Wait, Gaines(ville), Day 1

I attended a Kina Grannis concert last night (10.7.10) here in Gainesville. I’ve been gone so long that downtown looked completely unfamiliar. Her openers were wonderful, and her singing was utterly surprising. You see, it’s extremely important to me how someone sounds live. While I was chatting with Tomek in Wrocław about music, we both agreed that the mark of a good musician, especially electronic or any other highly produced music, shows in their bare, acoustic performances. Kina already uses very little adjustment in her records or videos, but I’d assumed many takes and nudges went along with the added harmonies and synths, etc. Well, she sounded nearly identical live. Head voice and inflections: perfect. Transitions, tempo: perfect. She seemed completely drained of energy from the long tour but her voice and her musicality shone in spades.

I waited after the show to tell her I’d sung her single Valentine on streets across Europe and it turns out she’s busked in New Zealand, herself. I think that’s my next continent to conquer. She asked for my blog link – I am absurdly flattered. I spoke with her openers, Matthew Mayfield and ImaginaryFriend while waiting the hour for the line to die away. They gave me encouragement and hope – words of advice that confidence and passion, above all other things, win out. Since being back in Gainesville I’ve been subtly pushed towards taking music even more seriously and I find myself on a bit of a crossroads.

I have this philosophy about the honesty of busking, but the lure of recording and trying YouTube and MySpace is both strong and terrifying. I still want to be a school teacher or art therapist someday, but this fits into my philosophy on teaching, too – what will I have to teach if I haven’t lived? My convictions remain strong – to postpone whatever further schooling in exchange for living and traveling and having something to teach my future charges – too long have I been cocooned in the world of education. I’ve never understood teachers who head straight from their own college schooling to instruction – I believe a teacher has a responsibility to see that which he teaches about, not just read about it. I doubt my world history teacher ever left Florida. And thus my plan-less free lifestyle.

So I ask once again for feedback – and this time it’s incredibly important – as to whether or not I should pursue music in a more commercial vein. For if I am to settle in the States busking will be largely insufficient. I’ve apologized often for the quality of my sound files – I think I’m afraid to record well. If I’ve support, I’ll be sure to find some way to improve that quality in earnest. So tell me what you think?

5 thoughts on “Wait, Gaines(ville), Day 1

  1. I don't know anything about the commercial world of music, but I love what you said about how teachers need to live before they can teach. 🙂 Because good teachers never just give you information; they affect your lives, too.Good to see that you're back in the States again! Makes me less worried about you. I know that I was one of the ones who pushed you to go busking in the first place, but after you started, I definitely got worried, because it sounded so difficult. I'm really proud of you for sticking with it for so long!

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  2. edited for spelling. ;)\”I've never understood teachers who head straight from their own college schooling to instruction – I believe a teacher has a responsibility to see that which he teaches about, not just read about it.\”Granted, I largely agree, but I would say this is largely out of reach for most people who become teachers. Also, teaching can be a really amazing way to learn and grow. In fact, it should be, since reflective practice and growing professionally are hallmarks of a good teacher. The learning need never stop. And unless you've actually started teaching, it's hard to say if learning has actually even really begun.All teachers start somewhere. Sure, if a teacher has a lot of good background knowledge, good for them. But that, I would say, is only a small part of being a good teacher.This vein aside, I actively encourage you to record more professionally to see what happens. Right now, the choice is really limited to that. You can always change your mind later, no?

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  3. Hey there Terrence!Firstly, I didn't know you had a blog.I'm listening to some of the files you have here, I'd encourage you to continue with the path that fuels your heart more, which seems (from your words) to be the non-commercial. Perhaps you'll end up changing that someday but wait until you really feel it to be right.Loving what I'm hearing!P.s. I'm back in Oakland (I was a whole year in Portugal, pity you weren't in that area) and just hung out with Reger today.Peace.B

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  4. Haven't been here for a while, oops. I'm a bit torn about giving you advice about recording, because the last thing I want to do is quash your curiosity. But at the same time, I really can't imagine you jumping into that world and being fulfilled by it, at least not right now. Although I don't know who Bruno is, he said it better than me: I can't see that fueling your heart, which you very badly need. But at the same time, like most people have said, there isn't really a downside if you have the capital. So, as always, take what I tell you with a grain of salt 🙂

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