Health, Tunes, Pianos...
I've been finding it to be a bit of a struggle to figure out what to share this month, so I’ll just start by sharing some honest bits of my mind and see what happens…!
Health & Stuff
It has been a relatively challenging month for both my mental and physical health, and since most of my energy has gone towards trying to manage them, it has left little bandwidth for creative motivation/productivity. I know a lot of people can relate to this, especially right now.
I’ve been keeping most of the demons at bay by focusing my energy on healing activities such as making nourishing foods, reading good books, learning simple balfolk tunes on piano, picking the guitar, stretching, breathing, meditating, going for walks in nature and being attentive to the new wave of birds migrating through.
A cute little Pacific-slope Flycatcher
I do feel that soon, along with the shift of the seasons, I will find better grounding and be able to stabilize some of the current imbalances I'm experiencing. These things, like many (all?) things, seem to come and go in cycles. Sometimes it helps just to remember that!
One saving grace throughout the whole pandemic for me so far has been learning and playing folk dance tunes from the Honeywood Tunebook that my friends Emilyn Stam & John David Williams put together. I discovered that when I find my creative tank has run out of juice, it's nice to just switch my brain-gears and read some simple sheet music that someone else wrote instead of trying to force the creation of original music when it's not feeling natural.
Emilyn and John have also been making fantastic play-along videos for each of the songs in the tune book, so that Patrons of theirs can learn the tunes in an easy and fun fashion, PLUS they teach the steps of each of the styles of Balfolk dances so you can dance along!
This tune medley is a couple of minor waltzes I learned from their book (first played on piano, then a bit faster on accordion). I really fell in love with the first tune a while ago and couldn’t stop playing it; something about the way the chord changes flow along with the melody is just so satisfying & soothing.
About the tunes, in their words: “The first, Churfürst zu Sachsen, König van Polen is a German tune from an old manuscript that is a hit as a waltz amongst a small community of balfolk musicians and dancers in Germany these days. The second we owe a bit of credit to Duo Artense for their interpretation of Et l'autre jour which was originally collected from the rural french fiddler Leon Peyrat.”
Pianos For Friends
I’m also trying to crowdfund some $ so my friend can get his dream piano, which in turn means that I would be able to keep his old piano that I’ve been babysitting for the last 3 years (he would have to trade in the old piano to help cover costs of the new one).
I will be using some of the money that I’ve saved up from my wonderful Patreon patrons (♥︎!!), to buy Ryan’s old piano from him, but it won’t be enough to cover his costs, so If you have a dollar or twenty to spare and would like to aid in the creation of more healing piano music, feel free to take a look at the GoFundMe page (and listen to his wonderful music!).
Sending goodness & migratory birdsong,
P.S. I made Leggy some new boots...