Hung out with my good friend Danny Gray last night ... also visited my old high school the other day (I'll be playing at the Palisades Mall with them tomorrow which means I need to wake up waaaay too early!)
It was great to chill with Danny, cuz it's been way too long. We got to talk about a bunch of music stuff and I ended up burning all the Nightwish cds I had for him ... it was so cool watching vids/listening to music w/ him ... him and Andrew really get into this stuff in a way that other people don't & I was so excited to be around that again... also, it's crazy how much he can just pick up the chords and structure of something just from listening to it... truly inspiring (I stayed up all night playing along w/ Dream Theater... about time!)
Danny also just got accepted to an *amazing* film scoring program that accepts 20 people a year: http://web.mac.com/smptv/iWeb/SMPTVUSC/THE%20PROGRAM.html
So the downside to that is that in a few months, he'll be moving out to California...
In other news, I bought a Macbook Pro recently & it's truly amazing... I don't have any of the really cool/extraordinary software like Pro Tools or reason, but I do have Audacity & Garage Band, and for right now, that's sufficient ... it's great for songwriting & jamming ... and I can record vids. w/ it too .. it's so nice to be able to record myself again.
Also... I finally started playing cello again. With both cello & keys (keyboards), it's amazing how much more relaxed I am now, and how much more focused my mind is. I'm finally starting to push myself out of my comfort zone w/ the keys and move into other key areas that I don't normally play in. I've realized from listening to Dream Theater that what my songwriting is lacking at the moment is mood/direction ... I can come up w/ melodies/harmonies/lyrics, but everything needs to have a feel to it. One of the ways they do that is through key changes (you can of course also do this stuff with patch changes and other tonal things) ... so it's stuff to think about...
It's been great being home... and its phenomenal to finally reconnect with my musical roots (cuz when it comes down to it, Nightwish is my heart & Dream Theater is my mind, and I learn so much that way...)
Speaking of which, I've decided to move past my resentment with classical music and all that stuff... music is just music... what matters is that I enjoy it & do creative things with it... I'm not going to box myself into being a type of musician... my music is my music and it incorporates all elements .. amazing musicianship and composition can be found in basically any genre, classical included. (I swear it all goes back to Bach ... every time I'm really at odds with this stuff, I just go back to him & Beethoven, but Bach especially b/c he's so personal, and everything just makes sense again).
I've also decided to take an extra semester at school & to quit my retail job so I can focus on music (about time!) ... Also, I'm playing on a few people's Sr. Recitals (quite exciting) & next week is Easter (that means money!!)
Now I just need to line up a summer job & maybe find another student... I think a goal to accomplish within a year from now is to setup some kind of teaching studio or at least to not have to drive around to lessons as much... it's very time-consuming/draining.
That's all I'm gonna write for now ... glad to be practicing again .. and glad to be practicing for its own sake ... self-indulgence can be so fulfilling sometimes...
(PS - Thanks for all of you who left comments on the last couple of entries - I know I haven't necessarily responded to everything, but thank you! I'll try and respond to anything I've left untouched soon...)