Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We Notice That It Is Small

Via James Madison University Professor of Tuba and Euphonium Kevin Stees.
 “When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as "rootless and stemless." We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”
― W. Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Album Has Been Written + MP3 Tour (10 Songs)

Give me four weeks and I'll finish an album.

I'd never had a dedicated writing break and, after passing through the pit of despair, I discovered how I work, hit a stride, and finished writing my first collection of ten songs. They are currently wobbly-legged and stumbling around with their eyes half closed but you can check them all out here. I'll even give you a tour.

Note: The purpose of these scratch recordings is for use in recruiting a band. The performance and recording quality are low. That's what rehearsal (with a band) is for.

Seeking: a guitar/mandolin/banjo doubler, an upright bassist, a fiddler, a clarinetist, and a drummer. Qualifications: Must dig my tunes, be down to rehearse, and be able to improvise/create a killer part from nothing but a set of chords and some artistic direction.

1. A Texas two-step with mariachi trombones (courtesy Victoria Langford and Brian Herrick).

 2. A ballad.

3. A rigorous bluegrass showdown. Everybody takes a solo.

 4. Rockabilly meets MalagueƱa, maybe with a hint of surfer rock. Needs trumpet!

5. My answer to Springsteen's "I'm On Fire."

6. Americana band, drum cadence, banjo, lots of harmony. Stick around for the waltz lullaby at the end.

7. Ukulele, cicadas, late summer at night.

8. For the full band, kind of a slow polka.

9. The Blues.

10. A bluegrass ballad/prayer. Engineering courtesy of Alex G. Knight. Mix courtesy of Mark Corbin of CorbinSound. Guitar/mandolin/fiddle courtesty of Matt Gelfer. Harmonies courtesy of Rachel Zylstra and Gretchen Poole.

Once the band is together, we'll work out a marching-band-meets-bluegrass arrangement of "Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy."

Then we'll record revised editions of each song with full band.