Monday, March 9, 2015

Something About You! (week 4)

Week 4!!

I am a queen procrastinator….I find it so strange that some moments when i sit down to write nothing comes out of me…but today i knew i had to get this country song done and i was lucky enough to have writers flow!

Sat down in my writing room came up with a quick melody for the chorus and then grabbed my guitar and had this song finished within 15 min. I then thought it would be fun to play around with logic, Im still learning the ropes and the quantizing stuff really is a slow learning process for me so the timing is off in many places but i figure every time i do this i get just a little bit better and eventually i will have it figured out!!  So used to handing my demos over to producers to make sound beautifully polished aha…

Again I am finding it hard to post such unfinished work but its a demo and I am trying to get over the ego of it not being good enough!!

I have had a singers nightmare of heartburn for the past 3 days which has made it hard to sing….and breathe…and function…aha if you have had extreme heartburn you will know what I mean…for those who haven't I hope you never do!!!

My goal for the week is to have song 5 written by Wednesday so I can put some better production into the demo!!!

heres a link to my song!
https://soundcloud.com/crystalmcgrathmusic/something-about-you

Have a lovely day! Im off to yoga to try to eliminate this heartburn!

C!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SAC WEEK 2

So Week 2 brought me someone I consider a new friend, and created new opportunities. It is such a nice reminder to me that I am so grateful and lucky to be able to do what I love everyday of my life. Somedays I don't think much of it as it is so normal to me to wake up breathe music…teach music…talk about music…write music…record music…perform music….. but when I step back for a moment and look at this world I have created for myself I feel an abundance of gratitude. I read in this blog today ( https://shaunaspecht.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/sac-challenge-week-2-frustration-education/ ) today that writing was the easiest and hardest thing for them which reminded me of Love…in the most beautiful way.  Love can bring those amazing feelings of hope, trust, drive and at the same time has the power to make you hurt in what seems to be the most extreme ways. Love is what music comes from, Love is what inspires us all. To Love is to Live….and to Live is to Love and music is an expression of all of that in all of its beautiful forms.  For some reason I think of the love I have for my dog Brooks who passed away years ago…I had so much love for him, and the loss was an extreme sadness that I never would have felt if I never loved. I find a beauty in that sadness that life creates for us to love and to live and to have loss. Some kind of balance that I could never begin to explain……this is why we have songs to express all this crazy emotion we are given.

This week I had the lovely experience to cowrite with Lynn Tessari, a day before my birthday and she a total stranger brought me a card and gift. It was such a beautiful reminder to me of all the kindness there is in this world….sometimes the bitter realistic news of the world brings a distraction to that, why can't their be a complete happiness chanel of all the good people do in the world……..
Anyhow thats a whole other project for me….We had a lovely co write creating a pop song, which was inspired by our favourite minor chords with a hidden disney princess desire I have always had lol…..and came up with a song about a Gypsy Queen…Lynn had that saying when she came and I loved the idea…..so we roll with that and ended up writing about a girl who was on a journey to self love and stepping outside her fear of living outside her dreams…

https://soundcloud.com/crystalmcgrathmusic/this-is-me-demo-crystal-lynn2015

I also wrote a song today it came to me in an hour…and I created this demo….i have no idea where the inspiration came from I just started singing to a drum loop and then ended up creating this…..it is hard for me to post unfinished works…but I suppose that is all part of this challenge process so I will set the ego free and post away my works in progress!!!
https://soundcloud.com/crystalmcgrathmusic/million-times

Hope everyone has a wonderful week full of inspiration and Love!!!

-C!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SAC 6 SONGS IN 6 WEEKS…WEEK 1

SAC Challenge Week 1

So I have had an interesting week of songwriting. Some moments piecing together chord progressions seems impossible and other moments it comes easy as pie. Not sure where the saying easy as pie comes to as the last time I tried making a pie it didn’t feel easy lol…but anyways that’s besides the point. I always find songwriting to be an expression of the daily experiences in life. Some moments are easy others feel somewhat impossible but you just keep trying new things and eventually get it right.

I joined this songwriting challenge because I wanted to be challenged beyond my own expectations I put on myself.  I figured it would help open some doors and windows in my mind that may have been sitting closed for a while or perhaps never even been open yet! I find songwriting to unleash so much in me as a person, the emotions we hold on to the words we sometimes can not say and the dreams we envision outside our own realities seem to be endless while writing.  This week I had a neat experience writing a song outside myself about a Grandmother first meeting her grandchild and then passing away, the story was so sad that I created I found myself sitting in tears trying to get the words out as I played the music on piano.  It blew me away the emotion it provoked in me, this story wasn’t even real it was just something I created from an idea Darren had presented to me to write about. I love that about writing it can take you to a completely different world to create an experience someone somewhere can relate to.


Now to the point of the week! The Matt Dusk challenge! We were given a cd from a friend of an artist she saw in December, she bought us a signed copy as she thought we would love the music.  We ended up sitting in on top of our cd player and as we do in life got busy and forgot to listen to it. Well to my surprise the artist was Matt Dusk so as soon as I saw the image of his cd when looking him up from the challenge, I ran to listen to the cd that had been sitting around the living room for months. I couldn’t believe how long it took me to get to listening to the album, it actually brought out a feeling of frustration that sometimes life can get so full of to do lists and work and  distractions that I put aside a beautiful gift and didn’t take time to pop it in the player sooner.  I think somewhere there is a song in that feeling alone, procrastination and distractions and forgetting about the fine things in life that bring us peace. I have played around with a few ideas for the Matt Dusk challenge, my writing style is quite pop and pulling out a power ballad is one of my fortes so I’m leaning towards writing something in the style of John Legend/Lana Del Ray. I am really happy we have until the 6th week to submit the song as the week got away on me and I want to put more effort and work into the challenge. This week has taught me to schedule the time to write, block it off just like I would block of a time slot to teach a music lesson.  I’m continuously working on time management and this is a great task to help me with organizing myself.

So here we go to the journey of week 2!

xo
-C!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Holocene


“Whats your favorite song?” My cousin asked me tonight. I was listening to the song “Holocene” by Bon Iver when she asked and in that moment it was my favorite.  When she asked why, I said that It calmed me on this extreme level and just set my soul at ease, and at this point I had no clue what the majority of the lyrics were or what they were about even though I have listened to that song on repeat for years! But I loved the instrumentation. Being a songwriter, I am typically drawn to the lyrics of a song. So with my curiosity working I looked it up, and at first glance I was so confused by my first read, the lyrics were so deep that they just seemed almost silly to me. Until I started reading comments on peoples perceptions of the song it all started making sense, to some the song is about needing the world to live and breathe, but if we are not living and breathing the world doesn’t need us for survival, point being we are a part of something so much bigger then what we know.  Reading that it all made sense to me why I felt such a serene comfort when constantly listening to the song on repeat. A message that so many things we worry on don’t actually matter, and to truly appreciate the moments we are given looking beyond what we have in front of us and reminding ourselves that we are a part of something so big, and so beautiful.  I also read a story on the lyric site about a man who went through loss and trauma in Baghdad and during his time there he listened to this song and wept tears of misery and self loathing in his bunker, until one day he realized all the pain that he had created for himself in his life and that in order to move forward he had to change his way of thinking. We all have moments of darkness, some of our moments last longer then others, some can never find the light switch while others make a fire with 2 sticks. We are all given opportunity and chance but it is our choices that lead us down our life roadways.  We are all responsible for our worlds, although we can not control all the events that take place, we are in charge of controlling our emotions, our actions, and our reactions.  I just found his story so beautiful in all the sadness that he explained he found his light in his fight for survival.  I always say there is light that comes from darkness and this was a nice example of that to me.  I love how music can connect people that don’t even know each other and people that will never meet.  Music is a timeless creation that will continuously mark memories, create memories, and be strong reminders of moments that change our life.  Music to me is something bigger then we can see. It is a universal language that unites us all, and reminds us that we all feel, we all have a common root of emotion we just make choices that allow us to experience those feelings in different ways.

I am grateful for this grounding moment of serenity.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

STAY WITH ME

I want to fill you in on todays writing process... some songs touch me more then others...and todays spontaneous writing session did that.... 

Inspiration can come from so many different places!!! The other day I saw a commercial for a hotel and they kept repeating STAY WITH ME STAY WITH ME STAY WITH ME..... So being in a creative process writing our new album i am always searching for new ideas and words and thoughts to make new songs...and i wrote the words Stay With Me in my iphones notepad! Today Jarred and i get together and I told him about the commercial....later we were chit chatting random nonsence about our lives like we tend to often do and then he just sat at the piano and starting playing this beautiful melody...right away I was like omg we need to write to that....and i just started singing away within seconds we had a chorus including the tagline stay with me..... we recorded the piano and started singing versus and a bridge and so quickly we finished my new favorite song that i can't stop listening to....that doesnt happen with alot of songs for me that I write...except for a few we have chosen for our new album that we have already recorded...ahhh Im so excited to release new music its been ages!!! and speaking of ages Im turning another age next week....this will be my 3RD BIRTHDAY since we have released new music!!!! we have been lucky to have had such success from our LOVE CRIMES album it has taken us on a nice long journey!! It will be my 4TH BIRTHDAY since we have been a band!!! We just had our 4th BANDIVERSERY on Feb.14 we have mutual love for music ;)

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! If your in Canada enjoy your long weekend!!

xox
-C!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

HEART SHAPES

Feb.6.2013

Another day
goal setting & achieving                                    
never ending
always anticipating
the next move

What is it that keeps us motivated in life I wonder... we are always aiming to achieve and so often we forget to enjoy just the moment.....sometimes that can get you in trouble though enjoying a moment... for instance enjoying the sweet taste of heart shape shortbread melting in your mouth not thinking of the aftermath of stomach aches and swollen skin..yes sugar makes my skin swell aha but you just sit there working away on your computer enjoying the moment of indulging cookie after cookie and BAM the consequence hits....haha perhaps that is a motivator to why we goal set ... to avoid pain, especially when its self inflicted.

Bon Iver is on the top of my playlists right now...there is something about his voice that is just so soothing to the soul. Thats something we all forget to do quite often is soothe the soul...so take a moment and listen to some Bon Iver ;)

A quick update on my life as of today :

-Still in a cast...turns out the screws they put into my bone are coming out the other side of the bone leaving me in constant pain as the screws are rubbing against tendons in my arm..isn't that just delightful....so basically they say in a year I'll need surgery AGAIN to take the plate out....my advice to you all is when you fall please tuck and roll.. never land on your hands!!!

-MUSIC.....writing lots...with my band Boy&Gurl and for my own project Crystal McGrath! Boy&Gurl are set to release there EP in JUNE with an EPIC show we are so excited for this project!!!!! As for my project it is more country/pop/folk/roots....lots of guitar...lots of stories that will be ready LATER in 2013 after Boy&Gurl release their next EP and tour around bringing sweet sounds of PASSION POP to people everywhere!!!

-eXersizE!! I am finally able to exersize without overbearing pain in my arm so that is verrrry exciting to me!!! I have set goals and everyday work a little harder to achieve them.......being in pain and not very active for so long has been tough on the energy!! but like a bouncing ball I'm up again.....lol and yes I allow myself a heart shape cookie now and then............so many times i have just starved myself and that is seriously no way to win...balance and moderation ;) Speaking of balance I am looking forward to the day my wrist will bend again so I can go back to Yoga!!

***Everyday get up with a goal....even if it is as small as crossing one thing off your to do list....accomplishing what you put your mind to daily puts you on a pathway to success ;) ****

Today my goal was to blog....even if it was about nothing

Have a beautiful day.... enjoy the sun...or the rain...the snow or the ocean! wherever you may be!

xox
-Crystal!







Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Broken...but standing STRONG!

So this year has definitely been a year of growing and learning how to feel so many different things. It's crazy how the world can offer us so many different things..some good some bad. I am so lucky to be able to see the morning coming after night. It is to easy to sink into sadness, and burry your mind within  dark shadows formed by problems that loom in the corners of our lit walls. I have been informed that I need some pretty serious surgery on my arm from a tear in my TFCC tendon in my wrist, from this I need to have bones fused together with a screw, a bone graph from my elbow to my wrist and have my ulna bone shortened with a metal plate inserted. All this will leave me with a scar from my elbow to my wrist and in a cast until Jan.2013 followed by months of rehabilitation. I don't want to feel sorry for myself, but I am a musician, I play piano and guitar and teach music so now instead of saying I can not play for the next 6 months, I need to figure out how I can be creative and find a new way to play and become a better musician. I could sit on my couch and stay away from exersize and yoga but instead I will work my lungs with cardio and build my legs with squats and increase my left arm strength doing one arm yoga. I will continue to learn how to write with my left hand and become ambidextrous as I have been practicing since I fell in July slowly but surely I will be at least have left handed writing that could pass for a 10 year old, as right now it is a 5 year old status. Surgery is in 2 weeks....Until then I will enjoy showering and going out in the snow without being wrapped in a bag!!

Every day Be Grateful.
xo
-C!
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