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

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

Goals, Ambition, Drive.

Expect the unexpected

Recently, I’ve been visualising my dreams. Not intentionally, but out of pure self-driven ambition. With hard work, I know I’ll be able to make those dreams into reality. Usually, it’s not healthy to imagine what could be, because we truly don’t know what’s around the corner. That’s what makes being a freelance musician so exciting though.

Where do I want to be and who?!

Currently, I’m striving not only to be the best I can be at drumming and world percussion; but also striving to project my ideas and concepts into an educational book as well as teaching! I think it’s so important to pass on ideas to those learning, which is anybody really!! This will take time, but that doesn’t matter.¬†I’m here for the long run.¬†

This past week has been a week of feel good. I’m on top of my projects for college, this goes from arranging and composing to preparing my pieces for the final final recital! As well as projects that will put me in the best position possible, before I leave and thereafter. As well as feeling good; this week has been a realisation, not for me per se, but for others around me, now I can see what is ahead of me more clearly. In a music specialist conservatoire of music, it’s expected that we hone in on our craft on a daily basis. It’s not just about that though, in such a specialist place, it’s easy to forget that there is the world surrounding you.

Goal 1

Learn as many tunes as possible. Everyday, I will learn at least one song, know the chords, form and melody. Practising for amazing technique is one thing, but that’s not going to help you when you don’t know a tune/song in a live situation. I had a jam session on Monday and……yeah…..I need to know my forms. It felt like just about everything that could go wrong, did. If I’d known the tune, I probably would have been in better stead. Not only is this my new goal for jazz, but for world music, primarily Cuban as the music spreads throughout Spain, Africa, South America, so there is a lot of music language to cover!

Goal 2

Hone in on Jazz vibes. I have this urge, hunger to really delve into jazz harmony, primarily. Now I’ve come to the stage where I now need to master typical chord progressions, change from one chord/scale to another bar by bar, beat by beat etc as well as chord voicing and applying what I know already to jazz standards. That may sound a lot, but from the skills I’ve developed already, I know this is just a few little steps with a few bigger steps i.e. short and long-term goals.

Goal 3

Project my ideas to the world. I’ve touched on this briefly already. It’s fair to say that nobody what anybody else thinks, I will be perfecting my concepts, ready to put out there. It’s time now to, put it all into order and ask those who I know will be able to help me in one way or another.

Song of the week

I wanted to have only one song this week. This is sooooo groovy! This is a Cuban dance known as Chachacha – Enjoy!!

Orquesta Aragon – No me molesto

#BlogNo.5

Final words of Wisdom

Now let us play hide and seek. Should you hide in my heart it would not be difficult to find you. But should you hide behind your own shell, then it would be useless for anyone to seek you.

Kahil Gibran

Goals, Ambition, Drive.