The Power Of Love

An amazing day with Jazz Masters Sheila Jordan & Cameron Brown/L-R Sheila, Kate Hammett Vaughan, Christie Grace Cameron & Lara Crema.



Quote of the week:

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”  ~Henry van Dyke

WOW ! Yet another full week with our fifth exciting week with Ariel Hyatt’s  Music Success in 9 weeks and the SAC gang ( Songwriters Association of Canada) as we took a look at specific ways to build our YouTube channel. Here is mine: . I began sharing home videos of  a few performances a few years ago, and look forward to trying out more artistic video productions in the near future. Thanks to YouTube, anyone, anywhere can now launch home spun to high-tech quality videos with the potential of them going viral. This is a rare phenomenon of course, but hey people do win the lottery. It’s amazing really,   because before the advent of YouTube it used to be that only the label supported artists had access to professionally produced videos, but now thanks to iMovie and ingenuity, it is possible for anyone, including we independent musicians, to create a signature video. For instance, check out this great video filmed from my hometown Thunder Bay:

  The skies the limit now! I’m also really turned on by my online Berklee Music marketing class that I am enrolled in with our wonderful teacher  Jeff Straw of INgrooves. In last weeks lesson, for instance, Mike Dreese co-founder of the massively successful Newbury Comics introduced the concept of “time poverty”.  Mike elaborated on the idea that because we are all collectively “time compressed”, the ways that we communicate technologically need to be quick and to the point. Which supports the widespread burgeoning of YouTube ( Twitter, etc) becoming so popular as it is now the most rapid global means of communication available, not to mention downloading and streaming.

Another really inspiring experience was the opportunity to conference call with Dave Cool of Bandzoogle.  Our talented group from all across Canada, discussed highlights and challenges to date. Then relative to topics for writing a blog, Dave encouraged us to speak from our passions . He acknowledged how our journey may be overwhelming at times (uh huh) and emphasized anticipating the inevitable ups and downs that come with the territory. He also pointed out how blogs are not necessarily meant to win the Pulitzer prize with some weeks being better than others, as we each find our own unique voice. I sure found his comments helpful.

Then to blow the cap off the week, I participated in a powerful vocal workshop coördinated by Vancouver jazz singer and former teacher,  Kate Hammett- Vaughan. Along with 10 other  jazz singers we were privileged to be mentored by the illustrious 84-year-old  jazz master vocalist, Sheila Jordan from New York:  It was such an honor to spend time with Sheila and her bass player Cameron Brown which culminated in their marvelous performance last night at The Jazz Cellar. What an experience!

During our workshop I was inspired by Lara Crema’s beautiful jazz lullaby for her daughter Serafina and so in honor of our YouTube theme this week, I decided to share a video of my folk song I wrote for my daughter Ashley’s Lullaby” twelve years ago while driving up to a guitar workshop in Wells, BC.  My music has swung more into the jazz arena, but this folk gem has a very special place in my heart, and is a family favorite that still makes me cry! It was filmed at my daughters 8th birthday especially for my Mother. Ashley is now a lovely young woman but still lets me sing this to her from time to time. So for you soft-ees, you may want to get out your Kleenex. It was filmed and edited by my friend Miles McNamara. I never thought of uploading it till now, as I felt it was too personal and homespun, but this week I have also thankfully addressed my self-sabatoge- ing habit of perfectionism. So, here’s me throwing all caution to the wind with a walk down memory lane. I hope you enjoy it.

I feel very fortunate for my rich experiences this past week and look forward to sharing more with you next week.

Happy Valentines Day!



Website Grooming

I saw an amazing juggling performer at Cirque du Soleil last summer that blew my mind. “How does he do it? “ I gasped in disbelief! Yet, here I was saying the very same thing people often ask me. “ How do you do it Christie Grace”?  I realized I saw myself in that acrobats madcap act as I can swing in and out of haphazard balance in my life depending on which roles I am juggling.  They range from mother, wife, musician, designer and artist. To business owner, goldsmith, booking agent, housekeeper, cook, agent and a publicist, manager, band leader, recording artist, songwriter, business woman, student, shop keeper and… blog writer. In stride with every indie musician that I know, I juggle a myriad of roles directly and indirectly related to music making because it has become the basic requirement in our complex music scene. One of those central balls for a musician is our website. I began my first website with a hip graphics designer  from Nettwerk 12 years ago with the release of my first cd, Late Bloomer. It was so beautiful but was much more than I really needed not to mention the massive upkeep and costs. Similar to our family dog Danni Girl- I  soon discovered my website also needed its daily walk, play, swim, H20, brush, organic food and her cuddle. OK cuddling is pushing it but you catch my drift. For instance for the past year  in anticipation for my new site, I dropped the ball ignoring my current site and during  my neglect it developed mats and started to get fat.  But not any more! …thanks to the inspiring tips from Ariel Hyatt’sMusic Success in 9 Weeks: The WEBSITE, I’m back on it!

Our golden Danni Girl and Angel

Believe it or not, one of my greatest challenges is that unlike the scientifically minded, funny folks portrayed in the current CBS hit nerd fest The Big Bang Theory, I am NOT a computer person. I work very hard to keep my computer cool and I am embarrassed to admit I have actually lost my grip over computer “issues”. So after recovering from panic from reading this weeks chapter encouraging us to review, claim and create every aspect of our site, I decided to avert any potential crash and burns and settled on updating my current site while laying the foundation for another one .

Even though there are  now fabulous sites like Bandzoogle and WordPress, that offer low-cost , easy methods for a computer novice like myself, I also have become a practical acrobat and fully recognize my limits . Subsequently, I have begun to understand in each of my site’s evolution, the purpose and platform my website provides and that to do it properly, well, it takes me a lot of time . It is a bit like songwriting in that it is an ongoing, living process that will eventually lead me into the next song, and the next site. So I’ll tackle another web adventure for my new cd release in Feb 2013 along with my capable design team Crocker Web Design.

In the meantime check out my webdog’s new shiny coat with many new additions including my exciting announcement about crowd funding for my cd . There’s also a new video of excerpts from some of my new songs and of course,  this heart stopping blog now in its third week.  Should you feel so inclined, do pass on any suggestions my dear reader that you may have to make your time in my site, more appealing to you. I am all ears. So, after I absorb a few more computer lessons , it looks like I’ll be adding web designer to the juggling mix while attempting to keep mats at bay. Happy trails.