Come Sail Away Cover

Sorting through videos today, I ran across this video of me practicing Come Sail Away (Styx) from last March that was one of my better sessions. It’s still not perfect (I aim for perfection when I play), but I thought I would share so that I would have a comparison video if I ever manage to master this song.

I know; I haven’t posted here in ages. I haven’t had much to share lately; and what I do have, well… this bout of depression has stolen my voice and my motivation to be social. I’m sorting through photos and videos to try to get my creativity up and running again; so hopefully, I’ll get back to posting more often. It’s been a long winter!

Sunday Sketch: Insanity

Insanity by pixygiggles
Insanity, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

Feeling playful, I worked on this sketch last night after running across the quote again. No idea who said it first or I would give credit to the source. I had hand-drawn the lettering in my sketch journal, but I hated the way the letters turned out. After scanning it in, I redid the letters. Even with the funny, turned up nose, I like the way the sketch turned out. She looks silly and mischievous. David said she looks like a “Who” (think, Dr. Seuss), LOL. ;P

Ooh, and I ran across this cool song last night while working on this sketch that I wanted to share, too. Enjoy!

Lenka – Roll with the Punches

Just Give Me A Reason (piano cover)

Just Give Me A Reason (piano cover)

I think this is one of the prettiest songs I have heard in a while. A couple of weeks ago I got this song stuck in my head. What happens when I get a song stuck in my head? I teach myself to play it on the keyboard. Within half an hour of listening to it over and over again, I had most of the song down; but I struggled with the bridge. I’m still not convinced that I translated that part as perfectly as I would have liked, but I finally got a decent recording tonight. Feedback is welcomed!

Tuesday Tune: Shostakovich – Jazz Suite No. 2: VI. Waltz 2

This has to be my favorite waltz. I’ve tried to get a decent recording of me playing it for months. I know, it’s still not perfect; but I swear, put me in front of a camera (or people, period) and I get as nervous as squirrel on coffee! Being a self-taught pianist, I struggle with rhythm. Lately, I’ve been using different drum settings or the keyboard’s metronome in order to assist me in understanding this aspect of music. Any suggestions or advice anyone could offer me to help train my ear for rhythm would be greatly appreciated.

Classical Music Playlist

I thought I would share this playlist of classical music that I put together from various YouTube channels. It’s over 3 and a half hours long, but you can pick and choose from the list here: Classical Music in Piano Bank of Casio CTK-800. Classical will always be my all time favorite style of music because of my love for the piano. I got the idea to put this particular list together from the Piano Bank of my Casio CTK-800. A few were new to me, but all are treasures that I think are worth sharing. Enjoy!

Music Box Dancer

This has been one of my favorite songs to play ever since I heard it as a child. I love this song. My version is nowhere near as good as Frank Mills original song; but if I don’t start sharing what I’m playing, I’m worried I’ll never get over my fear and anxiety of playing piano in front of people (or playing in front of the camera), lol. Constructive criticism is always welcome. I could really use some hints & pointers on timing. Since I don’t read music, this has always been my biggest challenge.

Day 70 My Refuge

Day 70 My Refuge by pixygiggles
Day 70 My Refuge, a photo by pixygiggles on Flickr.

It’s been a particularly disturbing day. I only took one other photo today. It would have been a more appropriate daily photo since it described the incident that sparked a day of pure confusion. However, I chose not to use that one because I felt it focused on the negativity that I was feeling versus the lesson that I learned from it. I’m not going to dwell on what happened today anymore by describing the incident here. I would rather use my space to provide a positive message.

I chose this as my daily photo because when I am upset, I play my keyboard to process the emotions and thoughts that I am feeling. Music provides healing for me. It always has. Everyone needs an outlet like this. Whether it’s music, sports, gaming, crafts, or whatever else comes to mind, it is important to be able to release whatever emotion you are feeling so that you can be free from it.

Having been the brunt of some vicious gossip today that not only left me with hurt feelings but left another person upset as well, I want to share this story. This story comes from the Miramax movie entitled Doubt (2008).

A woman was gossiping with a friend about a man she hardly knew. I know none of you have ever done this. That night she had a dream. A great hand appeared over her and pointed down at her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O’Rourke. She told him the whole thing.

“Is gossiping a sin?” she asked the old man. “Was that the hand of God Almighty pointing a finger at me? Should I be asking your absolution, Father? Tell me, have I done something wrong?”

“Yes.” Father O’Rourke answered her. “Yes, you ignorant, badly brought up female. You have borne false witness against your neighbor. You have played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed!”

So the woman said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness.

“Not so fast,” says O’Rourke. “I want you to go home. Take a pillow up on your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.”

So the woman went home, took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed.

“Did you gut the pillow with a knife?” he says.

“Yes, Father.”

“And what was the result?”

“Feathers,” she said.

“Feathers,” he repeated.

“Feathers everywhere, Father.”

“Now, I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out on the wind.”

“Well,” she said, “it can’t be done. I don’t know where they went. The wind took them all over.”

“And that,” said Father O’Rourke, “is gossip!”

Just a Swinging

Music has always been a very big part of my life. When I was a little girl, I could sit for hours in the swing that my dad hung from one of the high branches of an old oak tree in our yard. I would swing and sing. Over the Rainbow and You Are My Sunshine were two of my favorite songs to sing, especially on days when I felt sad or lonely. Sometimes, I would just make up songs off the top of my head. There was something meditative about that swing. There was something comforting about singing, about music in general.

I made this slide-show of some of my nature photography accompanied by me singing Down in the Valley, a traditional American folk song. I’m certainly no pro when it comes to singing, but I still find it relaxing and a lot of fun. I was always horribly shy, but I have karaoke to thank for getting me out of my shell a bit.

Art and music were always my passions. They have helped me immensely throughout my life. Never underestimate the things you love to do because you may just find that those are the things that somehow offer you the strength and courage to get through the most difficult situations in life.