Lose Yourself

Title references Eminem’s rallying piece. A recent rediscovery – failure is not an option.

Lyrical ideas to put into one of my own pieces:

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek (taken from a Bob Proctor video. I forget who said it – gotta find this)

You better catch me while my price is low (taken from a I’m Not You – Niyi Sobo podcast. A rapper penned this)

I was hoping in the beginning

Living on benefits, the backs of others

Telling myself my work was for the greater good

Hoping things will fall into place

Wanting to press go

***Wanting to reward myself with the things I let go (in the old way)

When I make my plan / vision / destination

Things fall into place

I knew from day one

My life is not the beaten path

Stars in my eyes

Visions of grandeur

Epistrophy

Post-gig at Epistrophy in Soho. Duo with Tim Clement. He’s a wizard. The vibe was sparkling with blue velvet draped around the room. When I channel my WHY it’s easy for me to find how. I let go and go into it. 

Pulses – Getting it under my fingers

Last night I felt inspired to paint. It’s been since the summer since I last brought out my paints. I got a few sheets of framed glass and I’m going to use them to layer colored pointilism paintings. I started with variations in red textures, colors, and shapes. The meaning behind the song Pulses. It all goes together. I’m going to layer the glass sheets and add a backlit light to illuminate them. Maybe also reflect tiny little mirrored glass behind them. I’m inspired to create visual art again.

Now sitting down at the spacious studio with the Steinway and light streaming in through the huge loft windows. Going to practice Pulses again. I booked two Alarke shows in March – March 13 at Pianos and March 24 at Connolly’s. I also am going to record this on video on February 23. It’s time to get this up in action. Fluent under my fingertips where I can sing and play without looking at the music. Starting now. Go!

Update: developed a climbing prechorus for “I cried I love you / into this light / my words burst into / stars in the night” and rolled interludes. Working on getting smoother, more comfortable transitioning between chords.

Next step: continue working on the transitions and getting it under my fingers. Work on vocals with the piano. Then add the TC Helicon vocal harmonies.

Pulses – transposition

Friday morning at the ever-spacious Sage Music studio and this 100-year old glorious Steinway with real ivory keys. The beauty of the keys – I never actually thought until now how they’ve been alive. Growing. On tusks. I mean, I knew, but I am forever seeing things in new perspectives.

I’m going to move Pulses down from the key of E to C or D. I think it will resonate better in my voice and make it easier for others to sing along to the song. I feel eager to find it – but I know that I should take my time and try out both keys instead of making a rushed decision. I just want to get it and move on. However, learning it in both keys will make me a better pianist anyways. I was also considering C#/Db, inspired by Antony and the Johnson’s Bird Gerhl, but it’s trickier to play (so many sharps/flats), which I can do, but it’s harder to link with other musicians and play right away. It’ll take a bit longer for people to get the song under their fingertips. Maybe. For the best musicians, no. But I want to keep options open.

Tried both C and D. Going to stick with C. Video shoot in three weeks. I’m going to practice this piece so I could do it in my sleep. Play it like no one’s business with keys and the TC Helicon vocal fx.

Video idea – start in black and white. The lyrics are about pale colors. Open up to color on “shatter horizons, observe the sight / come to awaken vision so bright.” Then do crazy fx and collages for the chorus.

Pulses – Bird Gerhl Inspo

Feeling inspired by this performance of Bird Gerhl by Antony and the Johnsons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNK6ycMm1YU

Antony changed her name – she’s now Ahnoni. I admire her so much for her courageousness in her representation of her transgender identity and with her openness in her music. I want to be like her, with her amazing music and visual art: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anohni. I’m also sometimes feeling bad that I’ve lost time for myself. I’m not the young teenager pop star. I never really wanted to be that, anyways. It’s comforting to know, however, that Ahnoni garnered first critical acclaim at age 34. Makes me feel more confident that time IS on my side and age is a number. IT’s more about mentality.

Ok. Pulses work now. I had written this song in a Gypsy caravan in France and in artist studios in London and Paris. It’s written for guitar and electronics, but I just love the piano and want to play so something with triggering beats, playing piano, and doing vocal harmonies a la James Blake. Yesterday, I cleaned up the chart I had written for it so it makes sense more. I understand theory more when I spell it out on piano, rather than on guitar. It’s easier to count intervals and visualize relationships between chords. Piano’s my first instrument and I love it. Sometimes I regret spending so much time these last few years working with guitar, but time is not lost. I’ve learned so many beautiful jazz harmonies and chord progressions that I can now take with me to the piano.

Today’s studio goal is to work through the piano part more. I scheduled a video shoot with Kwesi Peters (amazing and generous NYC-based videographer) for the end of the month, so this will give me an impetus to focus on this song. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with what to focus on. This will give me a goal to work towards.

Getting the chords in my hands – play them with my eyes closed.

Did it. Pulses on the keys is becoming a part of me. Working on piano. One piece at a time, not getting overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. Feeling amazing. I love piano.