This is an awesome video that a band I'm a fan of posted to Facebook today. Really felt that this is a must watch for anyone interested in education and the arts.
Ken Robinson pitches an interesting idea in this lecture: public school systems did not really become prevalent until the early 19th century, during an industrial boom. As such, the set of skills that are emphasized in school systems around the world are designed to harvest an optimal skill set from children--the next generation of workers. Nowhere in the world, he argues, are the arts placed as high as mathematics or language. On the contrary, if children are too antsy, they are labeled as having a disorder, rather than embracing the fact that they have a different type of energy. In addition, he pitches the idea that children are not afraid to make mistakes, and that that lack of fear inspires creativity. To be truly creative, you have to embrace the fact that you WILL make mistakes.
This is something that any artist can vouch for. After all, how many mistakes are made during practice?
However, Ken carries on to state that in many of the standard school systems, making mistakes is something that is considered bad. You are teaching children not to make mistakes, weaning them away from that natural lack of fear. Rather than encouraging children to make mistakes and learn from them, they are encouraged not to make them. After all, if they're making mistakes, their grades--and standing in their class--will suffer.
The conclusion: that schooling, and education, needs to cater more to allowing students to grow. They all grow differently. To force them in to a mold is to destroy the diversity of human creativity.
He then continues on to give a really great example of a dancer following an untraditional path. This dancer went on to choreograph Cats and Phantom of the Opera. What would have happened had she followed a traditional learning path, and her parents allowed her to be cookie cuttered away from her creativity?
A very interesting video, and very interesting ideas indeed.
I love finding new music. Things have been super hectic on a day-to-day non-music basis lately (though I have been doing a lot with my band--like going into the studio in two weeks to finish recording our debut EP). That being said, I haven't had nearly enough time to paruse YouTube for new music, as any responsible musician should!
That is, until I stumbled upon this video while trying to find some acoustic inspiration.
If you've never seen anything by Jon Gomm, check out some of his other videos as well. The guy is simply awesome, and extremely creative with how he gets different sounds from the acoustic guitar (tuning pegs, hitting different parts, slap harmonics--you name it and he has it in one of his songs somewhere).
Nothing encourages progression like watching a true master of their craft. Now it's time to go practice in a hyperbolic time chamber for the next year :D.
...how time flies. When I think of everything that's happened in the past 6 months, it really feels like it's been one giant dream world. I've gone from living in a van to living Westchester, NY. Teaching music lessons to editing videos. Playing only by myself to being in a band again. So much has changed!
But one thing that hasn't diminished or changed during this span is my love of music. I'm now re-embracing my metal roots as the singer of Sacred Ash (Sacred Ash's Facebook
). It feels GREAT to be playing in a band again.
Almost to the point where I've been slacking on acoustic music. Up until recently I had been focusing almost entirely on the band stuff, and because of that my work on promoting Vagrant, booking shows, and working on the next album had slowed colossally. But thankfully I've had some new inspiration in my life lately, and feel like I'm getting back on the horse.
New updates will come soon. And new videos. And new songs.
And new RAWK!!!
Oh, the art of neglecting a website, how easy it becomes when you don't have a home base. So, I realize that it has been a little while since I've posted anything and am WAY overdue. Thankfully though, I'm happy to report that I am in fact still alive and that things are on the upswing!
It's been about a month and a half since Vagrant was released, and I'm glad to finally say that I'm starting to book shows and get things moving. I'm currently living in/renovating a house down in Westchester with some friends, so the acquisition of a home with a bathroom and internet has been a great aid in all this stuff.
Now that I am posting and such, expect a lot more from this space! Including what will be my next post, 10 Things I Learned From Living in a Van... :).
What a past few weeks. After spending the entirety of last week at my parents house in Delaware County, NY, I'm finally back in the swing of things. It was good to get away for a little while. Those parents of mine live in the woods, where things like cell phone service don't exist and the internet moves at a snail's pace. It was a much needed vacation from everything except nature, my acoustic guitar, and family. Oh, and food... much food.
But now that I'm back, I'm hitting the ground running. Vagrant came out today, and it feels awesome to have that checked off the to-do list. Now comes the eternal promotion cycle and booking shows with this new material. I've also started writing material for what will eventually be the follow-up release to Vagrant. It's way, way, way too early to really talk about it yet (after all, Vagrant just came out about an hour ago), but the fact that the wheels are turning of their own accord is a good thing. I'm not trying to write another release already, it's just happening.
That being said, Vagrant is my first studio release in over a year and a half. Feels good to be back on the horse :).
Whew! It's been a wild past few weeks, but things are coming along nicely. The post production on Vagrant has taken a little longer than originally planned due to that crazy thing called "life" getting in the way, but thankfully it is on it's way to release still. After all the issues that led to my previously planned album, 'Compassion', not being released, the process for Vagrant has been a refreshing breath of air.
I don't even know where to start on getting things up-to-date! It's the middle of the afternoon, and I'm hanging out in the library in Clifton Park, NY because my trusty laptop has unfortunately picked the most convenient time in my life to start having some hardware issues. So if updates are not as often as usual, that is a big part of why!
I'm currently living 'on the road', as it were, and trying to play as much as possible. It has been a bit of a challenge getting off the ground thus far (in retrospect a bit more planning BEFOREHAND probably wouldn't have hurt, hahaha!), but every day has been interesting and an adventure.
I also never really delved too deep into how Vagrant all came together so fast and unannounced, so I would like to touch on that briefly. Basically in the week leading up to my apartment lease running out and my decision to go mobile for a while, I got a super stroke of creativity. I wrote the first song of the release, "Broken Glass"--which, if you've seen me play out any time in the past month, you have heard--just before I moved out. The next day I went up to Vermont and began recording that track, not knowing what I was going to do with it, but knowing that it was definitely a song I wanted to share. After recording for the night I came back to New York, and within the next two days had written the other two tracks and imagined the release of this self-contained EP--a musical snapshot of where my creative track was at that point in my life.
I'm very excited about this release, and am going to try and travel as much as possible to promote it. If you want me to come to your town let me know! Nowhere is off-limits so far as I am concerned.
After a few days of recording and shennanigans in Vermont I'm back in New York. As much as it feels good to be relaxing at home, I am reminded every single time I go up to Vermont just how awesome of a place it is. All the people I met out there were super nice, Burlington is a blast, and the drive back was gorgeous.
"Vagrant" is being mixed, and is well on its way to release next week. I'll have some new promo material for it (pictures, artwork, etc) up hopefully sometime this weekend or early next week as well.
Today I finished recording a new EP that will be released next week. All the recordings were done by my good friend Erik Hopwood (www.withak.com), and I can honestly say that I am SUPER psyched for this release. The songs are some of the best that I've created, and Erik is a spectacular producer/studio guy. I'm posting off my phone right now, so I am a little limited in the types of content I can put up, but I can say that this release is the type of stuff that I've been waiting to put out and that there will be more updates once I am back near a computer.
Ps. I suppose I can't really make this post withou at least putting out the name of the EP. Keep your eyes out for the "Vagrant EP" next week!
Whew. It's been a crazy night, but I'm feeling pretty content with how things are shaping up!
This week I FINALLY started tracking Compassion. It's been setback after setback after setback after setback for like the last year, so I'm ecstatic to finally have gotten some progress made on the album. I am very confident that it will be finished in before the end of May.
I'll also be appearing in two separate guest performance slots in the next two months. The first is as a guest vocalist in the WONY metal band at the radio station's Alumni Weekend this upcoming Saturday. Pretty pumped about this one, as it's been quite a while since I've been out playing metal.
The other performance is as a guest vocalist for the Hartwick Rock Orchestra on May 12th. I've worked with the Rock Orchestra once in the past, and it was an awesome experience. This performance (I believe) is at Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta. More details on that as I get them.
That about sums things up for now! There's also another huge announcement on the way. I'm not quite ready to spill the beans on this one yet, but let's just say it might not be a bad idea to keep an eye on the 'Upcoming Shows' section ;).
Exhausted, but no time for sleep. Back to the grind!
Happy spring! In honor of the fact that it is now warm out again (not that it's really been that cold this winter...) I've decided to release a 5 song live EP for free download.
The decision to release the (A)live EP came about as a result of just how long it's taken me to get Compassion churned out. Plans are moving along excellently for the CD (I'll be going into the studio next week, FINALLY, to start tracking guitars), however I felt that it's been a long enough time that I needed to put out something to thank everyone for sticking with me through all this time while I've been working on it.
That aside, I've been playing some of these songs out for over a year (if you've seen me play, you most likely have heard Outlaws, Hallelujah, Compassion, and Permanent), so I didn't see any reason to keep them close to the chest any more. Music is made to be listened to, right? There's also a take of a lesser-performed song that WILL be on Compassion as well, 'Til the End, so there will be something new on there for those of you who've been following me since the beginning.
Rest assured there will still be some brand new songs on the CD which have rarely/never been played out at this point, and the songs that are included on (A)live will be getting such a massive overhaul in the studio that they will feel like completely new songs.
So, thanks again for listening! Rock on.
Side-note: For those of you who are in the Oneonta area, if you're planning on coming out to Bluefields Cafe this weekend you'll get a chance to hear one of those 'rarely performed' tracks that I mentioned. This will be one of the only times it's performed before Compassion releases!