How Do You Eat an Elephant?

I have been mostly using my Instagram as a journal the last few years, but in an effort to be less stingy with myself and share my process I am spilling out over into blogging again. I started the 100 Day Project a few weeks back and found that my relationship with social media took a turn for the much, much better when I was releasing more of my process and ideas more regularly. My posts turned into conversations more readily - which is exactly what have been craving ~ that connection/communication in/around music.

I am currently writing a collection of music for an album. The third album in the trilogy I started with HUSK in 2016. “Let Go” is a collection of songs for ~ guitar, drums, electronics, piano, vocals, choir, string quartet, brass and winds. I’m starting to jam with musicians here in NYC and building up my peoples here. (I moved to NYC last year to study composition with Julia Wolfe and Joan La Barbara at NYU)

I love studying orchestration and writing big lush orchestral movements. I like that electronics are at my fingertips ~ readily available at all times but sometimes I don’t have the endurance for what they truly require to be set in motion, which is a lot of focus and brain power and looong hours of screen staring and and incredible patience for technical meltdowns. I love the intimacy of piano/guitar and voice but sometimes I find myself consumed by the natural melancholy that those instruments wrap me in. 

Recently I haven’t been listening to music, I have, however, been devouring audio books. And by devour I mean like two a week for the last several months:

(Current running list)

  1. Attached - by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller

  2. Men are from Mars women are from Venus - John Gray

  3. The life changing magic of tidying up - Marie Kondo

  4. The practice of practice - Jonathan Harnum

  5. Wired for love - Stan Tatkin

  6. A course of love - Alain de Botton

  7. Codependent no more - melody Beattie

  8. The power of vulnerability - Brene brown

  9. Relationship Rx - Stan Tatkin

  10. The highly sensitive person in love - Eliane Aron

  11. Language of emotions - Karla Mclaren

  12. Self Esteem - Jennifer Allison

  13. The language of letting go - Melody Beattie

  14. The art of letting go - Richard rohr

  15. Falling Upward - Richard Rohr

  16. The Art of Empathy - Karla McLaren

  17. Making Friends with Your Mind By: Pema Chödrön

  18. Daring Greatly - Brene Brown

  19. Loving What Is - Byron Katie

  20. The Law of Attraction - Ether Hicks

  21. The Astonishing Power of Emotions - Esther Hicks

  22. Digital Minimalism - Cal Newport

  23. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Great Courses - Jason M. Satterfield

  24. The Unavailable Father - Sarah S. Rosenthal

  25. The Emotionally Absent Mother - Jasmin Lee Cori

  26. How to Be an Adult in Relationships - By: David Richo

  27. The Road Back to You - By: Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile

  28. The Power of the Enneagram - By: Don Richard Riso, Russ Hudson

  29. The Path Between Us - By: Suzanna Stabile

  30. The Enneagram - By: Helen Palmer

  31. Men, Women and Worthiness - By: Brené Brown PhD

  32. The Power of Now - By: Eckhart Tolle

  33. Crush It! - Gary Vaynerchuck

….I just had a very heated idea tennis match with a coworker at the Time Spans Festival, where I have been working the last few weeks about whether music is a tool for communication. My stance is obviously, yes, duh, BUT it is an abstract form, which is a tool for discoveries more than it is a tool for conclusions.

In the world of here today, forgotten tomorrow pop tunes, I stand by the belief that musicality is not dead. I still believe in lush orchestration, beautiful complex chords, incredible production, highly trained and gifted talent, devotion to the craft, much shedding behind closed doors of garish practice rooms (although I’m finding I don’t much have the stomach for hospital lighting and tiny padded cell like practice rooms with no windows or air flow - that tradition should die) and in tiny studios.

I study music intensively, I create a lot of work, I spend a lot of time in my studio shedding, I learn new instruments, I twist knobs, I spend a lot of time in concerts halls, in recording studios and in headphones. 

I think we can have it all. Quality and quantity. Deep work and pop-topical output.

I want a full life. I wana be the female Charlie Chaplain - actually Buster Keaton - I Wana enter bikini contests, be a yoga teacher, marry my boyfriend and have children (twin boys) - live in a Manhattan brownstone and have an upstate get away for nature and quiet, I Wana write a hit Broadway Musical, make movies, write albums, write for the NY Phil, Compose an Opera for the Met and watch opening night next to my love and my family and feel tears well up. I want to travel the world writing music for ensembles and collaborating in new, fulfilling ways ~ inspiring ensembles to think in new ways, rehearse in new ways, communicate in new ways. I want to spend mornings with sunlight and coffee and journaling and walks and connecting. I want to build things, lasting, legacy, big, beautiful, humanitarian things. Things that pulse and emirate joy and a rainbow of emotion long after I am gone. I want to host artist salons from my living room, cultivate conversation and friendship with artists and scientists and business moguls alike. I am hungry for the conversation, the bigger picture, the revolution. I want a kinder planet, a more tuned in human race, a radical healing. I love understanding medicine, yoga, body work, healing, voice/body connection, meditation, therapeutical paradigm shift, getting to a deeper level of connection with friends, family, strangers. I want to work for a think tank. I am a think tank. A one woman think tank. 

I’m often overwhelmed by all the things I want. When I am, I call Gabriel and he likes to remind me, “How do you eat an elephant?” …. One bite at a time.