Saturday, August 16, 2003

Six String was awesome! Ended up playing a different set than I thought I would. "To Life", a piano song written in memory of Billy and Nancy Fan's mother; a new song that's untitled, somewhat hard blues inspired; and a gentle acoustic version of Amazing Grace.

Anyways, am attempting to design a CD face for a friend. Looking for cool fonts online, and found one called "Jacks" at www.bvfonts.com

It's free if I advertise their site, and their site has some excellent free fonts and commercial fonts as well. I like the designs a lot.

Will probably play Six String again Tuesday, if I can work up a set. I've been working up new sets each week. Will be playing in two weeks at Six String with Dana Monemi, a Rich Mullins-influenced co-worker of mine who plays some very cool finger-style guitar. Will have to work up a set to play with Sean Ho also. And then, Dave Seymour will return on the electric bass once we work up and practice another set.

More later...

Monday, August 11, 2003

I'm playing at Six String Cafe Tuesday night, and will be looking into performing at some local places in the near future (Borders @ Crossroads is a possibility). I'll be shooting for a 9pm - 10pm timeslot. Come for performances... They start around 7:15, and there are always some great acts. Buy dinner there to support the Six String Cafe for their generosity!

This'll be my fourth time there, and it's good to stretch me and force me to hone some songs. I have no idea what I'm playing tomorrow, but I'll figure it out before I go. And I might finish a new song and sing it there... Who knows!

Hope to see y'all there... www.sixstringcafe.com

Sunday, August 03, 2003

I was at the Six String Cafe this past Tuesday for Open Mike Nite again. Performed and also just watched everybody else.

Well, very late in the evening, this girl performed-- Michelle Hunter. And she blew everybody away! Her songs were all Christian songs, with a very personal feel to them. I'm serious, the while time she played, I didn't see anybody eating or drinking anything. People just sat there, transfixed. Very powerful music.

I bought two CD's that night, one of which I overnited to a friend of mine in Nashville who's been asking me to send her some of my songs. Which I haven't exactly done yet-- well, I threw one of my songs in the overnight package along with Michelle's CD. It was a special song, "To Life", written for a good friend of mine and the family when their mother passed away.

That night, on the way home, Michelle's music really touched me. The road faded away, and all my concentration was drawn to the music, and I finally found myself sitting in a parking lot near my townhouse, crying as I listened and prayed. I am not a crier. I don't fear the intensity of emotions, but I am also not a crier. To say that was a rare experience is an understatement. Somehow, the music really connected with me.

I'm a fan for life now, and I know that it's a matter of time before she's doing music full time, writing and recording for some major label. She has a gift, and an uncommon one at that. Check out her music, and buy a CD if you like what you hear! Support a very talented young starving artist. You can contact her via her website if you want to buy a CD, or heck, you can ask me and I'll get one for you. I bought 11 CD's from her today, as my investment in her music. 10 of those CD's will go out as loaners, to encourage people to listen to her music, and buy her CD. If people want to keep a loaner for themself, they can pay me $10 so I can buy another CD to replace it.

Her CD's are $10 a piece (10 songs), professionally recorded in Nashville, and all written and performed by herself on guitar or piano. Songs are just her voice and guitar, or her voice and piano. Her voice is AMAZING. Her voice is her main instrument. Blows me away.

There's this whole crazy story that demonstrates that our random meeting was divinely ordained in part to confirm her calling to go and pursue music full-time. It's almost an unbelievable story, but I'll save it for another time. God completely brought together *apparently* random events and wildly separated people to start this domino-effect of encouragement and major life changes. And it all happened this past week, involves total strangers, multiple friends-of-friends, stretches back into the past for several years, ties up loose ends that have been unfinished for 4 years, different geographical areas...

Crazy, lemme tell ya. Crazy, but cool, in a way that only God can make it. Mind BLOWING. Like, WOW. Like, these things only happen in the MOVIES. Maybe I'll write about it here sometime. If not, then I'll just have to leave ya hanging. ;)

Friday, August 01, 2003

This is the beginning of the chronicle of my sloth-like growth as a musician.

I've written songs since I was 13, but never contemplated actually pursuing songwriting seriously. Well, recently a former co-worker of mine, who part-owns a small studio and song publishing company in Nashville, heard one of my recent songs, and told me that I should get it published.

Pursuing music full-time has always been a dream for me, but more as a performing/recording musician or recording engineer. However, all my childhood music teachers told me that doing music full-time was a dead-end. "Go be a lawyer, or computer programmer. Something stable." And besides, who ever heard of a contemporary Asian performer who actually made a living doing music? Asian musicians are always playing classical music, and had a childhood filled with disciplined training.

And now, I'm discovering that you don't need to have the years of classical training-- though I wish I'd had that. Music is an expression of the soul, one of God's amazing gifts to us. The technical skill that I lack doesn't have to limit the songs I write. Music for me is an expression of my life-- praise to God for giving me hope and peace in a world of turmoil, compassion for the pain in this world, and a message of joy in troubled times.

Music has been a healing force in my own life. The lessons I've learned are poured out through song, and I've found that at the end of each difficult journey, there is meaning and purpose. It is my prayer that the music I write resonates with people because I've found hope in the darkest hours, and found a God who reaches out to us.

I've just started doing open mike nites at a local cafe, and am looking into playing in some local bookstores and restaurants. If I'm playing somewhere, I'll post something here, and if I end up "playing out" more, I'll set up a dedicated website.

Thanks for reading...

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