Music Hits Us

I was browsing through my Facebook feed a while a go and saw an old video of John Mayer’s live acoustic performance of “Your Body is a Wonderland”. Nothing much to expect. It was just a random old song released when I was in high school – but it left me feeling comfort. It was  a nice feeling that I haven’t felt for a while now.

Your Body is a Wonderland (Acoustic Live Performance) by John Mayer

It left me realizing and pondering on a few things.

First, most of us like the songs better when we were younger. It’s not that music nowadays are less appealing to the ears but it’s probably because we linger to our innocent and less stressful stage – hence, our youth and/or childhood. When we listen to the old songs, consciously and unconsciously, we are probably reminded of how things were easier and carefree.

Second made me ponder how music is related to a person’s growth. Notice that every album of an artist or band slightly changes every new release. When you compare the 1st and the 5th album, sometimes it’s hard to tell that they are the same artist or band. Just like John Mayer’s Your Body is a Wonderland from his album Room for Squares (which is my favorite album by the way lol), sounds totally different from his latest release entitled New Light. Artists and bands adapt to the evolution of music which is clinging to techno most of the time. Paramore does not sound rock anymore, right?

This made me think how I (most of the time) love only the first 2 albums of a band. This also made me compare it to people. Do we only like them when we first met them? Do we only like a few months of them? Once they grow into a whole new character, do we grow into loving them?

Little things and little thoughts made me post again. It feels nice to write here again as if I am on my way back to where I started. Hope you can join me here as I try to be back on track this year! Happy new year, everyone! We’ll make this year ours! 🙂

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Hello 2015! :)

Oh dear blog, I know you missed me so. I am really sorry for leaving you for months now. But anyway, hey hey hey! I missed you and my readers too! 😉

It’s 2015 and I made a lot of promises that I should keep. Say hello to my New Year’s Resolution:

1. Always make time for myself. I know I’ve been preoccupied with a lot of responsibilities with my family and work but I will not let that happen again. May it be on a coffee getaway for a few hours or a movie marathon, let it be. And this time, I’ll make it a habit that I will make time for myself at least a few hours a week.

2. Always make time for my passion – MUSIC and songwriting. No matter what happens, I will not leave my music behind. I will not be too occupied with teaching to a point that I can’t write songs anymore. My goal for the year is to record at least 3 original songs and release at least 1 of them.

3. BALANCED TIME for family and friends. It’s not that it wasn’t balanced last year. I’ll make it to a point that I get to always have a family time and a time for my different group of friends.

4. BUSINESS. To establish a stable business enough to sustain me and my family.

5. BLOG. I’ve been so busy at the last quarter of 2014 that I can’t even post 3 sentences on my blog. That was so unhealthy for me. Blogging is an outlet for me and it keeps me sane. It helps me reflect on the things I do, my goals, and all the other possible stuff I can think of. I promise to make a blog entry at least once a month.

6. FAITH. To always pray the rosary. Make it a habit to go to mass regularly every sundays. Pray the rosary every night and make time to visit the church on ordinary days.

7. DREAMS. Build bigger dreams and reach for it.

It’s mostly about time. I’ll try my best to achieve my goals. The first few weeks of 2015 taught me that I can dream better. I know it’s good to be contented but what if we can have more that what we think of, why not aim for it right?

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 🙂

I’m Falling In Love On How People Fall In Love… With Music.

It’s so indulging. I am in a sort of magnet that draws me closer to those people. I find it inspiring how they fall in love with something and finds a way to live with it every single day.

I’m a late bloomer. I learned a lot of instruments when I was young but never had I learned of music I wanted to play and listen to. It was always my dad saying PLAY THIS. PLAY THAT. THIS IS GOOD. THAT SONG IS BETTER. I believed him. I don’t blame him. It was my choice.

But then it was when I stopped studying (Conservatory) that I started being exposed to music that I really wanted to listen to. I search for bands, artists to artists, songs after songs and it was endless pattern. I liked it. No, loved it.

I like watching live performances, going to gigs, singing along with the crowd, staring and figuring out bass lines, getting into falling for ad libs and drum beats. Every performance is different from another, may it be frome a single artist or different bands. I like seeing through them that they love what they do and they are happy about it. Those people getting along just for the love of music… no pressure!

I’ve met a few of them and believe me when I say, they are effin awesome and surprisingly humble. Most don’t care about popularity which is only limited to wanting people to connect with their music. Some would go to gigs without talent fee because they just want to play/sing. Some would practice so late at night even after dragging pressure at work just so they could make music. They don’t care who’s who, which band is better, or that guitarist studied at the conservatory — equal.

I falling in love with the idea. And I know for a fact that I am making compositions just so that I can write one but to spread it to the world. In time, I’ll find that place where I get to be on stage again and not just be one with the crowd.

Here’s a video of my band playing one of our original songs (I’m the vocalist; wrote the lyrics and melody).

DARK ROOM (ORIGINAL) BY RIDDLE ME THIS

It’s just a bit sad that finding bandmantes is like finding the love of your lifr. You just have to put a lot of things into consideration… and it’s a commitment.

BUT EVERYTHING, I PROMISE, SOON.

Waiting (Original Composition)

How long will I be waiting for you to be in my arms?
It’s so unending waiting for nothing

Stanza 1:
When we meet again,
I guess I’d stare at your face
The on that I can’t erase
There’s a missing page
Of the book
And I can’t complete the story

Refrain:
It’s not in me and I’m figuring it out
Let me ask you a question please

Chorus:
How long will I be waiting for you to be in my arms?
It’s so unending waiting for nothing

Stanza 2:
When we keep on running in circles
Too fancy enough like in a circus
Not laughing at all
Pushing and pulling and different directions
And I don’t know where to go

Repeat Refrain and Chorus

Bridge:
A happy thought inside my head
Smiles silently and whisphers goodnight before I go to sleep
Let me ask you a question please

Repeat Chorus

Written last December 3, 2013.

Eunice’s Heart

One of the great things you can ever witness in this life is people’s passion. Seeing one perfome live with all her heart and see how much she enjoys it can move a a thousand.

Recently, I discovered this local OPM rock band named Gracenote. I don’t watch tv nor listen to the radio. Apparently, they’re famous here in the Philippines and I don’t know them. Well, that’s me. I most prolly prefer the indie scene soul, techno, jazz, dream pop, etc. They sound more like a combination of Paramore, Yellowcard, No Doubt and Sum 41 combined. But here they are scattered all over youtube and I can’t stop watching their videos especially their vocalist, Eunice Jorge.

Eunice also plays the violin, guitar, piano and drums. She’s no poser. I swear I would know. She’s really great. She plays classical and so as rock. She reminds me of who I might have become if I am not taking too much responsibility at home and in our music school. If I had made time for what I want and search for inspirations just anywhere in town… I could’ve been singing or playing my heart out just they she does it now. The way she sings, it’s so energetic. You can see how much she enjoys every inch of music around her — may it be their compo, a cover or even classical.

She’s taking me back to the conservatory I guess. For all the reasons I left and never want to come back, she’s flipping it back. She’s making me think that they are a lot of possible things which I didn’t see and I never thought I could see anymore. I hated school. I got turned off with classical music and the peoplr around it because of what I experienced. It was so hard for me to even listen to it more so play it. I turned my back to everything related to classical.

But there she is with her band, all studied classical music (I think) and I can feel their passion even with simply hearing them. No limitations, no judgements of different genres. They are open to everything and they enjoy every sense of music in here possible.

I can’t stop listening to them. I can’t stop watching their videos on youtube. It makes me idle for a while but it keeps me thinking WHAT’S THIS FOR? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? I know I don’t need to make a decision on wether or not I’ll go back to the conservatory but I want what they do or maybe I just want to enjoy music as they do — no complications and just for the love of it. I still want to continue writing compositions and I still want my band to play more gigs.

It’s the heart. That’s where you can see right through every person. That’s where you’ll see there passion and we can never be blinded by it but only INSPIRED.

But thank you, whatever it that you do, your passion it hit me hard (in a good way of course), thank you Eunice! Thank you Gracenote!

That Hurtful Place

I don’t know why it feels like it’s still haunting me but I don’t think I can ever go back to that place again. It gives me that feeling that I can’t even describe and that I am just sure that I don’t want it at all. But it’s weird that I have this longingness to go back.

I miss how I was when I was there. I miss the experience studying there. I miss the restless days and nights of practicing a dozen etudes and piece. I miss how it feels like when people around you overcriticize everything you play so intellectually and passionately. I miss how it feels to go on concerts on recital halls and auditoriums too boring enough for ordinary people. Mostly, I miss to have those kind of friends having the same passion and I miss that kind of someone who would always be there on a right timing.

But I can’t beause IT HURTS and it still does. Calling it (memories) a lie would be stupid enough for me to say just because I am hurt so won’t say it. But I am hurt. I can’t risk it. I don’t want that to happen again. I feel like there’s really a damage in me. A big part of me was broken in that place and I am just starting to fix myself again.

But I like those memories. I loved it and I miss it. But that’s what hurts most – the happiest and most precious time of my life. And I am starting to miss her again. I hate that I miss her (ex) again. I hate that I miss them (ex-friends and ex-bestfriends) again. I hate that I hate it.

To tell you frankly, I can’t even recall the details of what happened. I think my brain automatically deleted those parts because it’s just too painful for me too handle. I just know that I’m hurt and I don’t want to get hurt anymore.

Inspirations That I Don’t Want To Be

If someone would ask me to name my  inspirations, I can’t. I don’t know why but I have no one. I don’t have a role model to look up to. Is that weird? Well, mmm. When it comes to musicians, I can name a few but it would still be not up to the point that I like everything about them and everything they do. It would be just limited to their music, compositions and how they play or sing. Other than that, none. When it comes to values, none.

You know what I do? I actually have a list (well not really written) of people that I don’t want to be. It would really sound mean but I do have them. I keep in my mind the attidudes, mistakes and decisions that I don’t ever wanna make.   If I know someone who is so selfish and takes so much pride, I’d rather be selfless and be humble. If that someone can’t even clean a room, I would prolly be too well to be organized.

I don’t want to be who they are because I can. I am not saying that their full of sh** and they don’t do any good. It’s just that I can focus more on their mistakes and what it has done to them and try not to make the same ones because I know that I can do better if I wanted to.

It’s like in my teaching career, being a guitar/violin/ukulele/drums teacher, I want to be a role model to all my class. I would never ever say bad words in front (never did to anyone) of them because I don’t want them to have a bad mouth. I know someone who speaks and I don’t to be like him especially when in class.

I want to be if not the best, to be good enough for my students. I want them learn everything I know. I’d like to teach them the reason behind everything in theories. I’d like to teach them how it’s properly done. I’d like to teach them what they want to learn. Most of my students enrolled for the lesson because they want to… I want to be the reason why they want to keep playing, learning and love music. I want to answer every question they have in mind. I’d like to make connections with them. I want to be sensitive enough to their needs. I would love to give my full attention. I want them to not be fully dependent on me. I want them to grow. I want them to treat every kind of music, from classical to pop to rnb to rock, equally and with respect.

I want all those things because I never had that kind of teacher in music. When I first had my guitar lesson, I learned nothing for 24 sessions but 2 songs. I don’t know how to play anything else. When I got to conservatory, almost everyone is all about discipline and less fun. They tend to insult pop music and treat classical genre a god. I don’t know but I think I stopped loving music when I got there. It was more like I was inside a box with them saying DO THIS NOT THAT.

I guess when I feel frustrated about something or someone, I realize that I never want to be that frustration or so I can say I will stop the chain of that negative vibe and convert it to a positive one. If I’ve experienced a bad learning environment, I’ll make a better one. I love my students and they keep me going. I got lots of frustrations to people but that is my inspiration. I try to be the best that I can be. I try not to give away same bad experiences I had.

Attack?

Here it is again. It’s like an attack but it doesn’t hurt me. I don’t know exactly how it feels but it’s pushing me towards it and something tells me that I would love to stay there. There. That place without obligations, only to self – to be happy.

Am I missing something? It’s just that I know that what I’m doing is right. And I know I must do what I do –not what I want most –but obligations to family. Somebody needs to take care of them. I’m not saying this like I don’t have a choice. I love them and I’ll do everything for them. If they need me, I wouldn’t think twice to be there for them.

I’m handling our music school now. I’ve accepted to handle a dozen classes and students for home services in different places… Yes, I kinda think I am superwoman and it would be a miracle to accomodate all of them but I need to. I want to. I don’t no one could ever stop me because all I wanted for my family is to be stable financially and not worry if we can eat next week. It’s just that I’m done relying to my parents because I was frustrated more than I can think of. Long story.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate my job but it’s not what I want most. I’m not actually sure about what I want most. I haven’t given time for my dreams yet. I don’t even know what my dreams are yet. It was always for them. I dream for them and I am not used to thinking about me.

I like music. I like playing and singing. I like writing songs. I think I am good at it — not sure yet. Ugh. I’m not sure. It’s always like that and I can’t be sure until I give it time to discover, learn, be better at it and share it to people. I think I know what I want but I’m just not sure yet.

This thought takes my mind off my work. I am supposed to write arrangements and pieces for my students (I had a week to do that!) but I  crammed. You know what I did? I wrote songs and place every effort to finish it. In one week, I made 3 songs. Mmm.

Selfish thought: I wish I can just skip until I get to the part where all I do is make music and perform my heart out to people. But I know I couldn’t and I wouldn’t anyway cause that would be cheating and I don’t want to cheat on life. I wouldn’t feel what I need to feel. I wouldn’t think what I need to think. learn what I need to learn. I wouldn’t realize what I need to realize. I wouldn’t grow like how I am supposed to grow.

Curious of what I sound like? Here: Listen to me on SoundCloud! 🙂

Am I Procrastinating?

Oh, this is one of the questions that I never want to answer but maybe I am. Am I?

I’m currently in this situation that I need to work harder as a musical director (at our music tutorial center) and do some other business which I can get money from. My dad isn’t working, my mom doesn’t have enough income and my sister is graduating. That leads to me providing for my family. Appently being the musical director and an instructor (violin, drums, guitar and ukulele) can’t pay all the bills since my dad had stroke. So I me and my guy bestfriend decided to do a business – a t-shirt business. Oh wait, there’s more. Me and my bandmate decided to make productions and produce gigs for local and foreign artists. So that’s a total of 3 things I need to work on. But under those 3 are branches of list that I need to finish.

As a musical director (I am actually acting as the overall director), I do the marketing, meetings to clients and business partners. I do the teaching – I make the curriculum, modules and lesson plans. I study, arrange and write the students need to play and usually this is for quartets, ensembles and ensembles. I also do the financing and computing of all the money in and out. And even the posters and flyers – I design and edit them. Oh, and I handle all the networking sites of the school. Yes, I am superwoman.

For the t-shirt business, I need to canvass a lot of stuff – from different wholesalers of shirts to machines. I need to study costing and make designs!!!

For the production – this is actually exciting!!! Hihi. I’m good with handling events. I think I’m that person who likes everything organized much more if I am the one in charge. So I have no problem with this but…. same as the t-shirt business, we still need to do canvass the perfect venues, talk to artists and technicians and all other stuff like that.

So where’s the procrastinating part? I know there’s a long to-do list on my paper but I slept the whole day. Scratch that. Not whole day. But I sang and played. I even started to make the music of my original composition (see previous post). Maybe I was really so tired for the past months since my dad got sick. I’m really longing for a break but then I still can’t because if I stop, no one can pay the bills. Or I know what I want to do, it’s I just can’t… for now.

People Stared

I sang last night. It felt really good. I know I am not the best singer in the world (and not that I am competing with anyone, haha!) but I still have insecurities and I know I sing flats and sharps. It’s been a while since the last time me and my band had a gig and I never sung a song in front of people since then.

But last night, it felt really awesome. We were at my uncle Henry’s birthday party at a bar. He closed the whole bar for his party if I may add. There were musicians playing in trio – a guitarist, a singer and a percussionist. And my titos (aunts) and titas (uncles) requested for me to sing since they never heard me perform on stage.  So there I am, I couldn’t say no but really am scared cause I don’t have any practice at all.

People stared. I got the guitar and sang Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn and Bic Runga’s Sway. When I started singing, people started to pay attention. I just said to myself, “Shocks. This is so embarrassing. I didn’t practice at all and maybe I’m out of tune.” or something like “Ah, they’re looking cause they noticed that there’s a different singer in front of them.”. But then when I got to the chorus part, people stared and watched me the whole time. I was really flattered because I got their attention. It was a long time since I last believed in my singing and I took courage to share them to the audience… turns out they did too. I’m so happy! 🙂