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Mountain biking in Moab and cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde

My parents and I met up with my sister in Salt Lake City, for a family vacation to Moab, Canyonlands, Arches, and the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde (May 2012).

Pictures on:

New recording: Alaska

A new recording! I've been playing around with synthesizer sounds on my Yamaha MO-8 keyboard and ended up putting this together:

(Link to MP3 file, 3 minutes)

Living on the road

I'm currently on an extended road trip to New England, living and working on the road! I'm posting pictures and updates here on Facebook. (I tried this experiment before, traveling into southern Ohio, for 10 days.)

I also just took a three-week plane trip to visit my sister in Salt Lake City, and friends in Colorado and Seattle (and a short trip to Vancouver). This involved a lot of mountain climbing in Colorado and hill climbing in Seattle. Photos here on Facebook.

Boston / Vermont / New York City - on Facebook or Flickr
        Colorado / Seattle / Salt Lake City - on Facebook or Flickr

Juggling in the Circleville Pumpkin Festival, 2010 Edition

Each October, the Jest Jugglers head down to Circleville, south of Columbus, Ohio, and show off their skillz in front of the crowds during the Thursday Pumpkin Festival parade.

Most of us aren't entertainers, so you'll see a lot of dropped balls/clubs as we try to do the fun tricks that don't always come out right!

Ten videos from this year
        Last year's videos

(Last year's blog entry here.)

Joined a band

I've been playing piano in a band since last spring! We're called Vox Voronet. (We got the name "Voronet" from an ancient monastery in Romania.) Our singer and guitarist, Andy, I've known since we were in elementary school and he was so far ahead in reading he was in a reading group by himself. Chris plays bass and synth and Matt plays drums, and both are excellent musicians from Youngstown.

We play all original music and each make up our own parts. On the weekends we converge on Andy's living room outside Garrettsville and generally make an organized ruckus. In between there's a lot of practicing and composing and recording to do, and working on promotional materials, and emailing and networking to get in the door and play shows across northeast Ohio, Pittsburgh, and soon, Columbus. Being in a band is amazing but a lot of work!

We're really rockin' if you can make it to one of our shows! Our online recordings don't do it justice. There's nothing like live music (and even better when you get to play it!!)

Vox Voronet:
To join our mailing list to find out about upcoming shows, go to our MySpace page and scroll down on the right.

New recording: Groove 3

I sat down at the keyboard and this was the third of some piano grooves I came up with. I worked on it for a few weekends. My first new song in years!

(Link to MP3 file)

Last year I bought a Yamaha YPG-635 digital piano, with weighted keys and a great piano sound. It's plugged into my MacBook which runs GarageBand. I used to use a Fostex 4-track tape deck, and then a version of ProTools on my Power Mac 8600 (bought in 1998). Andy and I worked on a few recordings with these setups, but they were hard to use, and we weren't even doing anything that complicated. Now multi-track recording is so much easier.

This instrumental is mostly piano and bell sounds but has some organ for the exciting parts and a little saxophone. I also had a hi-hat cymbal in the basement that's fun to play. I don't know anything about drumming but it sounded better than something canned for the drum track. Hope you can enjoy it even though it's a little rough. I'd make a lot of changes if I had more time, inspiration, and experience.

Inspiration came from my friends and from music I've listened to over the years like MMW (Medeski, Martin, and Wood), the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, and even some Japanese music. Early Beck albums opened my eyes to the potential of badly played percussion.

For my recordings from years ago, see my old Music page.

Here's a screenshot of most of the song:

Juggling in the Circleville Pumpkin Festival

Every year the Jest Jugglers (MySpace, head down to Circleville south of Columbus to join the parade for the Pumpkin Festival. My skills probably barely register as entertainment-level, but it's lots of fun to be there with the rest of the folks.

Above: crowds gather in amazement at my three-ball cascade.

The Columbus Jest Jugglers warming up before the parade. Featuring: Evan, Jesse, Wes, Lamar, Tony, Nick, Liz, Owen, Ginny, Lynn, and Tom (above, or YouTube link).

Barely controlled chaos of jugglers in the parade (YouTube link).

Lynn's-eye view of parade, Wes doing three-club tricks, Jesse getting up on the six-foot unicycle, Lamar juggling five balls, Owen orbiting on his unicycle, Evan passing out balloons (YouTube link).

The jugglers pass by as we near the end of the parade (YouTube link).

The crew, back row: Tom, Lynn, Tony, Liz, Nick, Lamar, Evan, Jesse. Front row: me, Wes, Owen, and Ginny.