Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just the Way You Are

Honesty, Just the Way You Are

So when you start studying meditation, they tell you that the most important thing is to show up and do it every day. Doesn't matter if it's good or if it's "working", just keep showing up and trusting the process, they tell you, and eventually the results will follow (By the way, if any of you know who "they" are, I'd like an introduction. I have questions about some of the things "they" say, like that thing about the size of a man's feet, and...).

It's been sort of a just-show-up kind of day. A good one, as these kinds of days go. A small victory this morning: two of the singers in a class I accompanied came in without sheet music for their songs, but I was familiar enough with the songs ("Misty", and "Who Will Buy") that I could accompany them from memory. Not perfectly, but it was nice to know that I can play a standard in a key I'm not used to, and still more or less stumble through the bridge in approximately the right key (ish) to the safe territory of the final A section.

In an attempt to make myself feel like doing more than just showing up, I had scheduled myself some mandatory down time this afternoon, as part of this new "taking-care-of-myelf" initiative. Vegging out. Yechhhh. I hate vegging. The tricky thing about vegging for me is, sometimes it does what it's supposed to, and I feel relaxed and energized afterwards. The rest of the time, I just feel cranky and annoyed that I just wasted that time vegging. And I can't tell which is going to happen at the beginning. Nevertheless, I have learned through experience that not making enough time to at least have the option of vegging for a while is a really, really, really bad idea, for me and everyone who has to come near me.

Today during my veg time, I downloaded some more Billy Joel (yay!), caught up on 30 Rock, and made some awesome home fries. I discovered the song "Vienna". I took it as sort of a personal message from Mr. Joel to me. Thanks, man. I will slow down a little. I can't promise I'll enjoy it, but I'll try, and I will learn that song pretty soon.

In the meantime, I'm learning other Billy Joel songs. By the way, my rendition of "Piano Man" was well-received last night at Akilah's show - I didn't forget any of the lyrics, though I did crack up while I was making fun of Adam Feldman! The show was fun, and Akilah did a great job, even though the show was a little lower than we had planned... We thought we must be crazy, but we both agreed it felt really low and the keyboard must be set down, probably a whole step. We checked later and sure enough, the transposer, which we hadn't been able to figure out during our quickie tech rehearsal, was set. So: score 1 for music technology (still my arch-nemesis), but also score 1 for Kat's relative pitch, being 99.9% sure the damn thing was down a whole step.

Monkey Mind!

Songs. A song a day. Ok. Yesterday: "Honesty". Today: "Just the Way You Are". Love "Honesty". Love how in the last verse Billy Joel sings "you're the one i depend upooooooooooooonesty" into the chorus. Things like that make me really happy. "Just the Way You Are"... I used to really dig this song. Not so keen on it anymore for some reason. I always hate when people tell me not to change. It's so very high school yearbook, you know? Look closely, that may be the only time you ever see high school yearbook used as an adjective. So I'm not a fan of the lyrics (c'mon, I want my tender love ballads laced with cynicism!!!), but I do like the changes, especially on the bridge. Yeah man, nice key centers, and way to use pivot chords!! This was especially refreshing after playing certain musical theater repertoire earlier today, by certain composers who shall remain nameless, who apparently slept through the part about pivot chords in music theory. And who somehow don't throw them in instinctively. And -

I could go on, but it's time for some of that mandatory hardcore vegging known as "sleep", so I will sign off with this final comment re: pivot chords:

Singers, it's not always your fault.

1 comment:

  1. "Honesty" has always been one of my favorite songs, too. And for the same reason you stated. Heh.

    And I was wondering if you have heard Billy Joel's little discussion about "Vienna" and how he came to write it after going to see his dad. (It's on disc 4 of the box set. In fact, the whole disc is him discussing how he went about various songs. You might like it. Let me know if you'd like to "borrow" it.)