Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Money, Part 5 - Being Poor Sucks

Being poor sucks.
I have been rich, and I have been poor,
and being rich is better.
The starving artist thing gets pretty old at a certain point.
I remember as a student spending summers working at my dad's office, a sheet metal factory in Queens NY,
and hating it, counting the hours I worked there,
and doodling over and over again:
The Best Things in Life are Free! The Best Things in Life are Free!
And I still believe this to be true.
But I would rather spend a day at the beach with a $50 bill in my pocket than be worrying about how to buy my next meal or where I am going to sleep that night.

You can have a lot of money and still feel poor, and you can have a little money and feel rich.
So I guess to some extent
once you get past the bare necessities
being poor is a state of mind.

Money doesn't buy happiness
but I am certainly happier when I have money.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Playing Big, on Wednesday, August 14

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? ... Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

Please join me as I "Play Big" with the "Secrets" Quintet tomorrow night:

in Hollywood for a special night of great Jazz.
It promises to be an exceptional night for jazz lovers, combining all of the
various currents found in the “jazz ghetto”:  Latin Jazz, Groove, Be Bop,
Classic and Contemporary Jazz.

Don’t miss this one – our last show in January was a sell out!

Only one set - $15 cover charge + 2 drink minimum.

6725 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
(1 block east of Highland, park on No. McCadden)
Please RSVP for best seats: (323) 466-2210

Friday, August 9, 2013

Money, Part 4 - Time and Money

What if you had lots of money, but no time to spend it? I often think that money buys time, but it doesn't really. Making money takes time, and making lots of money takes a lot of time. That is why they call it work.
I know that there are constantly books being written about getting rich quick and such, but I remember one big"AHA" I got when I read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill: The people who make a lot of money work really hard to make it happen.  They are dedicated to that pursuit.
I prefer a "get rich slow" scheme: a gradual, never ending accumulation.

What if you had lots of time, but no money? Many people feel this way, when there is "too much month at the end of the money". It is a nice thought to be free of the constraint of work, to be able to just "do what you want". But it can be pretty lonely, and sitting around the library can get old also.

There must be a balance, then. The old model of "work until you are 65 and then retire" is not really a model I aspire to. I don't want to "retire". I want to spend my life learning, growing, and being of service, hopefully until I die.
I can't use the excuse "I don't have the time" or "I don't have the money" any more.
I have the time, and I have the money.
Now I just need to learn to keep them in balance.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Passion Party #486 - How it Happens

I had been thinking about writing a new ballad for quite a while.

Recently I listened to "Relaxin' with The Miles Davis Quintet".  These classic albums from the late 50's are often the touchstone that trigger my creativity.

One song struck me, "You're My Everything", by Harry Warren.  The block chords from Red Garland, the sparse playing by Miles and Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones.  An incredible mood.

I thought I would follow that song form, and write my own ballad.  But what would it be?

This morning I woke up thinking about a song that would connect "The Pursuit of Passion" to my musical world.  It would need to be heart-based, as this pursuit is all about following your heart.

How about "Follow Your Heart"?  I know John McLaughlin wrote a song by that title.  Many songs have been written with that title, why not one more?

I heard a song that would start with block chords, and a melodic phrase that would change and vary, stretching with each reiteration to fit the chords as they wandered.

A little turn of musical phrase.

I woke up, did my stretches, and sat down at the piano with some blank sheet music, and the chord progression of "You're My Everything" as my guide.

The melody flowed out onto the page.

The song is in the key of C, but I wanted a song that would never resolve, so wherever the resolution appeared, I added a substitute chord.  The melody continued to float onto the page.

The melody is searching, changing, finally settling in for the last four bars, settling in but never resolving to C.  Instead it ends on A flat major, with C in the melody. 

Like even when you know you are home, some things change and leave you feeling that there is more to do, more to explore.

In about an hour, the song was complete.

And that's how it happens.