A Sexy Track Gets a Makeover! 

SUNDAY AUGUST 18, 2019 

Hi all! 

I’m very excited because a sexy instrumental track I began working on last year is FINALLY now complete; STEAMY ESCAPADES! I’ve had a work-in-progress version here on my website for a little while, but since then, I’ve added a seductive saxophone to the track as well as a couple of cool mysterious synths. Exactly one year ago today, I started this track. And it never felt complete... until today!

This is BY NO MEANS the song that I started talking about back on Valentine’s Day this year. (That one, “Set On You,” will have lyrics/vocals.) But I may put it in the same album or EP of sexy tracks I have in the works. 

This genre is another one of my strong suits, in addition to making inspiring military music. Making sexy music like this always gives me life. And there is more coming! 

Temporarily I'm keeping the old version on my track here, in case anyone is curious to hear the difference between the versions. (Who knows, maybe there is a need somewhere for that version!) The new one has even more of a Paul Hardcastle smooth jazz feel now, I think. Especially with the newly-added sax!!

Click on the image to hear it for free on Soundcloud! Thanks so much for listening, and stay tuned for more! 

My time at the ASCAP Expo 2019...! 

TUESDAY MAY 14, 2019 

Hi all! 

I had an amazing time at the ASCAP Expo 2019! An unbelievable amount of knowledge and inspiration was gained, and I still couldn’t see everything I wanted to go to! But I had a great time and got to meet plenty of interesting and talented people! 

This time I gravitated more toward the songwriting panels, now that I’m getting back into songwriting and training my vocals (details on that on another post!). I did go to a film scoring feedback panel lead by Bear McCreary (the composer for Defiance on SyFy! I miss that show!), and it was fascinating to see what other composers did with a certain scene and compare it to what Mr. McCreary himself did. One take-away I got from that that I don’t remember from anywhere else… “Who’s Point of View are you showing with your music?” That was really cool! I loved the “We Create Music” panel and the Limitless Songwriting panel, and another songwriting panel had instructors form the Musician’s Institute talk about their advice on how to write songs. I took a bunch of notes!!!

The "Battle of the Music Directors" event was both entertaining and educational... It made me think about the descriptive language used by music supervisors when they are looking for certain types of songs or music tracks to license for their projects. It also made me want to heavily evaluate the production music I'm creating for licensing, so that it can be even more "discoverable." I'll be working on it! 

Questlove’s discussion with ASCAP chairman Paul Williams opened my eyes a little more about collaboration in songwriting… And even though I like to create my music on my own, down the road I should co-write with somebody. It’s just easier for me to go it alone, but… maybe, really,  it’s harder? I don’t know,  I’ve never co-written a song with anyone other than my sister so far. But I suppose it won’t hurt to try.

The networking was… pretty much everything I was afraid it was going to be, at first. As an introvert, it’s one of the main reasons I typically always avoid these things, unfortunately. On the first night I didn’t know who to start with and where to go, and I just stood around like an idiot sometimes, and it was hard to talk over so many voices going on at once.  And I didn’t want to interrupt anyone's conversations that might’ve changed people’s lives for the better if I didn’t butt in. But once I got into it, I got to talking to some very nice and interesting musicians, and even tried out some tasty hot buffalo [chicken? quail? some bird?] treats. The next two evenings over there were easier for networking, and I met some more awesome musicians. This Expo actually gave me a reason to bring a bunch of my business cards, which I hadn’t had much of an opportunity to pass around for along time. (At least this time, all my info on the cards were correct. Back in 2011, some of my contact info changed after a year, so whoever had my cards then, wouldn’t be able to reach me now by email or phone. But that’s life, I guess.) 

You know, with all this new information and inspiration, I’m even more motivated to finish up some new tracks I still have sitting in my computer. Some are literally a LISTEN-OVER or two away from being done! The whole thing made me realize how much I really need to update my Soundcloud account with more music. Even if they are rough-drafts of my songs. I know some people speak against showing songs or tracks on Soundcloud until it’s absolutely perfect and done and crystal clear and perfect and (did I mention perfect?) and polished, but the whole beauty of how so very cool Soundcloud can be is how a song develops and inviting people into the process of creating a new track can be interesting.  I just need to be more active on Soundcloud, period. That, and maybe decide on one other social media platform I can use for more constant updates, or another way to contact other people in the music industry. (Twitter?? or Tumblr???) 

Thank you ASCAP Expo 2019, for helping me meet such wonderful music people, and for validating why music is my life. I'm even thinking of going next year! Not positive on that yet, but it may be likely! 

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned…!

Updates + Ready for the ASCAP Expo! (Almost!) 

TUESDAY APRIL 30, 2019

Hi all!

After 8 whole years, I'm finally going to attend this year's ASCAP Expo!

The event has yet to start, and I'm already feeling so inspired! A little nervous about networking, but more inspired! There are more panels in this convention than I can be able to go to! Just to be in the same place with other musicians and people in the music industry will be a cool experience. 

Last time I went to an ASCAP Expo I had a different (non-Bandzoogle) website that showed what I THOUGHT was my best work. At the time, I really did think it was my best work, but this time around, what I had back then just wouldn't cut it today. I've been using Bandzoogle since 2011, however, and with my website revamp last year, now showcasing new quality tracks created in Logic Pro X, I think I have a better chance of making any sort of impression. Hopefully good ones! 

As for my projects, I've been on a recent World music kick lately, and I am still chipping away at my inspiring Military music. It's starting to look like I will have two albums worth of the latter! Now I need to decide which tracks to group together, and what titles to give to these albums! I've already been doing some brainstorming for that... :) 

And I know I've probably piqued some people's interest with my previous post about a new love song, inspired by... (gasp) Transformers comic books?! Me oh my! That will come in due time. :)  I'm in the process of refining the music for the song and working out some melodic issues in the verses of the lyrics, but other than that, it's coming along! And I can't wait to tease it to you guys sometime in a near-future post! 

Exciting projects are underway... and with that, exciting opportunities for learning and inspiration at a musician's convention, like the ASCAP Expo! Thanks for reading, and Stay Tuned...! 

Working on a steamy new Love song... 

THURDAY FEBURARY 14, 2019

Hello all! 

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! ♥

As you know, one of my major focuses in music right now is currently the Inspirational Military genre. I absolutely love creating the music in that genre, and will continue to create more of it this year. But my other strong suit?

Sexy/seductive  music... whether it's instrumental or with lyrics and vocals. What people sometimes like to call "baby-making" music.

I've written love songs before... I've fallen in love before... But these days, the sexy style of music I create is not coming from personal experience. 

It's inspired by fiction, even when it's in the form of comic books. 

I've said earlier that Transformers inspired a lot of my military music. However, it's not limited to only that. The most recent Transformers comic books, while having heavy war themes for sure, also had poignant themes of love and relationships. And after having read the last issue of Transformers: Lost Light (formerly Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye by James Roberts) I got even more inspired to create more of the type of music that can get people to, well...  feel pretty romantic with each other.

When fiction this powerful and beautiful (with equally beautiful artwork!) touches the heart this much, it's no wonder I've been so inspired lately...

And I don't know whether it's all the cozy rainy days this week, or inspiring artwork I've found that some artists have created of these amazing characters, but at this point I've not only already finished the music, but have just about finished all the lyrics too! Within a matter of only days!

And all I need to do now, is to record my singing of it and share it with you guys. ♥

So before I end this post, I'll leave you with a little tease... In fact, maybe because it's Valentines Day, I'll the love and leave you with two!

Firstly, who my muses are:  two Transformers, one of which is a Medic and the other is his sword-wielding best friend. 

Secondly, the TITLE... which is "Set On You", part of the whole phrase in the song "My heart is set on you..."

Alright! Stay tuned for more updates, coming VERY SOON!!! 

My Old "Baby" Keyboards! 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2018

Hi all!

I always get a little nostalgic during the holidays. Why? 

Well, one of the many reasons is because I start to remember one of my favorite childhood Christmas Days… the one back in the early 1990’s, when I got my first electronic music making instrument… 

I was doing some major bedroom cleaning this past summer, because, well... a clean and orderly workspace/bedroom will be a lot easier to create my music in, and less stressful. I'd rather focus on making music, not going through years-old collections of junk mail I never open! But during that time, what do I re-discover?

My old little piano keyboards, tucked away behind a bookshelf!! 

There’s a funny story to these things. One of them was actually a gift to both me and my sister Sara in 1992, for Christmas. It had all sorts of instruments sounds and synthesizers, and little pre-loaded tunes that we could play along to. But the drawback was, we could only play 2 notes on it at a time.

Our parents eventually got another keyboard… the exact type with the same buttons and setting and... everything! No we each had one... 

Well, it occurred to me and my sister that sometimes, you need more than 2 notes to make better music! If one person used BOTH of the keyboards at once, we could play up to FOUR notes at the same time! That was like an upgrade! So sometimes, I would play both keyboards at the same time, and then my sister would want to play them too, but we had to take turns and share, waiting for the other to stop playing both of these keyboards before the other sister can. Somehow, we made it work, though! :) 

My sister and I still made use of these little keyboards even while we had new larger Yamaha piano keyboards given to us by our Grandma when we turned 13 year old, bless her. She wanted both of us to have our own big keyboard to make music on. Sometimes we would jam together with one of us on a big new keyboard and the other sister on both the little Casio keyboards. And we would record these “jam sessions” on… guess what? Audio cassette tapes! That’s right! Back then, we lived and breathed audio cassette tapes, whether we listened to them, or got to recording on them. (I guess that’s why we think Soundwave and Blaster from Transformers G1 are so awesome, because they transform into boomboxes or sound systems with tape decks, haha. But I digress…!) 

Later I’d go on to also use both types of keyboards for recording my more serious songs at the time during my high school days, including the anti-smoking jingle we came up with in high school. (That’s another project I plan on improving someday with my professional tools in Logic Pro now!) 

I’ve cleaned these old keyboards out, but I’ll have to see if they still even work. Perhaps I can update this blog post to say whether they do or don’t, but just seeing them always makes me think of how much fun I had playing on those things.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more! 

My Future in in My Hands... When They're Healthy 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2018

Hi everyone!

Hands are the keys to a musicians music. So when your hands are heavily compromised, not only is your daily life compromised, your music can be compromised too. 

From October 26 to November 29, my hands were ravaged by dyshidrotic eczema. All of my fingers and both my palms were completely covered in bubble like blisters just under the skin that itched and hurt like HECK. The back of my hands didn't have blisters but the itchy red blotches craved a good scratching constantly. It was maddening at times... so maddening I would give in and rub and scratch them like crazy. But I paid for that dearly, with my hands becoming swollen. My fingers turned more difficult to bend without feeling like they were going to break. 

The bubbly blisters not only showed up on my fingers… My palms were completely covered in them too, and eventually they converged into one long blister along my palm lines that made it especially difficult for me to bend my hands or close them. The thick skin from the top of my palms peeled off dramatically and left large areas of fresh new skin delicate and burning with anything that came into contact with it. I had cracking skin and fissures that stung horribly with little movement. Holding many objects were impossible. My sister, Dad, and Mom needed to do many things for me. Even my poor mom, who is battling cancer again, offered to spoon-feed me my favorite cereal when it got too painful for me to hold a spoon on one of her good days. I am so grateful I live with family who are here to help me when something as disheartening as this happens and makes me basically useless for a while.

This skin disorder was triggered by several things. For one thing, I never got it before until I had to take I.V. medication for my leg infection, once in March and then again in April, the second of which led me to acute renal failure in the spring. This skin problem tends to start on people after they’ve had I.V. medication, and comes back during stressful situations like life changes/situations (new baby or severe family illness) or if hands come in contact with certain metals like nickel, chemicals. Also, I wash my hands too much because I don’t like when they have to stay dirty. I was decluttering my room without protective gloves and using Clorox surface wipes... chemicals. Sometimes I wore gloves during chores or decluttering buy my hands looked fine, and I figured as long as I put on some lotion or hand cream after washing them so they don’t get cracked, they’ll be fine. Well, in the middle of November my mom had complications from her treatment and my Dad took her to ER, and he stayed with her while Mom was admitted to the hospital for a few days. I got so worried about Mom, and on top of that, there were other stressors that week that in just two days, my hands went from healthy and fine, to blistery and itchy along most of my fingers. My Mom and I talked this over when she was feeling better that I don’t blame her for this at all, because it couldn’t be helped what happened to her. But she insisted that when I saw a dermatologist/doctor about my hands once it was bad enough that I mention it was in fact the sudden stress that began the onset.

 

 

November 12, 2018I didn’t realize how much I depended on my hands until it hurt so much to use them. I was still decluttering my room/studio workspace and over-washing my hands in October. Then one stressful thing after another occurred mid-month, with a family illness and the intense worry about what could happen, and then came the worst flare-up of dyshidrotic eczema I’ve ever had this year. It went away on it’s own before, but this time it led to infection on BOTH hands. It hurt to move them, even a little bit! Antibiotics eventually helped the infections, but the eczema stayed, of course. I couldn’t hold a pen or spoon or anything without bad pain and itching and the feeling like my hands were on fire. The skin on all my fingers and half of both my palms completely peeled off. The whole thing flared up again in the middle of November even worse on brand new skin, just after it looked like my hands would finally be healing. It was a nightmare!

In the last week of November I finally got an appointment with a good dermatologist who prescribed me a strong corticosteroid ointment that worked fairly quickly, and actually gave the skin on my hands a chance to heal! For 2 weeks thought, I couldn't live without Vaseline. My hands constantly needed a layer of Vaseline on them all the time, otherwise the second I start drying my hands off after washing them, they dried out so lightning fast that I was too afraid to move them much until I put Vaseline on them, practically while they're still damp. Vaseline is a lifesaver.

 

 

 

 

I have to admit, momentum was pretty much lost for my music projects for some time when I couldn't even use my computer to work on them, or write any ideas down for several weeks. It really sucked! I didn't know when this ordeal would be over, but now that my hands have healed, I can get back on track with my music work, as well as being able to be there for my family and being able to literally lend a hand or two when they need help with anything. 

My future really IS in my hands...

A Fresh New Look, Plus... I am on SOUNDCLOUD! 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2018

Hi everyone! 

Guess who's back and revved to roll out some new music! (Me, that's who! With an updated theme to boot!) 

But before you wonder about it, allow me to make that announcement I’ve put off for to long to announce: I have some of my music on SoundCloud!!! 

Now, technically, my Soundcloud account is not new. In fact, I've had it for a quite few months now. But I wasn't quite ready to show it yet, not at least until I had more than three tracks on it. And on there, I want it to be REALLY GOOD STUFF. 

But the super nice thing about Soundcloud? I can share with listeners some things I've been working on that are works in progress... BEFORE they're even done...  and I may even talk about the process during the creation of the tracks! Cool, huh?  

I mean... It's about WAAAY more than just that, but that 's all I'll say about it at the moment. For now, treat your ears to some new sounds from me! Stayed tuned for updates!

 

To Hell and Back Again... 

SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2018

Hello all, 

At some point in all our lives, there’s a time where we develop a health scare. And last month, for me, that health scare was called Acute Renal Failure. 

Basically, my kidneys were shutting down because I accumulated a toxic level of intravenous antibiotics I needed to use to treat a cellulitis infection on my lower left leg. That, and probably having taken some high-dose Motrin pills for the pain in my leg I had earlier from a lanced hematoma.   

Let me back things up a bit. Earlier this year, what started as a small red area on my leg developed into a large red area that needed antibiotics to treat it. When two different antibiotics (Keflex and Bactrim) in pill form didn’t help, I needed to use antibiotics through I.V., which was Vancomycin administered for one hour 3 times a day. When the infection seemed to get worse, I had to be hospitalized for 2 nights from March 16 to March 18 for observation to try out using a combination of two different intravenous antibiotics and another in pill form, and then went home with another week’s worth of two I.V. antibiotics to treat the infection. It seemed to work, until the area got red again, this time with a hematoma. I thought the hematoma was an abscess, so at Urgent Care I had it drained, very painfully, but it was just blood that came out.  Still, I was given Clindamycin to treat the area or at least prevent further infection, but though the wound was protected, the area was still red. So now I needed to start Vanco again on April 17, but with six I.V. line restarts in the 2 weeks of intravenous medication in March, I needed to have a PICC line inserted into my arm so that the medicine won’t be painful going in anymore. Every 2 days for 2 weeks in March I needed to go back to Urgent Care and change the I.V. line because it got painful/infiltrated.  

The Vancomycin didn’t bother me at first back in March, and blood tests after 3 doses showed I was taking in the right amount of the medication into my system. But I couldn’t get the PICC line started until April 18th, and before I could use the PICC line I needed to get the Vancomycin in though an I.V. line that was in a painful place on my right hand… the one place I never wanted it, but it came in handy when I couldn’t t use the PICC line yet. I had to start my morning dose late on April 18, and because of that, the blood test from the Vancomycin trough couldn’t be done until the next morning. I’d be 5 doses in before the blood test. But after 3 doses I was already feeling pretty sick, and I didn’t understand why.  

I started feeling nauseous all the time and lost all desire to eat or drink. My arms and legs felt like they would fall asleep if I stood still for a few seconds or if I hang my arms at the sides, and I had to shake my arms or legs to relieve the pain. I just generally felt miserable, cold and achy and just did not want to eat. The worst part was not drinking anything. When you take antibiotics, it’s important to drink liquids especially water to help flush out the excess medication out of your system. But I wasn’t even doing THAT. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and not put anything in my mouth, also for fear of throwing up whatever I ate or drank.  

I went to get a blood test done April 19 for the Vancomycin trough (which was ordered by the doctor and is always a part of taking intravenous antibiotics), feeling sick that morning too. And to my horror about 3:30pm, I got a call from the Home Infusion pharmacy that my blood test came back showing highly elevated levels of Vancomycin and creatinine, meaning my kidneys started to get really affected by the medication. I got really scared. I was asked how fast I could get to Urgent Care, and was told that I needed I.V. fluids started to begin flushing my kidneys to get them working again. My mom took me to Urgent Care, where they started I.V. on me and wheeled me to the Emergency Center where I was put in an observation room temporarily until I’d be admitted to a regular room upstairs. Later I found out that my Vancomycin levels and creatinine levels were even higher because of the sixth dose I took soon after the Vancomycin trough blood test. I won't say what the levels were here, for fear of my sister finding out before she is ready to know them (and she'll let me know when she is). But the levels were... um, pretty bad.

I was visited by a nephrologist who determined that I needed dialysis to clean my blood of the Vancomycin. I’d get a temporary access catheter inserted into my jugular artery, and hearing about that got me even more scared about how serious this whole thing was. I was told I’d only need dialysis once or twice, and then “We’ll see.” I still couldn’t eat anything much at all and only held down sips of ice water and some clear soda. I was never without a green throw-up baggie, and often fought the urge to vomit just from thinking about the flavors and smells of food that I didn’t like. Dialysis wasn’t painful, but because my blood was a little cool going back into my body, I was shaking and shivering uncontrollably most of the time from the cold that not even warmed blankets could keep me warm for too long. I had dialysis for 3 hours on April 20, and for 4 hours on April 21, the second treatment to remove more Vanco and remove at least 2 liters of fluid that was accumulating in my body that I couldn’t pee out fast enough yet. After that, the doctors wanted to see if my kidneys would kick back in again and do what they’re supposed to do.  

This is me at the hospital with the jugular catheter in my neck for the 2 dialysis treatments. 

Around Monday April 22, I was only able to tolerate frozen fruit snacks like Italian ice, a strawberry flavored one and an lemon one. I couldn’t do jellos. I seemed to hold it down okay until the next day, I had hot tea after the Italian ice... then I lost that. Later because I only had sugar from the Italian ice, I got horrible stomach cramping that couldn’t be helped by going to the bathroom. It was a constant ebbing pain in my stomach that wouldn’t let up. It got so bad it triggered retching. I was given Tylenol for the pain, but when that didn’t help, I was recommended Norco. So I agreed to take it, and that might’ve been why I was able to fall asleep thru most of the night until 6am. But the pain came back several times the next day, and each time it seemed less bad. My hope was that the pain would not come a third day, and thankfully I was right. Tuesday the 24th, I was able to handle veggie broth. Days before, even the smell of any food, including broth, sent me into a retching heaving mess. But I needed to take in something besides sugary Italian ice, which might’ve caused a reaction in my stomach when nothing else was in there for several days. Veggie broth was okay for breakfast, a little beef broth for lunch... and I barely touched the dinner of cream of mushroom soup. But I think because I didn’t eat just sugary stuff, my stomach pain became less a problem. On the 25th, the first complete meal I had was tomato soup… oh my god, it was so delicious. Wow, I actually had something I thought was delicious. It made me believe that yes, I’d be able to eat again one day. But I was far from out of the woods. I wouldn’t be released from the hospital until I was actually eating again… eating actual food again... and I wasn’t sure how long before then that I’d go home.  

By the evening on the 25th, I was upgraded to regular diet (low sodium though) and I tried my best to eat my dinner, although I could only stomach the bland chicken soup that came with it and the little bit of brown rice and quinoa. This time I was asked which choices I’d like for breakfast on April 26, and the cheese omelet was the best thing to go with. I only ate about half of that, but it was a good start, and I got to have some more tomato soup with lunch. One of the two internal medicine doctors that came to check on me daily came in and told me it’s possible with how well I was doing, that I may go home later that day. I’d been off the I.V. fluids for a couple of days or so, and I no longer needed the dialysis, and my levels were improving. By 1:45pm, I had the jugular catheter removed from my neck, and by 3:00pm, I had the PICC line removed from my arm, since I no longer had need for it. So by 5:30pm Thursday April 26, I was back home with my family. I’d miss all the amazing nurses at the hospital who took care of me there, but I was ready to come back home more than I realized.

And I already had an amazing nurse by my side through it all; my mom. She was with me though this process the whole way through… she helped feed me when I could barely eat or drink and helped me out of bed during the day, and even helped me pull the I.V. pole while I took walks with her down the hospital hall about 3 times a day. We nicknamed the I.V. pump "Beepy" because sometimes it beeped loudly about 5 - 10 minutes after being unplugged from the wall, and it couldn't hold a charge too well. (The hospital encouraged walking several times a day to prevent weakness form lying in the hospital bed all the time.) Walking was my favorite part of the day pretty much. But back to my point, Mom being with me was what probably made whole thing this easier to deal with, and the nurses appreciated her knowledge about my sickness because she is a retired nurse after 41 years in nursing. My dad and sister came by a couple of times, and Mom was wise to tell them about my dialysis after I’ve had it done the two times already so that they know I was okay, and so they wouldn't be surprised to see a tubing coming out of the side of my neck. It would've scared them and worried them for sure, but they were glad it was over and that the dialysis helped me significantly.

Among other things, probably one of the hardest parts of this experience was being separated from my twin sister for as long as 8 days. We never spent that long apart, EVER. I thought the 3 days in the hospital in March was long enough, but this was more than twice as long.  

Right now, I’m just about feeling like my old self again. I’m eating almost normally, although now I have to dilute my juice sometimes, and I need to watch my salt a little for now. My whole body was swelling before from all the I.V. fluid, but it’s all gone down. And so has my weight... I not only lost all the 9+ pounds of fluid I retained form all the I.V. there, I also lost about 9 pounds of body weight too because I hadn't eaten in a few days. (Not the best, NOR the healthiest way to lose the weight, but maybe it will inspire me to keep it down.) Fortunately, I hardly feel nauseous anymore. And I can shower easily now that I sent have any access lines on me. And sleeping in my own bed is a beautiful thing. Plus, easy access to my bathroom. I'm getting back on my walking several days a week, which will be good for the swelling in my legs too. As for the infection on my leg, it's pretty much gone, but there is still a dark discoloration where it was, and now  I wear medical compression stockings on both of my legs to keep the swelling down from edema, as well as to reduce the chance of any more infections. 

I hate that this is making me push back a bunch of good music projects I’ve been working on, and it will take me a little longer to get them done, but I've been getting back on them. I still haven’t announced that exciting thing I wanted to announce, but that will have to wait next time. 

Stay tuned, and stay healthy. ♥

New Year, New Visions 

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 15, 2018 

Hello all! 

Happy New Year!  

With a fresh new batch of 365 days, it’s always the perfect time to look forward to good things that will come our way, and also the perfect time to refresh things that have otherwise gotten stale... 

Sometimes it’s a chance to return to old projects and give them a whole new energy. I’m planning to give some of my old music projects a REAL serious do-over, and I've already started the process! Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my tracks… but some need more attention than others that I’ve done. 

I admit I have a lot of VERY old tracks here, stuff that probably shouldn't even be in this website. But over the course of the year, I hope to change that, now that I have a new computer and software to boot. And it's a new year, so I've no excuses anymore! 

 

Here's a list of just some of the tracks I will improve with Logic Pro (there may be more): 

"Alike"

"Keep the Hope Alive"  

"The Mechanical Marvel"

"Beyond Circuits and Wires"

"I’ll Show You"

"Love Circuit"

 

Love Circuit is a track I’m really excited about revamping, because it’s near and dear to my heart for many different reasons.  The Mechanical Marvel is another one of my old tracks I love as well, and I really want it to shine with a much better sound than how I made it on my old GarageBand 3. Logic Pro will definitely do it justice! For now, the old tracks will remain in the website, but I may remove them later and replace them with the new and improved versions.

In any case, I will be working on these, in addition to continuing working on more Inspirational Military music and my upcoming Techno album! Also, I’ve got some very exciting news, but I will hold off on telling about that until another post. I want to deliver the news just right! 

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more! 

A “Flight” of “Passion” : Two new tracks! 

WEDNESDAY JUNE 7, 2017 

Hello all! 

I have two new tracks ready! One of which is (GASP!) NOT orchestral!  

“Jump-start the Passion" is probably going to be the first track I’ve uploaded to YouTube that does not sound anything like piano/strings pieces or more orchestral pieces like “Aerial Warfare” and ‘The Only Way is Forward”. This time, I use synthesizers and an electric guitar, and BIG drums. And it’s got a really sexy sound. Something like this would go well in either a car commercial or in an adult film. I would love to make a lot more weird, sexy music like this one in the near future. 

If you listen very carefully, the guitar pitch-bend at the end of the track is used earlier midway in the music, but I reversed it using a different music-editing app on a tablet. 

 

The other piece, "Adventure Flight", is indeed orchestral, but it is a lot more cheerful than most of my pieces either uploaded or in progress. I’m more of a “Minor Scale” girl, but occasionally I think up pieces that are happier in its energy. As I state in the video description, originally it was not about flight, but I still wanted to bring out a sense of adventure in the piece and it began to turn out more like music that could be used in a flying scene. Hence, the title Adventure Flight.  

Now that I have a new workstation where I’ll be able to upload my videos more easily, the flow of completed projects should become a lot steadier.  Hope you’ve enjoyed, and stay tuned for new tracks!

The Move to iMac and Logic Pro 

WEDNESDAY MAY 17, 2017

Hello all! 

You know how when you almost wish you’d done something a few years ago? That’s me, right now! 

Recently I had to make the necessary move to a new computer, because with the old system on my nearly 10-year old MacBook Pro laptop I was unable to upgrade my web browser to an adequate version. As a result, I haven’t been able to upload any of my select music works to YouTube or make any updates to this website. And that can be a nightmare for ANY musician.  

But now I have a powerful new iMac!!! 

Yes, it may be less portable than the laptop, but it makes up for it with a great amount of storage space (1TB) and a larger screen, which is really nice. I’ll be able to use Drop Box again to send or receive large files that I need to work with, so the portability issue is more or less not really an issue.  

With getting this new Apple computer, however,  I decided it was finally time to also get Logic Pro, the “professional“ version of GarageBand. Don’t get me wrong… Not to say that GarageBand can’t be used by professionals, and it has been wonderful to me all these years in scoring for short films. I will continue to use it on my iMac too. But where GarageBand is like a simple calculator, Logic Pro is like… a scientific calculator, maybe even a programming one (especially if the Advanced Tools are enabled)! It is closely similar to GarageBand but can be EXTREMELY complex, which is why I’ve been holding off on even getting it for the past few years. I intend to learn my way around it inside and out over the course of some time.  

I’m beyond excited about this, because with all the Jam Packs included in this software, it will be a lot easier to get my ideas out. Last post I announced I’m working on a Techno album. With so many different Techno music synthesizers and software instrument beats/loops to choose from  and edit, I may be able to accomplish this a lot more quickly! Likewise with my New Age relaxing music album for yoga, there are more sounds that I’ve never would’ve dreamed of using before until getting Logic Pro. I’ve probably needed this forever! But I guess in a way, I saved plenty of money not having gotten yet another computer years ago. So I don't think it's all that bad waiting until now to get an upgraded workstation. 

I’ll continue to use my old laptop for live MIDI recording here and there, but more primarily soon I’ll be using the iMac for my main music projects.  

I owe it to my Mom and Dad for supporting me in helping me afford my computer, so that my music goals are even more possible than ever before. Thank you. ♥ 

There will be new music soon! So please stay tuned! ♬ ♬

Updates and Upcoming projects! 

TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2017

Hello all,

I wanted to take a moment to tell you about a couple of upcoming projects that I plan to really get out there!

I love creating music for the film score genre, but of course I'm not limited to just that!

Although I'm not really big on yoga, I do love the relaxing music that can be used during yoga exercises. I plan on making an album of relaxing yoga music using instruments such as flutes and synthesizers. There are probably millions of albums of this type of music out there already, but I think I can bring something good to the genre. I've always believed music to be therapeutic for not only the body but the soul as well... and the heart. If anything, I want to try making a yoga music album and see where that takes me! 

Secondly, I am also planning on making a Techno music album! I've loved Techno/Rave dance music ever since I found out it existed when I was in middle school (sooooo long ago!). The beat just pumps you up, and it's hard NOT to move to it when you feel it all around you. 

I'm hoping to get these albums available to everyone for digital sale sometime next year. Hopefully much sooner! In the meantime, I am finishing up some nearly-done tracks, and last month I've begun work on Part 2 of my "Aerial Warfare" music project! So please stay tuned, and check back later for more!
 

The New Year Brings Changes... 

TUESDAY JANUARY 10, 2017

Hello all,

Happy New Year, as it is now 2017... and with a new year comes big changes. Some of them we want, and some of them we don't want. But right now, I'll talk about one change that I DO want.

As you might know, I've pretty much kept the design on my website to always red and black. Red is my favorite color and in using that color on my website, the passion I have for music as well as creating it, is shown through that.

Ever since using Bandzoogle to make my website (thank you so much Bandzoogle! ) there have been many improvements made with design templates and looks for designing the site. 

So during January and February, I will be changing the looks of this site a bit... or DRASTICALLY. I may start experimenting on different designs and look around more to see how I can make my site more dynamic. I am a one-woman band/orchestra, and I think it would be good to show it in a way that catches the eyes... and EARS!

In addition, I may plan to remove a good handful of some old tracks from this website and make room for new ones that are even more well done than what I had before... I will also be removing some old photos of myself that are around my website, and will hopefully add some more recent ones. 

Until then, stay tuned for updates... and a whole new look around this little website!

New Music! (And more on the way...) 

MONDAY JULY 25, 2016

Hello all, As I promised (and hoped!) by the end of the month, I have new tracks ready for you to listen to and be inspired by!

First off, I tried to complete four tracks this month rather than two, but my perfectionist self kicked in again, and I focussed on two tracks that I felt needed to get out sooner, fine-tuning certain sections that needed more variation and improving clarity on the drums. Now that I feel really REALLY good about these pieces they are ready to be shared. Few things are worse than putting up music work out in public and cringing every day knowing how you could've made it much better than it is. I can't live like that. Sometimes you have to work on something until you can't see it getting any better!

Both pieces are inspired by The Transformers, but they have other themes going on too, like on not giving up.

My first piece titled "Not Yet" was inspired by a Transformers comic book series called The Transformers: Autocracy, a sort of origin story of how Optimus Prime came to be who he is. The dark atmosphere of the comic was really cool, enhanced by the artistic stylings of artist Livio Ramondelli.

 



My next piece titled "Aerial Warfare" was initially just a track I wanted to create as a soundtrack for a little Transformers fan-project I'm writing (just for my fun and enjoyment), where the main character transforms into a fighter jet called the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor! I loved learning more about the aircraft and watching videos about it in flight. Then the more I worked on the music, the more I thought about making it as a sort of music tribute to these cool fighter jets. So I put my music into a slideshow of awesome F-22 photos, with credit given where it's due of course, in the video description.



Down the line, I plan on making another track with air-combat music like this one, but a lot more "crazier" and varied. (In other words, even MORE exciting than "Aerial Warfare" already is!) Perhaps next time with photos of another type of fighter aircraft...?


In one way, I DO make these music tracks for fun, but with the intention of showing a wider range of the types of music I want to do for different media projects, so that I can be further hired for my specialties. Coming up soon is music that I daydream would be in a... CAR COMMERCIAL?? For that, you'll just have to tune in later and see!

Thank you for listening, and please come back for more!

Returning with all-new music soon!! 

SATURDAY JULY 2,  2016

Hello all,

I apologize for the long lack of blog (and music) activity going on here. But I intend to change that soon. Not too long ago, I've finally taken some steps to counter my slow progress on some music projects that I've wanted to get out for so long. 

During April and May, I had a little scare because for the first time in a long while, I did not have the desire to continue composing music. I'd finished music for a short film back in March, titled "The Intervention" by Marco Elorreaga, and was planning to return to work on some nearly done music projects. But nothing was happening... Projects I'd started a while back would be put aside for later, and if I started any new ones, I wouldn't get back to it for some time. Or ever.

As you know, composing music has been my number one love, so why wasn't I doing it? I didn't hate doing it... And I had plenty of inspiration (Transformers comics being one source of that), so that wasn't the problem. I guess I just got a bit burnt out about making sure it sounded a certain way and got as perfect as it can get. And I guess it depressed me that at one time I was composing up the wazoo, and now... music was only coming out as brain burps, and that was it. 

But see, that is where the problem was... Artists of all kinds strive to get their art, music, or novel absolutely perfect, when in reality, there is no such thing. I didn't even realize it until I spoke with my parents about this, and eventually to my sister too. That if I continue to work too hard on a music project in an attempt to make it perfect, it will never get done. I would have nothing to show for as examples of what work I do that I COULD be doing for some amazing films, documentaries or commercials out there. 

It took a bit of thinking and taking inventory of which music tracks I think are worth finishing, and I actually got excited about plenty of my music projects once again! 

I came up with a plan that will help me keep my progress on music going so that I don't completely stop. I focus on 1 to 2 tracks per week, for two to three hours a day, and try getting them done or nearly done by the end of the week. If I don't finish right at he end of the week, then fine, no biggie... so long as it gets me to just KEEP WORKING at it, and not just randomly revisit other old projects that don't need my attention right now. (I have a bad habit of opening old projects and listening to them that I end up not continuing, and then I realize that I wasted time.) 

If I could focus on only one or two tracks per week and complete something by week's end, then at that rate I could complete up to 4 tracks per month... at least no less than two. That's a whole lot better than what I put out last year, that's for sure! And it helped that I cleaned up my computer desk more... When my desk is less cluttered I feel I can be able to work on music a lot better. 

I still want to work hard on making the music good for regular listeners' ears. It's just that I shouldn't obsess over certain parts of the track to a point where it will only sit in my laptop for who knows how long before it can be heard... 

This music machine is up and running again!! So more tracks are on their way to YouTube, and you can be sure I will put some up this month of July! Thank you so much for reading, and stay tuned!

Alyssa E. Watts is a member of ASCAP.