Music in the night

Last night, instead of going to bed at approximately 20:30, which I was genuinely delighted to do and which I genuinely wanted to do, I got pulled into an approximate two-hour sidetracking by a song. Obviously, I ventured into this sidetracking of my own free will. However, it was because a musician acquaintance shared a song alongside a high recommendation…, so I felt a strong desire to check it out before I forgot all about it and the recommendation (via an Instagram story) expired in the morning.

I did not and still do not regret this reasoning of mine. That song was and is a-mazing. And I found a couple others I loved right away, adding the artist to my list of things to pursue in further detail in the near future.

And so, I can strongly recommend a tentative look into the music of Cory Fry, specifically the songs “Photograph”, “Flying”, “Pictures of Mountains” (oh, my goodness in this one…), and “Symphony”. Once I have my full sit-down with him on Spotify, I am likely to have loads more, but those are the three for now!

With that, I bid you a lovely night and restful sleep. πŸ˜‰

P.S. I am listening to some of that Spotify station now…, and I have a hunch that I am seriously going to love his Christmas album… so, there’s that, too. πŸ˜‚

Post-a-day 2020

β€œI Trust In You”

I was at an artist retreat this weekend with my mom, out in the forest North of Houston. I wasn’t in the sessions themselves (my mom was), but was still part of the activities for the families who accompanied the artists on this Catholic outdoor camping and hiking adventure. I listened to what was said, my conscious and sub-conscious absorbed the words and the themes that surrounded us all throughout this retreat, and, yesterday afternoon, I produced this song while sitting on a yoga mat in the grass after a rough and glorious hike. It wasn’t intentional to have such obvious connections – that’s the sub-conscious managing things here – but the irony of it all is that I wrote a song based unintentionally around the phrase β€œI trust in you”, while at The Divine Mercy Retreat Center. (If you don’t get the irony, look up The Divine Mercy painting images.)

Whatever your beliefs and followings, I hope you find love and joy in this song. πŸ˜‰ βœ¨πŸ’—πŸŽ¨βš‘οΈπŸ•‰πŸŒπŸ’«πŸ“ΏπŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™€οΈβ€πŸ€—πŸ™πŸͺ 🀸🌸🌻

πŸŒ‘πŸŒ’πŸŒ“πŸŒ”πŸŒ•πŸŒ–πŸŒ—πŸŒ˜πŸŒ‘

πŸ’ͺπŸ‘ŠπŸ»πŸ‘

P.S. To hear the song, it seems you have to go to the Instagram post, since I can only attach photos in here.

Campfire Music

Tonight, around a campfire, a semi-eclectic crowd of Catholic artists listened as I and a lovely younger girl Claudette performed on our ukuleles together. We had never met before this night, and only met because I agreed to bring out my ukulele to ‘give an alternate perspective’ for the typical campfire Christian guitar songs (and we had three guitars working together already), and, as I went up to play, someone mentioned having seen a ukulele with someone else a while ago. The guitar guys convinced her to pull out hers with me, and come play. No one had any idea I was about to play a German song that none of them were likely to know, but I figured we could roll with it – if the girl pulled out her uke so easily (though it wasn’t out of the case yet, and she was carrying a binder, too, so she had some hesitation hat likely was nerves), she must be able to play at least the basic chords, if not a great amount.

So, I showed her the song and we tuned her up and went through it quickly together quietly, and then someone actually made an announcement for everyone to listen to us play. I pointed out that Claudette was reading a language she didn’t understand for this, so please be very proud of how well she plays along, because that is not an easy thing to do…, and then we played. We made mistakes, and it still sounded awesome.

Then, because people just seem to do this, the guitar guys requested Iz’s “Over the Rainbow”, which both of us have but never play. It’s kind of a hassle simply due to the range going so low for the singing…, which we both proved to everyone while we fumbled through it together, laughing kind of often as we went. Afterward, we actually played a couple other songs well, and enjoyed them greatly. The other folks enjoyed them, too.

One of them was the first song in her notebook, “La Vie en Rose”, and, since her version was in English, we had her sing in through once off the paper, and then I sang it through once in French… which totally shocked the listeners, and was a way fun surprise. (By the way, I feel like I am sharing as though I am a middle or high schooler or something… :P) What was extra fun was the part where I suddenly realized that I genuinely have no idea what the very last line is, and so I simply shrugged just before it, and then sang, “Je ne sais pas les mots, mais c’est bon,” which translates to, “I do not know the words, but it’s okay.” Obviously, no one had any idea that I had made up that line. πŸ˜›

And we finished off with two collaborations with the guitar guys. The first was a semi-four chord song, so, since I couldn’t see the paper (remember, there are here guitar guys and then two of us), I just watched Claudette’s fingers to know which of the four chords was happening when out of sequence. It went surprisingly well for me… it was really cool. On the second song, the paper was on our side of the notebook, so I could see it for myself. And it was one of my favorite old songs from Church, about Samuel, who was Hannah’s child. But I liked the song long before I ever learned that connection… like a solid decade beforehand. Anyway, two guys claimed the first two versus, and said we all would sing the bird verse together (and choruses, of course). But, during the second round of the chorus, I was told/offered to sing the third verse myself. So, I did. And, halfway through, because the versus were rather long, I told Claudette to sing with me. And she did.

Singing with her reminds me of elementary school, when I was told that this one girl, Katie C—, and I sounded really great together on a certain song (“The White Cliffs of Dover”). I didn’t entirely understand at the time how anyone would know that, or how someone would sound better singing with one person than with another, except for the fact that he one person must just be a better singer than the other. I have since learned. And I was almost shocked tonight when I heard us singing together. Our voices and styles are quite different from one another, and yet they complement each other beautifully. It made me want to sing and play more with her. I hope I get the opportunity tomorrow and often in the future.

As we were closing up the campfire, it came out that this was my first public “performance” of my ukulele and singing skills, so to speak, and no one could seem to believe it. I guess because I wasn’t shaky, and was able to talk and play and sing like what seemed to them like any other normal day. But that’s training in presenting and self-comfort, not in performing music. In response to their claims of disbelief at this, I ended up sharing how I only just starting playing more and writing songs earlier this summer, so it is still a kind of new idea for me to be playing for other people in the first place. And so, now, they clamoured to hear one of my songs.

So, I accepted the anointed guitar the priest had been playing – because that’s just baller, y’all – and told a quick background to one of my songs, and then played it for everyone. And I think the back story really put a context to the song that kind of blew everyone away just a little bit. It actually made me tear up a bit during the song, as is common for me with this particular song… it’s just really good, and the meaning is spectacular when one knows the context of its writing. Anyway, so, that was a really, really cool mini-adventure tonight. And I am very grateful for it, on many accounts. Now, however, I must sleep.

Goodnight! πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Extra ouch

Well, today felt like much of an improvement after yesterday. I tutored in the morning, finished up mixing six CDs for a student to have some exposure to French-language music – these have been taking me weeks of on-and-off effort to organize them out and pick which songs to include, which genres go where and belong at all, and figure out what degree of effort it is worth as well as how many CDs would be acceptable – messaged with a good friend about her wedding planning and tres leches and not feeling like working out, and then I worked out and watched a very interesting film of Natalie Portman’s. I want to look further into the film to see what it was all about, and whether it was inspired by a specific story or many or what. She sang very well in it, by the way, and I was quite pleased with her performance on all levels, especially the concert portion, which was a surprising yet lovely part to me. As for the workout: man, it had a 3k run in it, as well as 80 jumping up-downs (burpee without the push-up)… talk about a sore calf feeling the heat! Both calves have been sore for a few days now – I genuinely could barely go up and down the stairs two days ago, and walked with a limp, all because of my calves. Finally, when they show signs today of recovery, I have to put them through so much work. Ridiculous, just a bit, I dare say.

But the greatest part of the workout, I think, aside from doing it, was the part where I hung out in the pool afterward to relax and stretch out. That was awesome. Though, the effort to swim breast stroke for a few lengths of the pool felt like it might paralyze my arms, my shoulders and all were so worn out from today’s workout. πŸ˜€ Haha

Anyway, I’m off to read and sleep, now. Today was a lot in a good way, but it was nonetheless a lot, and I am exhausted. Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2020

He is back

Tonight, my cousin – who is back in town again at last – and I played a kind of duet. I played piano chords, and he played the fretless banjo that he made from cherry tree, a gourd, and a roadkill deer hide, and we both sang. It was “You’ll Be Back” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, from Hamilton. It was spectacular, and totally fun for the both of us.

And it was only one piece from a whole delightful chunk of music for the two of us tonight, all for which I am extremely grateful. πŸ™‚

Happy eyes watched me bounce around with delight and freedom, as we listened to the track of “You’ll Be Back”, and warmed ears heard our self-produced music the whole rest of the time, feeling the passion and love through our notes and words. I even played one of my own songs for my cousin to hear for the first time, and it was basically no big deal to me, in terms of nerves – it was awesomely easy for me to do.

Man…

This late-night / early-morning hangout was a solid one, for sure. πŸ™‚

Thank you… gratitude, dearest World… gratitude… πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Gratitude

I shared the song specifically with a sixth person today. She is the one who helped me when I was ready to be helped out of the abuse situation, when my eyes finally could see just enough clear light to be able to take a much- and long-desired step forward, out of the gray cast of clouds that had taken over my space for so many months. And she loved me freely the whole way through the end, which made all the difference in the world. I still remember how, when I opened the front door to her, close to midnight that night, I had been terrified…, but, when I saw her face, that she was smiling with true love, I felt everything melt away – it was going to be okay. I was going to be okay.

And it all was. And I was and am.

She and I laughed so much that night. I also cried a whole bunch, both from sorrow and annoyance and from laughter. I remember how she took a photo of me at one point, my eyes swollen and red and puffy, yet so full of light, you could see how free and full of life I felt myself being again. I think she took the photo to document that light having returned to me. I suppose, in many ways, that is an extremely beautiful photo.

πŸ™‚

So, she helped me through such a hard time of moving away from, essentially, evil. And then, years down the road, we don’t even communicate with one another anymore. I guess her having gotten a boyfriend turned fiancΓ© turned husband played a rather large role in that. I’ve been okay without her in my daily life these past several years. However, I have always valued her love and her role in my life during that time of true need – I think I always will be grateful to her for that.

And so, when I wrote this song yesterday, she was someone who didn’t even have to come to mind – she was already there. I contemplated whether I actually wanted to share the song with her or not, and, after sleeping on it, I knew it was okay to do. (I had sent her a message yesterday to see if I still had her correct number. When she replied today, I took it as a sign to send her the song.)

I thanked her for her love and help in my time of need, and said how it was invaluable to have someone care for me and be with me after my having been alone in abuse for so long. And I sent the song. I’m not even sure I said that I wrote it, actually… but she understood that I had written it, I think.

Okay, I just checked. I did tell her that I wrote it and that I wanted to share it with her.

Anyway, after I’d sent it all to her, it occurred to me how unreal such messages must be to the average person – I mean, who sends messages like that and so totally out of the blue and short and direct like I did? I don’t know many people who do anything of the sort. I know honest people, open people, but that directness and the unexpectedness of the message, with no real lead-in… no, I don’t know those people.

Haha

Just myself. πŸ˜€

Anyway, I’m glad I sent it to her and expressed gratitude to her. And I think she appreciated it, too. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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

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 β€˜em
Drop and burn β€˜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. πŸ˜‚

Oh, the fun of spelling. πŸ˜›

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

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

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. πŸ˜‰

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