We have been incredibly fortunate to have a very mild Autumn here in Minnesota this year. Normally, it lasts most of a Tuesday afternoon and part of a Wednesday, but this year, it’s been warm, sunny, and really all kinds of awesome.
I took Indie & Bear out for a nice long walk over the weekend and decided to capture some of the local beauty in this short film. I’m glad I did because before you know it, we’ll be digging out from under several metric feet of down-home Minnesota snow. That’s OK; I’ll probably film some of that too.
The film is 3m28s long and features the song “Farther Away” from my solo piano album, “All You Know,” which is available on iTunes, as well as from my online store
OK, I did go a long time without writing. What’s up with that? Like most people, my family and I are very busy in the Summer, and we spend more time living and less time writing. Isla turned 3 in June, and we’ve been chasing her ever since.
Despite my prolonged absence, I actually enjoy writing a blog. Since I have the memory of a 150 year-old barn-watcher, this blog provides something at least resembling a journal. My hope is that Isla and any other hypothetical descendants might find it interesting. It could happen. More likely, Isla will find all of this incredibly mortifying and I’ll be forced to delete the whole thing.
I am amazed at the wonderful young girl Isla is becoming. She was born with such a distinctive personality, and it has been incredible to see that personality develop from week to week. With the help of her cochlear implants, the incredible teaching staff at Northern Voices School, and countless others, Isla is talking up a storm.
Isla is also becoming more proficient with her first language, American Sign Language (ASL,) and most of her speaking is accompanied by ever-improving signs. Patty and I also continue to work on signing with the help of an amazing teacher.
Despite the challenges Isla faces, she is above all, a happy, excited little girl. And that’s the most important thing.
Today is my friend, Chars Bonin’s Birthday. I forget how old he is, but I am certain that he is much, much younger than me.
I’ve mentioned this before, but Chars wrote, directed and performed in a great film called, “Finding Home.” I am proud to have composed and performed the film’s soundtrack. (I also recorded the music for the film’s trailer, which was actually a blast to do!)
A lot of people have asked how they can purchase a copy of the film, and I am happy to say it is now available on DVD at OrangeAppleProductions.com.
I loved working on this film, It’s all locally filmed and produced, and I am amazed at the performances and hard work of everyone involved. Seriously, you should check out the credits; there are, like, a TON of talented people who made this happen. So, support Independent Film and pick up a copy today.
A few months ago, my sister-in-law took this video of Isla at Grandma & Grandpa’s house. Wifey described it on her Facebook page very well:
Since Elisabeth was born, many people have expressed concern about all she’ll miss out on being deaf. So, I wanted to share a short video of her dancing. It was taken by Auntie Colleen in July. To set the scene, there is no music playing. They were outside and the motion detector light switched on…
I’m not sure where she learned to dance but I guess all you need is a spotlight and a camera rolling. I’m certain that she will not be missing out on anything in this life!
I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you watch only one video of a deaf girl dancing to the music in her head, make it this one.
Future Baby Human is due in early 2014 and we couldn’t be happier. If you’re keeping score, this is baby #2.
Isla is now 3.467 years old
I had help with the math
And she is slowly starting to comprehend that Mommy’s bump represents a future brother or sister (we’ve decided not to find out the sex of the baby until it arrives; did you notice that I still use a lot of parenthetical references?) I’m amazed that Isla even noticed the bump, because it’s a very small and not-all-noticeable bump.
We have started preparing Isla for her new role as “Big Sister” by reading Baby on the Way to her, and explaining that there will soon be a new baby in the house. Feel free to let me know if you know of any other good “second baby” books.
We’ve also clarified that the baby is not to be sat upon, covered in toys, or looked-at weird. OK, I’m actually the one who received those instructions, but they’re good advice for anyone.
Just a short little acoustic piece I put together tonight. Despite the unconscionable amount of coffee I’ve had today, this one turned out surprisingly mellow. It features acoustic and electric guitar, plus a little bit of music box run through a delay pedal and a Fender amp.
Um, THIS one, in fact.
It’s only about a minute long, so it probably won’t kill your entire evening like it did mine.
A few years ago (wait, 2008?? That can’t be right.) OK, a few years ago I recorded a goofy little instrumental called “Walking Small” and wrote all about it here.
Now, I don’t normally pull a “George Lucas” with my old music, but I thought this one could use some cleaning up. I doubled the length, replaced the original oboe track with clarinet, because, you know, Squidward.
I also added just a bit of harp glissando and minimal piano to give it more of a soundtrack vibe. I think I like this version better, but you can decide for yourself.
I’ve been doing a lot of work in my studio lately, and I’m always looking for new ways of streamlining my process. In the course of learning some tricks with my recording software, I decided to delve into the world of loop-based recording. This is NOT recording using pre-existing loops made by someone else; rather it is a process by which you pick up an instrument record a pattern of a specific length (i.e. 4 bars,) then while that pattern plays back, you then play a different pattern on another instrument. You then continue this process until you have a piece of music consisting of several instrument tracks. The results can be simple, complex, hypnotic, or in the case of the music I’m posting today, “1970s-y”
I recorded the basic tracks using a Hohner Pianet through a wah pedal, then adding electric bass and drums, with a short synth lead part thrown in for fun. I always liked the sound of the Pianet. It has a “sticky” quality about it, and the instrument is featured prominently in songs like the “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen, “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles, and “She’s Not There” by The Zombies, just the name the few.
Nothing too complex here; I just wanted to see if I could do it, so after some minimal editing, I’m sharing the results with you. Enjoy!
Winter arrived with a vengeance in Minnesota this past weekend. I mean “vengeance” literally, since I can only assume I’m somehow responsible for this. Patty isn’t as crazy about winter as I am, since she gets cold easily and appears to have misplaced her coat.
We live next to a nature area, so on Sunday morning, I grabbed my camcorder to capture some of the local beauty. I then put together this short film along with some original music to show all of my “warm climate friends” exactly what they’re missing. (The answer is “cold;” they’re all missing tons of cold.)