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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Post-a-day 2020

โ€œI Trust In Youโ€

I was at an artist retreat this weekend with my mom, out in the forest North of Houston. I wasnโ€™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 wasnโ€™t intentional to have such obvious connections – thatโ€™s the sub-conscious managing things here – but the irony of it all is that I wrote a song based unintentionally around the phrase โ€œI trust in youโ€, while at The Divine Mercy Retreat Center. (If you donโ€™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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ โœจ๐Ÿ’—๐ŸŽจโšก๏ธ๐Ÿ•‰๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’ซ๐Ÿ“ฟ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธโค๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ™๐Ÿช ๐Ÿคธ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒป

๐ŸŒ‘๐ŸŒ’๐ŸŒ“๐ŸŒ”๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ–๐ŸŒ—๐ŸŒ˜๐ŸŒ‘

๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘

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. ๐Ÿ˜›

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Tonight

I’m not sure what to share tonight. ย I’m sitting in bed, propped up poorly by a couple – actually, it’s three – pillows, my lower back aching something wicked for the third or fifth day in a row. ย I mean, it’s loads better than it was a couple days ago, but it is stillย very uncomfortable, and I’m concerned I’ll have trouble sleeping again. ย It’s kind of funny, the irony of physical aches and pains. ย Oftentimes, what we need most in such situations, is rest. ย Yet, the pain is such that we have a hard time resting or sleeping. ย So, we don’t really end up recuperating very well or very quickly.

I started working on a song just a bit ago, because a friend asked ย – well, not technically, but I know he intended to make the request – me to create something I found beautiful. ย He said that there doesn’t seem to be enough of that in the world right now. ย So, I’m working on a song of things I find beautiful in life. ย I kind of hated it for a while, but I evaluated why I kind of hated it, saw that it was because I was trying to make it something that wasn’t true to who I really am and how I really feel about the matter, and switched into the proper gear for myself. ย I think it is going to turn out spectacular now. ย I’m even excited about it for myself, and not just for the friend to enjoy it. ย ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, I’m wiped, so I’m going to aim for intense, helpful, healing, deep, long sleep tonight, with a wake-up that is completely ready to take on the stormy day tomorrow. ย ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you… gratitude, dearest World… gratitude… ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

๐Ÿ™‚

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 fiancรฉ 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. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, I’m glad I sent it to her and expressed gratitude to her. And I think she appreciated it, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Mรบsica

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Rapunzel

It turns out that I have done and regularly do just about everything listed in the song “When will my life begin”, from the film Tangled.

Like… seriously…

I mentioned this to a friend this morning (her tonight*), and how I was considering doing a set of photos with the song lyrics as captions to them.

But she was determined that I make an actual video… especially since I live up on top of an old house, creating an extra layer of comparability to Rapunzel and the song.

After much deliberation and some concern on copyright concerns, I have almost determined to make a video that includes clips of me doing all of these different things, and with myself singing the song in the background… no copyright issues on a cover, and more interesting than just photos…

It could be quite fun, I dare say…

Though, I do not have chess, nor do I have darts (though I can play/do both reasonably well)…, so I am considering two different unique tasks to fill their places in the song… unsure yet what, though.

(How many times can one use “though” in a single sentence or idea??? Haha)

Lots up in the air right now, but the idea has definitely been planted well, so there’s a chance!

The hardest part will be to get back to making myself actually get up at 7am, and not just to use the bathroom and then go right back to bed (as I have been doing most days lately)… ๐Ÿ˜›

*If you don’t get it, ask around until you find someone who does. ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.S. May the Fourth be with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post-a-day 2020

Sunday, fun day

Today had lots of emotions.

And they, for the most part, were experienced, addressed, and released.

I painted lots, and all of it while on the front porch swing, which was utterly lovely.

(Except for the few times the wind disappeared, and it was just miserably warm for about a minute or two until the wind picked up again out of nowhere…. those were not so utterly lovely…)

So, I learned all about which brushes to use for which brush strokes, which was awesome…

I played with flowers…

And I progressed significantly on my casual paint-by-numbers…

Super happy with the success of painting today(!), and very glad to have kept with this goal of mine to paint on Sundays. ๐Ÿ˜€

I then had to stop somewhat abruptly in the middle of number ten, because I felt that it was time to work on a song that suddenly was becoming very clear in my head as I painted.

So, I went inside, got to work, pulled together pieces I had wanted to use but had almost abandoned from a song yesterday and the day before – song got abandoned, but the good words got used today! – and completed the new song, recording it and all.

It helped a lot with some emotions that have been hammering the past few days, and I am grateful for that especially.

Then I rode my bicycle, stopped to listen to some lovely guitar playing and singing in the park, was invited to join the small trio, joined them, and enjoyed company for the first time in a long while… and not just because they are people, but because they are perilla I genuinely liked and enjoyed having around me…, so that was great.

And the music was, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

I love music, and I especially love good music, and I especially especially love good music being played casually right in front of or next to me.

So, it was wonderful.

Then I found a hidden minuscule park one of the trio had mentioned was near my house, and I enjoyed the Live Oak that its heart and only means of existence.

I think I will go back in the daytime to admire and appreciate some more this week.

Now, I go to sleep, exhausted… exhausted… and it’s 2:05zzz…

I am nervous for the governor’s announcement tomorrow.. I want to continue working from home for a while longer… so, I have been nervous to go to sleep tonight…

Alas, I want to sleep now, so I shall sleep.

Goodnight, World… May we have loveliness tomorrow. โค

Post-a-day 2020