A Riff in Time

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Jazz has never been my strong suit when it comes to playing music on the instruments I perform on. I have played in jazz bands before, and I can simulate the style with ease, but when it comes to improvising a riff, forget it. My creativity goes to hell in a hand basket.

I am an extremely creative person in many areas of my life, but when it comes to music, the area I have studied the most, an area that one would call creative, is one that I feel stifled in due to my classical training. I am highly glued to the written page.

I recently joined the group pictured above as a permanent sub on Sax to work on my sax chops since it is the instrument that I probably get the least performance opportunities on. It is a jazz orchestra, but it doesn’t require much to any improv, thank the heavens above. But it will at least help me to hone the jazz style once again to help me become even more versatile.

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These are pictures of the two musicals I have played that have required the most instruments in one show. The first picture is from the one I just got done playing this past weekend. As of right now, I own 10 different wind instruments. I recently did a photo shoot with all of my instruments. The photographer is still working on tweaking the photos, so I don’t have them yet. Unfortunately, I forgot one of the 10 when we went for the shoot. Which drives me crazy. So I am looking for an excuse now to purchase another auxiliary instrument so I can do a reshoot with her to get it right.

The photographer’s boyfriend mixes different sound clips and makes his own beat samples and has been talking about having me come up with some wind instrument riffs to go along with his beats. This is DEFINITELY an area I have not ventured down yet, but am open to, as long as he is willing to work with my ignorance and noviceness. Hopefully this is something I can get decent at if I keep trying as it would open even more avenues for me. I have been gaining a ton of followers on Twitter that are music producers and business promoters etc. that look for this sort of product. So I feel that I already could potentially have the connections without even trying. I have gotten very lucky on Twitter with visibility and have several verified followers and many people in the music industry following me without me seeking it out. It would be great if this all fell together somehow.

My birth cousin was looking for someone to compose a little diddy for a play she was directing at a high school. There were lyrics written where a landlady was supposed to sing a little song to herself but there was no music to go along with it. I composed a little two verse Melody for the written lyrics for the play. And I have never been much of a composer. So I am proud of myself for giving that a shot.

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This picture was from one of my first important performances back in high school. All-State Honors Band. Lately I have been sacrificing my performance career for “the good of my family” because the husband has been working all the time and that makes more money then my sporadic performances. But I am no longer wiing to sacrifice my performance career. It makes me happy. It does make me money. And it could be more steady, but it takes a while for me to get there, and I need to keep building my connections, my auxiliary instrument inventory, my playing skills and my resume in order to make that happen. And I will never get there by constantly turning opportunities down just because I don’t have a built in babysitter at my disposal or because his work has always taken more precedence because it makes more money, even if that money gets squandered away when it’s in his hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/riff/

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Feeling Famous

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Today I received an email from a professor at Fairleigh Dickenson University, a composer, asking me if I would be interested in taking a look at some of his recent compositions for clarinet. I just resigned from two different community colleges as the Adjunct Clarinet Instructor, but he sent this email to my direct email address, and it wasn’t flagged as coming through my website either. I think I may have the actual email address written out on my website somewhere, so he could have just copied it rather than linking to it. I never attended or taught at or that close to that University, nor do I have any connections at that University. I have NO idea how he found me. It is times like these that make me feel semi-famous in my little music world. To know that I was scouted out in some way, that my opinion matters in the clarinet and University/Professional level composer world means something to me.

I know I will never be the principal of the New York Philharmonic, or a big shot soloist. I made the decision a long time ago while I was still in college and met my to be husband that I wanted a family and I knew that meant I would need to make sacrifices in my career. Right now I’m still not quite where I want to be, especially recently because my husband has had to take 2 full time jobs to help us out financially which has meant that I have even had to turn down some gig opportunities because I need someone home with our 10 year old, and I don’t have many sitter options. I am hoping that as she gets older and within the next few years when she is able to start staying home by herself at night as well that I am able to start taking and seeking out more gig opportunities again. I miss playing more. I still perform, but hardly anywhere near what I used to, and even then it wasn’t as much as I had wanted to. I am 40. I’m getting up there in terms of music career to be feeling like I haven’t even really broken in the way that I have wanted to. I started a bit later having a kid (I started by raising my older step kids first, so I didn’t have my biological daughter till I was 29). I hope it’s not too late by the time I’m actually able to get myself back out there. The one thing I have going for me that’s unique is that I can play 3 instruments almost equally well, Clarinet (my primary), Flute and Sax. There are people who play all three in order to play pit orchestras, but not many can actually play the level of solo repertoire on all 3 the way that I can. I am able to play a full length solo recital and play all 3 instruments with equivalent level solo material on all 3 instruments, which makes for something that is not really done. So I hope that I am able to begin re-pursuing that in a few years again.

Emails like the one I got today are little reminders that my name is out there. People in other states have heard of me. I hope that this will work to my advantage 6 years from now when I really work on becoming famous for real. Fingers crossed.

My Professional YouTube Channel

Would love for you to give a listen to  my recordings of me playing and subscribe to my channel 😘

 

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(Yes, those are all my instruments, I played all of them in the pit orchestra for a musical a few years ago)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/famous/