Songwriting/Artmaking Routines #musicians #artists

Jean Vengua

Photo of Aireene Espiritu by Aki Kumar. 

A few months ago, ACE, the nonprofit that I co-chair held a fundraiser featuring Filipina musician and songwriter Aireene Espiritu with her band The Itch. It was a great concert, and we hope to work with her again in the future. In the meantime, I came across a really interesting interview with her (by Prasun) in Songwriting Routines, in which Aireene discusses how she writes music, her minimalist lifestyle, and how she survives as an artist. She comments:

I make time alone a lot because it takes so much energy to first of all put yourself out there and all the things that you do to book gigs. Then you perform, and then you have to meet with the people afterwards and all that takes a lot of energy and I’m exhausted at the end of the day.

I make sure I…

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Moppy: THE SUMMER BOOK, p. 55

This book, by Finnish writer Tove Jansson, in a translation by Thomas Teal, is sheer delight. The only two characters are a six-year-old named Sophia and her grandmother (who sneaks cigarettes as much as she can). Their dialogue is so unsentimental, so unlike any other grandparent/child interaction she’s ever read. They treat each other as absolute equals. For example, when Sophia starts using the word “bloody” in her speech, her  grandmother takes it up, too.

One day, Sofia adopts a kitten, which she names Moppy:

p. 55: Moppy turned wild and rarely came into the house. He was the same color as the island — a light, yellowish-gray with striped shadings like granite, or like sunlight on a sand bottom.

Moppy turns out to be a lot more trouble than a six-year-old can handle:

Sophia: You know what? I wish Moppy had never been born. Or else that I’d never been born. That would have been better.

Grandmother:  So you’re still not speaking to each other?

Sophia: Not a word. I don’t know what to do. And if I do forgive him — what fun is that if he doesn’t even care?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

#amreading: THE MISSOURI REVIEW, Spring 2012

OMG self hangs on to these literary magazines forever!

This issue of The Missouri Review has a theme: FAMILY.

Speer Morgan expounds in his Foreword:

When one sets about doing harm, the people most likely to be hurt are the ones across the table, if only by reason of proximity. Look up quotes on the word ‘family’ and much of what comes up is either sarcastic or humorous. Hamlet’s stepfather says to him, “My cousin Hamlet, and my son,” and the young prince responds, “A little more than kin, and less than kind,” with both “kin” and “kind” carrying multiple levels of dark irony. This is the norm even when your stepfather/uncle didn’t murder your father and marry your mother. Bring up the issue of relatives, and mockery soon follows. “I had no blood relatives until I made some,” says comedian Andy Dick.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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