I’ve been teaching more piano lessons, and am on the cusp of earning some fraction of a living at it. This makes me so happy. I really do love spending my time that way. Folks have been very encouraging. I’m especially grateful to Laura for making it all possible—she even collected those endorsements and gave them to me for Christmas.
My songwriting has slowed a lot this year, but I’m inspired to light a fire under my muse. They Might Be Giants have revamped their Dial-A-Song service for the age of YouTube, and I’m just in awe of them all over again. My plan is to embrace Quantity (alongside Melody and Fidelity) as They’ve long espoused, and crank out more volume. I also think I need to take it all a bit less Seriously; I believe that’s been slowing me down, and it’s really just a diminished version of the same self-stifling that kept me from trying to write songs for most of my life.
This is a test recording of a song that I wrote last year. The Nibiru Collision is a doomsday scenario in which an extrasolar planet crashes into the Earth. Nibiru is such a pretty name for the planet that it got me thinking, somebody must have been looking forward to it. So the song is kind of about star-crossed lovers, hoping against hope in the face of cataclysmic change.
These are short clips of They Might Be Giants songs, designed for use as custom ringtones.
My Man – instrumental mix, 25 seconds. The keyboard part lends itself so well, with its theme of transmission.
Older – intro clip, 16 seconds. The rauschpfife and saroussophone are instantly recognizable through the din of other people’s phones.
Wicked Little Critta – mostly instrumental mix, 32 seconds. For those who like their phone to make only the minimum amount of noise necessary, this one starts as a quiet warning, gets a bit louder… and then self-destructs at about 18 seconds.
Yesterday I hosted a casual little piano recital for just my students. I wanted to give them something to work toward, and the chance to hear each other, and have a little photo op for their parents.
They all worked so hard, I couldn’t be prouder. My favorite part was that when it was over, they all went up to the piano to play some more. The whole thing was exactly what I was shooting for: They all enjoyed it. Maybe even almost as much as I did. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
I’m up to ten students now, if you count Lydia, whom I teach only occasionally since she’s still so young. I would take more, but it’d get harder to juggle the lessons with my own kids’ after-school stuff. But the time flies by, I really enjoy it so far.