September 30, 2014

Walking With the Arts

This past Sunday, I attended the 2014 Northport Artwalk, which is brought to us annually by the Northport Arts Coalition and the Northport Historical Society. For one day out of every year, the tiny shops and restaurants of this harbor village become art galleries showcasing the works of many local artists and photographers. It is a wonderful environment with plenty of patrons and pedestrians strolling through town while being serenaded by the musicians who are set up and playing on most of the sidewalks and street corners. I always enjoy this day very much. This year, I discovered that I knew several of the artists whose pieces were being shown, quite a few of whom live in Northport and also use scenes from the town as inspiration for their works. I saw many representations of the familiar pier, as well as quite a few depictions of the well-known building facades and waterfront. I had quite a few good conversations about the arts during my jaunt down Main Street. The Artwalk concluded at coffee house and poetry hot spot, the Caffe Portofino, a place that I've been to many times. It was a beautiful day. A great day for enjoying the arts.

Recently, the town of East Northport also hosted their annual street fair. It was interesting to see the baseball fields where I once played Little League baseball taken over by carnival rides and food vendors.

With tomorrow being the 1st of October, I took the family to pick a few pumpkins and gourds at the local farm stand. I got a small, oblong one which I'm hoping to paint with the famous scream face from the Edvard Munch painting. Perhaps I'll get to it next weekend. Cheers!

"My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world
learn righteousness."
~Isaiah 26:9


September 14, 2014

Birthday Candles & "Wax"

This coming Tuesday (September 16) will be my birthday. I don't make any big plans celebration-wise these days; just sharing a cake with family and a friend is good enough for me. A few months ago, I had floated a hypothetical question around in the office at work: If your birthday were to be declared a holiday, how would you want people to celebrate it? There were several cool answers, such as "Do a Good Deed" day or a "Face Your Fear" day. When the question was posed back to me, I had one answer. I would want to see people celebrating a day with the arts. I'd like to see people in their front yards jamming on musical instruments, setting up easels to paint, dancing in the streets, reciting poems on every corner. Since it is still technically summertime, it could be a great global block party with everyone sharing food, joy, and creativity. Yup, that's the kind of party I would throw. With that in mind, my birthday this year is going to be a little bit more special. September 16 is the scheduled release date for my third spoken word/music EP. It is called "Wax."

So far, "Joyful Noise" was released on October 21, 2013 and "Providence" came out on March 3, 2014. With "Wax" coming out next week, it seems that I am averaging an EP every six months. That is a rate that I should be able to keep up for the foreseeable future. I must say that I'm in a very inspired place right now. In the past month and a half, I've filled two manuscript books with music that I've written. At this time, composing feels effortless as I have a seemingly non-stop stream of original music playing in my head. I know that this comes from God because this level of inspiration is something that I could not achieve on my own. When it comes time to start on my fourth recording (which I'm already thinking about), I will be able to choose my accompanying music from a list of more than 60 compositions that I've already finished. For as long as God continues to use me as an instrument, I will ride it out and keep writing, recording, and releasing these EPs. Anyway, here is the album cover and track list for "Wax." It should be available on iTunes and all of the other online shops next week. I hope that some of you will get to hear it and enjoy it. Cheers!

1. "The Tyger" by William Blake
2. "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll
3. "Hope Is the Thing With Feathers" by Emily Dickinson
4. "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman
5. "Daffodils" by William Wordsworth
6. "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

"Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation."

~Psalm 95:1