2010 has been very strange. At the beginning of the year, I was still on blogging hiatus, so it took a while to get back up to speed. Springtime was crazy, with lots of great musical endeavors and memorable trips. By the summer, both my life and this blog went into overdrive, when I really started writing again, and found my full stride while sharing a bit too much about my childhood. Suddenly it was October, which is the month of my birth, but this year was also the month of my stepdad’s death, which has sent everything into a tailspin since then. A surreal trip to Yakima for the funeral was followed by multiple trips to Seattle, both for gigs and for family functions.
There were some standout moments from this last year that didn’t manage to make it into the blog, for various reasons. For example, here’s a video of a particularly interesting recording session that I was lucky enough to be involved with, albeit in a small way. A local singer-songwriter, who is also a friend, put the word out on SocialNetwork that she wanted to create a cacaphony of 50 pianos, all playing an F chord at the same time. I jumped at the chance. She rented a piano showroom downtown, and my friend and I (and forty eight or so other people) joined in to participate. I brought my camera to capture a bit of the action.
Another memorable moment from this last year was Trek in the Park. This theater group gets together every year to re-create a famous episode from the original Star Trek television series. This year’s was Space Seed, in which we meet the infamous character Khan (who returned in the movie The Wrath of Khan). It was a very well-done production, with live music and everything. . .and it was all free of charge. Here’s the climactic fight sequence between Kirk and Khan.
IrishBand released our self-titled EP this year, as well as an amazing animated video that a friend created for us. I would post that here, but our band name is very unusual, hence the pseudonym. To celebrate, we went to Port Townsend, Washington (the hometown of three of the band members, and an adopted home away from home for the rest of us) to play a CD release party and catch the Rhododendron Festival and parade and everything. It’s always a huge party weekend for PT, and this year was the tenth reunion for PT High School, which included Violinist and a bunch of other friends, so I actually went to the reunion barbecue in Chetzemoka Park during the afternoon, since I knew so many of the people there. (God forbid that I actually go to any of my own class reunions; I haven’t yet.) I also performed in the parade, in disguise, as an honorary member of Nanda. I’m the guy with the Mexican wrestling mask, playing the bass, miming along to the dance music that was blaring from the speakers in the back of the truck.
I had the opportunity to see the Oregon Symphony perform many times this last year, with some pretty big-name performers. Violinists Midori and Hilary Hahn, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and his cellist wife Amanda Forsyth (who, incidentally, gave a cello master class at the Old Church that afternoon, which I also attended, even though I’m far from being a cello master) who performed Brahms’s Double Concerto together, and a number of others. This month, I have a ticket for pianist Emanuel Ax’s concert, which I’m very much looking forward to. Yo-Yo Ma performed here a month or so ago, but his concert was sold out in the spring, only a few weeks after tickets went on sale. Curses.
So it’s been a good year, overall, but I’m really hoping that 2011 is better, or less confusing at the very least. I have lofty goals for the upcoming year, which include finding a job, finding love and a real relationship, taking care of some things that have been dogging me for a while now, and producing more CD’s. I have a bit of news on the music front, actually. A friend of mine hurt her arms a year ago, and has since been unable to play the piano, but that hasn’t stopped her from singing, or from writing lyrics and melodies, or from having tons of ideas. She e-mailed me at some point to ask what people in her position do in the music business. I told her I don’t know about ‘the music business’, but I’d love to give the songs a listen, and that maybe I could put music to them. She sent me some mp3’s, and I instantly felt like I knew where the songs should go. They felt familiar without being predictable, which is always a good sign. That was about two months ago, and we already have five or six collaborations in the works. Pretty awesome and exciting.
In other news, December is the fourth anniversary of this blog, so it seems appropriate to have a little birthday party, no? Come on, let’s have some sis-boom-bah.
So anyway, on to the Best Of. Here are the lists of what I consider to the best entries BFS&T has to offer from this past year, which naturally includes a list of the most interesting dreams, as well. Enjoy!
SteamCon – the steampunk convention in Seattle in which PolishCellist and I played, and had a total blast doing so
tragedy – the death of Stepdad
struggle – the early aftermath of the death of Stepdad
sitting here thinking about the Holocaust – one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard on the radio
folk festival fun – Portland Folk Festival, starring IrishBand, Dan Bern, Roll Out Cowboy, etc.
I’m kind of an a-hole – see for yourself
birthday present – prostitute schmostitute
the unicorn code – love it, learn it, LIVE IT
no one’s laughing – a peek into our family dynamics
déja vu – what it feels like, and a friend who claims to never have experienced one
the truth is out there – interesting UFO story, I promise
it’s not for shaving – Occam’s Razor, and how it applies to recording music
THE CHILDHOOD STORIES:
Just in case this wasn’t enough for your insatiable appetite for blog entries, here’s the Best of BFS&T 2009 entry, for your gluttonous pleasure.
Thanks for being here and reading all this, and for supporting this blog for such a long time now. I really appreciate it. I hope we all have an excellent New Year’s Eve, and Day, and that 2011 allows us to learn, and to grow, and to change for the better, a little bit each day.
Happy New Year!