- Composer of Brazilian music.
- Supporting artists and their creative habits through wellness.
- Small changes add up to big things.
Hi! I'm Rebecca Hass.
I’m a pianist and composer in St. Paul, Minnesota, who is addicted to Brazilian rhythms and bringing joy to others through music. I write compositions spanning a variety of fun topics, from samba grooves to crime-fighting manatees.
I perform locally with Brazilian percussion group Batucada do Norte, and Modern Spark Trio, a piano trio with diverse repertoire spanning classical, jazz, rock, folk, world music, and modern composition. I also perform solo, and as an accompanist. (Learn more here.)
Over the last several years, I arranged several Brazilian tunes for solo piano, which led to finding my own voice and shifting my focus to original composition. In 2017, I even did 2 100-day projects in which I wrote 8 measures per day, while being otherwise extremely busy (it is possible, and actually really fun to keep a daily habit!) I now publish one new composition a month, available in my sheet music store.
I'm also very excited to finish making my upcoming debut album of original Brazilian arrangements and compositions very soon, which was just funded by a successful Kickstarter this summer, and will be released in October 2018!
It’s been a long journey, but I finally feel a sense of ease/satisfaction in my creative life.
In case you’re thinking, “Wow, that all sounds great,” life as a musician has definitely not always been easy or fun for me.
I have spent a lot of time on the brink of burnout (and some time past that point) and I am always engaged in the process of taming (or just co-existing with) my anxiety issues. (We’re in good company.)
I believe that creative people can live balanced and sustainable lives, if we do it mindfully, and I am dedicated to supporting the creative habits of other artists and musicians through wellness and mindset, as well as by hosting a local regular networking event for women musicians here in Minneapolis/St. Paul with Lauren Husting.
- Everyone is creative (even you).
- Wellness and creativity are interdependent.
- Creativity is a form of self-care.
- It's important to embrace and share the process, not just the product.
- We all figure it out as we go - art and life are experiments.
- Creativity can happen in small bits at a time. Small bits add up to large things.
- A rising tide lifts all boats, and awesome work deserves to be recognized.
- We're all in this together - it's so important to support fellow musicians and creatives.
You can read my blog here, where I write about the intersection of all of these things.
I also coach other creatives on balancing their lives and creativity through healthy habits and mindset.
More about my story:
I’ve always been drawn to variety - I attended Ithaca College to get a (classically-oriented) degree in piano, and while there, I took every non-classical music class I could, including a survey class for non-majors on Latin American Music, which changed the course of my life and career. My weekly assigned listening for the class turned into long sessions in the library listening to entire albums and researching musicians. A year after I finished school and moved back to Minneapolis, I joined Batucada do Norte, a local Brazilian drum group that I’m still a member of, and the following year I attended the amazing California Brazil Camp, where I got to take classes with master Brazilian musicians and learn about so many styles and sub-genres that I hadn’t previously known. The obsession had taken hold, and shows no signs of stopping.
Catch up on my writing:
- My Creative Manifesto
- Self-Care for Musicians
- Balancing Rest and the Hustle
- Let's Talk About Anxiety
- Habits That Support My Creative Work
- 7 Ways To Get Inspired To Compose When You're Not Feeling It
- How To Keep Up A Creative Habit When Life Gets in the Way
- How To Trust in the Creative Process