Tag Archives: Passage

Resurrection

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Hello all… Consider this post as if I were writing you a letter. It’s been too long since I shared something on this blog. My apologies. I used to post at least a couple of times a week, but that slowed down considerably by the beginning of fall. I have been through a rough patch, emotionally, and I doubted that I had anything to say. Then, I started having problems with my hand, experiencing chronic symptoms the likes of which I hadn’t seen for a couple of years, other than the occasional flare up.  Even now, it would be better for me to start using my Dragonspeak software so I wouldn’t have to type. I just bought an upgrade, so I am going to finally learn how to use it.

Yesterday was Easter, the holiday in which people of Christian faith and/or family tradition celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This is the third Easter where we didn’t attend a church service. I am still in the midst of working out my issues with the Church at large, but I firmly believe that God is okay with that and is patient, so I am at peace with it.

Instead of dressing up and doing church, we visited my wife’s father’s gravesite to honor him, bringing him fresh spring flowers. He passed away just last October. She also bought a rose for her mom and cast it into the waters of puget sound. I never met her mom; she passed away a year or so before I met my wife. My parents are still both with us, at 89 and 87 respectively, but they are steadily fading. I am going to write about that in a different post.

Yesterday, Easter, Resurrection Day, was significant for both of us. For me, it is a reminder that in order to come to new life, one must die first. We see that happen every spring, but it would have no significance if there is not a period that precedes it which involves dormancy, decay, and death.

It’s funny that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves when New Years comes around: I’m going to do this different or that different, we convince ourselves. In my particular case, to think that way is to set myself up for disappointment and failure, and that is because I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and it is very hard for me to hit the ground running come January 1st. In general, our mindset about making New Years resolutions is to recognize our disappointment over how we did the previous year and resolve to live differently the next year.

After yesterday, I realized that Resurrection Day is more meaningful to me than New Years will ever be. I don’t think that it always requires letting things die in order to experience new life. Some things just seem to die on their own whether we want them to or not. Such has been the case with my dreams. My dreams of finally pursuing my music after many decades of it being only an avocation at best, and only a hobby at worst. I was full of hope when I first started this blog three years ago. And the hope had slowly drained away, leaving only a residue of disappointment and despair. Things had not turned out like I expected. And so I started to think that the dream was only a fantasy, and it was time to let the dream die.

There is a purpose in death, and we rarely see it. Not until new life begins do we understand that there are parts of the old life that needed to die. I had worked so hard to make this thing happen for two years, and although there were accomplishments and high points along the way–my “Passage” CD the chief among them–so much of my activity was unsustainable and by last fall I was burned out. Still wanting to make something happen, but no energy left.

This year I was faced with a choice: Throw in the towel and settle for something less than what my dreams would inspire. Or…don’t give up, pick myself back up, and start again. Up until last week, I was starting to resign myself to option 1. Supporting that decision was the fact that my hand issues had really gotten bad these past few months. How could I possibly push forward when my body won’t let me?

As they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn. I don’t think it was coincidence that the resurgence of my hand issues happened as I felt the last vestiges of hope drain away. And I don’t think it was a coincidence that as hope started to return, as it has the past couple of weeks, that Easter happened and that this year it has been more significant to me than before. And my hand situation is starting to get better too.

What needed to die before I could experience new life? My way of doing things. My way hasn’t worked. So, I am now looking at new ways to do things, and praying for divine guidance.

And I am filled with hope once again. Details to come. Stay tuned.

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A Little Market Research

Hey all, thanks SO much for helping out. I am conducting some market research for my music. Given that my music is generally soothing and therapeutic, there are a range of different styles that I perform that fit the overall relaxation category. I am curious about what styles people like best. This sort of market research will be helpful to me as I plan projects for 2013. (I already have 2012 figured out.)

So, taking a few moments to take this one-question survey would be greatly appreciated. And feel free to leave comments as well.

My two instrumental titles are referred to in the above survey. In case you haven’t heard them, here are YouTube videos that play samplers from these two CDs:

Passage (2011) Draw Me Close (2001)

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CD Release Concert

For my friends that connect with me only through my blog, I thought I’d post the first video from my CD Release Concert for your enjoyment. We opened the show with a medley of the first movement of “Reunion” followed by “Summer Rain”. While the first part of Reunion on the CD is solo piano, for live shows I wanted to beef it up with a full band. Our bass player, Marc Miller said “it reminds me of (the band) Kansas–and that’s a good thing!”. I’m happy with how it turned out overall, and although I had a few opening song jitters, that’s what “live” is all about, baby!

Enjoy!

The band: Scott A. Burnett/Guitar, Mike Stoican/Elec. Guitar, Bryn Cannon/Viola & Violin, Marc Miller/Bass, Bryon Atterberry/Drums

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Watershed

A couple weeks ago we rehearsed the band for my set at the release concert tonight. I told everyone that this gig is a “watershed moment” for me, that it may very well determine the course of my career as a performing artist–not to put too much pressure on anyone–followed by the nervous laughter. But it’s true, at least it looks that way to me sitting here now just hours away from the concert. It is very important and scary and exciting. Nerves are starting to creep in but I am determined to have fun.

I have “performed” so-to-speak in front of thousands–over 8,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany at the Millennial new year is one moment that stands out–but it was singing and playing and leading people in worship–the focus was not on me. This is different, of course. This will be about me as a performing artist. I am grateful that this is a joint concert with Jessica Ketola as it takes a bit of the pressure off. Tonight we hope for at least 100, will be ecstatic if we get 150, and will start to levitate if we get over that number, although it will be standing room only. I look forward to seeing my friends out there who turn out in support. This will be a party as much as a concert.

The band is hot. I have practiced incessantly. I told my wife Merrilyn the other day that it’s a wonderful thing when I can get my fingers to do what I want them to do. I feel like I’m in top form and as prepared as I possibly can be. This is a great place to be: ready. I’m hoping I can relax. I’m hoping I can savor each one of those 50 minutes and that it doesn’t go by in a blur. We will be recording and videotaping this event. I hope I remember to smile. :-)

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Mylo Xyloto – First Impressions

Yep. I’m a big Coldplay fan. I was one of those who “eagerly awaited” their latest release Mylo Xyloto on Monday. Not so eagerly that I stood in line for days in the freezing sleet–rather, I swung by the local target on Wednesday to pick it up while shopping for “active wear”. Trying to stay active this winter–therefore, I need something to keep me warm in the freezing sleet. But I digress…

I have heard Mylo Xyloto through about three times. Before I add qualifying remarks, I must say I just LOVE it! Coldplay is one of those bands that can indulge in overproduction–and it works! Being a keyboardist, I love the shimmering digital synths up close and personal in the mixes. (Digital sounding synths, mind you, not those digital make ’em sound like analog synths.) And the groove on “Paradise”: spectacular! These boys know how to deliver a hook, loud and proud!

Standout tracks for me are “Every Teardrop a Waterfall”, “Paradise”, “Hurts Like Heaven”, and I’m captivated by the haunting “Up Against the World”:

Oh morning come bursting, the clouds, Amen.
Lift off this blindfold, let me see again.

I must say, the inclusion of the duet with Rihanna, “Princess of China” feels like pandering to the BIG RECORD COMPANY. Still a great song, it seems out of place to me.

At third blush, Mylo Xyloto still feels like a wall of sound–an excellent wall of sound, mind you–but I don’t find it breathes quite as nicely as Viva La Vida, which I consider to be their finest record. But Viva La Vida is a hard act to follow–Life in Technicolor is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music, so much so that I simply had to put some hammered dulcimer somewhere on my album, Passage.

So, if you love Coldplay, you should definitely…. oh what am I saying? I if you love Coldplay, you probably already bought a copy.

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Vision Juice

On my couch waking up to the Today Show and taking a slurp of my morning Joe and it occurs to me: I LOVE COFFEE! So I had to blog about it. It’s a Monday morning and a new week froth with possibility. My planner beckons me. So much to do over the next month preparing for my CD release concert.

As much as I’ve tried to give up the stuff, coffee remains entrenched in my morning ritual. Yeah, I know too much caffeine is not good for you, but I drink far less coffee than I used to and I have limited my other caffeine intake to a little green tea in the afternoon. Everything in moderation. Is two mugs too much?

I just recently purchased a new coffee grinder, a table top Krups that grinds the prescribed amount of beans on demand. For a few years, I was purchasing pre-ground coffee because my old grinder was getting, well, old. Now I am trying various Trader Joes tins of Fair Trade Organic varieties. Fresh grinding the beans makes a huge difference.

Well, enough of my bloggering! Time to come up with some of those Big Ideas!! Happy Monday!

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I Love PCC!

Yes, I am rather fond of our local natural food chain, Puget Consumer Co-Op. I believe they are the best in the country. I went there for lunch the other day after my workout. They always have a nice variety in their soup bar. The one in Kirkland is the second store they opened and is one of my faves. I wrote about this elsewhere, but there are certain places that just enhance my mood. Just look at the magazine rack! There have to be a few publications in there that review wellness-related music. I need to send them a copy of Passage and see if they’ll review it.

Can you think of any magazines about wellness, health, mind/body, spirituality, etc. that review relaxation music? If so, I would love to hear your suggestions. Namaste! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) :-)

The Houghton (Kirkland) store.

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I Still Want You to Know About My New CD

The title of this blog post says it all. My latest CD “Passage” is available from a variety of outlets–links below. Here is a video of the first few minutes of my cover of “Whom Have I But You?” by David Ruis. I have always loved this song and have performed it many times. Early on, I added my own hook to the “B” section which later became the basis for the “Distant Shore” theme on my CD. I also added an instrumental bridge.

I just love the way this recording turned out. What you’re missing from this edit is an additional three minutes of us jamming on the Em, D/F#, G progression that then transitions into the following piece. The jams at the end of a lot these songs is where a lot of  music magic takes place.

Playing on this song are: Scott A. Burnett/acoustic guitar, Brian Thiessen/electric guitar, Darcy White/bass, Calum Rees/drums, Erika Kobewka/violin. I played the Yamaha C7 grand piano up in Vancouver, and then re-recorded the piano for the first part of the song here at Avondale, playing my Fandrich & Sons piano. I did all of the pre-production sequencing using Ableton Live and then brought it into ProTools along with the session tracks for post-production. Erika recorded her violin from her home in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Tom Hall mixed it.

“Passage” can be found at any of the following links:

  • My Website kellycarpentermusic.com – both physical CD and downloads
  • CDBaby – both physical CD and downloads
  • iTunes – downloads
  • Amazon – both available, although they want a lot for a physical CD
I was browsing around Amazon looking at what they have for my stuff and I found it quite amusing about their various retail partners. I will have to do a blog post about it.

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A room makeover

The CD was off to the manufacturer and now time for some home projects. First on the list was to renovate what we referred to as the “dog room”. There were some permanent aging doggy stains on the carpet and the color scheme was all wrong. Time to rip up the carpet, put in laminate flooring, paint the walls, and put in overhead lighting.

Here is a mid-project photo followed by the final look.

Laminate flooring from Costco, track lighting by Juno from Seattle Lighting, rug from Fred Meyer. Now it’s on to my next music project: a collaboration with Scott Burnett.

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Has anyone seen my lens cap?

Okay, the title is misleading. To be precise, it’s not my lens cap, as it is from my wife, Merrilyn’s camera, a Canon D60. It was I, however, that somehow misplaced it when I took the picture of my new CD “Passage”. Here is the picture and clearly there it is on the table which I further pointed this out via my high-tech graphic capability in Photoshop.

So, what happened to it? I don’t think it disappeared out of thin air. However, we live fairly close to the technology corridor of Redmond/Bellevue/Seattle. Who knows what kind of secret experiments are being conducted? So while I do not believe the lens cap disappeared  per se, I am open to the possibility of it being misplaced due to some quantum physics teleportation experiment gone awry. By the way, I always think it’s best to keep an open mind. And to also throw a little Latin at the end of a sentence, such as per se. And to start sentences with the word “and” which is grammatically incorrect but all sorts of people do it anyway and I am one of those sorts of people. Obviously.

Perhaps you’re wondering if this missing lens cap story was just a ruse of mine to write yet another post about my new CD being available for purchase here. Well, yes and no. No, I really am missing the lens cap and I may have to purchase its replacement if I don’t find it soon. But yes, I chose to waste precious cyberspace resources to obliquely plug my new CD. Yep, you caught me red handed, per se.

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