It's now a few months since I started releasing my regular weekly Instagram videos. They have been great fun to put together and certainly test my skills at both performing and video editing!
November has been an interesting month for performances, especially as I played in both Canada and Bermuda!
I continue to write and record new songs and am putting together the material for my first album which I hope to release at the end of this year or early 2017.
It is now a year since I entered into the performance arena, doing my own music as well as 'covers' of well known songs. It has been a tremendous journey and I am very grateful to all those who have faith in me and have enabled me to pursue my passion in many wide and diverse venues.
This month I have entertained many people at private functions and had the enormous honour of being a guest player at the well known restaurant, Sassafraz, in Toronto one evening a few weeks ago.
The picture here was taken by Robert Muriell. Robert is an internationally recognised photographer who took the photographs at my brothers wedding. www.robertmuriellphotogrphy.com
September has been an interesting month with many changes and a lot of progress!
I have had the pleasure of performing at a number of events and venues, one of which was for the Red Hat Society. The hall was full of lovely ladies all gloriously attired in purple and red; it was a fun and very memorable day!
The second biggest event was being the MC and entertainer at my brother's wedding. Another fun filled day!
I have moved to Toronto and will spend my time between my home near Georgian Bay, Ontario, and the city.
What a great month! The weather has been beautiful, ideal for outside events.
Collingwood, a heritage town in Ontario situated on the shores of Georgian Bay, had a festival weekend where the street pianos were once again placed on Hurontario street for the month of August. Anyone can play! On their Festival weekend I was allocated a piano for two hours and thoroughly enjoyed entertaining the people in Collingwood, both local and visiting.
This has been a great month for me! I have thoroughly enjoyed performing in a number of locations, and am enjoying being at the Boathouse Eatery where I play every Friday evening during the summer.
The summer is a time for outdoor events and enjoying the fine weather. I am a little perturbed though that every time anyone mentions that we so desperately need rain, it always falls on my outdoor events! However, there has (fortunately!) always been a dry place to retreat to if necessary.
Canada Day saw torrential rain but I was lucky to be safely housed in the Legion Hall where people could come inside and eat their pancake breakfasts whilst listening to me play. The skies cleared in time for the big parade.
Last Sunday I performed in Bay View Park, Thornbury as part of the Jazz on the Bay series. Again the skies clouded over and rain fell but my audience was prepared with umbrellas, and others joined me in shelter of the pavilion. Despite the rain it was a great two hours, and so nice to see people dancing to my music!
June has been another busy month with a number of local performances and lots of rehearsals!
I've also had a great opportunity to work with Artistic Director, Peter Remmers, on a photo shoot. Soon we will have a great video to show you and some new artwork for my website!
April was a great month with 5 performances as a guest with The Grey Bruce Singers in Hanover. We played to a packed theatre each time; it was enlightening and very enjoyable!
I also played for the Thornbury Jazzmania combining my own work and covers from the 50's, 60's & 70's. So much fun seeing people on the dance floor enjoying themselves!
April is a busy month for me! I am very fortunate to be performing with the Grey Bruce Singers in Hanover. It is a great opportunity to showcase my songs live - just me and the piano!
We have had several rehearsals with a few more to go, then open on Thursday 21st April at 8:00 pm. It's lining up to be a very entertaining Spring Concert.
I am also looking forward to performing at the Jazzmania weekend event in Thornbury on Saturday 30th April.
Both are amazing opportunities for me and I am grateful to all my supporters.
This month I am busy rehearsing for a number of upcoming events that are happening over the the next few months. I am really excited about these performances and will post more information on my Home page and Facebook nearer to the time.
Along with these rehearsals I am also working on songs for my second album.
For the video to accompany my next song, "I believe", I had hoped that we might get some good shots outside. I had in mind one of those winter days with blue sky and sunshine .....We visited the nearby Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario and tried to take various scenes but the cold and wind-chill defeated us!
So it was back to the warmth of our indoor location. My favourite cat, a 25 pound Maine Coon, joined me for a short while but he decided that the warmth of the fire side was better!
My inspiration for piano compositions comes from a wide variety of sources, and I really enjoy creating solos to feature within my songs.
I'm starting the New Year off with a slightly different change in tempo. Each of my songs is inspired by a set of events and these are transposed into words that then create the lyrics. I enjoy the contrast between tempos and this can be either within a song, or for the whole performance.
For the video to accompany this song we had fun going out to local areas, though I must admit the day we shot the scenes by the shore of Georgian Bay, Ontario, it was incredibly cold; we didn't hang a around!!!
I find walking a great way to clear my mind, but also to take in the ambience of a place, or event, and later I put those feelings and observations into my music.
This month sees the launch of my second music video, "Waiting for you". Here is a slide show of 'behind the scenes' shots taken during the filming.
With the release of my latest song, "Hopping Boppin' Lovin' Machine", I thought it'd be good to have a video of me actually performing the song. And, to change things up a bit, I decided that Black & White gave it that slightly different edge.
During the first week of December my next music video will be launched:
"Waiting for you".
Here are a few 'preview' shots prior to the slide-show being published.
And obviously, in the meantime, I'm busy working on more songs ready for monthly release during 2016!
Here are some 'behind the scenes' photos for the making of "The Girl From Down the Line" which was my very first music video.
As you know I am now in the process of having my songs 'mastered' and have had the first music videos created. I am very excited that my first music video is now launched!!
As part of the story, here are some shots of the process that went into making the music video become a reality; all exciting stuff!!
Once I have the words to a song, or even just the music, it takes many, many hours of practise both at the piano and keyboard to get the sound that I am looking for. Once I'm happy with words and music I will then spend a long time laying the tracks. This is the tricky part as balancing the sounds with the words and the beat takes a lot of patience! Finding just the right sounds that compliment each other is key.
After I had finished a number of songs I then had to decide which two would be best to use as my first releases in conjunction with music videos.
Once this was decided it was then a task of finding the right people to help create a video of images that would compliment the song.
I found Amir Azimi, Director and Producer of film. He introduced me to Michelle Crossman the choreographer and Tara O'Connor the costume designer. With Amir's direction we created our visual entertainment.
Deciding what to wear is also very important as it has to relate to the words of the song and the image that is being portrayed. I had to put a few outfits together to help formulate the final idea of what would be good on camera and for the 'feel' of the song. These 'outfits' will not necessarily be used but they are a good starting point
Next comes another hard part - putting the visual idea into movement and learning the steps....it's exhausting but fun!
I am very fortunate to be working with professionals that are allowing me my freedom of creativity but at the same time helping me to put my aspiration into reality.
Having a couple of songs made into music videos is amazing and I was really excited about the final shoot; it is very satisfying to watch our work as a visual piece.