"I used to carry my dad's empty guitar case around the neighborhood because I wanted people to think I played the guitar. I would put Flintstones vitamins in it in case I got tired so I could pop some and keep walking." - Kristen Wiig
It's been a good week. I started reading a book about gratitude. It's not my first rodeo with this, but one can always go deeper with a practice.
The purpose is to recognize all of the good things happening in your life so that you're in a receiving mode and can be open to new experiences and even more good things coming your way.
What's been really helpful is identifying 10 things to be grateful for (AND WHY!) every morning. At night, it's been a gift to think about the BEST thing that happened that day.
When in the process of creating something on a large scale (like an artist project, a career, a business, etc.), it's easy to compare oneself to others online and feel impatient with what's happening in your own life.
By having to pick THE BEST thing that happened to you in a day, it makes you aware of all of the little things. Not only that, it really points out that you are on your path in your present moment.
FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC
This July I'm showing you how I've gone through the process for combining traditional and electronic instruments. This includes not only instruments, but also the VOICE!
To demonstrate, I'm playing Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (also made famous by Ms. Lauryn Hill).
I first started playing this song in my Gypsy jazz gigs. What I love about the Gypsy jazz version are the delicious chords underneath. It's common in Gypsy jazz to substitute colorful chords like a major and minor 6 chords for a simple major and minor chords.
In this version, producer Justin Mathews and I kept the colorful chords and brought my friend Darius Scheider to shred on guitar. He's an achingly beautiful guitarist. We then sampled his playing and added beats, synths, and all sorts of fx.
In this video, I manipulated my vocals and the song live with DJ fx. I also programmed in harmonies that my voice triggered in Ableton.
Stay tuned on my YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook, and HERE for more videos about songwriting, vocals and vocal fx, and looping.
D.C. House Show @ HugQuarters
Silver Spring, MD
Saturday, July 20
Join us July 20th at the HuqQuarters for a party and concerts! We've teamed up with an amazing group of artists. The party includes live music performances from the Andalusian, Alex Purdy, Ariel Rubens, and Alarke, an elixir bar curated by April Ramee from Antler Alchemy and vegan treats by Afro Beets.
Tickets are limited so please buy yours as soon as possible if you plan to attend. The price will go up to $25 at the door for the event.
Tickets are for sale here.
9pm Alex Purdy Singer, songwriter and producer who combines iridescent synths with soulful lyrics
10pm Alarke Electronic pop in the vein of Grimes and Lily Allen
11pm The Andalusian Electronic violinist modernizing traditional folk music from the Middle East
12am Dance Party
In case you missed it, I created a free cheat sheet to help you analyze melodies. My students say that this action of highlighting melodic motifs and seeing them was eye-opening.
Using these tools, you can:
- instantly pull a melody out of the air
- recreate it
- understand its patterns, and
- use it to inspire your own songwriting
Do you want to write an album and take it to the studio? What about sharing it online? I've been helping my students with JUST that. We break songwriting down step by step - we study. We apply. We create. We finish songs. We record!
Mad love. Wishing you inspiration and expansion.
Alarke (AKA Mary Alouette) stands out with her compelling twist of experiences as an international opera singer turned Gypsy jazz singer turned award-winning electronic pop singer and songwriter.
Throughout her 25-year professional career, Alarke has mesmerized audiences from the Kennedy Center, the Rainbow Room, and Carnegie Hall to Fabrica Del Arte in Havana, Cuba, Romani caravans in Samois sur Seine, France, and castles in the Italian Alps. She's written songs that have gone to NBC's World Of Dance and won the Grand Prize in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Competition, performed at the Apollo's National Tour, won artist residencies at Strathmore and the Brooklyn Arts Council, and written songs with residents at the Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece.
Her music is an exciting, vibey, future-forward melt of pop, electronic, dance, and world music.