Hello, Newgrounds-ers! Newgrounds-lings! News...grounded...I'm really not sure what to call you people.
It's nice to see a new animation in my feed from @scottwjsm - Solid State Drive is a mesmerizing little music video that puts me in mind of 1) Grave of the Fireflies, that terribly sad war film by Akiyuki Nosaka; and 2) The Red Balloon, an almost-silent film about a French boy who becomes friends with a balloon.
Every month I check in like this and post a video update, so here is my regular newsletter for this past July. I think probably the main thing of relevance in this one is The Emperor's New Clothes: this track I posted on Newgrounds last year got a live premiere performance in July, by a professional violinist and an opera singer. Pretty cool! But if you still want to check out my lo-fi original you can still listen to it here, weirdo.
July was mostly dominated by my work at Ballet Austin, where I play the piano for dance classes. Last month I played for their yearly Summer Intensive, which is an educational program for serious ballet students ages 11-22. And "intense" was a pretty good word for this. These developing dancers were focused and eager to improve, and they received a lot of specific guidance and encouragement from the faculty. I recorded some of the piano music I made for these ballet sessions. If you're a subscriber to my website, you have access to these recordings on the exclusive content page.
I taught a lot of private lessons in July. I teach at Premier Music Academy, the Armstrong Community Music School, and Timbral Music Studios in Round Rock. If you live in the area and you're interested in taking piano lessons with me, I do still have a couple of slots available at Timbral Music Studios, but I expect them to be filled in the next couple months. So hit me up sooner rather than later.
I've also started sharing my lesson materials online, so there's a section on my students page now that lists some free worksheets and arrangements that I've made for lessons. These materials have already been useful for me, so if they're useful for somebody else too, even better.
Another big project in July was the High Strung concert, which was organized by "Central Texas Composers" or CTC, a group that I'm a part of here. High Strung was a collaborative project to produce new music for violin and piano. We met our fundraising goal for the project and had the concert on July 30. The show featured five new premieres in various musical styles. And I thought it went extremely well.
What I liked the most about this concert was the amount of variety between the different composers. You could really feel everyone's personality come through their music. My piece was a live rendition of "The Emperor's New Clothes". I worked with Julie Silva as the narrator and Phil Davidson on violin. Those video recordings will be available soon. Many thanks to our donors on Facebook and Indiegogo, who helped us make sure the performers in this concert were appropriately compensated for their time.
Austin Public & The Underground ATX
I've started volunteering every week at Austin Public, the local television station. The show I'm working on is called The Underground, produced by MVB Productions every Tuesday evening. The Underground is a kind of an open mic variety show. It features local comedians, storytellers, and musicians. The show is just getting going, really, but it's been thrilling to watch it come together. I'm not completely sure where this interest is going for me, but it feels like this is something I want to be a part of. It's just fun to meet creative people, and to support local talent. And of course to get to hold a camera for a little while.
Thrift-Ish Benefit Concert
Finally, I mentioned a few months ago that I was interested in doing a benefit concert for Thrift-ish. Thrift-ish is a local non-profit that provides clothes for homeless people. I'm pleased to announce that this concert has been confirmed for December 6 at the Trinity Church of Austin. It will be a Christmas concert oriented around raising money and donations for Thrift-ish.
Now I want to make this concert as big and as fun as possible, so I'm reaching out to local musicians to participate and perform together as one big group. Kind of like Tuba Christmas, except with a bunch of different instruments. So if you're watching this and you're a musician who 1) lives in Austin, 2) can read music fluently, and 3) is able and willing to come to one rehearsal in October and November (dates to be announced), please reach out to me. I'll be finalizing the ensemble for this in the coming months, and arranging the music for whatever group we settle on.
And that's about it. Thanks for reading this far (I hope it was interesting!). See you next month :)