Music to my ears

It seems as though I have a bit of unfinished business regarding baritones with spectacular singing abilities. I shall contemplate this further, in order to reach clarity, but it seems as though I either need to have a relationship with one, or I need to have a major completion conversation about them…

I believe I shall say more about this tomorrow, when it is not already 2:05am, and I am not literally aching to be asleep.

Post-a-day 2021

Making music

I started writing another song last night. It was initially to help me organize and express some thoughts around the work situation within my life so far – how it isn’t exactly consistent in terms of title or finances, but it is always part of being my true self and being committed to making a positive difference in this world. But an unexpected line showed up right at the end of the session last night, and it was clearly part of the chorus. It was a line about listening to the angels around me. And it made sense, but seemed almost out of place for the content so far in the song…

Until today, that is. Today, for whatever reason, a deeper fullness arose for the song. My mom and I discussed the situation with my Opa, how he is dying, and how he might finish that process in the very near future. It is an uncomfortable thought, itself, but we both are ready to allow what needs to happen next in the situation. At least, as ready as we know how to be…

However, after she and I discussed their things for a while, and then got off the phone, I started working on the song again, as I had just begun before our phone call (I think I had, anyway). As I got reacquainted with what I’d written so far, I started feeling what ideas needed to come next. I was reminded of the encouragement my Opa had given me one day, and felt immediately that it was perfect to use for the song, as it expressed what I was wanting to express… and then the idea fleshed out a bit…, and, without realizing it, the song had a deeper meaning.

Not only am I listening to the angels around me, having them call me forward in life, but a new one has just joined them, and he has given me further encouragement to follow this path I am forging in my life. Every time I sang that part of the song, I could barely get words out by the middle of the verse, and had to stop altogether for the tears and emotion that arose. And I think the words communicate beautifully in the song, even without someone’s knowing the whole situation.

Anyway, I look forward to finishing that song, but, boy, is it going to be a tough one, emotionally speaking.

Post-a-day 2021

A year ago

A year ago today, I was still on the high that arose from the musical on which my mom had been working and with which I had been helping. It is a glorious musical, and it was brand new. Its opening night never even happened, as they had to cancel everything after the dress rehearsals. It was, nonetheless, a lovely show with wonderful music and some stellar cast members and voices. One in particular actually made me cry several times – and I have a hunch that it would do it again, if I were to hear it sing those certain songs today – and two others were absurdly lovely and inspirational. The show came to mind the other day, and I pulled out my music notes for it today, and I sat on my front porch swing, playing through and singing some of the songs… just like I was doing a year ago, possibly on this exact date.

And I didn’t even plan it.

Kind of cool, huh?

And simultaneously quite sad, considering it might as well be a year ago right now regarding the show. At least then, there were prospects of eventually having an opening night, possibly later in the year. Now, it seems far too uncertain as to whether the show even will happen again, and most certainly not with the same cast, and not necessarily even in Houston. Man…

Well, with that, I go to bed. Goodnight, folks. May we all have lovely nights to follow my lovely day. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2021

^Not too hard

Happy Birthday, she called it

I went ahead and finished another song for today yesterday. I started it back in early October, when some big changes were happening in my life. I wondered if it was about one of those in particular. But it wasn’t. Then I wondered if it was about New Year’s Eve. But it wasn’t. And then, I wondered if it wasn’t applicable at all. But I ruled that out I easily enough.

Finally, though, I considered my birthday, and I realized that so much of what I have been doing lately in my life has been leading up to my birthday, quite similarly to this song’s thoughts on a certain “tomorrow” and on life.

So, I did it for my birthday.

It wasn’t flawless; it had many errors, my performance; I went too fast at parts; I almost totally messed up words; the ocean water was loud and invisible; the fog was intense; construction was happening in the background, sound-wise; and I forgot to record the audio for an audio track on my phone. But I did it. And I was super excited to do it. And I loved and love it.

I wrote this to go with it:

“Happy Birthday”

Welcome to tomorrow! Another year aged, another trip around the sun, and I feel, possibly, better than ever. I wish you all the loveliest of years this year: that we may all have our fears, and be filled with courage and gratitude; that we may create and embrace loads and loads and loads of love. Happy Birthday to Me, and Happy (Early) Birthday to Texas! βœ¨πŸ’—πŸŽ¨βš‘οΈπŸŒπŸ’«πŸ“ΏπŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™€οΈβ€πŸ€—πŸ™πŸͺ

πŸ™

πŸŒ‘πŸŒ’πŸŒ“πŸŒ”πŸŒ•πŸŒ–πŸŒ—πŸŒ˜πŸŒ‘

πŸ¦– πŸ¦–πŸ‹πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ’ͺ

I certainly had fear in making and in sharing the recording/video of my playing and singing this song. And I did it nonetheless. And I am extremely grateful. May we all have fears and be filled with courage, especially this year and especially in new ways and places.

P.S. March 2, 1836, was Texas’ Independence Day (from Mexico), so Texas kind of has a birthday right after I have mine!

Post-a-day 2021

Music and love

I shared tonight the song I wrote this week. I had in my head that it needed to be touched up somehow, but it turned out to be perfect for me as it was already. I just had to play it all together at once, when my un-callused fingers had rested and could handle playing again. πŸ˜›

But I really like the song. And it is in a different way from most of the others. This song is about heartbreak on a human level, and a heartbreak that we all share at some point in life: the heartbreak others don’t see in our lives, the hidden heartbreak.

My heart is aching like it’s breaking

And not only just for me.

How many hearts are the same today

For the things we just don’t see?

Thus goes the chorus. And how utterly true it is.

However, I believe that, though life can be terribly difficult and painful at times, when we operate on a foundation of love, and we make love our aim, our every breath, our life, life is beyond worth it all. I am grateful for this life and for all the love I find and am able to produce and experience within it.

Gratitude, Universe ❀

P.S. Tonight at 21:21:21,

It was the 21st second

Of the 21st minute

Of the 21st hour

Of the 21st day

Of the 21st year

Of the 21st century

Rather baller, huh? πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2021

A Musical Goodnight

Okay. So, that second song seems to be created now. I likely will make tiny tweaks as I prepare to record it for real – well, more for real – but I like it as it is, and I am very happy with it. I need to go back and listen to another song I did, so I can make sure they don’t sound too similar. At least not unnecessarily similar. I’m fine that they be similar as single-instrument and voice songs – I only know about two strumming patterns after all, and both of these songs are slow songs, so variation is minimal on the instrumental front. However, I want them to be two exclusive songs. So, I need to do a touch of checking and editing on singing notes and phrases.

After that, though, I will upgrade from my casual, β€˜Just get it all down,’ recording on my phone to a more official recording of how the song really goes, all the way through.

For now, I shall rest briefly and, hopefully, quite well before the early morning workout that is to come in only a few hours.

Goodnight for now, World. Hasta la dark before sunrise, baby. πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2021

^Baller

Music life

I am beginning to see how easy it is to write songs, to create songs. It already seemed doable to me before now, but it has become abundantly clear to me that it is all even easier than expected.

And, I suppose, that is what really is so hard about writing songs. Because it is so easy to start writing them, it is easy to lose track, get distracted, and never finish one. Loads of starts and parts, but very few full, finished songs ever seem to appear.

I guess that is a warning, a reminder, and an encouragement for me. Beware of doing only starts and not actually taking the time and effort to focus on creating a full song in the mix. Remember that it is easy and that you can and want to take the time and make the effort for starts and full songs both. You have done the tremendous effort of completing full and real songs already – you can do it again as many times as you wish.

That being said, I have two songs that are sprouting. One is almost ready to be written beyond just a chorus, and the other began today, budding out with its main idea in the first verse and chorus. (Psst: I’m actually really excited about the latter song.) It feels like the second one will happen before the first, and that’s completely okay with and for me. It isn’t quite yet time for the first, and I know it. It is more a birthday song this year, so it likely won’t be ready until closer to then for me. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2021

^Whew! I caught myself as I was in the middle of writing the year! No mis-types. Just perfect timing of remembering! πŸ˜›

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