Monday, March 22, 2010

So, it's 11PM and I'm tired, exhausted, depressed, smiling, happy, amazed and lacking energy to do anything that doesn't involve writing or reading. So, it occurred to me that I have this blog ... and you know, I haven't really updated it in a very long time (though apparently not as long as I thought) ... and well, here I am ...

So, the musical world of Me has been a challenge lately & a damn cool one at that!

It has involved:
-Being a fulltime member of Edensong ( - which includes a variety of musical and extramusical tasks
-Playing in a Piano Trio & Orchestra with upcoming concerts
-Singing in a chorus with multiple concerts
-Recording tracks for a couple of different bands
-Being broke time & time again & just when I think I'm getting out of it, being broke again
-Teaching & losing students (for reasons unrelated to my teaching)
-Writing lots of music
-Spending lots of time on Twitter (@cellomike)
-Planning out my solo show (4/29) and solo album
-Giving up on the Dotzauer Challenge (sadly I just don't have time write now)
-Organizing a composers' concert that will be really unique & amazing

It will also involve:
-Playing in Quebec with Edensong for the Terra Incognita Festival
-Playing with Newbeard on 4/21
-Hopefully finding more students & not being broke (2 things I'm very bad at)
-Other things I have forgotten or not imagined yet...

I am doing improv. vids in place of the Dotzauers & those are starting to get a little better ... I also have some other cool & soon to come vid. ideas planned ... I just need to fit in more practice time ... it's so hard lately

I will try to write more regularly about what I'm doing ... I really want to get back to the technical work and innovation I've been going through with my cello technique ... I've learned a lot & am really for the first time beginning to feel like I can play the instrument (though still such a long way to go!)

Also, we are playing the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto in Orchestra ... it's awesome!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Finding Myself

I came to a revelation today - well the other day really ... I don't think Harmonically. This is why I don't get jazz on an emotional and intuitive level. I just do not do it. I think rhythmically, melodically, moodily & I think about articulation, but I do not think about harmony as a guiding force ... I get patterns and chords & stuff - they just aren't what speaks to me & I don't immediately identify them ... this is an inherent limitation of mine (which is good and bad) ... it's just interesting to realize...

I'm also finally starting to find myself musically for what I feel is really the first time. I'm realizing how to combine all the different things I love and make that into who I am. I'm realizing I need to songwrite & sing & writer lyrics & play the cello, etc., etc.

I was at a classical cello recital earlier & the music put me into a meditative state ... it's so rare that any other instrument/ensemble/sound does that - but cello does it right away ... particularly cello playing bach. It just takes me to a different world ... I have no rational explanation for it, but it is such an integral part of me and I really like it, even if I think a lot of classical music is boring.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

You Practice When You're Sick?

Yes, I practice when I'm sick! ... *Especially* when I'm sick.


1. Because me being sick doesn't mean I have less music to learn or less things to accomplish
2. Because it makes me feel generally better (even though it's a struggle)
3. Because it gives me a good idea of what my limits are and makes me really push myself to concentrate & achieve
4. Because I've played enough gigs where I'm sleep-deprived/exhausted/sick/whatever. The more practice I have doing this, the better those future gigs will go.

So besides that, here's what's up in my musical world:

1. Improv & Dotzauer vids running on off-weeks with each other
2. Edensong Rehearsals - we've started rehearsing for our festival in Quebec City in May - Can't wait! (Also need to get my EDL, which means money!)
3. I made up a facebook group called The Westchester Music Scene: ... It's been less than a week, but already we've managed to get up to 80 people - really exciting!
4. Composers' Concert - I am organizing this really cool concert of original music (featuring my & 3 other composers' music). We mostly write classical-rock fusion sort of material (for lack of a good pre-determined way to describe it) & are probably going to do 1 in westchester & 1 in nyc

On a different note:

Reality has finally caught up with me & I need to start making more money. I'm stuck though, because I really don't know how to do it. Gigs are cool and awesome, but they are not often enough or well-paying enough for me to rely on them. They are "spending money" at best. Teaching should be the money making option, but I just do not know how to find students. I finally printed up some flyers & posted 2 at the local library. I'm going to drive around to other places and post them there too, but what if that doesn't work?? I already have a day job. It involves 15 hours of work a week (and literally is in the middle of the day). I really need private teaching to become my second job, because it gives me relatively few additional hours, good money & the ability to keep my practice up & have something of a life. I'm scared that if I get something else as a second job that my practicing will go down. I suppose I could also tutor or teach beginner piano or do who knows what else, but I just really don't know how to get into these things. I am really scared/worried that what's going to happen is music will become the thing I do on the side ... I really want to do this professionally ... I just have no experience in how to do that & no guidelines to follow & am not doing a good job of getting gigs or students ... I know I have to put myself out there ... I'm just not sure where or how.

Anyway, that's my world for now ... I think there's other stuff too, but I'm sick and exhausted, so can't think of it now...