If You Tune In, the Ideas… Just Come.

Last December I started collaborating on a musical. My friend Matt had written the entire script, including lyrical drafts of almost all the songs. What he needed was a composer and tunesmith who could provide musical ideas as well as craft the lyrics into workable form. I began working over Christmas break. By March 1st, we had nine songs completed, which we sang as part of a read-through with twenty or more people present. Nine songs in a little over two months! Prior this project, I have written dozens of…

A Heartfelt Connection with My Audience

This afternoon I performed a solo piano show for an enthusiastic audience which I would nearly describe as raving fans. I have performed at this venue numerous times before, and there are always really cool aspects to it, such as: audience members who always get up and dance people who address me by name and clearly look forward to having me back people who sing along with the songs I play people who line up to come and thank me afterword good food always provided 🙂 people who come to…

The Prodigal Son Returneth (Version 2.0)

A few years ago I wrote a post called “The Prodigal Son Returneth.” At the time, I hadn’t blogged for nearly 8 months, so the title suggested a sort of mock-guilty confessional tone, not uncommon in my rather anxious early days of blogging. The current pause has not been nearly as long–a more one month and about twenty days. Yet the title seemed fitting for this post, not my first time returning after blogging break! I have decided to do a daily blog post throughout the month of November. As…

Day 107: Never Belonged

I think it is very important that people accept who they are and live congruently with that, instead of trying to be who they are not.  Personally, I know what it feels like not to accept myself.  I did it for years.  In fact, it almost feels like this 365 Day Blogging Project has been a turning point,  where perhaps for the first time I am truly coming to accept myself 🙂 One of the songs I wrote this year is called “Never Belonged.”  This song resulted from a conversation…

Day 105: How I Made My Latest Music Video

My latest video, “Bagels and Chocolate Milk,” is unlike any video I have ever made.  For one thing, there are three of me on the screen at once.  For another, although I have made other rap videos before, I have never made one so unabashedly comical, if you don’t count the musical-improv comedy video I did with Michelle Petro last month. In fact, I rather think that this song represents a turning point in my entire “rap career,” if you can call it one, because perhaps for the first time,…

Day 103: Ten Years of Love Songs

So I have been writing songs for my wife for her birthday since the first year we were together.  There have been many years where I also wrote a second song inspired in some way by our relationship. Some of these I have released, or at least put on video, and some I have not. This year, I decided to revisit the very first birthday song I did for her.  I called it “A CWiggz! Birthday Surprise”  (CWiggz! is my rap stage name).  I took that song as the inspiration…

Day 62: Flower Child!

A few years back, I wrote a song for my wife for her birthday.  The song is called “Flower Child,” and it’s one of many sweet love songs I have written for her (In fact, I put out an album awhile ago completely of love songs called “I Love You”… “Flower Child” was written after this album came out).  “Flower Child” happens to be a rap song  (I have written quite a few rap love songs too). For the “Flower Child” video, I solicited footage of people dancing and singing…

Day 37: My Collaboration with Charlie Chaplin

A few months ago my wife and I went to a silent movie performance in Downtown Sacramento, where we listened to an organist playing an original score to a Buster Keaton movie and a Laurel and Hardy movie.  I was so inspired by this experience that I went home and promptly wrote my own score, to a Charlie Chaplin film excerpt.  Here is the result:   As I wrote in a previous post,  I work well with improvisation.  That’s how I wrote this piece.  Basically, I came home from the…

Day 5: Opening up the Soundcloud Vault

Hey All (Readers real and imagined): Today I have decided to share and talk a little about one of my recordings I posted up on Soundcloud…. many moons ago.  The piece is an improvisation titled “Universal Longing,” and according to my Soundcloud Account, I posted it 5 years ago. Take a listen, then we shall discuss 😉 So a couple things about this recording: 1) Yes, this is an improvisation.  And what that means, as it usually does for me, is that I gave very little “thought” beforehand to the…