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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Keep Calm and Rock On

A note to all the people from my past and in my current reality trying to keep me down and prevent me from reaching my full potential. I'm done letting people take opportunities from me and manipulating a situation to let it turn out well for them. I have been struggling the past couple of years and I'm done being a victim of circumstance. From now on I'm going to fight for what I want at the risk of outshining others and leaving them left behind. I deserve better and I'm through with letting people take what should be mine. It's time for me to rise up out of the ashes and take control of my destiny to do great things. The future is for the strong minded individual full of a burning compassion and a restless fight for spreading light and love. The future belongs to me!

 I decided to record myself singing and playing djembe (one of the many instruments that I play).  Why?  Well, one I've been down lately and playing music/singing brings my spirits up.  Music used to be a HUGE part of my life in my 20's.  In college, I was in a chamber choir (which is where I met my wife).  We went on tour every spring break to sing in different churches, schools, and nursing homes.  I was also in a jazz a cappella group which I helped start.  Now, it is one of the premier groups on my college campus, as it has been running for ten years.  There was a time when I sang for 7-8 hours a day (not consecutive necessarily).  Between voice lessons, choir and a cappella rehearsals, and also having a radio show, I was surrounded by my first love, music.

In high school, as I mentioned in a previous post, I played alto saxophone in the school band.  Eventually, when I learned how to play electric bass, I decided to switch it up and play bass during pep rallies.  Playing saxophone was not all that exciting to tell you the truth.  I started on it, at the age of ten, because, though I asked to play piano, my father told me that playing saxophone would be good for my asthma.  I am glad I started on something, as I have always been very musical.  I was the kid in elementary and middle school who got excited for choir.  In fifth grade, I even did after school choir, even though I was the ONLY guy.  I have always loved music and singing.

I, however, did not discover my true singing talent until high school.  I spoke about this in a previous post as well.  I was chosen as the male lead in the musical, 'No, No Nanette', my senior year.  I also became the lead singer for my band.  At discovering I could sing, it gave me a new handle on life.  It made me more confident.  With the musical instruments that I play, I'm just mediocre.  I'm not amazing at saxophone, electric bass, djembe, or piano.  I only took piano lessons during my Junior year in college because I wanted help reading music and harmonizing.  That is the year when I was singing a gazillion hours a day.  I was at my happiest then.

Now, music is not really in my life anymore aside from listening to things in my ipod and sometimes singing while I'm walking down the street.  Singing is the one thing I admit I have some talent at, though I do it, not because I want to be the next American Idol.  I do it because it makes me happy.  Singing is therapeutic and it always lightens my mood.  In fact, that's why musical theater and opera is so emotional.  The emotion is so heightened, that it cannot be expressed in words.  Song is the only way to express the deep and intense emotions in this seemingly soap-like theatrical classification.  In fact, my college theater department always said that musicals were low on the totem pole because the ideas of Aristotle could not be justified.  However, it's obvious that emotion is sometimes too abstract for words.  Hence the purpose for all art.

Paintings and songs, choreography and sculpture, arias and drawings express what emotions can't be expressed in speech and even thought.  Art just is.  It evokes different emotions and responses from each viewer and participant.  That's why art is so beautiful.  So, I take a vow to surround myself with music, with art.  From this day forward, I vow to embrace the artist version of myself.  I am an artist through and through.  What's more is that I am not just married to one kind of art.  I'm interested in many different kinds of art.  I love and practice many forms of art, and I don't want to limit myself to one artistic form either.

Below I think I will display pieces of art that inspire me to be my best.  I hope they inspire you too.

Vincent Van Gogh, 'Starry Night', 1889

Vincent Van Gogh, 'Bedroom at Arles', 1887

Pablo Picasso, 'Girl Before a Mirror', 1932

Claude Monet, 'Saint-Georges', 1840

Pierre-Auguste Renoir- 'Dance at the Moulin de la Galette', 1876

Mary Cassatt, 'La Toilette', 1891

Henri Matisse- 'La Danse', 1910

 Most of the above paintings are from the same time period, late 19th and early 20th century.  However, that's my favorite period of painting.  I like other periods as well but impressionism and abstraction are my faves.  I like how the artists learned the rules only to break them.  Art imitates life but sometimes life is so chaotic and strange that realism doesn't quite capture the madness of it all.

I will also share some songs that inspire me.  Without music, I wouldn't be able to emote properly.

 Dana International, 'Everything is for the Best'

'Return to Innocence'- Enigma

'Shine On'- Mellow the Band

'Dream Catch Me' by Newton Faulkner

'It's the Sun'- The Polyphonic Spree

'Bittersweet Symphony'- The Verve

'Here Comes the Sun'- Richie Havens (love Nina Simone and Beatles versions too)

Remember that: Art=LOVE+HAPPINESS

Inspired by art to live life as an artist,


Keith Haring, 'Two Men Holding a Heart', 1988

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