forgotten_aria: (Cree Dance)
On Friday my world of warcraft account will lapse for the first time since November 2004, shortly after this post. a little over 12 years of playing the same video game. I had already started to fatigue, only logging into to do the group content, and then my group fell apart. I'm trying to figure out if there's anything I really want to do before my account stops. And really, I might like to poke at the chromie stuff, but I'm just super bored with WoW, which is understandable.

A few years back they sent statues to anyone who had had an account, continuously, since launch, so I'm putting myself out of the running for the 20th anniversary statue. ;)

This is unlikely to give me any more free time to play other things, since Overwatch is already taking up more video game time than I would really like in my life. I've been putting off making music and other things because of various other priorities. I'm hoping I can find a good balance soon.

Due to a personality conflict, I have to pull more out of taiko again. That's also feeling like a good thing. Hopefully when the dust settles I can make an effort to do the "hard" things of making music videos and putting myself out there again.

I also haven't been to School of Honk since January and miss that (and some of the fun gigs, like the Georges island gig.)

Update

May. 26th, 2017 11:52 pm
forgotten_aria: (casio sb)
I just payed for another 2 years of TKD with no reservations.

I'm doing Winchester Town Day again. A friend basically invites people to come practice performing. She asked me what other instruments I have to perform on (last year I did harp and hand pan) but to be honest I don't have that many solo performance level instruments. What I am doing is I'm playing a flute piece which was an audition piece for honor's band in middle school. It's been a lot of fun to revisit it after becoming a much more mature musician. I am playing handpan again, because well, anything sounds pretty good on that. Lastly I'm doing a cover of "Come together" using my harp as a bass (I tried to learn it on bass, but couldn't get it clean enough) and using my new looper pedal to let me program in some drums and things. I'm still a little shaky on it (memorizing the lyrics to that song is a pain, since they're borderline nonsense) but it is starting to sound decent.

That is barring the fact that I've had a cough for a few weeks, so my voice sounds super crackly.
forgotten_aria: (vacuum)
So until I found this video and became obsessed with the thing taped to her body, my only Birthmonth gift to myself was a power floor washer/vaccum called a crosswave. If you have a ton of bare floors, it's great! It will vacuum and clean wet or dry messes and leave your floor almost dry. For me it means I don't have to sweep then mop. I can do it all in one pass. I'm waiting to see how it will do on dry cat messes before I post a video to my review channel.

After some research I found out that the thing taped to her body is a boss rc-202 loop station designed for the beat boxer. While I don't identify as a beat boxer, this is by far the easiest and most fun looping pedal I've ever used. I still need to really learn it, because a lot of the features are buried. I also don't have a good understanding what a lot of the filters will do. The ones I do understand, I don't really know how to set the parameters right. I'd like to know how to get octave shifts out of the pitch shifter, for instance. There are some amazing videos of people using this thing. Here are two videos of my first attempts on it.



This one didn't come out as good (it was my first attempt.)



P.S. As a complete side note, I don't see my friends enough.

Honk Fest

Oct. 9th, 2016 11:10 pm
forgotten_aria: (susuwatari stars)
This was my first time performing at honk fest.  I skipped most of Friday, except for tune share, which was a little disappointing, but was a good test run for my new method of carring my instrument.

Saturday's weather was great.  We had a "open rehersal" where we taught anyone who wanted songs while the audience watched.   It felt weird to be "performing" our teaching, espeically since it was different than a SoH practice.  Our set, though, in the evening, was one of the best we've ever done.   At the after party, they rehersed a song for the "saxophone choir" to perform the next day.   It felt so amazing to have  a group of near strangers come together and practice something for an hour and have it performed the next day and it sounded GREAT, at least on the inside.

Sunday was super rainy.    They told the woodwinds to not try to parade with our instruments.  So with the magic that is School of Honk, they handed me a trombone and said, "here, parade with this."  Now I've blown a trombone for about an half hour before and not much else.  So here I was parading down the street learning as I went.  By the end I had a collection of notes I could get confidently.     I was completely soaked, however.   I went to staples, bought some plastic bags and elastic bands and handed them out to any woodwind player I met.    

By the end of the day I was soaked, cold and tired, but it was still totally worth it.

Now to decide if I'm going to RI tomorrow for one more day of Honking!
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Been a little busy with the trip to Pittsburgh to help my mom buy a car and then Black Ships.

Taekwondo is doing well. This weekend I test for "high brown" which means just "deputy black" before black. In a lot of ways I'm really glad the master convinced me to not try to black this year. I means I can be more mellow and I'm forced to come to terms with the "maintenance" part of TKD, which is to say, after high brown, the amount you learn per year goes way down and you are expected to learn things with more accuracy and precision. I am such a passion driven person, though, sometimes I have to remind myself that TKD just makes me feel better and it's completely worth doing just for that reason and the other carrots are just crutches. I'm doing something that improves my quality of life and that's enough.

I put myself on a waiting list for a therapist again. They called back today and I have introductory appointment this Friday. I know it's going to be completely different this time, because I'm in a very different place. My depression, while still existent, is much better than it was. I want to work more on my anxiety and paranoia, which I feel I can get advice on and maybe some more tools in my tool kit, which feels more like something that someone else can help with. But we'll see. There are a lot of horrible therapists out there and the ones that take new patients are more likely to be the ones with high turn over.

Taiko is... odd. I definitely have the "you can't go back there" problem. I really don't feel like I belong any more to the group or to the community, but I'm still quite active and doing many of the income producing jobs. I can't say I want to be doing them, but I still can enjoy them when I have to do them. We're struggling to find students, however, and that's stressing me out. I'm currently teaching pro bono just because I was tired of canceling classes and I like my students.

I made another Overwatch themed music video. I've been slow about posting music videos lately, partly because I've been busy enough and partly because since it's not yet an income source, I want to keep it relaxed and fun. My first overwatch video has done much better than anything else I've posted, which is cool, but still just in the noise as far as income goes. I'm also not that happy with this one. The song didn't quite come out the way I was hoping, but the idea is that I need practice making music and videos. Video. ) I've also been playing a lot of overwatch.

No new instruments. I am getting another USB controller for Ableton tomorrow.

I haven't been able to hit school of honk much lately and I'm having ear inflamation that I think is caused by earplugs, so I might have to skip again. I got some new ear plugs that are cheap self moulded ear plugs and I hope they'll help some, but we'll see.

Been enjoying the AC comfort of the new house. Reminding myself one of the reasons I moved out of 133.
forgotten_aria: (harp)
A friend of mine found me a low pressure solo harp gig so I could practice playing a solo performance. It went ok, better than I feared (which isn't to say I didn't mess up, but I did so without completely choking and making things worse with panic. We played taiko after my set, and it's always amazing just to see how taiko blows people away. There is something about taiko that really speaks to people in a way most other music I perform in doesn't.

video )
forgotten_aria: (delerium)
A few quick thoughts:

Porchfest with School of Honk was amazing. At one point the crowd started dancing and it went from a performance to a party in that moment.

I have a harp gig (unpaid) first weekend of June. This was a friend trying to help me get practice at being a solo performing.

I made myself a patreon account, because why not. No, I'm not posting the link here because I don't want money from my friends, I want money from strangers.

The video game Overwatch launches today. I made an Overwatch remix using one of the character's sounds and got up the courage to post it to their Facebook wall. All this seems to have gotten me is a down vote.
video )
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Oh, and I promised to post my videos here, even the ones that I'm not so sure about.
vid )
forgotten_aria: (casio sb)
So I finally made another video, after a few failed attempts at a "peppy" song, I moved on to atmospheric again. I had a devil of a time editing this one, partly because of the new software doing things because it thought it was smarter than me. Partly because over edited the audio so it didn't match the footage very well and party because I had a lot of footage and couldn't necessarily figure out which clip went with which sound. I also need softer reeds for my clarinet so I won't look quite like I'm going to explode any moment now.

So, in the theme of posting things and getting practice, good or bad, I've posted it, but I'll only really share it here. It's pretty horrible (both the clarinet playing and the video itself) but it is practice.

vid )
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Given the positive response to my poll, here's my latest video from a few days ago (those on G+ and fb have likely already seen it)



And this video, not many people have watched, so if you care to, could you give insight into why that might be? )
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
So for my birthmonth I was going to finally get, after years of wanting one, a handpan. While I was looking, I bid on I really really liked, and then the guy removed the auction. Then I found out there is a company who will be making electronic handpans, which I thought "that's silly, but look at all these ways it is better than a real handpan. Then I was sad, such an expensive instrument that can only play in one key and thought, "I shouldn't get one."

And then my favorite affordable handpan maker on ebay posted this handpan. And I decided I could likely resell it for as much or more than I bid, so I bid, thinking I knew his reserve was less than my bid. Except it wasn't.

So a plywood crate arrived today with a handpan in it. So now I own a handpan! The musical instrument addiction continues.

It came on a somewhat bad depression day, so I'm fighting with myself, knowing full well part of why I buy new instruments is I'm trying to feel special and wanted, deep down.

Part of it is it's harder to play than I expected. The tongue drum I have is some what easier to hit the notes.

I uploaded video on my youtube channel, but I'm not that thrilled with it, so I won't post it here.
forgotten_aria: (casio sb)
Taekwondo is still awesome, though I might get a little stuck on this belt because my shoulder doesn't like the front falling technique. Surprisingly, however, my shoulder is doing better with it than I thought, so instead of testing by falling from my knees (which my Master was going to be fine with if it seemed like my shoulder wasn't going to be ok with it any time soon) I have told him I want to learn to do it right and catch myself falling from standing. It's progressing more quickly than I thought, but I also need to be super careful, since if I do it wrong, I might hurt myself and set things back further.

For my birthmonth (which is next month) I decided to finally splurge and bid on a handpan. I got really really enamored with this one handpan, bid on it, and then the guy took down the auction. Then I went through a strange thought process. I found out there was a kick starter for an electric hand pan. Half the cost and you could program it to be in many different keys and even a few different voices. I thought "that's silly, but those are good points about handpans" and so I came to the sad conclusion that I shouldn't spend that much on such a constrained instrument, even though I've wanted one for years and years.

And then my favorite handpan person had an auction that didn't sell, and he reposted it. And I was worried that I would change my mind and regret, which also seemed silly. But some how I rationalized that I could likely resell the thing for more than my budget. So I bid (less than my budget was when I bid on the auction that got taken down) and surprisingly won. I wish I were as excited as I would have been a year ago, but given that I'm not sure if I convinced myself of something I shouldn't have done... well, well see. It is supposed to arrive 22nd. Hopefully the weather won't knock it out of tune. It has three extra bottom dings, which I'm not sure how you are intended to play them (though I know that's not unique.)

Maybe if I love it, it will be weird enough I can get hired as background music.

EDIT: I'm getting a little bit of excitement now. "Holy cow! I'm going to own a handpan!"
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
I'm going to put this at the top, in case no one reads to the bottom. If you have any recommendations for a career or life counselled who can work with someone only looking for part-time work, please let me know.

----

2015 was a lot of dead ends. I'm hoping 2016 is less so. The problem is that I seem to have a huge disconnect between what I want to be doing and what I do well and I don't seem to be one of those people who can just put the time in and get "good enough" and when I'm lucky enough to find something I'm half-way decent at, life sometimes pulls the rug out from under me (taiko and injury/competition/racial issues.)

So I'm trying to figure out what I can do well (which will make me feel accomplished) but is also something I want to and has a less of a chance of being denied if I do get good. (Something I can do as I age, something that doesn't require you to be the best in a large pool of people.)

My art isn't really good enough and fighting with the art world is going to be more frustration than success.

I REALLY REALLY want to perform, but as I found out, I'm not cut out for being a solo performer and I'm not good enough to find myself a group. I don't really want to pour my energies into School of Honk, awesome as it is, because i'm really enjoying having something that is something I only do when I feel like doing it. I feel I got too hurt by how much of my love I poured into ONE only to have it crumble below me.

I think the safe bet is to go back to what I'm trained for, programming, but I am so afraid I will put months or years into a project and then have no one show interest. My experiences on youtube have shown me that what I think is good, other people don't. I made a video I thought was musically and visually interesting, but it only has 11 views, were as my little video where I make some horrible noises with my electric cello has over 2500 views.

If I could get a community going (or join one, somehow) on youtube, I think I would enjoying making videos for (even a small) audience. But making them into the void... well I can continue to do that and likely will, but I don't think it's going to end up being anything, especially since I have trouble talking into the camera.

I WANT to correct the mistakes of my past. I've always been too spread out, not patient enough and too worried about it being "good enough" and getting frustrated. But I kind of want to know that I'm not betting on a lame horse, and knowing me, I have many many lame horses.

I kind of wish I really loved the harp. I do feel like I made a lot of progress on it when I was committed and I think that being a gigging harpist would be fun and doable (if I can get over the solo artist issue.) But it's just so... delicate and I've never been a fan of pretty in a delicate way.
forgotten_aria: (hole)
Brief update.

I bought a super expensive lawn mower. I also bought a "better" gas can (which isn't here yet.)

I have successfully failed at quiting taiko (more to come later on that.) Though part of it is I will be playing Black Ships again. Time will also tell on what that actually means.

I've started the doodles back up again (should be an update soon.)

I switched to soprano sax in school of honk (skipped last week, though) and got the sax repaired (the guy was supposed to give me a quote, but just did the work, so I spent more than I wanted.) I'm still struggling with the sax some. I will be selling my marching quints, which is sad. If they could only be lighter!

I made a "musical doodle" which was also an experiment in making a track and then syncing the video to the track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e3hNYKFhvw

I reinstalled my laptop from 32-bit to 64-bit so I can run the android studio. I wanted to treat myself to a slick new laptop, but couldn't find any indication if ubuntu would work on it or not.

I ran out of steam for experimenting with dairy free ice cream flavors. This may mean that "empty pasture" flavor may never come to be.

In early June I had a very bad (and first) koto gig that made me reevaluate the difference between what I want and what I can get. I am waffling on selling my harp.

And for no reason, here is a video of a bird screaming into a cup. (it's cuter than it sounds.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRsfOGJ5lZg
forgotten_aria: (taiko reVision shinen)
First:

Yay! more music in my life.

----

I tried the School of Honk with my marching quints, and they seem like good people. My nervousness took over, however, so I was a bit of a mess. They seem to also want me to mostly do fills, which I'm not sure if I'm any good at that. The quint set is also super heavy, which I knew, and I'm wondering if I should try to build up my endurance or say that TKD is enough strain on my body and I should take it easy and switch to winds (they suggested soprano sax) which would also be so much easier to show up with as well.

So basically, it went well and as soon as my "new group of people" stress goes away, I should be able to have fun with whatever I choose. And they gig, so yay! more music, more performing, hopefully more yay!
forgotten_aria: (katamari)
You gotta be bad before you can be good. Success usually only occurs after many failures. So right now I'm struggling with learning how to fail.

I wrote a pretty darn cheesy song, and when it is done I will share it's horrible cheesy glory. Did I mention I'm rapping... not something I should do.

Let's hope I can keep on just doing.
forgotten_aria: (koto bridges)
So here's my delema.

Taekwondo:
  • is good for me physically: I'm feeling less pain and more ease of movement

  • makes me happy: I look forward to it and usually come home feeling good

  • costs money


Taiko:
  • was physically damaging: both my arm issue and hearing loss

  • was causing me tons of stress: I still watch them not getting enough help from people, the group is struggling for new members as well

  • paid money: I could officially call myself a professional musician

  • had a great community: both the people I saw every week and the people who I saw once every two years. I'm still missing a community like that.

  • let me perform: I'm still performing with them some, but no where near as much as I'd like to, though me rejoining wouldn't completely fix hat


Taiko and Taekwondo are both evening things and cannot be reasonably done together.

My other musical/artistic pursuits are not panning out. It is extremely hard being a solo act and also trying to learn an instrument and do something different with it. I really want to be performing on a regular basis.

My ability to deprogram myself to be ok with no income still hasn't crossed the tipping point. I really want to be doing something that brings in money, even if it's only a little bit of money.

Logic says that I shouldn't go back to taiko, but my heart wants me to damn it all and just return.
forgotten_aria: (casio sb)
I took this free ableton live course. I learned a lot, which was awesome, but what was more awesome is I made three (not all that good) compositions and had a lot of fun doing it! It was also great fun listening to the other students (we had peer evaluations.) As they forced me to use more things, my compositions got weirder (I also didn't really give them the time they needed.)

Again, be warned, this was a lot more of exploring the software than good music.

Assignment 1
It has some pretty low bass you might not be able to hear on all speakers.

Assignment 2
I was quite happy with the taiko I recorded, but not so happy with th stuff I added over.

Assignment 3
I wanted a breath based rhythm track.

LJ won't let me embed them.
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
I'm currently taking a trial at a TKD school that has everything I want (except being a short drive) on paper. The first few classes have not left my happy, however, because he's made me too much the focus of attention. And despite the fact I like performing, I don't like being the focus of attention (go figure.) It's a full month trial, so I have plenty of time for that to even out and feel like how it will really be before the trial ends. Here's hoping! They have a lot more room for me to grow, adult classes all 5 day of the week, the right balance of tradition and keeping up with the modern rule book and some awesome people in their community.

In other news, inspired by honk, I bought some SUPER cheap marching tenors/toms/quints. Now I'm trying to figure out how to learn some vocabulary for them. My hands of course keep doing taiko vocabulary. I'm also not sure I have them tightened enough yet, but since their super cheap, I'm being cautious.

I'm going to get through the holiday season and then likely start app writing next year. Harp continues, though, as expected, I have a long way to go before I can perform. I need to sit down and spend more time with ableton too.

My light spinning has slowed down a fair amount. I'm not even sure I'll get the image poi as my Christmas present to myself this year (I feel like I've been spending too much money on myself anyway.)

I'm still waffling on trying the "real school of rock" for voice lessons. I think the money issue might win out there. But I am yearning for more group music in my life, even if I have to pay for the privileged. I miss the good-old-days of taiko.

Youtube

Oct. 5th, 2014 11:21 pm
forgotten_aria: (casio sb)
I kind of want to try my hand at making regular content for youtube. I'm still trying to figure out what I should try first. I'm not sure if I have things to say that people want to listen to, though I've been writing some scripts in my head about our commercial based economy and sharing links properly, about myths about fat people (which would requite some research) or something about being raised as a goal based person and needing to do things for the sake of doing things.

Part of what I worry about is also my ablity to make it on youtube simply because I'm a girl and not pretty. Online video content seems to require that you either be a man or a cute girl. I've been considering buying in to the facerig demo and then buying a commercial license when they make it available.

I would love to produce music and spinning videos, but that's a few years off before I have the skill to make that content. I've experimented on a second channel with making a "make music every day" video set just to get practice making things, even if they're bad, but lost a bit of momentum and I'm not sure if I should go back to it.

Even if I do go with the music route eventually, almost all the amazing musicians also talk with their audience. I think it's part of making the connection to the community, so many of the issues of having something to say come back into play.

What the successful youtubers all say is you got to learn by doing. Many of the very good ones have actually been doing it for years, though what counts as success has gotten harder as of late. Even some of the "stars" can only command a ~10,000 view audience. I'm under no delusion that I would command much of an audience, but I'd like to get enough of one have a connection and use that to build my content with.

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