Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An album and two shows; I am not a sitcom.

To quote the sensible words of a 5-year-old I once met:


I have been at this blog journey thing for over a year. I have been squirreling away into dark basements with laptops to write and record songs that I timidly post in hopes that someone somewhere won't mind listening to them once. But tonight I watched the premiere of Zooey Deschanel in The New Girl and a) I was embarrassed to identify so strongly with the lead in a Fox sitcom b) I was pissed that she stole* my "Thanks, they help me see" line regarding her glasses c) I was most pissed that everybody was paying attention to her, a caricature of me, because really I want everybody to pay attention to me.

*Yes, this is childish of me to say.
** I know you are but what am I.

AMERICA, if you want a gluten intolerant brunette who sings songs to/about herself during the course of a normal conversation, has boundless nervous energy expressed in unusual mannerisms, is painfully awkward in bars, and still owns both Dirty Dancing soundtracks on cassette tape (covered in purple glitter puffy paint heart stickers) THEN LOOK NO FURTHER. I GOT THAT B-ROLL! And I have been here the whole time. Since 1978 even! Put me on the cover of your New York magazine! Yes!

I mean, that's it. I can't take it any more. I'm writing this blog because I want to sing and dance and make music and I want you to listen to me and watch me do it. WATCH ME.

I am beating my swords into French horns and my spears into pianos. I am learning the ukulele. I am writing songs. I am finding my own voice and I am telling you all about it. There will be marching bands, there will be hymns, there will be shouting and dancing. And in the end, or possibly the beginning, there will be at least one album and two shows.

I need musicians, I need a collaborating arranger/producer, I need some more vocal coaching and I need some composition/arranging lessons. But I will NOT be out me'd be a Channel 5 sitcom.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Progress Report. Or the effects of 3 acts of God on 1 active songwriter.

To quote Heavy D & The Boyz: "Now that we found [F6] what are we going to do / with it?"

Well, I don't know.

I've been playing around with that upper range a bit since discovering it but I've also been busy digesting new music and writing press releases for projects that I'm promoting this Fall. I mainly went back just to make sure the whole F6 thing wasn't a fluke and that it was/is still there. It is. So strange.

At this point, my super upper range, as with my chest voice, has two volumes: ON and OFF. Fine. I can work with that. Mark Baxter gave me some interesting exercises to build strength in volumes pp p mf f ff:

one          two               three               four               five

I've been working on "you're an old man" such that it ends appropriately on a D-minor arpeggio from D5 up to D6. So there's that.

Otherwise, I feel like I've hit a bit of a lull. I was working on combining two of my songs (january ballet song and la plus belle but I haven't been able to find a suitable transition from one to the other (one as verse, the other as chorus). For that song, I also wanted to visit and possibly record a class at a ballet studio but, after asking around and emailing Dance New Amsterdam, I've waited for weeks with no reply. I did find a potential translator/collaborator for the French lyrics and collaborating sounds like fun. This feels broader in scope than other songs I've recorded so far, and I'm feeling like I need to equip myself with some composition lessons in order to actualize what I'm envisioning. The same goes for the 4-part hymn "i will grow old and grow apart from all that's dear to me." I got my first copy of Sibelius and started learning it but an earthquake outside of my home county happened in the middle of my tutoring session, then my dad had a bunch of surgeries, then there was a hurricane, then my fall PR projects started. I'm feeling like I could use some guidance. [HELP ME.]

Meanwhile, I've circled back to "laundry" and "you're an old man" because they are more straightforward -- me + guitar or me + ukulele. That'll do for homemade demos, at least.

If I record both of those, that'll be 6 completed demos with about 13 songs still to finish/demo, and about 13 beyond that that I think I'll just let go of. My vocal coach says about 30-50 songs are typically written for each album of music, only 12-ish make the cut. 10 core songs + 2 novelties.

Also worth noting, watching Season 1 of Mad Men is so much easier than writing music.