This is just a quick announcement to say that my official blog, WPR, is currently undergoing a migration to a new, community-based blog-hosting platform. There will still be all of the usual posts like my book reviews, new album updates, thoughts on current events, and my usual amount of quirky weirdness, but there will be a couple of new features on this site starting very soon.
In the meantime, come on by and check out our new digs.
Thanks for reading!!
There are two new segments I wanted to add to my regular roster of posts here at WPR.
First off, there will be a new segment called Creativity. I want to discuss and explore the process of creativity across numerous platforms. In my case, I play piano, sing, perform shows, write songs, write poetry, run this blog, draw, take photos, knit, and do a bit of web design, and so the creative process seems to permeate through my entire life. How does the creative process differ between various forms of expression? How is it the same? How does one stay motivated and inspired? These are all questions I hope to find answers to. I'd also like to interview other creative people across various fields and see how they feel about what they do. This should be fun.
Secondly, I'll be doing a new weekly segment called The Weekly Pic Pick. Over the last few years, I've been growing more and more interested in photography. Now that I have both a very good digital camera as well as a solid cell phone camera, I'll be posting one new pic per week from my adventures out and about in my life. Whether it's something striking, humorous, or just very editorial, I'll be posting the best of what I've photographed every week.
These new segments, in addition to my book reviews (Reading Will Save the World), thoughts on current events, and posts about simplicity and simple living, will begin over the next couple of weeks.
As a gay man, I've never quite known what to think about marriage. It has always been just something that was available to someone else.
Sure, I've fantasized about what my wedding could look like, but I've never believed those dreams.
I wanted to start a new instalment here on WPR about the books that I have been reading. I've been an avid reader all of my life, and I just love it. In my opinion, it offers far more to its audience than watching television does. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind television at all, but it is incredibly passive. Everything, including the plotline, the visuals, dialogue, and the performance is handed to you on commercialized and glossy plate. There is often very little, if nothing at all, that is left to the imagination. (Don't even get me started on all of the advertising. That's a whole other can of worms.)
To me, the beauty of reading is in its simplicity. First, you can grab a book (or e-reader) and take it anywhere. Whether it's in solitude, on the train heading to work, in the bathroom, or in bed before you go to sleep at night, you can read. It's unbelievably convenient. You can also go at your own pace or stop completely if you don't like the book you chose.
Reading a book also offers something incredibly vital. It invites you to use your imagination. I often create scenes in my head and imagine faces and foreign places when I read. It also invites you to contemplate different meanings and ask questions. Everything isn't offered right off the bat. You, the reader become engaged and invested in the content. It is among the most active things you can do without lifting a finger (outside of actually turning a page, that is).
So there. Reading will save the world. It is an age-old practice that has inspired great art and started revolutions. Give it a try. Find a book about something you like or are curious about at your local library. Find a cozy spot, and read.
Since this is a blog called "Where Pianos Roam", I thought it would be appropriate to have an image of pianos for the first ever Weekly Pic Pick!!!
The other day, I was rehearsing with my drummer Benjamin Stix, guitarist Tony Youngblood, and horn player Jamison Sevitts. We were jamming and brainstorming arrangement ideas for one of the songs for the album.
I think I had the best seat in the house. It was on a cozy little piano bench sandwiched between a gorgeous upright piano and my faithful (and very portable) stage keyboard. I felt like a little Asian buffer between the old world of the past and a funky, newer dimension. Sigh . . .
We had a fun session, and I could have sat there all day playing my heart out.
(SPOILER ALERT!! If you plan on reading The Grapes of Wrath some time in the near future. Do not read this post.)
According to dictionary(dot)com, the word "struggle" is defined as such:
To contend with an adversary or foe.
To be coping with inability to perform well or win
Back in January, Laurel, one of my best friends in the whole wide world, asked me if I could help decorate her adorable daughter Sophie's 1st Birthday Party as well as do some photography. The venue was the fellowship hall of an old church in east Nashville. Dark hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a warm abundance of natural light were the raw materials to work with. With very little time and an even smaller budget, I helped pull something together that was colorful, sweet, and fun. Here are some photos from that wonderful day . . .
That's right. I wanted the birthday table to be really girly and whimsical. Who would have thought that coffee filters and heart-shaped cookie cutters would do the trick?
I cannot ever remember having read a book whose every page resonates with my own personal philosophy towards life. I think I just found that book.
Back in December, a sweet and dear friend of mine sent me a box of books. I plan on reading all of these books through the course of this year, and I chose my first one of the bunch to read:
Relax, you're already home: Everyday Taoist Habits for a Richer Life
By Raymond Barnett, Ph. D.
Like many of you, I have my moments when I get a little bothered and frustrated. Once in a while, I feel like pulling at my very pretty Asian hair, stomping on the ground (doing little pirouettes in the air in between stomps, naturally), and speaking in my Darth Vader Man-Voice as I curse the world and all its spoils!!!
Why? You ask? Well, there are certain things that do bother me on a more than regular basis. Thankfully, there aren't that many, and I use my very calm, inscrutable Asian mystique to get over these little bits of evil.
So, without further ado, I present to you . . .
GORDON'S ANNUAL PET PEEVE LIST FOR 2013
Sometimes, I allow myself to think back on my life, on the people I've met, the places I've been. It's been a very steep, and at times arduous, incline. I'm surprised that I am remarkably well-preserved, in spite of it all. That I am still more hopeful than jaded, more sweet than bitter, more alive than complacent, more in love than in longing, more free than disenfranchised.
I have to tell myself, "You did good kid. You did good". The alternative to this would be to obsess over every loss and failure, to give greater credence to the gloom in the doom, to consume the worst of things.
The truth is I've lived this alternative when, instead of running outside to play in the sun, I turned the other way to explore darker corridors.
I've come to know a couple of things in these meanderings. First of all, and most essentially, if you stay in these darker places for long enough, things just start to suck. I could probably be more eloquent in saying that, but it's true. Darkness just begets more darkness, and before you know it, you've dug yourself into an impossibly deep, abysmal hole.