I am excited to report that I’m part of a newly formed collective of artists called plus heart star. We are a group of like minded (while diverse in performance styles) artists based in Brooklyn who are working together to create a shit-ton of awesome. We have a bunch of cool stuff just on the verge of being made public, but for now keep an eye on our website and the #plusheartstar hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
In other news, I’m plotting my next move with my show and working on a single, too, along with my usual assortment of collaborations. I’ll keep you posted!
Don’t forget, I am posting one video a week from my show. Last week I posted “Mango” and this week it’ll be the G rated version of “When It Will Bloom.” I’m afraid I’ll get booted off of YouTube if I post the whole thing! Subscribe to this blog and my YouTube channel so you’ll be sure to see the new vids as soon as they appear.
It’s so strange to write a new blog post after such a long time away. Do I make excuses? Fill in all the pieces since the last one?
Or just move on?
My Magic Time show was a great success. From the brilliant sound engineer, Zac, to Micah, the organizer to the PACKED house. David Packer and Leah Coloff on strings: Brilliant. Rina Deych, Cynthia King and Barbara Sitomer (of GonePie) rocked the vegan noms like champs. Not to mention my dear friend Melissa who kept the live stream rolling on teh interwebz. My performance felt real and gloriously imperfect and it was just right in that space. I am still floored that the church just does this. You know?
Look at this:
Rehearsing with String Players: David Packer on Viola and Leah Coloff on Cello.
At the performance. All the seats were full and people were standing in the back!
And especially this:
From my pal Melissa’s Instagram.
Video to come in a week or so. There was a webcast of it that I forgot to post here, dang it. I’m so busy on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, that I forget I have an actual website to write on too. Leading up to the show I went back and forth between furiously working/rehearsing to sitting on the couch watching TV, encrusted in denial that this was happening. I blame that denial/overwhelm for the dropping of vlogging and blogging. I think it just had to be that way for me to function leading up to the performance. I have to say that this was artistically the hardest thing I have ever done, but being on the other side of it is so inspiring and I feel ready to continue on as a solo artist. It was that initial move from home studio to stage that was so terrifying for me, and a real playground for my fears and inner critics. Fuck them. They are dead to me….until the next time, I guess.
My director Adam is on board to continue developing the piece and Judson is on board to support with future Magic Time performances so. Let’s do this!
Soon after I started using Ableton Live I discovered a plethora of kind humans on YouTube who post instructional vids in Live’s use. AfroDJMac is one such individual. I have learned so much from his work and make use of his racks (free and otherwise) whenever I can. I just downloaded his “Mom’s Piano” live pack and this improvisation showed up soon after. Definitely check out his work!
This is an audio sample of some ideas I am incorporating into a piece I am working on called “The Five Tasks of Grief.” I was playing with some of these self-created loops and improvising piano over them. I thought it sounded cool, and I have also recently realized that I have been talking so much about this writing and no one really has any idea what I am working on so I recorded it to share.
This piece has a huge text component and I will be recording some friends this week speaking some of the text for me. This gives you an idea of what the music is going to sound like. Many of the loops are different lengths, I think it gives a good chaotic/hypnotic feel. The piano is all improvised live in this recording.
I saw Cynthia Hopkins’ This Clement Worldtwice this week. I really, really enjoyed the show, but more than I that, it was so inspiring to see a piece of theater/performance art that helps me to find a way to name what it is I am headed toward with my work. I thought she did a brilliant job of making this piece about climate change using real and fictional characters, video, songs, music, movement, video in a theatrical context to reflect back on the audience without being too preachy. God, is there a way to write about art without sounding like a pretentious douche? Teach me it.
I often find myself trying to tell people what it is I am trying to create in such a disjointed and cautiousway….maybe there’s a fear there that someone is going to say “you can’t make THAT! No one is making THAT!” Oh…here’s someone right here.
So about making things: I have done little of that, but I am out of my fear k-hole so that is good. This morning I have a cool promotional thing to do for my band ATTACK.WAV which I will share later and then going to see another brilliant solo artist Stephen Strafford perform his Methtacular!. Did I mention I saw the great Tanuki Suit play last night. Great show.
Oh, I have an interview with Steven that I should get posted on MikeyPod today. I recorded it during my two weeks of being frozen by Artist Shame™. Sorry, Steven.
My life is good and full of inspiring people. I want to be an inspiring people too. With that in mind, my goal this week is to complete 4 sessions of writing on this final chapter of my piece. Things are shifting with the direction of the piece in a potentially major way. This makes me nervous as my first reading of the show is right at two months away. My heart just started racing. Anyway, I think these tentative titles of “Tentative Armor” or “Delicate Armor” may be going away. We’ll see.
And by interesting I mean, “what a pain in the ass.”
The good news is that my impending performance date is keeping me from giving up…forcing movement forward. But really, this place I have been for the past couple of weeks is kinda torturous. The collision of self-doubt and fear at the intersection of “just give up.” But move forward, I must. It’s time and I will be so happy to get to the other side of this. My friend and mentor Victoria Libertore and I were discussing this place and I feel I have been letting the archetypes of the saboteur and the victim work out their issues at the expense of my work. These voices that judge my work even before it has a moment to exist. No, thank you.
Super productive meeting with my director, Adam Fitzgerald. I said something unexpected during that meeting that quickly became a thesis statement for this piece. Love when that happens.
Some new material written yesterday. At last. Every now and then something happens when I am working and I discover something that feels like my authentic voice. It sneaks in before my judgy voices can shoot it down and then, there it is.
This IS the process of writing for me right now and I am engaging it and being there and yes…
This is happening.
The Alchemist is in the house.
I wrote music for this hysterical video quite sometime ago (in my short-lived Cubase days), my friend Matt posted for Valentimes.
(a note: I got off track with my social media stuff, so rather than play “catch up” on vlog and podcasting, I am going to continue on as if I have been doing them all along. That way there won’t be a sudden flood of material. Apologies if you have been waiting for these things.)
Last week I was crazy sick, but it gave me the chance to guiltlessly watch a ton of movies which I found somewhat inspiring in a few ways. Howl was pretty great. Some of the things I’m writing for Delicate Armor are graphically sexual, so it was cool to see that I am not alone in feeling guided to write about these things. Thanks Alan Ginsberg!
This video from Laurie Anderson grabbed me:
I just got a copy of the George (not Michael) Trow book she mentions in it, I think it’s going to help give a more universal vision to the ideas I’m writing about right now. I have all of these personal experiences to illustrate this idea that I am getting at (which I still can’t put simply into words) but this book feels like an extension of it. I’ll read it tonight.
She talks about the idea of individuals having lost their ability to be themselves because this middle ground– the space that once existed between an individual and mass media– has fallen away. This is really close to what I am writing about in terms of my own experience, but reading this book will give me a deeper experience of this idea. SO hard to put any of these thoughts into words, which is, I guess, why I am feeling drawn to illustrate them with stories and music.
All of that said, I am feeling super fearful and discouraged about my writing in this moment. I can’t seem to move forward and I can see in my behavior that I am finding any excuse to avoid writing, which puts me in a state of panic about not getting this stuff written in time so then my inner critics stop buy to ask me who the fuck I think I am to try to put together something like this anyway. They are assholes like that. I’m going to up the meditation and the inquiring of lady voices and stay open to receiving what is next to write down, but…ooooh lawdy! I’m afeared today.