Monday, December 31, 2012

. breathless in the high to low .

31 december 2012

my annual yearly report.

breathless in the high to low

that was my 2012. beautifully intense, vivid wonders with equally painful moments of loss. I suppose it keeps it all in balance but at times it's hard to have such peaks and valleys. Ireland, Turkey, booming business, amazing shows with so many talented others, new musical friends, new musical projects, rainbows, stars, folktales from village women, Guinness and Creans, castles and hot air balloons... ah, hundreds of moments that took my breath away. And then so many left this world with whom i was close with or really looked forward to sharing/learning more from. Never take things or time for granted.  I wish i could have shared my travels and gathered more wisdom from each and every one. I know that they will live on within me and, every time I can recall their smile, I will be reminded to live just a little louder  for me, for them; but at times it still takes my breath away.

What i learned :
trust, acceptance, and be in the now. I over-analyze everything. I worked on thinking less and doing more. Trusting that I could do whatever was tossed at me. I had to keep focused, accepting all the curves in the road, the random rainstorms, the phantom walls that needed to be pushed through. I found that I would drift away during songs and performances, lingering on some idea of where or when. "Snap to this breath, this exhale", I would tell myself. Every moment now is real and, for a good part of early spring and summer,  I was so busy with teaching that it was difficult to really be 100% in the now. I suppose it's normal to get caught up in a whirlwind of hafta dos, and must look at thats. I've work on it for the last 4 months and I feel that I have truly been more present than ever before. In doing so, I have learned more about how things/society/music/people truly affect me.

While this year wasnt legendary with CD releases, I did release one album, "Far Far Away", which I wasnt happy with it as a work in the beginning of the year. I felt it horribly flawed and all I could hear were the things that I needed/wanted to change. I took a 7 month break from listening and found, on my flight to Tulsa, that it wasnt any of those things. It was stark and heartbreaking, wrapped in ends of relationships, dreams on stars that burned out too bright... wintery songs, exactly what I was going through and feeling.  It was raw and truthful and perhaps I didn't want to hear those things.  As the year went on I went through some musical droughts. I was extremely busy which made the muse drift away from lack of attention on my part. On July 3, 2 days after a remarkable soul passed on, I awoke from a dream with all these words knocking on my forehead. I picked up a pencil, paper, my guitar and said 7 (placement of capo) and "play it like a mandolin"... which means only use the E A D G strings. Within 15 mins I had the entire "Woodcarver" song written and finished.  I didn't edit it. I let it live just as it was came to me.  I think it is one of the most amazing gifts I have been given from beyond. My sister and I were talking last evening  about people who study different languages and begin to dream in that language. When they do, it is said that they truly become fluent.  She believes music is my language. While I have written a few songs from waking up from dreams, I say I am still learning. Miles Davis says, ".. you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.." I think he is right.
We released our first DVD this year about our trip to Ireland. In early 2013, expect another DVD about my tour to Turkey. It's been an amazing journey this year. I am glad that I have had such phenomenal people to travel with and so many being supportive emotionally and financially. I an extremely grateful.
We also had a slew of music videos this year! Who knew we would be so fancy!

My music recommendations:

Blue Star Creeper's latest CD, "Climbing Down From the Moon," is my favorite album of 2012. It was recorded with Jack Endino and Steve Coy. Luis Toledo did the amazing cover art. This album is wonderful. Poetic, passionate, rockin', and creatively inspiring. I paint to it often. These boys are some of the best people that I have met in Seattle. I love them dearly and truly hold their music in high regard.

Patti Smith's "Banga" comes in second. I loved this album from the very first track. Patti is not a hard sell for me, but not all albums I can listen to straight through without skipping. This album is beautifully poetic and iconically Patti. It's perfect from beginning to end. It is expressive as her book "Just Kids", which is one of my favorite reads from last year. She's just amazing and I am thankful that she still tours. February 2013 cannot come fast enough! She is one kick ass lady.

Tina Dico's CD "Where Do You Go to Disappear" makes this year's top 5. While it's not my ultimate favorite release from her, it makes it into third place. It really tugged at my heart. She writes from the deep part of the soul and often has songs that are so easy to relate to ... heartbreak, sunbreaks... powerful stuff. While she didn't come to town this year, I have a feeling that I will catch a show soon since the new CD is out.

Mark Gibson's "Beautifully Deconstructed" takes fourth place. I just received this album 3 days ago and it is quickly becoming a favorite. It's a beautifully full album musically...lush guitar sounds, great lead work, even bowed bass. Production quality is top. Songs are very radio friendly and strong, heart wrenching to sexy.  But the thing that I most love about the album is Mark's voice. It will swoon your soul. I had the opportunity to catch a show with my sister on the 28th or December. Great performance. I think it was even better than the CD and that's saying lots since the CD is that good. Bass player Ryan Magnani knocked my socks off with his bass skills. He also plays a stomp box and tambo on his boot.. He makes a wicked rhythm section. It will be interesting to see where these boys will go.

Taking fifth place is an EP by Seattle Band Clearly Beloved. "The City I am Building for You" is super creative with folklore fires burning into phoenix dreams. This band is one of the most creative forces I have ever experienced. Fronted by two extremely powerful fiddle toting women, Clearly Beloved creates a theatre experience at every concert. Paper mache waves or singing puppets, deer antlers and more! No two shows are alike. Their music is reminiscent of the 1970s British Folk Rock movement that I love so dearly. I can't wait to hear more from them!

What's next...
Travel as much as I can. Spend more time outside. Find a greater balance between work and play. I love what I do but I let it consume me a little more than I should have this year. I will make a greater effort to strike a balance. I am looking into joining ballet again. I need a dance outlet. While spinning around at the beach counts as dance, I am looking forward to a little more discipline. Scotland is on the radar for Nov 2013. We are still getting nudged about going back to Ireland. I will see if I can attach it to the Scotland tour and save a little $$ on travel. I am quite sure whatever unfolds will completely take my breath away.

I wish you the best for 2013. May you sail closer to your dreams. May you take time for yourself and do all the things that you love to do. Do things that frighten you too. Do things that you have always dreamed of doing. The time is now. Own it.

thanks from the bottom of my heart,