Break

IMG_1635
The sumer gear collection…more latin gear has been added since ūüėÄ

The last week at the RWCMD came to a close on Friday! Now I’m back in my hometown of Bath and safe to say, my body has shut down. So I’m taking a break from playing for a little bit, so I can rejuvenate my mind and body.

Because of this, and also as a heads up, I may not be blogging next Sunday!

It’s important to take time off and I’m certainly one that can keep powering through no matter what, perhaps I’m stubborn but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been.

Listen to your gut more and your mind less.

It’s harder to be aware of this during the day than you think.¬†

Next week I’m back in Cardiff for rehearsals at the Welsh Millennium Centre (WMC) in the Cardiff Bay. I bumped into the Operatic Director for an independent/contemporary Opera I did over a year ago and now I’m playing in her test run of her own company. Even though Opera isn’t my thing per se, but when there is room for creative direction then who knows where it could lead to! This is something I’m really excited about.

Over the next few weeks, as well as spending time with family and friends, I’ll be working hard on my own ideas and planning ahead for the next two and final terms at the Royal Welsh. Just so that I can really enjoy my time in Cuba and not think about missing two weeks of college! There will be lots of photos and experiences shared come early New Year!

That’s all for today guys! Take some time out for yourselves too!

Songs of the week

Here are two songs that I hope will set you up for the week no matter what you’re doing!

Some cheeky Bileo – You can Win¬†– this is from the early 80s and it’s a massive soul song!

Roy Davis Jr ft Peven Everett РGabriel (Live Garage Version) Рthe sound of human nature and original music is a beauty when you mix it with electronics

Rest Hard, Work Harder.

#BlogNo. 14

Break

P ure D edication N o D istraction

Hey one and all!

I hope you all have had a great week. Last week’s blog was about finding your path. So today I’m continuing this idea, but taking a little further with some underlying truths that we take for granted, and may stop us from progressing as much as we can!

It is simply the cost of distraction that can stop us. (That was quick!!) As you can see, it doesn’t take 1000 words to tell somebody this. For example, by simply changing the spacing of the title, forces the reader to focus on the words in order to be able to read it (and it kinda looks cool)

Awesome!

In order to reach your goals, ambitions, focus; you have to really understand what your motivation is firstly. WHY are you doing what you are doing?! HOW can you CHANGE the tiniest part of your work ethic to enhance your performance?!

You yourself can only help. Nobody else can analyse the WHY and HOW of your work (I’m not shouting fyi – I’m merely stating key words that have been based on my previous blogs –>¬†CHECK IT OUT¬†+¬†AND THIS¬†+¬†and FINALLY)

You may ask, ‘what are the simple things’?! Well, it all depends on what technology you use, your work environment and most importantly being realistic about how you are really focused. For me, it’s turning my phone on Airplane Mode, only having the essential notifications from my apps, only subscribing to emails that I actually read etc. See how you work and see what you can change, even if you think you’re on top form already ūüėČ

It could be having a clean/spacious work space, music that helps you to focus, or simply setting a fixed time to get as much done of your project as possible! 

Not only is technology a factor, but also how much you work you set yourself, and whether you have a reason behind your work i.e. what we call motivation, I like to call it PURPOSE. 

What I do, is I get everything that’s in my head, put it into a day’s work of practise and prioritise them from highest to lowest. What I don’t get done, is carried on into the next day, I simply reprioritise them. If there is a particular aspect I’m not focused on, I ask myself why I wrote it down and usually, it’s something that motivates me to go and do it, to go through the motions, work the logistics out, and continue it with full focus the next day.

If I’m not sure why I wrote something down, I’ll research it or ask myself whether it’s useful to do it at that moment in time.

In short, if you simply boil your down, you can see it clearly and have a flowing work schedule. Also, you can see where, why and how you’re perhaps not getting as much as you would like (think distractions and motivation)

TIP: Boil what seems complex down so anybody could understand it, simplify it to it’s raw ingredients.¬†

If the fundamentals are at there best, then you can really explore your passion.

That’s all for today guys. Remind yourself at least once a day, why you are motivated to do what you do. PURPOSE.

Bring yourselves back to reality this week guys.

Music of the week

Today, I feel in the mood for Brazilian. This is style of Brazilian music called Capoeira. This song is called Parana ê Parana

Love to one and all!

H

#BlogNo. 12

 

 

P ure D edication N o D istraction

For Time To Come

Hey one and all!

A lot of my posts are mostly motivational or how I am feeling about what has happened in the week prior. Reflection is great, not only we can learn from our mistakes, but we can learn from what we did well.

A lot of musicians, tend to not think of themselves as a business. It takes a lot of time and dedication to get to where you want to be, no matter how many steps you will want to, and have to take.

I always have a practise diary. Every evening and every Sunday, I plan ahead of what I will want to achieve in the week ahead and the month. This way, you’re consistently reflecting and adapting to unforeseen challenges. I find this method I worked out, helps to build a stronger base for the larger picture. That being, building connections in an already familiar environment, to begin establishing who you are and what you can offer. Then, where you base yourself is mostly dependent on where the work is.

When it comes to monthly or yearly planning, it can be hard to tell how much of what you plan will come to effect. It’s a good idea, I think, to take advantage of all the opportunities on offer, with the long term purpose in mind. For me personally, I go to Jazz Jam sessions, with the purpose of improving my ear and playing, but also to expand my relations with new and existing connections. Existing connections, I’d say, are vital because it takes time to build strong relationships with people.

I go by this formulae

Plan

Expand

Apply 

Base

Let me explain ;

  1. Plan/Replan – This is essentially writing down what your ideas, goals and dreams and prioritising them in order of short to long term achievements. (I’ll get to replan in a minute)
  2. Expand РThis is looking at each goal and expanding it to the opportunities that are available to you. The opportunities available is not only what is easily accessible, but they are also events that are in the present and future that may arise. You have to be on alert for this one, in order to make the most of anything. 
  3. Apply –¬†#JustDoIt and be proactive. You will have to get out there, show up, make yourself known.
  4. Base –¬†You must be aware when you are beginning to develop a base, from where you can start to¬†replan.¬†This means, when you have got a platform to work from i.e. regular income,¬†base of connections, where you are based geographically, social profile etc. Then you can begin the process again. A never ending work frame.

It doesn’t matter how small the base is, as long as there is something to work from, you can start to replan and the replan could be very small e.g. Making a connection, in person and online, going to an event where the connection is and promoting yourself whilst learning and developing your skills on a practical level.

IMG_2853
THE NEXT STEP – I will be performing a piece that requires a loop pedal (see image) in May 2018. It’s time to get practical and explore electronics.

That’s all guys!

Thanks for taking some time out to read my Blog!

Albums of the week

Donny Mcaslin РFast Future (Full Album) 2015 РContemporary Jazz! Explore the personnel on this album!

Irakere (Cuba, 1979) РLive (Full Album) РRecognised as one of the first groups to establish Timba! This a Cuban dance and has influnces of Salsa, American funk/RnB and strong Afro-Cuban Folkloric music. Here is a taste of Salsa and Afro-Cuban Folkloric music Рlisten carefully and hear the similarities!

Thanks again everyone! 

#BlogNo. 10

For Time To Come

The mystery of #BlogNo. 9

I’m back..

..and right on track. I will (should) be updating this space every Sunday now! The past few weeks I’ve been here, there and everywhere. This is my version of a Sunday evening, relaxing on the sofa and it’s great!

In this blog, I will simply write an overall summary of how I’ve felt and where it’s lead me.

In my opinion

It’s all about enjoying who you are, where you are and what you have at the current time of your life.¬†

Why sulk or feel sorry for yourself about what you can and can’t control, when you can train your mind to be comfortable in the place you are. We’re here for only a relatively short time ‚Äď it’s important to remember this.

We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting 

Kahlil Gibran

It can seem like a waiting game. This quote sums up perfectly how I imagine most people feel. Most feel heavily weighted to the waiting side of things, but through seeing what you see through your eyes in a positive, lighter light; it all becomes clear that, it is what it is. 

I played drums in a concert on Wednesday and afterwards, I received praise on my playing. All of the hard effort, dedication, hours of practise. This is the waiting, the daily grind, which leads to the discovery of beauty or in a non-philosophical term, feeling pretty damn good. The discovery of this quote has been an important find.

This leads to an important idea

See what you see as an opportunity. All will unveil itself in time.

The other day

I was on my way back from Bristol after a crazy African Sabar Drumming session with Dave Smith (drummer for Robert Plant) and Batch (native of this music) I was on the Megabus (it was actually nice and new) and ended up sitting next to a girl who was also in her final year, we talked for the whole journey and at some point, she said she wasn’t into music. HOLD UP. Not into music?!? But wait, I thought, let’s try to discover what this really means. Turns out, it’s factors such as seeing specific artists, mood, time, place etc. that changed and directed her to certain types of music.

This was a great example and turning a closed road into an open road. Which leads me to the next point.

People tend not to remember how what you say. 

But how you make them feel.

Moments like these, make you want to transfer a learned experience to all walks of life. I think that the person you talk to is always new, whether they are unfamiliar or familiar to you because, relations change and develop and it’s important to discover something about everybody. You’ll always find something!

Thanks for visiting!

Please leave a note if you like what I’m doing, or think I could improve in someway! Or give this a share! Check out my¬†Twitter page too for live updates!

On that note, I’ll leave you with this tune ‚Äď‚Äď>¬†Hank Mobley – This I Dig Of You¬†<‚Äď‚Äď

Have a discoverable week guys!

#BlogNo.9

The mystery of #BlogNo. 9

Change

This week, today, I was inspired to write about¬†CHANGE.¬†A good friend of mine, this morning, wrote to me about how he was feeling. I won’t be specific, but it was on the basis of negative thinking. Negative thinking is a result from how we feel.

I made one decision…

and that decision, was to acknowledge how I felt and how I react in certain situations I’m not comfortable with. I’m naturally quite an anxious person, but catching that feeling in those first few crucial seconds, seeing it for how it is, made me content with not only the feeling, but with who I am.¬†The second we detach our feelings from our mind, the more we are not able to take the step into¬†our relationship with our body. Not changing the way we feel, but the¬†relationship.¬†

We as humans in the current era with live in, tend to guard our feelings and guard going back to a way we felt in the past. With any feeling, hiding or putting it under the blanket is only going to enhance that feeling. It’s a natural process to feel emotion, in order to improve in anything, you must change the¬†I Want,¬†into¬†I Will¬†or¬†I Must, with a positive mindset towards this change.

When You Wake Up

When people wake up with a negative mindset, you will¬†feel the way you had thought. Usually, before I sleep, I will take 30 seconds to go through my day from the moment I wake the the present. One day I thought, ‘Why do I create this mindset every morning’. From then on, I would acknowledge any thought with no pre-emptied thoughts about those thoughts, and soon enough, fewer and fewer of traits that I had decreased and allowed me to have a positive outlook.

The featured image

This is where I usually do calisthenics, this is the place I practise¬†change.¬†Every time I feel like giving up, like not giving it that push, I¬†change this and do the opposite. I am left feeling pumped and ready to smash the day ahead. Or if I don’t feel like practising, I¬†change¬†this and¬†Do It.¬†100% focus, because nobody is going to do it for me. Only I can do this and this gives me more satisfaction than ever.¬†You Know You Can Do Anything.¬†

The week just gone…

I have been up to lots, but the most important part of the week I am pumped for, is to be play with other people. With the nature of my course, it was somewhat difficult to find that balance between playing in a jazz/afro-cuban jazz situation and keeping up work for assessments on the classical side of things. Now as a 4th year, I have more time than ever to organise how I wish (to some extent) and now I can get back on the treadmill and keep on running towards what I need to work on now, playing with people. Playing with people, is a completely different ball game from playing to a recorded track or practising solo.

Mis¬†√ļltimas¬†palabras (My Final Words)

I hope I have inspired you today with what I wanted to say. This may be a music blog into the life of a world percussionist/drummer, but it’s not all about the music and I think delving into the areas not directly looking music, is far more interesting. I mean, I did say¬†life.¬†

Songs of the Week

I was going to a gig at the London Jazz Cafe. All of the top cats in world percussion were going to be in one spot and I was super excited. Unfortunately, the main player who this gig was for, got too ill to travel. So these songs today are for him.

Song No. 1 Bahia San Juan РGiovanni Hidalgo

Song No. 2 Loving Drums РGiovanni Hidalgo

Have a great week ahead.

Don’t forget to share!! ūüėÄ Much love!

#Blog. No. 5

Change

First Week Back Into The Final Year

Craziness and more

It’s one of those ‘My Mind in a glance blog’ i.e. splurt everything onto screen.  

Be prepared, the following may or may not be a plethora of everything that is happening in the mind, right now, at this very moment.

I’ve not been able to be as on top of my blogging this week. So, with tired eyes, I will talk about My First Week.

The first week back is always the most full on and exciting time. In a conservatoire of music, the timetable is never consistent and it is always liable to change.

You name it! Freshers, recording’s thrown in at the last minute, pressure to perform, gigs, practising, last minute lessons, forever changing meetings and as well as making the time to see your buddies + gradually getting my name out to the big wide world. Be positive and the world will walk with you! Craaaaziness. It feels peculiar, to be the oldest of the undergrads in the college now, the sense of authority (to some extent…fresher ego, not being liked to be told what to do, even if it’s right etc) and being given new responsibilities seems a heavy #tb to 6th form at school.

I am currently reading Kahil Gibran’ The Collected Works. One quote from one of his aphorisms really stuck with me this week. It’s goes by;

Paradise is there, behind that door, in the next room; but I have lost the key. Perhaps I mislaid it.

I always read a page a day at least. I love to see how I interpret it and relate it to the world around me and myself.

Personally, I think this means that, no matter what happens life. There is always a door to be opened somewhere, all you’ve got to do, is to know when you’ve found that key, so that you can unlock it’s full potential. I’ve been travelling up and down the country this summer and chatting to those who can teach me but also be potential colleagues. Doing this, has enabled me to broaden who I know and what I know and in doing so, I’ve found and stepped upon those keys. Now it’s a matter of continuing to put myself out there.

My mum always says, even now, “just keep working hard, as you are, and in time it’ll all fall into place”.

I know this to be true and so does everybody else in the world. If not, keep searching with an open mind.

Next time…

you meet a new person. Get to know how they got to where they are today. Not with that as your first intention, but keep it at the back of your mind and be sure that the conversation will slide towards it. Try to see, no matter how small, the changes that happened!

Oh look, a thought just popped into my head!

Next splurt guys! I’ve wanted to learn Espa√Īol for at least 5 months now. You know that mislaid key, I found it. We have got an Latin-American Spanish ERASMUS (exchange student) student for a WHOLE YEAR! I’ve never been so psyched. I get to speak it everyday and learn 24/7. I went even as far as changing the language on my phone to Latinoam√©rica Espa√Īol! It’s great to pick back up what I learned during my month in Cuba.

Bish Bash Bosh

I had this thought a while ago and now it’s time.

Songs of the Week!

This is a killer song. Let it settle though, the solo sections are just wow. Five – Bill Evans

On a final final note, I can’t not put in this fella here. This song describes how I’m feeling right now. Take a listen and explore! At The End Of The Day – Amon Tobin

FINAL FINAL WORDS

Please please give this a share! Come along for the ride and you may be surprised one day. I remember when I first followed Marc Fitt when he had just started out. Now he has over 200k subscribers on Youtube, over 1 million followers on Facebook and Instagram.

I’ll leave you with one last aphorism that has inspired me this week. What does this mean to you?

You are blind and I am dead and dumb, so let us touch hands and understand

Make the week ahead a great one.

Peace out guys!

#BlogNo.4

First Week Back Into The Final Year