Free Ear Training Guide
"I can't say I'll try, but I'll try to try." - Bart Simpson
After the 4th of July, it really started to sink in that it's the 2nd half of the year. I love the beginnings of new months, new quarters, and new halves of the year. I love the opportunity to press reset on anything I want (at least in my mind).
I had a phone call with a mentor today, and before we began, she asked me to get grounded, close my eyes, breathe, and feel what I wanted to feel in my ideal state of being. What was my intention?
I'd been listening to Abraham Hicks on YouTube this morning as I prepped for my day. This same question of intention came up. It's a matter of law of attraction: choosing how you want to either align with your highest self and tune into the feeling of what you want or putting your belief and faith only in what your senses tell you about your current circumstances.
In this fresh new month / Q3 / 2019 part 2, I'm choosing to feel excited with a childlike wonder. I'm floating and everything is alright. Protective barriers in front of my heart are fallen and I'm leaning into the unknown.
Patience used to be very difficult for me. I'd set my sights high (and still do), but would gloss over the deep foundational work. On one hand, I was bored easily. On the other hand, maybe I wasn't allowing myself to do what I truly wanted to do and thus shrugged things off a little bit.
I could always make it work well enough somehow. I'd show up and give it my best shot. That's how I came up with the name Alouette - doing something on a whim, on a lark = a French songbird. Doing something on a lark = Alarke.
It's been a long process, but I'm finally starting to see the benefits of the deep, transformational work. It's a paradigm shift.
With my live electronic sets, for example, I used to teach myself from scattered YouTube videos. I tried to piecemeal my set together. It was ok, and even though I spent a lot of time programming the set's electronics, I never sat down to develop goals that were grounded in reality. I glossed over and went in circles.
That's changing now. I've been doing deep work in my live set with Laura Escudé and DiViNCi. Recently, I've been coding my Ableton sets with ClyphX and really understanding on a deep level how I can carry out an artistic vision controlling machines. It's pretty cool.
Another thing is that I've always wanted to DJ. For over 10 years, I've had this vision of touring the world performing live electronics and DJing. However, I made excuses - it costs a sizeable upfront investment of time and money for gear and to develop DJ skills. Also, I felt that because I'm a singer, I should honor this gift I have and make singing my #1 thing.
Yeah, sure, that's good, but what about honoring other things you want? Another thought that came up was that DJing is cliché. Everyone's a DJ. (NOT TRUE, though Portlandia did make a skit over it.)
I'm taking a new approach with it. Curiosity. Fun. I'm teaching myself the skills and getting advice from friends about how to start. Part of be wants to burst out already and play gigs, though another part is learning to be happy in the moment of discovery. This means discovering fun new music, interesting people, music parties, building a music library, maxing out the potential of the tools that I already have, etc.
Your importance to me is anchoring in in a new way, too. I love sharing my thoughts with you and receiving news back from you. I love this ongoing relationship that we have that keeps deepening. I feel I can open more to you over time, and it's freeing.
The biggest thing that I learned from volunteering at the Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece last summer is that relationships are all we have. That's my theme for this year: relationships.
These relationships (with music, the scene, and YOU, Lionheart) are shifting in a beautiful unfolding.
My mentor presented me with a Zen proverb:
Before enlightenment…chop wood.
After enlightenment…chop wood.
This journey of discovery and falling in love still requires the challenging mental and emotional work, the chopping of the wood. I might as well set the intention that it be fun and beautiful, like the feeling of origami birds flocking from my heart... bursting out in color to wherever you are --- that's a line based off of Hiatus Kaiyote's song, Mobius Streak.
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 and an elixir bar curated by April Ramee from Antler Alchemy.
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.
8pm Doors and Antler Alchemy elixir bar open
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
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Will there be alcohol served at the event?
We will not be serving alcohol at the event and request that guests support our intention to create a conscious, safe, and inclusive space for everybody.
EAR TRAINING FOR MELODIES
I've had some requests from my songwriting students and friends to teach about ear training. As for being able to sing and play any song that you hear, you can do just that.
I created a free guide for you on my step-by-step melodic analysis process. 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
"I came to Mary as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who wanted help with singing/vocals. A few things were apparent from the beginning: she is a creative, patient, yet demanding teacher with a razor-sharp ear and an endless bag of similes, metaphors, and visual and mental techniques to get across the point she's trying to explain (which is all aimed at coaxing the best out of you in each lesson).
I've had many music teachers over the years, and it is rare to find one who combines vast knowledge of music theory and the fundamentals/techniques of their particular instrument with the ability to translate and teach all of this effectively. Mary is exactly this type of teacher.
I also appreciate that her passion and enthusiasm for music and creativity practically oozes out of her pores, and in the year+ that we've been working together she's challenged me to not only improve my vocals but develop my songwriting skills using Logic. I recommend Mary without qualification to anyone from the casual singer/strummer to the advanced musician or studio geek who wants to up their game to the next level." - Jon J.
This month is all about singing and electronic vocal production in Set Your Life To Music. Join me daily on Facebook and Instagram live to catch quick video tips on vocals and songwriting.
Check out my Instagram and Facebook live video from tonight about ear training. There are some great nuggets in here!
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.