Thursday, February 21, 2019

Notes from the Cave

I've had a few days off of work and it's a good thing because I've been sick with sinus crap. It started as primarily a fever and body aches over the weekend and now it's morphed into straight sinus issues. I'm pretty annoyed about the whole thing, honestly.

I was supposed to have breakfast with my parents and my aunt and uncle this morning, and I ended up sleeping right through my alarm because I was up really, really late because I couldn't fall back to sleep after waking up at 230 in the morning with a stomach ache.

On the plus side, I got my birthday presents this week. I only asked for Amazon gift cards for my birthday, so I was able to go on a big shopping spree and clear out some of my wish list, which consists largely of instruments and accessories. I got a banjo, a mandolin, and another harmonica, along with a tuner, some straps and extra strings, stands for the instruments, and a sheet music stand for my violin playing. Now I just have to learn how to play all this new stuff. I'm already planning my first song - a multi-track recording of Oh Susanna, with piano, guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, and fiddle, alternating the melody line among the various instruments. We'll see how that goes.

In any case, Nile River Studios is really beginning to shape up. The only major thing I have left to get is a decent drum set. I have no plans currently to buy a bass guitar, although that might change in the future, just depending on how much recording I decide to do. I've got a MIDI controller I can use to play bass lines so it seems kind of silly to get a bass guitar that I'm otherwise not all that interested in playing for its own sake. All the other things I've bought are instruments I actually want to play as an end in themselves, whether or not I ever record anything with them.

I recently finished recording my latest piano piece which was actually a composition by Erik Satie, one of the French Impressionist musicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I haven't traditionally played much music of this style, but this one is a particularly pretty piece.

I've cut back the number of new songs I'm learning at any given time on the piano, simply because I'm needing more time for playing my other instruments these days. I'm currently only working on 3 new songs, down from the 5 that I've traditionally done in the past. As I've been adding more and more songs to my permanent repertoire, I also need more time to play those songs during my practice sessions to keep them sharp.

Additionally, I MIGHT have a new writing opportunity coming. You all know I wrote a podcast series for Wondery last fall. That all turned out really well and was a great professional writing experience. A few weeks ago, I contacted another podcast company and asked if they were in need of any writers. I ended up talking to one of their producers and sent some writing samples. We're currently working out the details of me maybe writing for one of their shows. So that's all still up in the air, but it looks like a real possibility. So with the potential ahead for more writing work, I figured I should keep my piano practice time as short as possible - I just won't have 3 hours a day if I'm working on a writing project.

Obviously, I'll keep you all abreast (lol, I said "breast") of how that all goes.