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I pulled into Albany around 3:30 on Saturday afternoon.  Took some time to catch up and scout an area to play.  I was talking to a fellow in the coffee shop about what I was doing there and asked where a good spot may be.  He told me a couple of different places.  I went to the closer location first and saw there wasn’t much going.  I found that kind of odd for a Saturday night in a big city.  I went to the second location and went up and down the street twice and found a place and looked for a spot to play.  I found both relatively quickly.  

I got out on Lark Ave and saw there was a lot happening in the way of people walking by and having a good time.  I set up and started my warm up improv as I always do.  Almost immediately, I could tell it was going to a good night.  It was a good night.  I wish I had went to that location first.  By the time I got there it was 6:30ish. I played out there for almost 90 minutes and had a good time and received some nice tips and compliments.  I wish I wasn’t afraid to play after dark in these bigger cities.  It was stating to get dark and I just don’t feel safe.  I feel it is better to be safe than sorry.  As near as I could tell, Albany NY is busking friendly.  The police drove by me on a couple of occasions and said nothing to me and people seemed to enjoy what I was doing. Like I said, I wish I had got there sooner.

The next morning I drove into Vermont.  I was able to meet another long time facebook and twitter friend.  April, her daughter and mother welcomed me into their home as if I was an old friend they hadn’t seen in a while.  They were very friendly  and generous.  Conversation and laughs took up a good part of the day.  April made some lunch and soon after she and her daughter went to the park with me and hung out while I played.  I was hoping to get some mid-afternoon Sunday traffic.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of it.  A few people walked through and one woman even sat down and listened for while and talked with April.  Before that, April had given me a quote and I did an improv based on that.  It has been a while since I did that and that was fun.  

After spending the day in Vermont and exchanging gifts with April and her family and sharing our art it was time to go. To see some of April’s work, please click on the “Between Hearts 75″ link on the right in my blogroll.  I am grateful for the time there and the coffee that kept brewing throughout the day.  

When I left Vermont, I headed to the west side of NH, where my brother and his wife live.  I hadn’t seen them in a long time.  My GPS kept cutting out on me all throughout Vermont and even after I got to his down.  I kept getting lost and it was frustrating the hell out of me!  I got there about 20 minutes after I should have.  I was just happy to finally find the place and see my brother! Today, I called Lebanon and Hanover Town Halls.  There is no busking in Hanover- I would suggest, don’t even try it.  In Lebanon, to busk in the parks, a permit is needed- but not to busk on the sidewalks.  Under the threat of rain, I didn’t go out today.  Instead, I hung out at the house and had a wonderful visit with my sister-in-law, Patti. When my brother got home we had an awesome dinner and my brother and I watched “Django Unchained”  Tomorrow I will be out in Lebanon in the afternoon and at some point, I will be in Portsmouth! 

Thank you for following along!

“Changes” is also on my RPM cd for 2013.   One afternoon in February, I was meeting with a friend of mine, Ben, for coffee. Something we do often- though not often enough- and we were talking about our lives.  He talked about how busy he was for classes at school and planning his wedding for September and all kinds of fun stuff on the horizon.  I was talking about how I had come to screeching halt.  January seemed never ending and the first week of February I got food poisoning and was sick for 4 days!  Thank goodness I had the RPM Challenge to get back to some kind of business, because there was nothing going on.  A couple of weeks earlier, I had to bite the bullet and get a part time job.  I wasn’t making enough out in the Squares to pay my bills anymore.  Clearly, there were a lot of changes happening!  As always though, my visit with Ben was awesome.

Changes are always going to happen, that just kept ringing through my head.  I was in the shower one morning and came up with the first two lines of my Haiku.  Later on, I called Ben, struggling with the third line.  He said, “Whatever it is, make it pertain to you”  He never gives an answer, he always makes you think.  As always, it worked.  The last line – “Never lose yourself”  came to me a couple days later. He loved it!  I think we all get to a point where we want to do things at certain times that aren’t necessarily us.  I have done it and I have to live with those repercussions, anyway…. It is important to stay true to who you are, regardless.

So, now I have the Haiku, what to do for music.  I wanted to have someone play on this with me, but there wasn’t enough time.  I did the best I could to represent this being by myself.  The idea for the tune was to use chord changes to represent the changes in life.  During the second line- “Good bad or indifferent” I was going to use 1 scale and do a circle of fifths progression.  Some of it would have sounded great, some not, well you get the idea.   So, I left my mistakes in there instead.  Hopefully, one day, I can get this recorded the way I wanted to.  But for now here it is.  Please click on the link below and give it a listen.  It is also available as a free download!

http://www.reverbnation.com/jamesrinalduccijazz/songs

Enjoy! And Thank you for taking a listen! :)

As some of you may know, I do the RPM Challenge every February.  If you have never heard me talk about this before, I encourage you to check out some of my older posts.

“Myshkin” is a tune I put on my RPM Challenge cd this year.  It was inspired by Dostoevsky’s character by that name in his book “The Idiot”.  It took me just about two years to finish that book!  It certainly is not an easy book to read.  I would read a few chapters and then put it down for a while.  As difficult as it was for me to read it, I enjoyed it tremendously.  There is so much going on in that story, but the important part was Myshkin’s feelings for both Nastasya Fillipovna and Aglaya Epanchin.  He loved both women for different reasons and it was my impression, though he didn’t really show it, that his heart was torn between the two.  As I was coming to the end of this book- the last 60 pages or so- I could not put it down! So much happened and I didn’t see any of it coming.  That was in January of this year, it still is in my head and I still think about it all the time.  Whenever I talk to someone who has read it, I get all nutty and want to talk about it with them and it could be for hours.  “The Idiot” will always be one of my all time favorites.  In my tune “Myshkin”, I tried to portray the anguish of loving two people simultaneously.  During the middle part, I had P.R. Portales (my sound engineer) use an octaver.   It represents the two women.  I think the rest of the tune and the Haiku, will be evident to the listener.  To hear “Myshkin” please click on the link below and tell me what you think!  While you are there, feel free to download it for free!  Thank you :-)

 

http://www.reverbnation.com/jamesrinalduccijazz/songs

I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish this year.  Gilda needed repair, and I didn’t have the money. All I can do is give a HUGE thank you to my brother, Kenny, for helping me with that.  I am ever so grateful! There wasn’t enough time to find musicians and rehearse before the recordings and I lost 5 days due to a cold and food poisoning.  Then yesterday, the nightmare of printing my cd cover and label.  Thank goodness for the patience of my brother -in-law, Ed. We weren’t able to print the label and cover I wanted, due to software issues.  My computer wouldn’t install his printer. After many trials and errors, we just put text on it.  Lining it up with the templates wasn’t easy. I wanted to use a sketch for my cover that someone did of me a few years ago.  Her name is Charlotte, she was here with her family on vacation, and sat in the Square and did this.  I thought it would have made a nice cover.  Maybe when I get a new printer.sketchI was also up to the wee hours of the morning waiting for the audio files Pete sent me to download.  I had to make sure they downloaded properly, it took a few hours, but it worked.  I got it out in the mail by 11:34am.   Unfortunately, I made the cd with just me.  I wanted to add other musicians to give it a little more depth and a different sound than what I have been doing, there just wasn’t enough time.  I am hoping to be able to build off this in the very near future.  I also hope you enjoy what I made.                                                     studio 1

I actually was able to record in a studio.  That was pretty cool.  We had three sessions at Hamilton Hall and it was a lot of work, but fun work!  Pete was very patient with me, as I did many takes.  He gave me some good input and did the mastering.  It was great working him. I hope I am able to work with him again when I get other musicians.  It was also pretty cool to do a Haiku based from a photo my friend Diana sent to me (that can be found in my previous post) along with all of the Haiku I wrote and track titles.  I also want to say a big thank you to my friends and family who were very encouraging along the way.  This is my 5th Challenge and I think it was the most difficult for me.  I love when February 1st comes.  It gets me out of the long January funk and back on track.  I love The Wire for starting this (I think) 8 years ago.  It is amazing to see and hear all the music people create in such a short time. Please go to the RPM Challenge site, and see what others are doing. There is a link in my blogroll to the right.  Yes, it is difficult and sometimes can be stressful.  But you come away with something that you never thought you could do.  It is amazing, people sign up from all over the world to do this! It is fun to hear all of the different ideas they come up with.  Again, check it out sometime when you have time, thank you!

FinishedCD pic

During the first 10 days, I didn’t feel very productive.  I had done a lot of research to figure out certain scales and/or chords to get an authentic sound, and in the first 10 days only had 3 progressions written.  Also, I had been sick for several of those days.  I was feeling very discouraged about not getting my Challenge cd finished.

In the last 10 days, I feel I made up for that. I now have 10 Haiku written and 10 progressions down.  I have worked very hard and continued to look up certain scales and chords to match what I am saying in the Haiku.  I have 5 based on literature, it kind of became a theme after my first two.  The other 5 came from various places or thoughts I had.  I would like to share all ten of them–

1,  Myshkin, the Poor Knight/ Heart torn between two women/ Tragically, lost both

2.  24601/ All he did was steal some bread/ He is, Jean Valjean

3. On a Knight’s errant/ To honor the Peerless One/ With his trusted Squire

4. Poems, short stories/ A master of the macabre/ Mysterious death

5. Gollum and Precious/ Together for Centuries/ Consumed by Passion

6. She’s from Canada/ Now living in Australia/ The Orange Blossom

7. Warm soft summer rain/ In the Squares of Savannah/ Gilded by the sun

8. Cafe barista/ A cappuccino in hand/ Frothy heart on top

9. Changes will happen/ Good, bad, or indifferent/ Never lose yourself

10. Glorious sunshine, On a chilly Winter day/ Chase those blues away

Number 10 is a Haiku based on a photo by my friend Diana.  We have done a couple collaborations in the past and I asked her if she would send me a photo and she did. To see more of her work, click on Life Thru Blue Eyes  on the right, in my blogroll.

Image

Now that I have all of my progressions and Haiku written, all that is left, is to record.  I had to take Gilda to shop (today) because there are all kinds of leaks and she is very difficult to play (A huge thank you to my brother for helping me with that!). Also, I have to do the album cover work and then I can send it off.  In some ways, this time of year is my favorite time of year. This is my 5th RPM Challenge and it sets a fire under me to come up with new ideas.  It is most helpful, especially after the long, cold month of January.  I am looking forward to seeing the end product of this project.  I hope you enjoy it too!

One of my assignments for this past week was write down some things I like to do, but haven’t done in a while.  One of these things was to write poetry.  I haven’t written a poem since I can remember.  Yes, I write a lot of  haiku but I was looking write a different form.   I chose a sonnet.  I may have had to write one in high school for a project in one of my English classes, but I don’t remember.  So, as far as I m concerned, this is my first one.  All I knew about sonnets was they had 14 lines.  I didn’t know much after that so, I looked up how to write one.  Seeing some of the examples, I started thinking of what I was going to write.  Recently, I have seen the LOTR trilogy and that has been on my mind.  I thought I would write a sonnet about Gollum.  Not about the entire trilogy or Frodo and Samwise with Gollum, just Gollum and the ring.  Enjoy!

 

He found the ring and called her my Precious

And on his birthday, he thought what a gift

As time passed, she had become infectious

Her power, impossible to resist

Killed his kin in order to possess her

He had thoughts of delusions and grandeur

Though she knew it would not last forever

Centuries passed and he wasn’t the same

She left him and went down the mountainside

He fought with himself and all off his shame

Since her departure he searched and he cried

He found her again, when she left the Shire

Precious obsession led him straight to fire

 

Thank you for reading, I hope you liked it!

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