Austin Songwriting Symposium – 2011
Jan 6 2012

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.

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April Fool’s Day and Singing
Apr 1 2009

I haven’t had time to post for a few days (almost a week!) for a variety of reasons including kid’s birthday’s, anniversaries, my awesome & amazing mother visiting, life, shopping, etc.  Yes, my mom reads my blog …well I know she at least subscribes to my blog. 🙂

It will probably be close to another week before I post again because I’m attending the Landmark Advanced Course this weekend where I’m supposed to discover who I am – which I think is an elephant or maybe even a horse.  I also hope to discover what I want…or maybe I’ll discover that I already know what I want, and I just need to be brave enough to say it all out loud?  Who knows.

At any rate, today is April Fool’s day and I’m pretty sure I missed all the twitter April fools jokes since I usually only check twitter in the evenings while I’m doing some work on Babble Soft.  But at my day job, our office manager and I pulled a good one!  We told everyone that there was a full breakfast spread in the kitchen.  She even sent out an email with pictures she found from the Internet showing the food we bought (breakfast tacos, fruit, etc.) and several people fell for it!  It was a pretty darn funny, last minute joke.  People came with watering mouths only to find a sign telling them to look in the fridge and then a sign in the fridge that said “April Fool’s – you’ve been suckered!”  It had us laughing for quite some time.  Some people told us they were going to get us back so now we have to watch our backs. 😀

The only other April Fool’s joke I noticed was on the AustinStartup blog where they said they were acquired by TechCrunch.  I sort of believed it for maybe the first two sentences and then realized how unlikely that was.  I’m not usually easily fooled.  I think I can count on one hand the times in my life where I was totally surprised by something and one of those times was when my guy (yes guys) and gal friends hired a male stripper for my 25th birthday.  I was completely shocked.  I can’t recall if I told my mom about this…oops!

I also had a voice lesson today and it’s definitely not an April Fool’s joke that I’m looking to find some musicians to jam with from time to time.  I recently started this journey to find people with day jobs who like to express their musical tendencies.  I have met and communicated with some interesting folks so far and even ventured on to a Craig’s List search (despite my fear of running into creepy, potential crazy folks that might want to kill me) for the first time in my life.  I found a couple of listings that sounded interesting but one group already found their singer.

But what I have discovered is that I need to create a demo of me singing a few songs.  Although I have a presence in the major social networks, I have avoided My Space like the plague.  But My Space seems to be the place where people with musical inclinations put out their “look at me, I’m an awesome musician” crap.  Ugh.

So now I need to find a way to cobble together a karaoke type demo of me singing some songs.  I already know the two songs I’ll start with.  When I get a reasonable recording maybe I’ll upload them on the blog.

In the meanwhile if any of you know of some musicians looking for an amateur female vocalist to join them to sing cover songs, create some original music, pull together a CD to market on *gasp* MySpace or YouTube, and maybe play in public from time to time please keep me in mind.

Enjoy what’s left of your April Fool’s Day!

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Singing and Entrepreneurship
Jan 27 2009

I just got back from a fabulous visit with my mom.  I even got to see my sister.  It was a much needed mini-life break, and it was nice to have the three of us together again.  I could use more of those breaks, but I’m just ever so grateful to have a place to run away for a little bit and a husband who I trust completely to take care of the kids while I’m gone…well maybe a few things get forgotten but everyone survived!

One of my new year non-resolutions was to sing more.  Since then, I’ve received an offer to sing with one of my bosses who I hardly see because he’s one, two (actually it’s unclear) levels above me, but he also happened to hire me to teach entrepreneurship back in the day so I know him reasonably well.   I’m not sure if or when that will happen, but I hear he’s a pretty good guitar player.  The other thing that happened is that my dear husband got me some singing lessons!

Now hubby has been hit and miss with presents…especially the big ones (when he hasn’t consulted with me first), but I have to say this gift was probably one of the more thoughtful ones he’s given me.  I was skeptical at first because he found the teacher online, and I had visions of some weird, washed up, wrinkled singer with a cane giving lessons because they couldn’t make it in the ‘real’ world.  But I was pleasantly proven wrong by Julie at Fiore Music Studio.  She has a great operatic voice.  I promptly told her I wasn’t interested in singing opera and she was totally fine with that.  She travels on tour from time to time.

I’ve taken 3 lessons so far and I’m down to my last one and will probably sign up for a few more.  The first lesson we just practiced warm ups and scales.  I left thinking, “Hmmm…not sure if I want to sing scales for the next several lessons.”  The second lesson she told me I had good pitch and an ear for music that is very hard to teach and in addition to singing scales we worked on one of my favorite hymnsAmazing Grace.”  I left more inspired to come back next time.  On my third visit we did some different warm up exercises and worked on Summertime”  by George Gershwin.  For my next visit, I’ve printed out lyrics for “The Rose” sung by Bette Midler and “Blue Moon” sung by such greats at Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to work on.

The day of my first lesson, Julie and I were talking and she said something that struck me as she was describing singers.  She said something like “That’s why singers are neurotic.”  I said to myself  “Well darn the luck, so are most entrepreneurs! I’m doubly screwed if I decide to label myself a singer too.”  So there you have it, I’ve just discovered I’m qualified to be a singer…well at least on the neuroses scale. 😀

Now if there’s proof that someone has to be a little neurotic to run operations at a technology incubator, then it appears I have found myself existing at the right place in time to battle three neuroses.  Wish me luck.  There must be a professor writing a textbook in need of a research subject out there somewhere…

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