The making of it, the experience of it, the sharing of it, the possibility of it.
I’m really excited about a new discussion/form service called “Branch“. They’ve been in private beta for awhile but I just got the invite saying it’s now open for me to be able to start branches. I just started one on a subject that is dear to me: Is poetry relevant in America anymore?
I read poetry regularly. I love to read it out loud. To hear the rhythms of the language to be taken to (internal) places I’ve never been before. To co-create with the text an experience that matters to me. It energizes me, it excites me, it regenerates me. Do you read? Does it do anything like this for you?
<a href=”http://branch.com/b/is-poetry-relevant-in-america-anymore”>Is poetry relevant in America anymore?</a>
I woke up one morning last week out of a dream I don’t remember, but my immediate thought was, “what is my assignment today?”. That simple question reconfigured my entire stance to the day. Not as if I was going to be told what to do but more with a sense of openness and fascination about the possibility of the day… in fact, it opened up the possibility inherent in me, and created an energy and fascination about how things, no how I would unfold within the magic of the day.
And it dawned on me how I have been out of sync at work, and how that resistance I had there (too detailed to go into here) was infecting everything else in my life: relationships, creativity, passion, writing, music, physical engagement and on and on. I have since poured myself into work and counter intuitively have since opened up the channels, gates, electric conduits in so many other areas of my life. Wow.
This isn’t new. I’ve “known” this all along but had never really “understood” it at a cosmically visceral level. So, there it is, this energy and passion that never went away but had been buried in frustration.
Unleashed now, things are moving, things are opening up. I’m engaged, I’m together, I’m being, just being. A good thing I’d say.
Having fun improvising with my son… these are two little gems from last night. Just me on guitar (via my little pignose amp and the vox mini3) and my son on drums. Whatcha think
The Palo Alto World Music Day is just a couple of weeks away! I’ll be playing at 540 Ramona (next to Coupa Cafe, a couple doors down from the Cardinal Hotel, across from NOLA). Looking forward to setting up shop there and playing my heart out. I hope to see you there!
Schedule for the Day: http://www.pamusicday.org/program.html
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/156463397819066
I explored some other ways to compose and improvise songs this last weekend. I’ve been so focused on perfecting the acoustic fingerpicking and live singing sound that I’ve ignored creating the kind of music that I also love to listen to. The following three tracks are pretty different from I normally do. I’d love to hear what you think.
the sound of same
A (somewhat) fully realized piece as it is, but I will probably work with the middle section of the song and go somewhere different harmonically. I also feel like the latin-style percussion in parts is distracting and doesn’t quite fit. I love the solo/lead guitar in this (uses almost entirely a single note throughout the song).
if the sky
A live, improvised solo guitar piece. Created in one session using my loop pedal.
one last remembrance
Another live, improvised solo guitar piece. Created in one session using my loop pedal. I had meant to start out with a simple IV-V-I loop but somehow only a part of the IV-V piece was recorded and looped on a short few-second cycle about 30 seconds in. I went with it and created something else entirely…
I’ve been sitting in for a performance workshop class at my kids’ high school. I’m helping with their songwriting assignments by coming in to talk about my approach to songwriting, introducing music that relates to what they’re covering at the time.
Today, I came in and turned in my take on their assignment from last week: write an 8-bar melody over a I to IV vamp. I took it up in the key of G and found a nice groove at about 66bpm and started improvising some melodies over it. Eventually one solidified and I went with it. Here’s the recording I did last night that satisfies the assignment
There’s two acoustic guitar setting the rhythm, one electric guitar adding some texture and then a big solo electric guitar with the melody. Nothing too fancy, but I wanted a bit of a alt-country feel with a tiny bit of epic thrown in. I would love to hear what you think!
Yes! And now it’s time for #FAWM (February Album Writing Month)… check it out at http://fawm.org and join in if you want. My profile is over at http://fawm.org/fawmers/tracyshaun/ and I’ll be attempting the 14 songs in 28 days… but this year it’s 14.5 songs in 29 days
The first is one is up and you can go listen to it and read the lyrics… this one’s kinda special because I have finally broken through and written the first complete song from scratch in almost 9 months. Yes, 9 months! It feels like such a weight has lifted… feeling so good.
I wrote Rhymes With You about 3 years ago on my acoustic guitar in a park in Marin on a sunny day in late summer. At the time, I heard a bunch of different things going on in this song, but have only played it acoustically since I wrote it. Though, I did play an electric version of this song a couple of weeks ago at the Brainwash cafe, this has largely been a pure acoustic guitar + vocal song. However, all along I have heard pretty much what you’ll hear below. There are a few things I want to do to tidy up the recording, but it’s getting close. I’d love to hear your feedback. I’ll add some of my own comments to this post with what I’m thinking. What do you think?