osmie: (Default)
Folks, it's time to sit down and record my music.

I've said this before — usually in a sentence like, "I really want to take some time off this year and record an album." But you know what's happened then? I've thrown up my arms instead of drawing up a project timeline. I've obsessed over getting the arrangements perfect. I've set up a microphone and promptly dropped into an oubliette of stage fright.

Over and over again, I've run into the wall of, "I don't know how!" and spontaneously forgotten that this complaint has only two answers:

(1) Ask for help.
(2) Sit down and do the work.

Sometimes answer #1 is the right one; sometimes it's answer #2. If you do both, you're always covered. If you do neither … well … you're me for the past mumblety-odd years.

Today I'm doing both.

As of January 1st, 2012, I will be recording and releasing — through YouTube, which seems to be this decade's model for indie music distribution — at least one song every fortnight.

I need help from the following sorts of people:

⇒ Vocalists!

I can sing every one of these songs, but most of them deserve a better voice than mine. Besides, the more vocal styles, the better! If you know my music well enough to have a favourite, let me know and I'll probably give it to you — but if you don't, please speak up anyway. We'll talk.

(Not to mention that some of these pieces are arranged for multiple voices. I'll need five vocalists for "On the Checkerboard," and eight for "Love Abides.")

⇒ Musicians!

The only instruments I play well enough for recording are keyboards and alto recorder. At everything else I'm a hack. If you play accordion or drum kit or bassoon or cello or mandolin or bass guitar or euphonium or theremin or saxophone or tympani or flute or harmonica or oboe or fiddle or marimba or udu or pretty much anything else — and if you're interested in backing me up on a piece or seventeen — then I want to hear from you. For each song, I will send you sheet music, chords, a demo track, or whatever I've got, two or three weeks before a recording session.

Some of you have already worked with me — either by expressing interest before my latest project whimpered out, or even by coming over for one or a dozen or twenty-five rehearsals. I'm hoping for help from you folk especially. There's a reason I asked you once before, and it's because I like your work. I only stopped calling because I got scared.

Some of you are established artists, with a schedule that doesn't lend itself well to helping tyros like me stumble through their first recordings. Even so, I'd be thrilled if you've time for a cameo!

⇒ Recording professionals!

One place I've often gotten hung up is the process of recording itself. On paper, I know how to set up a mic and play into it, but whenever I actually try this, I wind up thinking about the mic instead of the music. It just doesn't sound as good. I need somebody else to sit by the computer and tell me, "Okay, go."

I also need somebody to coach me through the mixing and mastering process. I *think* I know what I'm doing, but I am nervous and easily frustrated, and I could really use a coach. If you can teach me, I want to hear from you — or if you're interesting in doing the mixing and mastering yourself, then for sure let's talk. Anything which leaves me more time for arranging and rehearsing will result in more songs, faster!

⇒ Videographers!

If there's one thing I've got *zero* skill at, it would honestly be the high jump. But if there are two, videography is a contender.

I expect that I will be releasing these songs on YouTube. If that means pointing a webcam at myself and lip-syncing the finished song, then so be it. But if you've always wanted to shoot a music video, then my friend, now is your chance.

A manager! ETA: hired! yay!

Yeah, I know my failure points, and one big one happens three weeks after I start a project. Without somebody keeping me going, I may glide to a stop.

I need a friend who is willing to harass and cajole me into (1) asking for help, or (2) sitting down and doing the work — as often as necessary. If I'm really in a funk, you may have to schedule time for me to arrange next week's sheet music, send arrangements to those musicians, and invite everyone to a recording session. This is a (badly) paid gig, because I can be a right stubborn quitter if there's no money on the line.

⇒ An audience!

Even if you can't help me make music, I hope you'll tune in, listen, and spread the word as we start releasing songs next year.

Thanks to all!
osmie: (Default)
I discovered this fragment in a box quite possibly unopened since my teens. It appears to be an attempt -- possibly my first? -- to write an original song. I was almost certainly 14 years old, and it is absolutely dreadful. You have been warned. Turn back now.

No, really. It's BAD. )
osmie: (Default)
I discovered this fragment in a box quite possibly unopened since my teens. It appears to be an attempt -- possibly my first? -- to write an original song. I was almost certainly 14 years old, and it is absolutely dreadful. You have been warned. Turn back now.

No, really. It's BAD. )
osmie: (Default)
It continues to eat away at my energy, the longer the downstairs rooms of my house aren't finished. (The latest ETA is September 15th to start moving back in, September 30th for all of the finishing work to be complete.) I don't like spending time down there, for it reminds me too much of what feels like a lost year. The piano can't be played; the books can't be found. My son can't readily invite his friends over, even as he starts high school next week.

But even though the year's felt like a wash for months, that says more about my mood than about my accomplishments. I've -- well or poorly -- supervised a major renovation project. I've grown excellent raspberries, tomatoes, sunchokes and even a few green beans, and killed fewer than a quarter of my plants. I've performed some amazing feats of analysis at work, and written back-office policies & expectations & tools which will keep us going for years.

In all these months, I regret not having made more time for music. And yet...

  • I've arranged two songs -- "Fast Car" and "Pictures of You" -- for a capella choir.
  • I've joined a community choir called Inchoiring Minds, and worked with them to perform last year's arrangement of "Tainted Love." In two weeks we start work on "Fast Car" to perform in December. In fact I'm starting to have enough choral arrangements for a short concert in my own right, and I'm beginning to sound out interested people to be part of such an event.
  • I've orchestrated my own piece "Penguins / Ladybird" for wind ensemble, and brought it to performance on Granville Island. This also meant performing on clarinet for the first time since 1987; I had a lot of embouchure to get back!
  • I've sung the tenor solo part to an original song by [livejournal.com profile] themythicalman and [livejournal.com profile] skonen_blades, which video you can find here at YouTube. This was my first public performance as a voice soloist.
  • During a farmer's market in July, I sat in with a friend's band, playing accordion and guitar for a whole host of folk songs I'd never heard before in my life.
  • I've composed ... well, fragments, mostly. 2009 has not yet seen any new, completed, original songs, but there are many months yet to sit down & fix that oversight. "Extended Metaphor" and "Second Year" are mere fragments of that musical I still claim to be writing, although I have no clear idea of its plot. I think I need to schedule some time to apply the Snowflake Method for a few iterations, and see what comes out. "Orion" is a lovely 16-bar horn and piano fragment in 12/8. "Rain" is a sophisticated bit of Jethro-Tull-ish "tell-me-more-about-this-Earth-thing-called-'time-signatures'"-style prog rock. "The First Story" and "When the Red King Wakes," two unfinished songs from the mid-90s, are closer to completion than they've been in years. And just this week I concocted an energetic 16-bar guitar riff, still without a name or melody.
  • I'll be travelling to Montréal for the first week in October, and I've made arrangements to spend much of Friday, October 2nd busking in the Métro. I've set up a keyboard in public spaces before, but always out of the way, hiding from the same people I hope might stay and listen. This will be my first experience of proper public busking!
  • Most importantly by far, I've spent time meeting musicians. I've played, I hope reasonably well, with others. I've established the beginnings of a reputation, and with luck some credibility, as a local musician. This can only benefit my writing, my arranging, my performance skills, my social networking, and my chances of creating music in the world.


So it's a bit odd that I should still feel so musically unfulfilled. I think the only cure is to stand upon a stage, surrounded by friends playing their parts, releasing a brilliant wave of original, eclectic, rich orchestral music over the crowd, and then selling out all the CDs we brought along.

2009 has largely been about laying social infrastructure. It really is time to let the dream begin.
osmie: (Default)
It continues to eat away at my energy, the longer the downstairs rooms of my house aren't finished. (The latest ETA is September 15th to start moving back in, September 30th for all of the finishing work to be complete.) I don't like spending time down there, for it reminds me too much of what feels like a lost year. The piano can't be played; the books can't be found. My son can't readily invite his friends over, even as he starts high school next week.

But even though the year's felt like a wash for months, that says more about my mood than about my accomplishments. I've -- well or poorly -- supervised a major renovation project. I've grown excellent raspberries, tomatoes, sunchokes and even a few green beans, and killed fewer than a quarter of my plants. I've performed some amazing feats of analysis at work, and written back-office policies & expectations & tools which will keep us going for years.

In all these months, I regret not having made more time for music. And yet...

  • I've arranged two songs -- "Fast Car" and "Pictures of You" -- for a capella choir.
  • I've joined a community choir called Inchoiring Minds, and worked with them to perform last year's arrangement of "Tainted Love." In two weeks we start work on "Fast Car" to perform in December. In fact I'm starting to have enough choral arrangements for a short concert in my own right, and I'm beginning to sound out interested people to be part of such an event.
  • I've orchestrated my own piece "Penguins / Ladybird" for wind ensemble, and brought it to performance on Granville Island. This also meant performing on clarinet for the first time since 1987; I had a lot of embouchure to get back!
  • I've sung the tenor solo part to an original song by [livejournal.com profile] themythicalman and [livejournal.com profile] skonen_blades, which video you can find here at YouTube. This was my first public performance as a voice soloist.
  • During a farmer's market in July, I sat in with a friend's band, playing accordion and guitar for a whole host of folk songs I'd never heard before in my life.
  • I've composed ... well, fragments, mostly. 2009 has not yet seen any new, completed, original songs, but there are many months yet to sit down & fix that oversight. "Extended Metaphor" and "Second Year" are mere fragments of that musical I still claim to be writing, although I have no clear idea of its plot. I think I need to schedule some time to apply the Snowflake Method for a few iterations, and see what comes out. "Orion" is a lovely 16-bar horn and piano fragment in 12/8. "Rain" is a sophisticated bit of Jethro-Tull-ish "tell-me-more-about-this-Earth-thing-called-'time-signatures'"-style prog rock. "The First Story" and "When the Red King Wakes," two unfinished songs from the mid-90s, are closer to completion than they've been in years. And just this week I concocted an energetic 16-bar guitar riff, still without a name or melody.
  • I'll be travelling to Montréal for the first week in October, and I've made arrangements to spend much of Friday, October 2nd busking in the Métro. I've set up a keyboard in public spaces before, but always out of the way, hiding from the same people I hope might stay and listen. This will be my first experience of proper public busking!
  • Most importantly by far, I've spent time meeting musicians. I've played, I hope reasonably well, with others. I've established the beginnings of a reputation, and with luck some credibility, as a local musician. This can only benefit my writing, my arranging, my performance skills, my social networking, and my chances of creating music in the world.


So it's a bit odd that I should still feel so musically unfulfilled. I think the only cure is to stand upon a stage, surrounded by friends playing their parts, releasing a brilliant wave of original, eclectic, rich orchestral music over the crowd, and then selling out all the CDs we brought along.

2009 has largely been about laying social infrastructure. It really is time to let the dream begin.
osmie: (Default)
Some of you reading this will have heard me speak of my old piano, and how I really need to get rid of it someday. Folks, that day is now. If you can take it off my hands this week, it's yours for 85 cents (or best offer).

It's currently quite far out of tune, but once adjusted holds its tune very well. After an initial tuning in 2002, I didn't need it looked at again for five years. (I didn't get it tuned a second time. Instead I started talking about how I really needed to get rid of it someday. Folks, that day is now.)

However, the tune which it holds is not the concert C we all know and love. This piano predates by about 30 years the quaint notion that A equals 440 Hertz, which dates back to the release of ISO #16 in 1939. Earlier pianos used a variety of organ tunings, and while most of them could be standardized to 440Hz, a few -- most of them pre-First-World-War British pianos with 85 keys -- could only make it up to concert B-flat or thereabouts.

This one's in concert B (that is, A equals 415 Hertz). It was made in Britain before the First World War. It's a full-size upright piano. It has 85 keys.

These idiosyncrasies make it tremendously useful for a variety of purposes:
  • Playing without any other tuned instruments in the room
  • Adapting to vocalists who might otherwise go flat
  • Becoming really good at chromatic transposition
  • Playing practical jokes on pianists who are about to hit high C during an arpeggio
  • Accompanying the Silbermann pipe organ at the Dresdne Katholische Hofkirche
  • Destroying -- creatively I hope -- during a 48-hour film shoot
  • Giving a favourite musical toy to your favourite pet rat
  • Learning to play the piano


Really, it's an excellent learning instrument. Seven years ago I paid $900 for it, but this included delivery and tuning and a really nice bench that I am not getting rid of, so the piano itself was probably worth about $500 at the time. It's served me very well. But I do really need to get rid of it, and folks, that day is now.

Contact me if you're interested. Spread the word to your friends. I'll accept any bid of 85 cents or more, as long as you can pick it up from my house within the week: yes, I'd be delighted to recoup at least 85 dollars, but right now the important thing is just to let it go. Highest bid by ... shall we say Wednesday night? ... wins a piano.
osmie: (Default)
Some of you reading this will have heard me speak of my old piano, and how I really need to get rid of it someday. Folks, that day is now. If you can take it off my hands this week, it's yours for 85 cents (or best offer).

It's currently quite far out of tune, but once adjusted holds its tune very well. After an initial tuning in 2002, I didn't need it looked at again for five years. (I didn't get it tuned a second time. Instead I started talking about how I really needed to get rid of it someday. Folks, that day is now.)

However, the tune which it holds is not the concert C we all know and love. This piano predates by about 30 years the quaint notion that A equals 440 Hertz, which dates back to the release of ISO #16 in 1939. Earlier pianos used a variety of organ tunings, and while most of them could be standardized to 440Hz, a few -- most of them pre-First-World-War British pianos with 85 keys -- could only make it up to concert B-flat or thereabouts.

This one's in concert B (that is, A equals 415 Hertz). It was made in Britain before the First World War. It's a full-size upright piano. It has 85 keys.

These idiosyncrasies make it tremendously useful for a variety of purposes:
  • Playing without any other tuned instruments in the room
  • Adapting to vocalists who might otherwise go flat
  • Becoming really good at chromatic transposition
  • Playing practical jokes on pianists who are about to hit high C during an arpeggio
  • Accompanying the Silbermann pipe organ at the Dresdne Katholische Hofkirche
  • Destroying -- creatively I hope -- during a 48-hour film shoot
  • Giving a favourite musical toy to your favourite pet rat
  • Learning to play the piano


Really, it's an excellent learning instrument. Seven years ago I paid $900 for it, but this included delivery and tuning and a really nice bench that I am not getting rid of, so the piano itself was probably worth about $500 at the time. It's served me very well. But I do really need to get rid of it, and folks, that day is now.

Contact me if you're interested. Spread the word to your friends. I'll accept any bid of 85 cents or more, as long as you can pick it up from my house within the week: yes, I'd be delighted to recoup at least 85 dollars, but right now the important thing is just to let it go. Highest bid by ... shall we say Wednesday night? ... wins a piano.
osmie: (Default)
it's time to write a musical. Because I want to.

It's called Greensward. I once conceived it as a novella, but really, if this isn't a musical I don't know what is.

The stage is dark. A voice in the back of the theatre says, "He's missing, isn't he." And then the lights come up on a quartet for four gay teenagers about to break into a mining office in the Cariboo...
osmie: (Default)
it's time to write a musical. Because I want to.

It's called Greensward. I once conceived it as a novella, but really, if this isn't a musical I don't know what is.

The stage is dark. A voice in the back of the theatre says, "He's missing, isn't he." And then the lights come up on a quartet for four gay teenagers about to break into a mining office in the Cariboo...
osmie: (Default)
And it's coming up quickly...

==> Monday, August 4th (that's BC Day)
==> 2610 West 4th Avenue (that's the Wired Monk @ 4th & Trafalgar)
==> 10pm - 11pm (that's Pacific Daylight Time)

I'll be playing my second solo show! And you should definitely be there.

Monday night is "proprietor's choice night," when three local musicians are invited to play for an hour apiece. I've heard the 8pm and 9pm folk, and they're brilliant, so you should also come early to hear them.

As a special bonus, a full hour is actually enough time that I can perform all 27 minutes of "Fantasies of a Child" -- my most epic song ever, the first half of which was compared to "being at a Rush concert" when I played it at an open mic in March.1 Add in my world premiere of "If You Really Loved Me" and you definitely won't want to miss this. (Edit: I'd previously announced a guest appearance in that sentence, but unfortunately, scheduling conflicts have cancelled it. Oh well.)


1Of course, this is a solo show, so it will sound a lot thinner without Geddy & Alex & Neil backing me up.2
2Though it would be totally cool if they ever did.
osmie: (Default)
And it's coming up quickly...

==> Monday, August 4th (that's BC Day)
==> 2610 West 4th Avenue (that's the Wired Monk @ 4th & Trafalgar)
==> 10pm - 11pm (that's Pacific Daylight Time)

I'll be playing my second solo show! And you should definitely be there.

Monday night is "proprietor's choice night," when three local musicians are invited to play for an hour apiece. I've heard the 8pm and 9pm folk, and they're brilliant, so you should also come early to hear them.

As a special bonus, a full hour is actually enough time that I can perform all 27 minutes of "Fantasies of a Child" -- my most epic song ever, the first half of which was compared to "being at a Rush concert" when I played it at an open mic in March.1 Add in my world premiere of "If You Really Loved Me" and you definitely won't want to miss this. (Edit: I'd previously announced a guest appearance in that sentence, but unfortunately, scheduling conflicts have cancelled it. Oh well.)


1Of course, this is a solo show, so it will sound a lot thinner without Geddy & Alex & Neil backing me up.2
2Though it would be totally cool if they ever did.

Open mic?

Jul. 8th, 2008 10:16 am
osmie: (Default)
Hey all,

Last time I visited the Wired Monk, all the spots were full and I didn't get to play. Tonight I think I shall try again. Tentative set list: the open mic debut of "Watershed Requiem," "It's about Time," and the world premiere of my brand new song "Switzerland."

C'mon down. You know you want to.

Open mic?

Jul. 8th, 2008 10:16 am
osmie: (Default)
Hey all,

Last time I visited the Wired Monk, all the spots were full and I didn't get to play. Tonight I think I shall try again. Tentative set list: the open mic debut of "Watershed Requiem," "It's about Time," and the world premiere of my brand new song "Switzerland."

C'mon down. You know you want to.
osmie: (Default)
I'm off to the Wired Monk. It's been far too long since I've played any open mics.

4th & Trafalgar, show starts around 7:30pm or 8pm, standard open mic protocols apply, and in particular I have no idea when I'll be on.
osmie: (Default)
I'm off to the Wired Monk. It's been far too long since I've played any open mics.

4th & Trafalgar, show starts around 7:30pm or 8pm, standard open mic protocols apply, and in particular I have no idea when I'll be on.
osmie: (Default)

The Wired Monk:
4th & Trafalgar, Vancouver:
Monday, May 5th, 8pm:

I gots me a gig.

And I am so excited I'm speaking in large feverish wavy bellowing fonts.

I'll be playing 60 minutes of epic music between 8pm and 9pm. There's no cover charge. If you get there early enough you can cadge the comfy seats. And you are going to be there, oh, make no mistake.
osmie: (Default)

The Wired Monk:
4th & Trafalgar, Vancouver:
Monday, May 5th, 8pm:

I gots me a gig.

And I am so excited I'm speaking in large feverish wavy bellowing fonts.

I'll be playing 60 minutes of epic music between 8pm and 9pm. There's no cover charge. If you get there early enough you can cadge the comfy seats. And you are going to be there, oh, make no mistake.
osmie: (Default)
Last week I posted the full event copy for "Bull by the Horns," but if you have more than two friends, it's probably dropped off the bottom of your friends page by now.

So here it is again ... 'cause, folks, you don't want to miss this one.

Yes, it's a school play, and drama epicures will certainly notice that this is not a professional production. But it features ten original songs I've written within the past month, and you won't find a professional production anywhere in town with that attribute. And I'll be accompanying the kids live on piano.

There are three shows -- two evenings and a matinee. Adults cost $10, kids cost $5, and families cost some other amount which isn't listed on the event copy, but which had better work out to a discount.

Thursday, March 13th, 7pm
Friday, March 14th, 7pm
Saturday, March 15th, 2pm

Lucas Centre Gymnasium
2132 Hamilton Avenue
North Vancouver
(just up the hill from Capilano Mall)

Be there. Seriously. Being square isn't even on the radar.
osmie: (Default)
Last week I posted the full event copy for "Bull by the Horns," but if you have more than two friends, it's probably dropped off the bottom of your friends page by now.

So here it is again ... 'cause, folks, you don't want to miss this one.

Yes, it's a school play, and drama epicures will certainly notice that this is not a professional production. But it features ten original songs I've written within the past month, and you won't find a professional production anywhere in town with that attribute. And I'll be accompanying the kids live on piano.

There are three shows -- two evenings and a matinee. Adults cost $10, kids cost $5, and families cost some other amount which isn't listed on the event copy, but which had better work out to a discount.

Thursday, March 13th, 7pm
Friday, March 14th, 7pm
Saturday, March 15th, 2pm

Lucas Centre Gymnasium
2132 Hamilton Avenue
North Vancouver
(just up the hill from Capilano Mall)

Be there. Seriously. Being square isn't even on the radar.
osmie: (Default)
I need business cards.
I need a web page.
I need a logo.
Some snazzy photographs wouldn't be out of the question.

With shows coming up as early as Thursday, I could really use these accoutrements fairly soon.

Let me know if you're able & interested to help out.

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