please start feeling and sounding like a baby grand piano.
Sincerely, girl who misses playing on an acoustic instrument
I recently saw the Miro Quartet play a short concert in Calgary, AB. It was the first time in a long time that I’ve been to any concert, let alone one for classical music; probably two years since my last.
It was perfection. The music was intoxicating, the performers were entertaining - incredibly personable and funny between pieces - everyone in the audience fell in love…. ’everyone’ being a very small audience made up of mostly elderly listeners and a handful of youth (which in this case is anyone under 40)
And it made me sad.
These musicians are masters of their craft. They have spent decades improving and perfecting what they do. And with their dedication and persistence, they keep HISTORY ALIVE! what else was created 200 years ago and be experienced the exact same way today?
When I was trying to find a friend to bring to the concert with me I kept coming across the same answers….no one knew what a quartet was, and more so, no one was interested….’they just play music - no singing?’…..’so you just sit and listen for hours?’
Its an obvious truth, but a sad one that I only then came to realize.
Then I saw an experiment that the Washing Post orchestrated.
Joshua Bell is a world renowned violinist. And a week after he sold out performance (where tickets averaged at $100) he was part of a very interested experiment.
He entered a busy subway in D.C. and for 45 minutes played the most intricate classical pieces in the world. He was dressed casually and left his violin case open on the ground in front of him - a case that protects a violin worth over 3 millions dollars.
In that time, only a handful of people stopped, and only for a few seconds at a time. He earned around $30.00.
I can see why classical music is hard for most people to ‘get into’. We are in a society that thrives on short attention spans. We need a hook to keep us interested. Which is fine - I listen to top 40 radio….I mean in essence, I want to be apart of this problem one day….
What I want - is simply for some respect. Mozart, Schubert - they were the original rockstars. Because of what they CREATED, I am here today doing my thing. They pushed envelopes, thought outside of the box, and created music that has withheld the test of time.
My suggestion - stop and listen. A personal favourite way to listen to a classical piece is to find out the story. Every piece has a story attached to it - most are pretty interesting.
So find a piece, find the story. Then stop and listen.
Enjoy a free download of my rendition of Katy Perry’s ‘the one that got away’
I used to play in a few bands -two to be exact- and the most success we ever achieved was having other local bands along with our friends and family come out to shows and cheer us on.
There are a few different things that this can be attributed to. The most obvious being that both bands broke up within a year (hardly time to get a following) and the other, less obvious reason being that we sucked. No offence meant to my old band mates - we sucked almost entirely because of me. Not feeling confident in who I was, what I should look like or how I should sing; in addition to a fear of performing just made for the worst possible combination…..crap live performances.
It made me realize that we were missing the point. I didn’t want my music to be heard only by my friends and family - I wanted strangers to hear my music and be moved by it. REAL FANS. My first goal.
Then I launched this project; and without having an album complete or a follow-up single ready (ready, fire, aim) I just started doing - with only one focus - REAL FANS.
and then it happened.
I released ‘The Leap’ and the impossible happened. Strangers were buying my music. I started getting messages from all around the world on how my song had resonated with listeners and that people wanted more
* sorry for the delay by the way - i swear the albums almost finished! *
At every show I play I recognize less and less faces. I meet people at events and when I introduce myself they recognize my name. REAL FANS.
.not many. not thousands. not hundreds. maybe not even 100. but i have REAL FANS. Strangers with no personal connection who appreciate and love what i do and how i do it.
.And then I forgot.
I have been so caught up in recording and planning the release of this album that I stopped playing shows. Stopped going to events. Forgot about the people who inspired me to do this in the first place.
I saw artists in the local scene getting praise from other artists and longed for that attention. To have my friends and family cheer me on and tell me that i’m awesome.
I recently sent a link to a few of my songs to 3 select people to get their opinion on them. The reason was simple. validation and ego. I needed to hear that they loved what I did - the people close to me that I care about - an easy and meaningless validation.
and you know what i got?
.no response. no praise. no review. nothing.
And so my self doubt grew. My insecurity flared. And I started to feel so endlessly and painfully alone.
Then I got a call from my man friend; who happens to be in Toronto right now for Canadian music week, and he started telling me about a live talk that metric did that reminded him of me.
“they talked about how for years they live in ny la uk & did nothing but build relationship with industry people & record demo after demo after demo just to get turned down over and over. then finally they realized they don’t want a relationship with industry people. they want a relationship with fans. and they spent years figuring that out but you already know that”
.and I remembered.
I remembered that I don’t care if a million people hate what I do. So long as one person does. So long as one person can hear my songs and find peace, even if its just until reality kicks back in.
I remembered that I write songs that I want to hear. Songs that inspire me and fill the void in my soul. And if you don’t like them thats fine - go listen to something else - just be happy. and let me be happy.
I remembered that I don’t need everyone I know to appreciate or support what I do. Because there are already people out there who do. I have already achieved my first goal. I have REAL FANS.
So i’m sorry. I will NEVER EVER forget again.
The only validation I will ever need is already sitting in my inboxes. Letters of thanks, appreciation, and love. And when I need someone to tell me im awesome in the future, I wont look any further that my next show <3
And the link that I sent to those people? deleted - I don’t need them or anyone to tell me whether or not my songs are good. I love them. And thats enough.
So I just got home (literally less then 5 minutes ago) and right away got to listen to the newest mix of my song ‘Something to Love’…..
fun fact : my boyfriend is producing my album - and this song is about him…..and I just think it so awesome that this song stands apart from the others so much based on what he did…it almost suits his style more….and although i don’t think that was an intentional decision he made - I do think it means something…i just dont know what <3 but its good, and so im happy
im scared. im insecure. im doubtful of…alot. i compare endlessly. and most of the time i have no idea what im doing.
.just wanted someone to know.
Yesterday was my birthday! And not just any birthday! it turned into the best birthday of my life to date!!! woop woop!
My boyfriend Michael made a secret facebook event last week (secret to me anyways) where he invited all of his facebook friends to collectively like, comment and follow my social media pages all on the same day : my birthday! His goal : to give me the one thing he knew I would want more than anything - to help move my music forward.
I woke up to over 100 notifications of new likes, comments, messages, and hopefully…new fans.
There is a saying that “where attention goes, energy flows”. So regardless of long term effects of Michael’s event - you gave me one of the most powerful gifts there is to give.
An insane amount of people got together to wish a stranger happy birthday and to like her facebook page…thats beyond incredible. I wish there was a word to describe how blessed, shocked, elated and humbled I am by this support.
Clearly, I am the luckiest girl alive to have A. Michael in my life - who is supportive and tolerable of me beyond logic and B. to be surround by the most supportive people in the world.
So thank you. To everyone who took the time to make me feel exceptionally loved on my birthday <3 you are the definition of awesome.