Monday, April 23, 2012

ASCAP, Souls & Sessions

Silverlake mural
Last week was a packed few days of yoga practice and the ASCAP EXPO in Southern California. Encinitas and LA were sunny and happy in all respects. ASCAP was, as in prior experiences, a great mix of networking, know-how and inspiration. I caught up with songwriter friends, received some nice feedback and even heard a fabulous talk by Carly Simon. I had not fully appreciated Simon's career until hearing this recap of all her hits and overview of her rich and varied career in music. Slim, composed and still in full voice, she spoke candidly about the auspicious beginnings of her career, the stammer that plagued her confidence and ultimately helped her find her singing voice and her writing process. She's a true artist!
Oakland Symphony premier of Art Khu's Symphony of Souls
I flew home with just enough time to get to the Paramount Theater to witness the premier performance of Ark Khu's Symphony of Souls by the Oakland East Bay Symphony. It's no secret in the Bay Area and in jazz circles that Art is an amazing musician. I've been extremely fortunate to know him as well as have some of his piano and guitar playing on several of my CDs. Seeing this premier just confirmed to the world how great he really is. There were two premiers during the program, "Notes from the Philippines," one by Khu and another by Victor Noriega, and both were met with standing ovations as well as enthusiasm from conductor and musical director Michael Morgan. Along with a Cello Concerto by Dvorak and an overture taken from Mendelssohn, it truly was a great night of music for East Bay symphony goers.
Being surrounded by other songwriters and composers for three days is motivating to say the least. I was glad to have a session scheduled Saturday after all this musical richness. Half of a very beautiful sunny day Saturday was spent in the studio recording basic tracks for a couple of new songs. The next project has begun!
Bass, drums & coffee

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