Friday, May 11, 2012

My First You Tube Video! :-)

I wrote this song a long time ago, and when I was playing around the other day I figured out how my webcam works and recorded it for You Tube. It's a song about an old friend of mine who passed away when I was only 18, and is a song in memory of Pascal McGaffey as well as a song that's really for anyone whose ever lost anyone. If your curious, here's the original piano melody. It has lyrics, but this version is the piano piece by itself.

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's been almost a year since I wrote here....

And a very interesting and challenging year for me. I am surprised to realize that the last post I made on this page was just after last New Year. I was living in Seattle at the time, hanging out a lot at a little local music venue and pub called the Blue Moon. I was working on a bunch of stuff with guitar and keys whenever I could, and getting to know some cool musicians up there. I had moved from Detroit to New Orleans, and then from New Orleans to Seattle. I found myself liking Seattle a lot, but missing New Orleans in a deep personal way.

One of the last things I posted about here was a tragic fire that happened about this time last year, which killed a bunch of young people in New Orleans, most of whom had also been busking street musicians or performers. To me it seemed tragically sad that whatever potential they had for the world musically and otherwise was irrevocably gone. I didn't realize it at the time, but it became one of many things that made me just put some backpack's and camping gear in the trunk, and make my way back to New Orleans.

Musicianship is Learned in Many Different Settings.

Like an artist with a paint palate of colors, the more experiences you have the wider your range of creative possibilities.

I like having traveled a bit and lived in different cities. I believe that it has given me a lit of inspiration, to see both how people with different perspectives and surroundings may live differently, and also how similar most of us are in many ways inside. I am also very greatful to have met, befriended, worked with, and learned from so many great musical people in different places and settings. What I learned from Dr. Mitchell, Phyllis White, and Karl Boelter when I studied Music at Oakland University in Michigan has given me a great foundation. What I experienced when watching rehearsals groups of friends of mine belonged to, I got entirely different experiences that were also instructive. "Wytch" in Toronto, "Dragon Tears Descending" and "Rogue Angel 7" , showed me a lot of things about what works and doesn't when putting together a band project. When I moved to New Orleans the first time I met and got to know local old school blues cats, and am glad to have spent some real time with Coco Robicheaux; Billy Outlaw, Jon Williams, John Patten, Blue Max, Willow, Lisa Lynn, and many others. Each of them have had individual perspectives on songwriting and performing that have given me new ideas to play with and explore.

Music education and theory is important to growing musicianship, as well as direct experiences with other performer's and performance techniques. It is a personal evolution of self-development within a musical sphere that expands as the musician's range of experience increases.

In other words, join a choir. Pick up a guitar and learn to play chords. Fool around with a keyboard and learn the same thing in a different way. Join the school band and learn a classical instrument. Take voice classes. Study theater, too. Learn about entertainment venues and the music industry. Find out where local musicians play. Investigate the history of music in your community over the last several decades. Be in somebody else's rock band. Start your own band. painfully try to write a song about your feelings when you've had a bad day. Joyfully try the opposite on a good day. Become friends with people that have done this thing you're trying to do. Work more and more on your particular talents and skills in different ways. Over time, who you are in a unique way will develop more amazingly by virtue of having many different experiences that synthesize within you and harmonize with what's around you.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Updates about the New Orleans Warehouse fire that Killed 8 Young People Musicians, Artists and Travelers

It's painful to rehash the story, but I think its one that should be told. 8 Young people, musicians and artists among them, lost their lives in a fire in New Orleans last week. If you would like to know more about what happened, or have information you think I should add, please see this page:


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Sad Time for Musicians and Artists, Fire in New Orleans Warehouse kills 8

Last week a horrible warehouse fire claimed the lives of eight young people, ranging in age from 17 to 30. They died of carbon monoxide poisoning in one of the worst fires New Orleans has seen in some time. Among them were buskers, artists and street performers. The warehouse was sometimes used as a squat for traveling people and youths affected by Katrina. Some of those using the building for shelter had been involved in the NOLA Art house, which was shut down last year for code violations which caused a group of young local artists to loose their lodgings. Information about the fire and the victims is still coming together. If you have information to add, please let me know. A page with all the information I have come across can be found here:


Thursday, November 25, 2010

I stumbled across some great Tori Amos stuff today! :-)

Today I found some really cool interviews, pictures, and other stuff about Tori Amos. I decided to play around and put together a tribute page. You can see it here if you like :-) :


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I found some great Videos of Coco Robicheaux, the awsome New Orleans Blues Legend

I'm working on putting together a number of pages about artists I think are amazing, and found some great video to add to the one I'm making about a local New Orleans musician I love- Coco Robicheaux. Take a look at how it's coming here:

Monday, October 18, 2010


I love when a musical moment just happens, like now, when I walked in and my room mate was playing this on You Tube. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Journeys as Inspiration for Music


Different everyday things can sometimes have interesting metaphorical meanings that feel somehow natural as inspiring for songwriting. One thing that has always evoked interesting creative thought for me is the experience of traveling.

You set out towards a destination, and move towards various goals or plans. What happens along the way may be unexpected, and may leave you with food for thought. I found this to be true for me again, while taking several plane and bus trips across the country to handle some business. Of course there are all kinds of ways to look for and find what inspires you, the next time you travel be sure to take a journal and a camera to give yourself a record of how the journey effects what you're thinking and feeling.

In composing music, one thing that proves helpful for most musicians is to have a way to record whatever comes to mind that seems to want to encourage you towards long and deep thinking. Recording a thought by jotting it down, or the visual impression of a moment that caught your attention may be a key in composing music.

Check back soon for examples of how to use this that may be helpful to your work.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Swipe Files for Songwriters

What's a Swipe File? A Swipe file is a file, folder or box that you store good ideas in. It can be a physical thing, or something you keep on your computer or on line. Writers commonly keep files like this, to look back over ideas that peaked their curiosity, were interesting, or had useful information.

You can keep anything you want in your swipe file. Pictures that made you look, titles that made you think, ideas that grabbed you. When you're feeling like you want to compose but don't know where to start, all you have to do is look through the file you saved. It will help you get some inspiration for your own original work.

Using Google Notebooks to keep a swipe file can be useful, because you can access it from any computer that is connected to the Internet. You can also easily share it with other folks you might be working with.

Every day there are articles, videos, songs, and phrases that catch your attention. By recording some of the best ones, you'll have a lot of food for thought when you need it. It will also help you to analyze what about a title, opening line, or idea made it interesting.  Studying what fascinates you, and try to figure out why. Then you have a shot at understanding what catches peoples attention, and how to make your own work more catchy and appealing.

If you'd like to hear more about the idea of creating a swipe file, read this post in my freelance writing blog:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blogger has some new features, and I'm playing with them....

Give a cat a ball of string and see what happens.

Excuse the virtual dust of my renovations here. Blogger has some new features that I' having fun playing with. The page may take an extra second to load, but I think the new design templates make it prettier and sleeker.

There is also the option of adding extra pages now, which was the one feature I liked better about word press. Now I'll be able to take some of the theory notes in this page and make them easier to find, and put some of the video's and tutorials together in a more organized way.

I see that a lot of people do stumble through here from the numbers, but only once in a while do things get interactive. I'd like to see more of that, and may integrate this into a webbs site so I can add a forum for discussions on music related topics. I'd love to hear from some of you readers- what would be helpful to you to see more of?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Having nothing to do wih music...

This is fun.

I do a lot of research on line, which frequently involves lot's of searches. Last month I joined Swagbucks and started doing my searches through their toolbar. They get their results from Google and, and the results seem virtually the same. The difference is that you randomly win points that can be exchanged for fun prizes; including amazon gift certificates, camera's, t-shirts, and a lot of other things. I've been playing with it just long enough to say it's legit, and I haven't gotten any spam as a result. If you're blogging, or doing lot's of work and research on line, why not? If you want to play with it too, :-) click here:

Search & Win

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It was fun to play piano the other day...

I had a really fun musical moment a few days ago. You know, it's really great to just sit down and play, especially if you have a few minutes to play all by yourself with no one listening. It's usually during those moments that you find some little inspiration and dare to explore it.

I haven't gotten to play piano in a while, even though I technically own several. By "awhile" I mean a couple of years, at least on any regular basis. Although I do occasionally steal a piano whenever I see one. If you enjoy playing with piano or guitar, you may understand the deep need to grab an instrument and play it.

Wow. It just occurred to me that I almost never post about myself in this blog. In fact, I'm not sure I've even ever actually introduced myself in this little missive about music that I've been keeping. I post informative notes on some very rudimentary music theory; links to video tutorials, interviews with composers, and random bits of things that interest me.

Most of it has been about what I think might be useful or entertaining for other musicians, especially people just learning to write songs or play an instrument. Then again we're all 'just learning', every day, I hope. I enjoy writing a lot, and write in a few places about different things. Some of it is related. For instance, I wrote an article about the New Orleans Blues Musician, Coco Robicheaux on Associated Content. After I started writing there, I added a few of the basic music theory tutorials I posted here.

Why Scales Are Important if You Want To Learn Music is something I wrote to answer a question. Many people don't play an instrument, but want to. Many others actually do play something with no formal music training, and some of them quite well. They usually wonder why scales are important, and this is a simple explanation of how it's useful.

The other article I got out of a post that was written here was How a Musical Scale if Built . None of this is rocket science, it's really very simple. It is however useful to the random person who stumbles into a piano and wants to figure out how to play it. Or perhaps someone trying to understand how chords might work together in a song they're writing with a guitar.

But back to making music. I was sitting at my piano for the first time in years. It's been stored at my Grandmother's house, and I happened to stop by while she was out. I couldn't resist siting down and playing it for awhile. It's an antique, a very tall upright, and has a very rich and full sound. I was just playing around with what I remember of a song I wrote a long time ago. Almost by accident I discovered that my camera has a record button, and got myself playing around on tape. Err... recorded in digital, from a fifty dollar camera. heheh! I'm out of practice, but it's really not too bad considering I was just playing around with sound.

Anyway, Peace to whoever stumbles through here, more soon....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Something Chewy" is a great MP3 Blog!

I was looking for a few good songs to listen to this afternoon while I was cleaning houe. "Cells" by the Servant had been in my head, along with "Gamemaster" by Lost Tribe, and some other electronic and trance club music. I managed to find a great EP with good versions of Game Master on Amazon, which was worth six bucks for me to just download.

Then I hunted for Cells, and found here for download, on a blog called "Something Chewie". Not only did our web host Steve 'Chewbacca' have the song I wanted to hear,  he also has collection of great music in different styles with interesting commentary about the artists and their music. It's definitely worth checking out.

Download Cells by the Servant

                                    Check out Something Chewy here:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moulin Rogue

I really love the whole soundtrack from this movie, which you can get here:  Moulin Rouge

Download "Like I Said, Yeah, U Rite" by Coco Robicheaux

I was excited tonight, when I realized that I could get Coco on Amazon. Coco Robicheaux is a genuine New Orleans Legend. His music embodies the spirit of the blues that is so rich there, you can taste the sound almost as much as listen to it. I was missing New Orleans, and remembering a performance of him singing a song called 'Home'.

What was super awesome is that even though I don't buy stuff online much, I managed to find it on Amazon and download an MP3 of the album with "Home" on it. You can get the actual album, or download it for instant musical gratification at $8.99. Coco Robicheaux is one of my favorite musicians from NOLA , and sometimes when I get homesick I remember him performing Leonard Cohen's 'Suzanne' and going into this hurricane inspired song of Home. I downloaded it, and I almost feel like I'm sitting in that bar again on a funky Saturday night.

If you haven't heard his music, or you want to find a touch of the real New Orleans flavor, I'd strongly recommend this. Add a mixed drink, dancing, and some good chicken gumbo for maximum effect. ;-)

New Music Articles

It's time to start adding to this blog again, although if you're just stumbling in I'm sure you'll find some interesting things in the earlier posts. Recently I started to post some music related articles and other things on Associated Content- please check them out. If there are things you'd like to see me talk about more in these articles or this blog, feel free to leave me a message with questions and ideas. In the mean time, check out the new articles here:

How a Musical Scale is Built

Why Scales are Important if You Want to Learn Music


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Leonard Cohen, hero of songwriters and poets, beloved of the Muses

This interview is amazing. Leonard speaks at length about music and about philosophies on life. It was moving, and only made me feel even more that I'd love to have a long conversation and cups of coffee with this amazing songwriter I share a birthday with. He handles difficult questions with grace, sincerity and a humbleness rarely seen; and has a lot to say that may be inspiring and insightful to others. :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fred's Christmas Video: Christmas is Creepy!

This made me laugh, so hard. It's a perfect example of "using your songwriting powers for evil" ;-)~ Not only is it a really cute and funny music video, but some of the lines were just brilliant.

"If Snowmen came to life, that would be creepy.
If Santa really snuck in my house, that would be creepy...."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

People International Incorperated

I was going through some things online today and found this picture. This People International rehearsal had to be six or seven years ago. I'm the girl sitting on the ground in front with a black leather vest and a red thing in my hair. I remember, that was part of my show costume in the year I first got to play keys with the band.

People international is a really cool charity oriented musical performing group. It's members range in age from 14 to old enough that it would be impolite to ask. ;-)~ The group does songs that have positive messages that express ideas such as concerned love for one's community, the value of openness and honesty, the importance of self discipline and dedication, and the joy which comes from deep connection to others.

Each year a different song list is chosen by the music committie with many suggestions from the general membership, and the group learns covers of many modern songs with positive things to say. It is not unlike a show choir with a band and dancers, and it can be a truely theatrical event when this group performs. Once a year, members from all over the country get together to put on a show to benifit a different charity each year that the group deems worthy. The members come together for a week, spend most of the time rehearsing, and put on a great show in a different city each year. It is a great experience, and the group is very welcoming to new members.

If you're interested in further information, leave me a comment here with your email, and I will forward you more information and contacts.
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