Blessings

I had the good fortune of seeing these 3 stellar performers and teachers at the Seattle Harp Conference, October, 2014 – Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter.

Enjoy and Be Blessed

 

 

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New Path

It should come as no surprise, to those who know me, that I have applied to yet another training program today, exactly 4 years and 2 months since I (unwillingly, through disability) left my career as a sign language interpreter.

I write this with a great heaviness in my heart and gut because today there was a shooting in an Oregon HS; the 74th school shooting since the Newtown massacre 18 months ago. I have cried and ranted and been so distressed today that I’ve almost made myself sick. I know – that’s not helping anything. It’s the mom heart in me that cries for the 2,800 kids who had to march out of school today with their hands over their heads amidst SWAT teams. And yes, I cry for the kid who went so wrong (and certainly the kid’s parents) who felt their only way to deal with something was through violence.

There are no easy answers to this and I will forgo any political/gun talk. But I think many people will agree that something has *drastically* changed…changed from the time I went to school when the worst offense was getting caught chewing gum. If the “climate” can change for the bad, it can change for the good. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa and countless others are all testament to that.

So – I have applied to an online program to become a Certified Clinical Musician. CCMs play soothing music to distressed people; to those facing surgery (I know a bit about that!) or other medical procedures, to hospice patients etc. It is one on one, live, soothing music tailored to that person’s needs. While people are somewhat familiar with Music Therapists (Gabby Gifford had one after her near fatal gunshot wound), the focus is a bit different with being a therapeutic musician.

I will have to blaze a bold new path because being paid – if even minimally for part-time work – is not a standard yet nor is it in the consciousness of hiring parties. I’m already providing something similar in the hospitals through the Children’s Cancer Association but if they can get the musicians as volunteers – and I certainly advocate being a volunteer  – then it’s harder to make even a slight subsistence from my training. But alas – I must keep the faith.

Here’s to changing the world for the better, one distressed person at a time. Today, I need to start with myself.

 

The Promised Land

I have been allegorically wandering in a musical desert for the last 41 years. I have played in all kinds of bands, orchestras and ensembles, and have absorbed most of my music theory via osmosis. Right now, I am taking a pre-requisite class to the 2 year music theory program I would like to begin this fall. Lo, I have been led to the Promised Land of the Circle of Fifths (and no, that’s not an alcohol reference, folks). It’s SO COOL. Why didn’t I get any of this stuff along the way? Love, lovin, lovin it!!!

It’s the Circle of Fifths AND a wardrobe color chart. I think I want to dress in B major with an accent of D minor today.

 

Hey Y’all

Lovely Pen Pals – you shall hear from me soon. I am returning from La La Land, also known as a computer crash and having been under the weather.

So – a question for all y’all out there. (I’m warming up for my trip back South with that kinda lingo. Sure wish the lightning bugs were already out at home. Oops – I digress). How do y’all keep up with all the social stuff – emails, Facebook, blogging etc.? I have so many lovely folks following my blog but I’m not able to keep up with all of it myself. Please know I think of you all and I’m sending a southern blessing – may you have abundant fireflies and (vegan) moonpies. 🙂

Here’s the song I am playing for my lesson on Wednesday – nowhere near as good as my teacher in the video!!!

Shout out to Terratonz

Through all kinds of harmonic convergence (and persistence on my part!!), I recently received my Terratonz awesome musical wonder. Some call it a handpan, or a terrapan. I like to think of it as a resonant glorious metal sculpture of wok-like musical amazement, but that is a rather lengthy title. 🙂

I cannot say often enough how incredible are: Daniel Waples, the musician whom you will see momentarily in a video who connected me with this instrument, and CR PanMan, of Terratonz, who built the Waples 8.

CR just spent AN HOUR AND A HALF on Skype with me, explaining cool things about the instrument and giving me pointers. Daniel made sure I had demoes of 2 instruments before I could place my order and he kept me posted on the progress of the instrument being shipped to me. CR continued the process of building my terrapan while down to the use of one hand because his other hand was BROKEN and in a cast!!! This kind of attention, while I think is not sustainable when dealing with mass quantities, is unheard of. I adore Daniel and CR and know they are awesomely good people.

Here’s a video of Daniel being his brilliant self. And if you want a terrapan, and you know you do!!!, connect with Terratonz via pathtopan@terratonz.com or http://www.terratonz.com

Peace, love and happy music (2 videos below)

An addendum that is near and dear to my heart: Watch this whole video. You’ll be so glad you did. I applaud everyone who thinks outside the box. If Jake Shimabukuro didn’t follow his vision, we’d all still be playing “Tiny Bubbles”.

An Ode to the HandPan

More info and pix coming soon as to what all this means. But here is my (drumroll please):

ODE TO THE HANDPAN – DUN, DUN, DUN – IN IAMBIC TETRAMETER

An instrument like none before

Appear, it shall, upon my door

Its frogs are lubed, ’twas sneezed upon

Don’t ask, the story is quite long

A handpan with a sound Divine

From Terratonz, will soon be mine

With boundless humor, energy

Kind Daniel demoed all for me

A daylong smile across my face

My life’s been touched with special grace

Brought into a new family

May music mine spread love and glee

Wintergrass, 2014!!!

Wintergrass, the mega super, awesome, amazingly spectacular indoor bluegrass festival in Bellevue, Washington was…SO good! Not too much hardcore traditional bluegrass this year but that’s ok. What was there, was stellar. Below are some fun pictures of the event. I recorded a few of the musicians but you just have to see them in person. An iPhone video does not do justice.

The first picture is from the window where a permanent “coat check” sign appeared. I guess the clerks got tired of telling people that the *real* coat check, for this event, was downstairs. Love their humor. The second picture is what happens when you hear too much bluegrass over 3 days. (We “did” 11 straight hours of music on the 2nd day).