Finally the fruits of my jazz school labour, available for all to see! But seriously this transcription took forever to learn so I’m preserving it forever in video form. I hope you enjoy it! If you want to follow along with the transcription, click here or the image below to download a pdf of the entire thing. Yay!
So here’s a thing I want to get better at: filming myself playing and singing. I have been down with a pain flare the last few weeks but I managed to get it together long enough to shoot one take of this gorgeous tune. I’m pretty happy with the results and I think it’s only going to get better from here.
Let me know if you have any requests for future videos!
[Recently posted this vlog about discipline in art practice. Transcription is below. Sorry my run-on-sentence ass doesn’t know where to stick a period.]
The concept of discipline, it came up a lot today. Nate Wooley came to McGill and gave a masterclass and I had a couple conversations with some students and I think James Victore made a video about art practice and discipline, like, in the last week or so, and so it’s been on my mind a lot and I wanted to make a video about it. I have a funny relationship with discipline because I don’t really believe in it in the way that a lot of people think of discipline.
The conversation I had today with this young trumpet player, um, she was under the impression that practice shouldn’t be fun. Discipline is work. And a long time ago I decided that I wasn’t going to not have fun in my life anymore. A lot of people know that I did a physics degree when I… I finished when I was 21 and that was a really, really hard time in my life, and I was really disciplined in the way that a lot of people think of it. I was really rigorously working; readings, assignments, like, no fun, just work all the time. By the end of it, I didn’t want to pick up a book, I didn’t want to think about work, it was just not on my radar whatsoever. And so even though I became a musician shortly after that I didn’t spend a lot of time practicing because I decided that if it wasn’t fun I wasn’t going to do it. And I don’t think a lot of musicians share this attitude, although it’s funny to be because why else would anybody become a musician if not to have fun? I mean it doesn’t have a great health plan and there’s not a bunch of financial security. The only reason I’m a musician is because it’s so fun. It’s a wonderful, expressive, joyful way to spend my life, not because I love hard work.
So anyway, Nate Wooley came and he talked about a concept that really spoke to me. He talked about honesty in your playing and in your practice and asking yourself the question all the time, “Is what I’m doing the most honest and does it reflect who I am right now in my life and who I want to be?” and I don’t think that the music I want to make is going to require painful discipline.
For me, having a discipline is something I do as a way to care for myself. I feel best when I wake up every day, and I write in my journal, and I write a poem, and I do a little bit of yoga, and I eat a good breakfast, and then I do my practice, my art practice for an hour. That gives me the best feeling in my life. I don’t do it because I’m afraid of playing badly, I do it because I love watching myself get progressively better as time goes on and it’s joyful to practice now, because I’m approaching it from a place of joy and not a place of fear, and not a place of worrying about, you know, being good enough. I practice because I love playing music and I love practicing. It’s fun to play the piano, it’s fun to sing, it’s fun to check a little box every single day and watch as the boxes start to stack up.
So that’s my take on discipline. I hope that’s illuminating for some people out there. I think that everybody has a really different relationship with it just based on the conversations I’ve had, the masterclasses I’ve been to, and all the videos I’ve been looking at about it. So, yeah, let me know what you think in the comments below and thanks for watching.
Hello faithful blog readers! I have returned to tell you about my latest communication obsession: vlogging! I miss a lot of what I had when I was blogging regularly (having a readership, musing in a casual way about whatever I felt like musing about, keeping friands updated about my life) but I still don’t feel like I can commit to a blog schedule in a way that would satisfy me. So I’ve decided to give vlogging a whirl.
I’m not making any rules for myself, no schedule, no format, just whatever I feel like. Sometimes these will be a talking head where I pontificate on life, the universe, and everything (like the first vlog below) or they may be accounts of my daily life jump-cut together in a jumbled way (like the second vlog below), or who knows what else!
If you enjoy them please like, share, and leave a comment!
Surprise! You’ve probably noticed I’ve gone completely dark around here and that’s because I’ve had my head in the books in a big way. But guess what! I’m coming up for air and doing three small shows in Montreal next week! Here are the details:
Monday, February 1st, 8pm
McGill Jazz Combo Tribute to Abbey Lincoln
Clara Lichtenstein Hall, 555 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC
Tuesday, February 2nd, 5:30pm
McGill Jazz Combo Tribute to Abbey Lincoln
Upstairs Jazz Bar, 1254 rue Mackay, Montreal, QC
Wednesday, February 3rd, doors: 7:30pm, show: 8pm
Renée Yoxon & Chad Linsley at Voix de Ville
The Wiggle Room, 3874 boul. St. Laurent, Montreal, QC
$10 / $8 for students
The shows on Monday and Tuesday are hour-long tributes to the music of Abbey Lincoln with my McGill Combo (Matt Schultz on guitar, Ethan Cohn on bass, Edmund Catlin on drums). On Wednesday Chad Linsley and I are participating in the Voix-de-Ville Variety Show at The Wiggle Room along with six other amazing acts!
If you’re in Montreal next week it would be fabulous to see you at one of these shows. And if you can’t make it, don’t worry, I’ll be back for real at the end of the semester!
Last Thursday I had the great (albeit sad) honour of playing at Kaitlyn Raitz‘s goodbye concert at Le Cagibi in Montreal. I met Kaitlyn late last winter when she came to me for voice lessons. She was already an incredible cellist and songwriter but she wanted to become a triple-threat! We have since become good friends. This might sound weird but Kaitlyn was one of the first musicians I’ve met who embraces (dare I say loves?) social media the same way I do. When I told her about Periscope, she was excited and immediately started using it to connect with her fans. How cool is that??
I’m really sad to see her go but since we’re both all over the internet I know it won’t be hard to keep up with everything going on in each other’s lives.
The video below is of my song Drinking Coffee, which I’m sure you’re all intimately familiar with. Kaitlyn makes this version special and one I’ll cherish always.
Here’s the deal. This Saturday, I am playing three hours of solo piano/voice for a small house party. The house party is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I will be in my small Montreal apartment with an appreciative studio audience.
How is this possible?? With the power of Periscope!
Tune in to http://periscope.tv/
But wait! There’s more!
For the full house party experience you can tune in to a live broadcast of the party guests mingling and enjoying the concert at http://periscope.tv/
If you can’t make it to the event live you can watch the replay of both periscopes until 7pm EST on Sunday. Get it while it’s fresh!!
Has this been done before? Who knows! Be a part of this thrilling experience by tuning in! Commenting! Leaving appreciations! And let me know if this incredible nonsense should happen more often!
Photo: Claude Brazeau
Hello, friends! Halloween is over, Christmas is on the way, and boy do I have some things in store for you! Recently I had the pleasure of collaborating with the fabulous Ori Dagan on The Christmas Song which we will be releasing as a single in iTunes on November 10th. Click here to pre-order it now!
We are also working on a music video for this single and we need your help. Watch the video below to find out how you can be a part of our video for The Christmas Song.
Send your Christmas photos to ori (at) oridagan (dot) com for a chance to receive your personalized Christmas card!
And this year, if you want to send the gift of music to your loved ones I have created a merch item in my bandcamp store where you can order personalized, handmade Christmas cards with a download card of Impossible: Live at Musideum included. This is the gift that keeps on giving because when you purchase this item you will immediately receive a download of the album for yourself from Bandcamp! Click here to order yours now. Merry Christmas!
Hooray! Today is the day! Impossible: Live at Musideum is finally available everywhere digital albums are sold (although some places will take longer to roll out than others.) Thank you so much to everyone who made this album possible. Thanks to Donald Quan, owner and proprietor of Musideum in Toronto for recording us; thanks to Padraig Buttner-Schnirer for an amazing job mixing and mastering the album; thanks to Rachel Ignotofsky for the beautiful album art; and an enormous thank you to Chad Linsley for being so wonderful to collaborate with.
Thanks in advance to those of you who are able to buy the record. If you can’t buy it right now, please consider sharing this post with your friends, family, and social media cohorts. Now here are some links!
And now, enjoy the title track from the album in the video below:
Today is the day! Well, two weeks before the actually, but today you can pre-order Impossible in iTunes! When you do you will receive one track from the album, Being Green by Joe Raposo. Here is a clip of that song.
The album will be released on August 31st and then the rest of the songs will automatically be downloaded to your iTunes. On that date the album will become available in all online retailers (Amazon MP3, Google Play Music, Spotify and more). Thank you so much for continuing to support this project. I’m so glad the big day is almost here!!!