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:

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