Now whip it into shape

Another weekend of musical coaching and while I don’t feel like a pro (I think hardly anyone does even when they do their main thing) I seem to be helping a lot.

I’m especially happy about one of the performers who really listens and seems to be growing by the minute. He/she also has dyslexia and some of the hardest lyrics, but literally sucks up all of my tips and tricks like a sponge. I was even able to show that person how you can have the computer read the lyrics back to you, and had to give him/her a hug at the end of the day because this is sooo not a slacker and they work hard and they GET THERE even though they’re having maybe a harder time than some of the others.

Since I don’t have a good pic to show you, I’ll leave you with a good old music video that mirrors my comments about cracking the whip. It puts me in a good mood, anyway…

Happy Spring Equinox!

From now on, days will be longer than nights, which is pretty cool 🙂

This weekend I wanted to crack the whip a bit more than I got to do, but I’ve been promised some serious whipping time this weekend to come. They’re a good group of people, I can’t wait for the kids to see Snoopy in action!

In my own music, I don’t want to put anything on hold, so I’m just working whenever I have the chance to. Just did a one hour choir session which left me a little sweaty. The samples are really fitting in nicely too!

On a personal note my energy levels are slowly coming back up, and I’m working part time now, feeling ready for full time soon (full time including my music, not adding the music to it)! Regular therapy/doctor sessions ended today and I’m going back to once a month check-ups, which feels right as well. To sum it up;

I feel pretty good and working my way up to very good. So happy Spring Equinox!

ugh

This is me trying out my new spring jacket a bit too early and wondering who I should blame and kill.

 

 

Daylight saving time

Some days are celebrated at the same time all over the world. Like International Women’s day. Some aren’t.

I get some and I don’t get some. Like Father’s/Mother’s day can be on completely different days all over the world. Still looking for logic there.

Daylight saving time however, I get. I depends on where in the hemisphere you are, right? In sweden it’s March 26th. I am totally prepared. How about you? Is your bucket ready?

coffee

 

I know the score

A positive thing about the musical song coaching deal on “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown” that I’m doing is that my score reading is pretty much up to snuff again. As I stopped playing classical piano and started writing my own things, I sort of lost it a little. Not completely, but I wasn’t quick any more like I used to be. On sight score reading/creating was a slow process. But last weekend I not only read some of the score upside down (the actors were looking at it and I needed to explain some things, pointing at the then upside down sheet), but I transposed (changed the key) then and there fairly quickly to accommodate the actor’s wishes of a more comfortable key. I haven’t been able to do that in years, partly because I’m lazy and most keyboards have a transpose button. This one didn’t.

I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to do score reading well again, so I’m pretty pleased. I haven’t been able to put in my best work, since I am still recovering from sick leave. I can work, and I’m getting better, but I am at about 60% -70% of my usual abilities at the moment. Clear improvement from about 20% -30% autumn 2016, I’m taking it one step at a time. No one is asking me to rush (except for myself occasionally). With that in mind, it took me 5-6 weeks to get good at it again. Imagine at my full potential. Probably even quicker. A good lesson for me indeed.

It helps that I love it, I’m sure. I know. Neeeerd… And proud of it! 🙂

me

 

West Pride 2017

Ooops, I’ll do it again!

West Pride has become a tradition of mine by now I think, the Pride-week in Gothenburg. I love the rainbows, I love the cause and I love to play. Win win win.

This year it’s June 9th 17.15 on the main stage in RegnbĂ„gsparken (more commonly known as BĂ€ltesspĂ€nnarparken the rest of the year).

Hope to see you there! 🙂

pride

 

Tori Amos BFP turns 20

Boys for PelĂ© recently turned 20 yrs old and I feel it apt to give it a mention. It was the first Tori Amos album I listened to, and you know, as firsts go, this is a pretty awesome one. I was attending music college preparatory school (gymnasium we call it in Sweden) and I just felt so behind the other kids, because I had my way of playing which didn’t include Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits on piano, no, it was very much my particular way. I couldn’t copy anybody , which at that age determined your cool factor, if you couldn’t=not that cool.  Well, where I went to school, anyway, I can’t answer for the rest of them. And in the early 2000’s, there wasn’t much piano based music either that I knew of, if it didn’t have a lot of guitars as well. Maybe the likes of Vanessa Carlton, but I didn’t identify with her at all. Then someone mentioned the name Tori Amos while listening to my music, saying: “it’s a compliment, it really is”.

I saw Boys for PelĂ© sitting at my local library and thought I’d borrow it just to have a listen. Little did I know; that one act pretty much changed my life. I heard her pushing down that pedal on the Bösendorfer for the first song, and I was hooked after that. It pretty much went on replay ’til I hade to return it to the library, and I realized I couldn’t live without her.

I also realized there was no better partner in crime to accompany my music than the piano, so I invested in my first proper keyboard to be able to write again, as I had moved away from home and couldn’t use the old piano in my mom’s sitting room anymore.

Boys for PelĂ© wasn’t recorded in a studio, which feels strangely apt for me as well, since drums are pretty much the only thing I record in that environment. I’m saving up to get the vinyl copy, because I revisit it from time to time and I feel I need to make the vinyl journey now.

Simply put, I wouldn’t be where I am now without Boys for PelĂ©. Happy 20th, you sexy beast of an album, you.

t-tori-amos-boys-for-peletori__piglet

 

E to the ugh

Music wise, things are coming along nicely. I’m trying out different methods of coaching as some can read sheet music, some can not. I don’t think the “nots” should be a problem. There are loads of great musicians that can’t read sheet music, the fact that I can is just due to me being such a nerd when I was a kid and I wanted to learn so badly, I sat with scores every day for a long time and learned how to read them because it was like learning a language of sorts, and I loved it.

On album notes, I just sent away some stuff to my collaborators, I’m looking forward to getting the results back.

I’m not feeling the spring yet, but the first cranes (sign of spring) have landed in Skaraborg and the temperature has been on the plus celsius side for more than a week after february 15th, something that weather wise counts as spring over here in ol’ Sweden. I have my spring jacket ready just in case.

On an “I’m properly peeved” note, the discussion of rape culture appeared in a magazine and celeb males where asked; “What are we gonna do about women being afraid to walk around after dark in our society?”. Most of the men responded very sensibly and then we have Alexander Bard, who wanted to know if women were actually full of themselves and maybe shouldn’t be that scared. “That’s where we start”. Oh honey, no. We don’t start by questioning rape culture’s existence and women’s fears for the upteenth time. Nice try, though. I really don’t like him. His disrespect for women is well documented and makes me kind of sick. Plus I wish he’d just put some proper trousers on. The guy walks around in his ugly ass shorts, 365 days a year. That’s a personal note though, I guess not too relevant.

bard

 

 

Last night in Sweden

So I know a lot of you are wondering what the hell happened on friday night in Sweden. Truth is, we would like to know as well. We have no idea. We will rebuild, thank you for your support, the pain and fear has been hard an non-existent…

So he watched Fox News and a special about or immigration problem? Fine. But he was referring to a special event threatening national security and as far as we know ourselves, it never happened. Fox news hired a specialist from Sweden, and he was supposedly working for our government, but the government didn’t recognize him at all. It’s kind of disturbing, actually.

We did have violent demonstrations on SUNDAY after the fact, but they were directed towards Neo-nazis and their attacks. Blaming that on immigration is sort of like blaming and transferring the bullied kid instead of dealing with the bullies. So we still don’t know. But trust me when I say, we will get through it…

Below is a comment from an actual Swedish politican, (right wing, even, the Swedish equivalent of a republican) who is well known.

bildt

 

 

Mixed madness

I am OK with the mixing part of production, I really am, but I’m not crazy about it. Even if you’ve done some brilliant recording, mixing takes up a lot of time. A LOT. Like today, I think I sat three hours just listening to a four-second piece of one of the songs, over and over again. Now, if you do that part right (you look at the part with the most instruments playing and try to make the whole thing sound great) half of the job is done. But it’s taxing. You get up and stretch a lot. You have to. Three songs are DONE and ready to go, so that’s good. But you still end up looking like this at the end of the day;

mix

More cowbell!

I recorded melodica and cowbell today (and I know you’re alreading quoting that SNL sketch in your head so carry on). Realizing I don’t have a single drumstick in my home, for the simple reason that I am not a drummer, I had to get creative. I’d just finished a portion of dumplings and the chopstick where lying there, calling my name, so I rinsed, dried and got to work.

Not bad. I’m gonna have to mix it a little to get a fuller richer tone, because chopsticks, believe it or not, ar not as big as drumsticks. But I can get it there, I think! 😉

cowbellmelodicamorecowbell