Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back in the good ole USA

After 30 hours and three separate flights, I finally made it back to the USA from Taiwan. Traveling more than 24 hours reminds me of the first 24 hours of a water only fast.  If you can make the first 24 hours, the rest is pretty easy. I heard that after 24 hours your body realizes it isn't going to have food so it stops sending hunger pangs, maybe after 24 hours of travel the same thing happens and your brain tunes out how long you've been traveling.

Anyway, the heat and humidity of Taiwan has prepared me for St. Louis brilliantly. Today it was 101°F with 38% problem! My family and I had a chance to go visit the home where Ragtime musician Scott Joplin lived in 1900. During the years he lived there he composed many of his popular songs including "The Entertainer". This is the only standing home that still exists today where Scott Joplin lived. He studied classical piano as a child and harmony and composition as an adult in Sedalia, MO. He wanted to create "America's first classical music." The sounds of his Ragtime music certainly has a very rich classical harmonic texture and syncopation, a true testament to the absolute king of Ragtime music.

After the Scott Joplin House, we headed over to Crown Candy. This famous kitchen opened up in 1913 and was made even more famous recently because of its "5 milkshakes in 30 minutes" challenge shown on the TV show "Man vs Food" with Adam Richman... I won't spoil his results, you can watch it here.

After my first Five Guys cheeseburger earlier in the day (quite good), I was only able to finish about half of my Crown Candy chocolate malt, the thing is ginourmous! One week left in St. Louis, then off to Los Angeles for the last week of my 40 year old Midlife Crisis.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

More studio recording in Taiwan

Back in the studio again this week to record guitar on some Taiwan "pop music". Still no word on when the performance video editing will be finished, but I'll post it when I get a copy. Working with Tu Lao Shi, the Taiwanese Music Producer/Composer is excellent. We're both on the same page musically, around the same age, grew up playing rock but also learned classical and jazz. Tonight's session was extremely quick, easy and productive. I'll be going back tomorrow to work on some more music.

I have less than 10 days left in Taiwan, then I'm traveling back to the USA to visit my family, and take care of in Los Angeles. My 40 year old Midlife Crisis has less than fours weeks left. I have plans for one last hurrah in the USA...then it's "Game over man...GAME OVER!!!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back in Taiwan...with a music gig

Oh my, the weather in Taiwan in do they say it...oh yeah, "it sucks". Basically 100 °F with about 75% humidity. The good news is that I can breathe much better here in Taiwan (haven't figured that one out yet).

A month ago I was freaking out from having no job and no job opportunities. Now, I have opportunites in Taiwan and the US to do music and engineering. I met up with a music trio from Argentina/Brazil that has moved toTaiwan from China to work professionally as musicians. I got the chance to meet them and rehearse for four hours. The next day we shot a live promotional video, performing three songs: an instrumental version of a popular Chinese song "Ting Hai", Chick Corea's "Spain" and Miles Davis' "So What". It was quite the experience. It is one thing to record audio music in a studio, it is quite another to do one complete take with the entire band live, on video, with no chance for any overdubs to correct any mistakes you make. Suffice it to say that everything went well and was a first take recording for all of the songs, aside from the two takes it took with the Chick Corea song "Spain" (hey listen the original version, it's not so easy: Spain).

We started the five camera video recording at 12:00 midnight, and ended at 8:00am. It went very well and we felt really good about the performance. This is for a promotional video to promote this group as a studio session recording group as well as a backing band for live tours, so we'll see what happens.

Great musicians and great people to work with, I couldn't ask for anything more than that...and yes this is me in a tie...I give up a job of 10 years as an engineer wearing a t-shirt and shorts to work every day, to wear a tie playing music...oh how the mighty have fallen.