to play those and any two scales that they would say at the challenge.

The day of the challenge arrived.  I played beautifully for the selections, and my sound quality was stellar.  The guy had incredibly powerful sound, though with a very odd and un-musical edge to it all, as usual.  The scales they selected, naturally, involved playing really high… something which I was not great at doing, but that usually didn’t matter at our area in the chair placements (higher notes for higher chairs), and I could play the ones that popped up in our music… what’s more, this kid and I played off the same sheet and stand, meaning the only difference, if I were to win the challenge, would be that we would switch chair spots, and that I would be in Jazz Band when it started up, but he would not be in it.  In terms of performance in the band, nothing would change.  Nonetheless, they picked scales that were hard for me, and I made the decision to play beautifully for a single octave, instead of iffily on the second octave… one I had been taught by the band director himself.

We had assigned ourselves the letters of A and B.  When the challenge finished, the directors came out from behind the wall, an area from which they had not been able to see us during the challenge.  They told us that player A had won, and who was that?  The guy wasn’t quite sure which letter he had been, and so looked to me questioningly for help.  I, processing much more than the result of the challenge, informed him kindly that he had been player A, and so nothing was changing with our chair rankings.

What was I processing?

Well, the way the band director had delivered the news… He had put on an air of unknowing, as though he hadn’t known who player A and player B had each been.  I had only been on the planet a teen number of years, and had minimal musical training,  – he had had probably more musical training than I had had in years of life itself – yet I could tell the difference in almost every player in our band, especially the trumpet players.  And he played trumpet, too, so I knew that he knew each of our individual sounds.  Especially between this guy and myself, the identification was easy… even for someone who had never heard us beforehand, one could accurately guess whose sound was which.

So, I knew the band director knew who had won… yet he pretended not to know, to be utterly unaware of who had been which player… It felt like he was proving a point to me, that I needed to practice more… no matter how good of a sound I had, if I didn’t improve further, I couldn’t even beat the nice guy with a weird sound.  I had taken lessons from the band director during my freshman year, but had been able to manage on my own eventually, and so we did not continue the lessons after a while.  For me, no matter what his intentions were, his pretended ignorance of who had one the challenge was like a slap in the face and a terrible scolding… I was embarrassed and somewhat heartbroken.

I had let someone else down, too…, not just myself.  I knew that he had wanted me to be in a higher chair placement, and that he had wanted me to be in Jazz Band.  But he was not going to let me do that without putting in a lot more effort.

Again, that is all my own interpretation at the time.

But it still holds about the same, looking back on it all today.

The irony of it all, however, is that, when Jazz Band started up that year, the band director casually upped the number of trumpets in Jazz Band… by one player.  So, I ended up in Jazz Band, anyway.

The following year (Or the year after that, depending on which year this had all been during), I ranked even lower in the chair placements at the end-of-summer chair test.  After several weeks of Jazz Band rehearsals, someone was sent one day to bring me into Jazz Band… so, I ended up in it then, too.  I was clearly good enough for Jazz Band – I even practiced that music, including when I didn’t really need to practice it, because that music came so naturally and easily for me – and the band director agreed with that sentiment enough that he kept letting me be part of it, even though I didn’t ever do well with the whole ‘practice on your own over the summer’ thing.  During the school year, I was always fine, and I always got A’s on my playing tests at grading periods.  It was when there wasn’t a concert or performance coming up, and I wasn’t surrounded daily by musicians and music that I struggled to practice and perform well.

I’m not entirely sure what brought all of this up today… I am reading a book about poetry that was recommended to me as a novelist/writer, because it is supposedly applicable to all forms of writing (which, the author even says this in the book, and it seems so far to be entirely true…, but it makes me want to write poetry now, too!).  Something in that got me thinking, and somehow sent me to that memory moment of embarrassment after the chair challenge with that guy.  I wonder if he even remembers it… if any of them do.  Clearly, it had some significance for me… whew…

Anyway… I’ll let that muse in the background, while I move on to other things in my day now. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Third time’s a charm

Or so they say, anyway, the people in my life. 😛

Tomorrow morning, we shall see if the third time, indeed, is a charm.

I have arranged now three times to meet with someone to make and create music together; the second two times being due to rescheduling from an unplanned event in the other person’s life.

Tonight, I had someone reaching out, asking me to do something that would be at the exact time of our third-time-arranged meeting tomorrow…

No, no, I just can’t do that… especially after making the joke today about – is it millennials? – millennials and how they can never seem to make plans and keep them… haha

So, I arranged for an undetermined future occurrence of the pop-up request from tonight…

Which leaves me free to attend our regularly scheduled Saturday morning program… I found myself wanting “One Saturday Morning” last weekend, so this is almost like a version of that for me: a Saturday morning of creativity and fun and interest.

In conclusion and in short, I hope tomorrow’s musical meeting happens and that it is delightful.

P.S. I helped my friend with the first leg of moving today, and I got home kind of late… I am utterly exhausted right now, and my eyes are heavy and burning… Once again, I did not realize that I hadn’t even gotten my shirt on for sleeping… I’ve just been sitting here in only my underwear, and had no idea… I am ready for some much-needed rest, especially if I’ll be musicking tomorrow morning!

Post-a-day 2020