I haven’t blogged too much about music or songwriting recently, but I signed up to attend the Austin Songwriters Group 8th Annual Songwriting Symposium this weekend and tonight was the first night…well it’s now past midnight as I’m writing this post. My voice teacher, Gene Raymond at Octave Higher, forwarded me a notice about it only a week ago and I figured ‘what the heck, I should go.’ So far so good. They had songwriters from Texas and Nashville singing their original music tonight. It was like having a semi-private concert given by very talented song writers in a smoke-free room where everyone was really interested in listening to the singers. In other words, people were focused on them and not talking to each other, trying to pick up dates, or drinking to excess. They were all so good and all of them said that no one goes into songwriting for the money. A guy named Jim Photoglo made a funny joke about marriage, sex, money, and songwriting but it’s probably not appropriate to write here. I’m looking forward to a guy named Sonny Throckmorton and a gal named Kimmie Rhodes talk about co-writing songs tomorrow (or shall I say later this morning).
Congressman Lloyd Doggett showed up since he’s a big supporter of the Austin music scene and gave a little speech. There were many references to some great country singers like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, etc. because most of the music the singer/songwriters played this evening was country music. Whenever I hear country music, I remember a guy I worked with at Mr. Gatti’s pizza in high school who told me when I told him that I hated country music that it was because my heart hadn’t been really broken yet…and he was right. I get teary eyed when I hear good country music now.
I signed up to pitch my songs to one of three publishers who will be there on Sunday morning. We get 15 minutes with a publisher. I hope I’m brave enough to hum a few bars when it’s my turn because our songs are still in varying degrees of completion. I wish my songwriting partner could be there, but he’s too busy playing live gigs! We are hoping our schedules will allow us to finally record some of our stuff this year. I mean…come on…we have a facebook page for our two person band, so we have to accomplish something, right? Please go like our page: METAPHOR MANIA. I think we need 25 people to like it to remove the numbers from the URL so…do the right thing and wish me luck in pitching…I could use some positive affirmation right about now.
| Filed under: entrepreneurship
| Tags: austin songwriting symposium
, country music
, gene raymond
, johnny cash
, lloyd doggett
, merle haggard
, metaphor mania
, mr gattis
, octave higher
, willie nelson
| 1 Comment »
I interviewed Sandi Aitken (pdf) for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, for an article that was published in the Sep/Oct 2006 issue. My writing partner, Pam Losefksy, and I pulled these articles together a while back and you can see them on the Success Profiles page of this blog. You can see the full article on Sandi by clicking HERE (pdf). I haven’t connected with Sandi since the interview so I’m not even sure if she’s still at Freescale, but here’s an overview:
Sandi was/is a benefits manager for Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. in Austin. Previously she was Director of Wellness and work/life programs for Motorola and health and fitness coordinator for Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp. She was also health and fitness program coordinator, director of nursing, critical care instructor, and director of the cardiac rehab and pulmonary education center for St. David’s Community Hospital. She was awarded Texas Nurse of the Year and held a Chair position for the Seton Cove board of directors. She received her MS from UT Austin in Nursing.
Success has a lot to do with being true to your life’s purpose, vision, and goals. Often, that means running counter to what our culture’s definition of success is, because so often in our society, success is defined by your material worth or the initials behind your name. Making money is important on a certain level, but what’s really important is to know your heart, to find your passion. Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true.” Like so many things in life, it seems so simple, but there’s probably nothing harder to do.
She goes on to say:
Finding that alignment between your head and your heart, while at the same time not getting caught up in external pressures, is critical.
Oh, if everyone could be true to themselves, what a world this would be. But as Sandi noted it is so hard to do because being true to ourselves doesn’t always go over well with other people in our lives. Aligning head and heart is something I struggle with as do many others because what your heart/passion wants you to do in your career and life doesn’t always mesh up with what is practical given life’s responsibilities and other people’s expectations.
I’m working on trying to mesh some of my passion/heart’s desires with life’s practicalities. Today I scheduled a make-up voice lesson with my voice instructor, Gene Raymond, who I really enjoy working with, and brought the kids with me. I’ve brought them to a lesson once before. I bring them coloring books and they color without fussing at all. I think they think it is funny to hear mommy sing scales and do vocal exercises. Some of the vocal exercises are quite funny. 🙂
A few of the songs I’m working on right now are Killing Me Softly With His Song (Roberta Flack), Play Me (Neil Diamond – changing the ‘she’s’ to ‘he’s’), and The Rose (Bette Midler). I have the opportunity to take a lesson with a teacher at a level higher than Gene in this particular style of coaching called Speech Level Singing in a couple of weeks. This teacher has sung with Bette Midler and trained several American Idol singers. I’m looking forward to it and hoping I don’t choke!
| Filed under: music
, success story
| Tags: gene raymond
, sandi aitken
, speech level singing
, The Alcalde
, voice lessons
| 1 Comment »