crows: (caw)
Well, contributing to the Feelings Melange of present, much of which is related to my attachment to music and the variety of really excellent musical experiences I've had in the last week, I've just learned that vocalist Annette Olzon has just parted ways with Nightwish, just days after my good fortune of seeing them, and her, in concert for the second time.

I felt my heart break a little, you guys. You don't even know. I've loved this band for a solid decade, now, having first fallen for Tarja's voice and their sound over all and was very anxious the year they split with her (around the same time that Liv Kristine left Theatre of Tragedy). Annette is a dynamite performer and, in my opinion, a really stellar vocal talent though she's not a classical singer. She also had a really warm personality on stage and, from the end of things that I saw as a fan, seemed to fit into a really good thing with them. I deeply enjoy the two albums they did with her, and I hope they find someone who works well for what they need.

And now, I'm going to go curl up in a corner and sulk somewhere and do some fucking homework.
crows: (black raven)
It's been a long, dark, sweet, difficult, stretched, and driven handful of weeks. A lot has happened. A lot is happening. A lot of things are going to have to shift when I get home from the left coast, in a clutch of days.

I've driven effectively from Chicago to San Francisco in three days, the vast majority of those miles in a vehicle larger and more ungainly than anything I've piloted in my life. I've seen three bands I absolutely fucking adore (Nightwish, Kamelot, Psyclon Nine) and stand to see a fourth I'm excited about (Assemblage 23) in a couple of days. I've danced and screamed and sang and been having unusually vivid dreams, and for the first time in a number of years (and to my great relief) felt the touch of the ocean. Walking out toward the surf and the setting sun, I greeted the cold water like I always do, hello lover, and was reminded that even as my life is rooted and happy, I belong to greater upheaval than this. Much as I know and love the deep earth, stillness and silence, tectonic hibernation, I should not grow complacent here. I am so restless in these cities. But I feel more like myself. More like the creature.

I'd really like to write in great depth about a variety of corporeal and incorporeal things that are going on at the moment, or that I'm chewing through, but... I absolutely do not have the focus for it right now. I suspect half of that is going to fall on the [personal profile] crows side of things and half of it will fall on the [personal profile] clocksong side of things, but I'm not honestly sure all of which is which. Because, a lot is wrapped up together, right now. I'm trying to sort it out. There are some complicated feelings, and not even all about the things I was expecting.


Mar. 13th, 2012 10:09 pm
crows: (caw)
The recordings from The Quire's winter concert finally went online at some point in recent history, and I've downloaded them tonight. It was a nice concert, we did a lot of good music and I really enjoyed it. I also, like Cabaret, sang a solo, and got really worked up about it beforehand, and et cetera.

I'm not tremendously impressed, hearing the recording. It's not terrible, I've had worse, but I sound nervous. My voice should be clearer and steadier than this - shit, my voice is clearer and steadier than this. I really miss being in voice lessons. I need to start practicing more. I need to start recording my practice sessions and listening to them, and working on the many and varied flaws in my technique. I need to read more and do some more theory and...

Don't mind me, just some existential angst specifically in my musician-self. I'm sure it was better live, where people could not only hear but see me being frozen and awkward on the stage! :D
crows: (caw)
I seriously need to calm the fuck down.

Cabaret is tomorrow; Cabaret being my choir's spring fundraiser. A number of full-choir pieces, some ensemble stuff (including our 'official' small-group, which I am part of), and solos. The everybody and some-other-people stuff doesn't much bother me, even though there are only some eight of us in the Quiretet. They're people I feel confident on the stage with.

I am not people I feel confident on the stage with. Once again, schedules never meshed, and I won't be able to go through the song with the gentleman accompanying me until... tomorrow afternoon between setup and official call time. So I'm sitting here working myself quietly into a froth over practicing, and making myself so anxious I forget words I know or, at best, lose them every time something distracts me. The thought that other people in the building can totally hear me singing, for example. Or you know, people walking by on the street, because my window is open.

Oh god, anything but people hearing me sing.



Mar. 25th, 2009 10:35 am
crows: (Default)
So. MJ, a good friend and co-owner of one of the major recording studios in town, and I did some music earlier in the year. The folk festival, and we were thinking about recording some songs we put together for that. A week or so ago, she said she wanted me to come in and record an album... something serious, something I can do whatever with, demos or... anything really. It'd be fitting it in between her and her husband's other work, which is fine with me (and fitting it in between mine). The trouble is, I'm not sure what I'd do. I haven't written any music... that's not on the table right now and I don't have time to dive into that just now in a way that will be productive to anything I can actually produce. I sing a lot of folk music though, and that's probably what I'd end up doing. Modest guitar, MJ plays piano and sings also. So, I need to start really looking for an array of songs so that I have some choice for what I'm doing.

So. Does anyone have any ideas for songs that I should look up and learn? More traditional stuff is best... basically, songs in public domain that I can record without worrying about licensing. I can do research learning leg work myself... but if you know where I can get ahold of the lyrics/music/guitar chords/whatever (or have a file you can send me <3) that's awesome too.

crows: (Default)
Now, I'm not a rabid Jim Morrison fangirl by any means. I'm not even as well versed as maybe I should be in The Doors's discography.

That said, I love, LOVE, this song. I have loved it immediately and unceasingly since the very, very first moment that I heard it (or part of it, anyway). The occasion was when my daddy took me to see the Apocalypse Now Redux on the big screen (yes, my father is pretty much the most awesome person ever).

Kill, kill, kill, kill...

That is all.


Mar. 11th, 2009 11:07 pm
crows: (Default)
Just set up Simplify Media. My username is crows. Anyone else on it?
crows: (Default)
Recently, I've gotten in conversations with a few friends (including [ profile] alaskanmermaid and [ profile] vayleen) about trading/downloading music for free. Ethical, non-ethical? There are all sorts of opinions out there ranging from 'why the hell not' to people who've gotten rid of anything they didn't pay for out of guilt. That said, free channels of acquiring music have lead to me buying more music in the last year than I ever would have otherwise. A lot of it is from Pandora (free customizable internet radio - if you're not familiar, get that way: which faced some heat last year because various factions have been pushing for the taxes and royalty costs on that sort of thing to be a lot higher. But being able to hear new artists in a way that's related to what I like listening to, and get a feel for different albums, makes me very willing to pop open and purchase some music (I buy their MP3 albums; I prefer this to iTunes because they're unlocked but the price is comparable). Right now, I'm downloading a Kings of Leon album based on one guy I kindof know mentioning it, which caused me to snag a tune off of [ profile] alaskanmermaid's computer which I think she downloaded from a fan mix somewhere. I posted this to a comment in her journal at some point, but, really the way I feel about distributing music for free? If an artist reaches more ears and receives more playtime, they're much more likely to be able to continue making a living from their art in this day and age, where access to information of all varieties is as fast and as cheap as it is. So if you're feeling weird about your free music, support the artists you love monetarily where possible (be it buying albums, t-shirts, concert tickets, or whatever), and share, because chances are all those other people you're sharing with are going to eventually do the same. Yes, I know, there are always people out there who won't. But they won't regardless.

Lastly, anyone have any recommendations for me? I like all sorts of things. We should trade.


Dec. 29th, 2008 11:16 pm
crows: (caw)
Wow, I was at the studio for a long, long time! Good practice, good therapy... I love MJ. She's a generation ahead of me but otherwise a person of a very similar disposition... she went through a lot of the same things I'm going through when she was my age, reacted to some of them the same way. So it's really nice to know about her path, about the journeys she went through, and it's comforting to know she succeeded and has become this extremely self-actualized, talented, successful woman with a wonderful marriage, career, great kids, and an incredible sense of herself and her own strengths (and weaknesses). Today, driving home, I felt the first glimmer in a long time of the smile that reminds me... that some part of me, deep down underneath all the other bullshit, is looking forward to falling in love again. Now, again, this is an up day. I will lose that, more than likely, underneath the aforementioned bullshit. But it was nice to know that it is there. That I saw the flash of it is a good sign. I am moving forward, and damn anyone who thinks otherwise. All sorts of things are going forward for me.

Speaking of which, we got a lot of very good music done tonight. We worked on the two original pieces we had from last time - Three Fishers, and Thomas and Nancy - with some arrangement stuff, and picked out two more songs (Raglan Road and Lovely on the Water) which we ran through a couple of times so she could learn the melody and I could learn the chords. My guitar is incredibly clumsy still but one of the effects of being treated seriously by a serious professional musician is that I take on the incredible ability to take myself seriously as well, and that makes all the difference. I can do this. I do have the foundation of skill necessary to put this all together. I'm really excited.

For anyone in Anchorage that's interested (expect this information to turn up later as well, particularly given that I'm not sure WHERE it's happening) we'll be performing our 15 minute set (possibly longer, MJ says, if they have cancellations... it's known to happen, so we'll be preparing a couple of other pieces as well... and if nothing else slap them all down in the studio when her husband has some offtime to oversee the recording process) on January 18th at 7 45 wherever the main Folk Festival stuff is happening. Surprisingly, I don't suck substantially more at guitar if I am singing in addition. I still suck, mind you, but the singing doesn't make it unbelievably worse, and doesn't suffer too too much itself for the guitar-failing that accompanies. Always nice to find out that something isn't as bad as you think it is :)


Aug. 15th, 2008 08:25 am
crows: (Default)
So, listening to Pandora Radio a lot lately. And. This is a list of things I want to buy!

Within Temptation's album, The Heart of Everything appears to be pretty awesome. Is this the latest album? I should check. It strikes me that they're growing into a sound I really really like.

Kamelot's Black Halo album. Totally awesome. No question. I only have Ghost Opera and I want more.

Stan and Garnet Rogers.

Connie Dover, probably albums If I Ever Return and Somebody.

Jury is still out on this band Angtoria ('Confide In Me' is pwn, but I try not to listen to songs that broadcast that they're about suicide which is the only one that's come up). Jury is also still out on Leaves' Eyes, which appears to be Liv Kristine's post-Theatre project. I totally want to do Liv Kristine, but... Leaves' Eyes ain't no Theatre of Tragedy. No offense.

More later.

EDIT later: Seabound, album called Double Crosser.
crows: (Default)
Let's see if we can be something like organized about this:

Athlacarta: will be/is a multimedia project that a dear and talented friend may be working on with me.

Persephone: Started today; short fiction based generally on the myth of Persephone and Hades.

The Black Swan: Longer fiction concerning time-travel and ghosts.

Amber Poe: I'm back at this. There's a bunch in the journal of this story but not all of it's tagged; I'll try to do that.

[This isn't it, I'm just very tired and those are most salient on my mind at the moment].


I bought more than 30 yards of assorted material in New York.

Pants designed by a friend; denim, there will be a version for boys and for girls.

Coat for a friend of mine; black with details in something something.

Vogue pants for me in pinstripe material from New York. Pray I can find all of the pattern pieces.

Long gown with contrast/lacing panel like I did on the skirt I finished in black and silver brocade.

'Asian style' tunic in black and white silky. Half finished.


Assorted media for Athlacarta; I have a sketch of Cassie that I may expand on.

Ink painting of the overcast skyline I flew in to on returning to LA earlier. (It screamed distopia!)


Se Florindo E Fedele, out of the 24.

Anyone know where I can find good African sheet music, that they would recommend?


Work. I may be picking up some work with TDMonthly writing/editing. I'm extremely hopeful and am going to do my best to sniff out other opportunities like this.

Publication opportunities for fiction, probably in magazines and the like. Nothing late-model is ready yet for public consumption but I'll be more motivated to edit and refine once I have a tangible target in-hand.

Instruments... this still baffles me. I bought a bowed psaltery a week and a half ago. The collection continues to grow...
crows: (Default)
Between Jeremy and I, there is an extensive count of instruments in our apartment. The inventory runs something like this, at present:

6 guitars (I have a 7th that is still in anchorage)
1 banjo
1 mandolin
2 djembes
1 celtic lap harp (12 strings, I think)
1 bodhran
Assorted small wind instruments (recorder, penny whistle, my cedar flute might be here somewhere...)

Additionally, there is a present inoperable upright piano. It doesn't technically belong to us, but to a friend of ours that lived in this apartment at some point before I ever moved down here. It's old, black, and as Jeremy put it, has a lot of character. The gentleman to whom the piano belongs has moved to another city, too, and while we've been kinda talking around having him move it for months it never really got together, on either end.

I don't know enough about the inner workings of a piano to tell you what's wrong with it. For one thing, it desperately needs tuned (which I think runs around $100 by itself. But there's stuff... loose. Keys that don't sound, that maybe are no longer connected to their hammers? Theres interiorly stuff wrong with it. Last night, Jeremy started kicking around the idea of I suppose adopting it as a cause, and getting it fixed so we could play it. I know my way around a piano a bit (and, terrifyingly, it would open up one more avenue of lesson taking. That's a side issue... I need to decide something to start taking lessons in outside of voice; I'm learning djembe from Ariella, and Jeremy can teach me guitar. I'm thinking mandolin, but I'm not sure. Mandolin or bodhran) and he would learn. Additionally, it would make a huge difference in practicing at home for voice.

Anyone gone through this process? I'm sure there's really no way to estimate the expense without knowing precisely what's wrong with the thing... but I grew up with a piano to play available to me, even though I've never been massively proficient, it's an enticing proposition to have one again.
crows: (black raven)
My voice teacher had a house warming party for her new apartment tonight. A wide variety of people were there, mostly related in one way or another to musical professions and, I suspect, Judaism (she's Jewish). It was lovely! A magnificent and colorful vegetarian potluck dinner was served by all, to which I brought two very successful (previously experimental) deserts (spicy applesauce bread with walnuts and cranberries, fresh pumpkin pie). Four of five or six members of the Afro-Cuban fusion band she's part of (Yeh Dede, you can look them up on MySpace) were present, and performed several songs while everyone else clapped, claved, tambourined, and shakered. Here were the recipes I cooked... I would encourage anyone who likes a little light baking to try them, they came together well!

* 1 medium sugar pumpkin (cook, de-skin, puree, use 2 cups)
* 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie (I used pre-made graham cracker crust)
* Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg to taste (I might have also had allspice?)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 4 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 cup honey, warmed slightly (I used organic raw honey... so delicious!)
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

(400, about an hour)

And the bread:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used wheat! Yay wheat!)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Above spices, to taste
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries

(350, supposed to be a half hour but mine took longer)

PS: I've had Sonata Arctica's 'Caleb' stuck in my head all day.

Holy crap!

Nov. 9th, 2007 10:00 pm
crows: (Default)
Kamelot? PWNS MY FACE.

Go listen to them.

crows: (Default)
Something ironic that happened today:

As I was standing at the bus stop on my way to work this morning, plugged in as always when I am out and about and alone to my Ipod, a nicely dressed woman approached me with a small attache open in her hands and asked me if I was looking for something to read on the bus. I politely declined and she didn't press; but a glance down to what she had in her case revealed that it was a publication on the part of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Now, I'm not categorically offended by this in any fashion and I wish her the best at what fulfills her... but through my headphones at that very moment Damien, by Iced Earth, was blasting. "So here who comprehends, that the number of the beast is a number of a man, a number just for me!"

Something sad that happened today (maybe):

Walking back from my lunch break in the middle of the day, I approached a dark blot on the sidewalk that was shifting around in that way that only birds do. It turned out, once I got about a foot away from it, to be a crow laying there on the pavement... I couldn't see where he was hurt, but he was obviously not well. I pulled my scarf out of my bag intending to scoop him up and take him inside where I could call around to find an animal rescue agency that would take him in, but startled him enough that he did manage to get up and fly across the street to a nearby rooftop where he lay with his wings slightly extended from his body. I went back in to work, but could see him from the door, and he was there quite some time. Then, when I went to look, he was gone and wasn't on the sidewalk below so I assume (hope) that maybe he was just stunned and came out of it.

And my novel:

Things are beginning to come together. Wordcount wise, I'm a little (but not unrecoverably) behind. However, I'm getting to the point now where details that I feel like I'm pitching in aimlessly are starting to add up and connect in meaningful ways. That means that, somewhere out there in the ether, my characters are coming to life and doing things of their own accord, and I've just to turn my lens their direction and observe.



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