Rather than organizing recent highlights by months, as I have done before, this time around it makes more sense nest them under different categories. Here's what I've been up to this summer!
Gigging as usual throughout the summer: most Tuesdays at the Root Note (with 3rd Relation), a new solo piano gig on select Wednesdays at the Mint, and lots of subbing gigs in La Crosse and Winona.
In June, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the printing of the Egg Suite. In July that campaign was deemed a success: I met my goal and was ecstatic to get a first batch printed. And in August I got the books mailed out to musicians worldwide (one even went to Sweden!).
To listen/watch/read about the suite, everything you could possibly want is HERE.
I really love the time I'm afforded in the summer, and I tried to make the best use of that time this summer. In the jazz realm, I wrote "Count Your Blessings" and "Tightrope," both of which we have been able to perform at 3rd Relation's Tuesday-night jazz jam. Now I'm switching gears and focusing on coming up with new motifs for this Fall's new edition of the "Dark La Crosse Radio Show."
I've been polishing up the site, trying to improve the overall look and functionality of it. In that process, I've added a couple pages:
+"Just For Fun"
+"Virtual Store" AND "Physical Store" (books are currently available; limited supply)
+"Other Blogs and Resources" (as I've had a bit of a blogging-dry-spell lately, I decided to share OTHERS' work, including my ever-industrious siblings!)
Currently digging: This very cool multi-media, internet-meme-filled, electronic/jazz project from the brain of Adam Neely.
As mentioned, I'll be working on Dark La Crosse music. With that project, and also with Mop Dog, I'm hoping to clean up scores and assemble books containing all of that music — moreso for organization's sake than anything.
Another project I'd really like to do is record more of my jazz compositions. We've played several of them occasionally at the Root Note's jazz night, but I'd like to record something more concrete. My first step to that goal may be to just record the 'head' of each tune with MIDI sounds, as I did with "Tightrope." Stay tuned for those recordings!
2016: The First Third, a re-cap
The first chunk of 2016 has been great. Here's a taste of what I was up to, by the month:
-Regular 3rd Relation Tuesday-night jazz continued.
-Began composing music for “Mop Dog,” a new children's puppet show slated to open in April.
-Towards the end of the month, began rehearsals for “Altar Boyz.”
-Continued “Mop Dog” work and “Altar Boyz rehearsals.”
-A successful series of church services for Holy Week, concluding with a great Easter celebration with choir, organ, and brass quintet.
-Accompanied for a senior musical theatre showcase.
-The Egg Suite has now been recorded and shared in its entirety!
-Finalized "Mop Dog" music and enjoyed seeing the show for the first time - its opening night was 4/15, and it was a joy to see the puppets come alive & interact with the music.
-“Altar Boyz” progress continued, with the addition of the rest of the band just before Tech Week. We then gave 3 great performances of the show, and it was a blast.
-Finished out the month playing piano for a wedding and relishing the vibrant music scene in La Crosse.
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-Looking into making "Mop Dog" music and "Egg Suite" more available in the digital music marketplace. I'm very proud of this music and am excited with the prospect of allowing it to reach more ears!
-Also looking into options for publication of a music book of The Egg Suite. (Stay tuned!)
-Polishing my favorite pieces from "Mop Dog" into clean, legible solo-piano arrangements.
>Things I did: Added *Store* page to the site, recorded original music, premiered a few compositions, played way too much Christmas music.
>Latest thing I'm most proud of: Making my pieces more readily available has been great. I love to see that the music is resonating with other people, and thinking that someone on the other end of the world could be playing a piece of music I wrote, interpreting it in their own way, is exciting.
>Next thing I'm most excited about: Hunkering down and finishing up Egg Suite work and designing a music book, complete with composer's notes, bonus material, and original artwork.
By the Month
>Worked as rehearsal accompanist for Viterbo's production of "Oklahoma!"
>Accompanied a young cellist in their Suzuki recital.
>Recorded my piano piece, "Impromptu in B Minor" and made the sheet music available online.
>3rd Relation on Tuesday nights continued—business as usual.
>Blog addition: Dominant Inner-Voice Shift
>Performed in pit orchestra for Viterbo's production of "Oklahoma!"
>Celebrated the Halloween season by performing in a re-mount of the "Dark La Crosse" shows.
>Continued composition work for The Egg Suite.
>Premiered three movements of Egg Suite at the 2015 La Crosse New Music Festival.
>Recorded "Eggshell Waltz" and made the sheet music available online.
>Recorded "Benedict" and made the sheet music available online.
>YouTube addition: "It Might As Well Be Spring"
>Accompanied a small handful of students for end-of-semester juries/performances/audition tapes.
>Played piano in a local middle school's winter concert.
>Played wayyy too much Christmas music. Between church services, recording my own version of Christmas classics, and recreational holiday music-making, I certainly filled (surpassed?) my quota of Christmas music.
>YouTube additions: "Star Carol" | "Go Tell It on the Mountain" | "Wassailing"
>Currently practicing: "Altar Boyz" (a Viterbo production)
>Currently composing: The two remaining movements of "The Egg Suite"
>Currently 'digging' on: Gretchen Parlato
Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a productive, healthy, and musical 2016!