End-of-Summer Update + Navigating Transition

Rebecca-Hass-UPDATE-NAVIGATING-TRANSITION.png

Hey everyone! I know, long time no blog (except for sheet music releases and Kickstarter stuff) - all summer, in fact!

If you’ve missed the style of writing from my usual blog posts, you can still hear from me every week in my newsletter that’s chock-full of supportive real talk about staying well while doing creative work. Sign up at the bottom of the page!

Now that we’re past the ceremonial beginning of fall, I thought I’d pop in to let you know what I’ve been up to.

If you follow me on social media, I know you couldn’t have missed the Kickstarter for my upcoming album Florescer.

(Spoiler: we did it! The project was funded, which I am SO grateful for - thanks very much to everyone who contributed!) I also did a really fun online concert to celebrate the last hour, which you can watch here:

If you did miss the Kickstarter, don’t worry, because the official album release date is coming up soon on October 24, and you’ll be able to buy and stream it through all of the usual places - stay tuned for more details on that.

And, if you’re in Minneapolis/St. Paul, you’re invited to my album release show on October 18, featuring all of the guest musicians on the album (Tim O’Keefe, percussion, Jenny Klukken, marimba, and Laura Harada, violin). I’m also planning on live-streaming it. More details here.

If you want to stay in the loop on the album and upcoming gigs, be sure to hop on my gig mailing list here!

So, what else did I do all summer?

A lot, it turns out! No wonder this summer seemed to go faster than ever. Workwise, I:

(NON-WORK) FUN STUFF

  • traveled to Denver to celebrate a good friend’s 40th birthday

  • traveled to New York to see Dream the Combine’s installation at MoMA PS1, which Tom spent most of June helping install, saw some college friends, and got to have a lesson with my teacher Vitor Gonçalves.

  • visited Tom’s family cabin in Hackensack, MN

  • drove to Iowa for a friend’s wedding

  • spent as much time with family and friends as possible

  • saw some great music: Ivan Lins, Bobby McFerrin, Matra, Hamilton de Holanda + Roberta Sá, and the Twin Cities Jazz Composers Workshop premiere concert

September is always a pretty crazy month, with the beginning of the school year, but this year promises to be even more so, as I wrap up Kickstarter rewards and prepare for my album release. I’m also going to New Orleans to attend the Being Boss Vacation at the end of the month, which is coming up fast! I’m really excited to connect with more fellow creative entrepreneurs, and keep living out my word of the year (CONNECT!)

NAVIGATING TRANSITION

All in all, it feels like a really big transition time right now:

  • I’m adjusting to a new school year, in a new teaching space

  • The seasons are changing (yet teasing us with warm weather, right when I was ready to be cool and cozy)

  • Tom is a few weeks into a new job

  • Etc.

I’m reminding myself:

  • That transitions of various sizes are constantly happening and take mental energy

  • That bigger and/or simultaneous transitions take even more energy

  • Even “good” transitions can be hard, and that’s fine

  • I need to cut myself some slack, generally, and especially during these times

  • I don’t need to start anything else new during a transition time, unless it’s something I really need

  • I can (and should!) do extra nice things for myself when I’m feeling out of sorts

  • I don’t need anyone’s permission for that...and neither do you!

If you need permission to go a little easier on yourself, here it is!

Are you going through any challenging transitions right now, school year, seasonal, or otherwise? How do you deal with it? Let me know in the comments. (You got this.)

New Sheet Music: Borboleta Azul

Introducing September's new release in my sheet music store: Borboleta Azul (Blue Butterfly). Like last month's new release, Baião da Bicicleta, this tune features baião rhythms, but also switches back and forth between that samba rhythms - it's a favorite of mine! 

Below is a preview of this track with percussion, which will be on my soon-to-be-released album of original Brazilian compositions and arrangements, Florescer, coming in October 2018! 

Borboleta Azul is available as a lead sheet for $2.99, and makes a great companion to Baião da Bicicleta.

Each month I publish one new piece - if you want to stay in the know about new releases, hop on my mailing list at the bottom of this post!

You can also check out the other pieces in my store (lead sheets and piano pieces) here

New Sheet Music: Baião Da Bicicleta

Introducing August's new release in my sheet music store: Baião da Bicicleta. Baião is a type of rhythm from Pernambuco in northeast Brazil, which is found in forró, coco, and other genres, and usually uses the zabumba, a type of bass drum with an awesome name. 

It was hard to name, but I kept getting images of determined bikers while listening to it, so…Baião da Bicicleta it is!

Below is a short version of this piece that gives an idea of what the head (melody) sounds like. 

Baião da Bicicleta is available as a lead sheet (with fully notated bassline, if you like that sort of thing) for $2.99, and the full version, with solos and all, will be appearing on my upcoming album of original Brazilian compositions and arrangements, Florescer, which will be released in October 2018!

Each month I publish one new piece - if you want to stay in the know about new releases, hop on my mailing list at the bottom of this post!

You can also check out the other pieces in my store (lead sheets and piano pieces) here

New Sheet Music: Maracatu do Manatim (Lead Sheet)

Introducing July's new release in my sheet music store: Maracatu do Manatim (Manatee). Maracatu is an Afro-Brazilian style of music played at Carnaval parades in Recife, Brazil, which you can learn more about here. It typically has a much faster tempo, but for a manatee-themed tune, I think a slower groove works!

This song came out of one of my composition prompts (from my free 5-day email bite-size composition challenge) to write an ostinato about an animal. I selected manatee (because who doesn't like manatees?!), and somehow it ended up sounding like a 70s cop show, so naturally, it became Donald the Crime-Fighting Manatee.

Well, Donald has recently moved to Recife, Brazil, and become infused with maracatu rhythm. I'm not sure if he's been solving any crimes there, but he is having a great time, and is super excited to appear on my upcoming album in October 2018, with lots of percussion! 

Maracatu do Manatim is available as a lead sheet for $2.99, and will be appearing on my upcoming album of my original Brazilian compositions and arrangements, which will be released in October!

Each month I publish one new piece - if you want to stay in the know about new releases, hop on my mailing list at the bottom of this post!

You can also check out the other pieces in my store (lead sheets and piano pieces) here

New Sheet Music: Tico Tico No Fuba Piano Arrangement

Introducing June's new release in my sheet music storeTico Tico No Fuba, arranged for solo piano!

This song was made famous by Carmen Miranda in the movie Copacabana in 1947, and the title translates to Sparrow in the Cornmeal (who needs to be shooed out of the food supply!)

Here's a video of me performing it a few years ago: 

Tico Tico No Fuba is available as a fully-notated piano piece for $4.99, and will be appearing on my upcoming album of my original Brazilian compositions and arrangements, which you can pre-order through June 19!

KICKSTARTER-Rebecca-Hass-Brazilian-music.png

Each month I publish one new piece - if you want to stay in the know about new releases, hop on my mailing list at the bottom of this post!

You can also check out the other pieces in my store (lead sheets and piano pieces) here

Album Title Reveal!

Rebecca-Hass-Brazilian-ALBUM-TITLE-REVEAL.png

I am so excited that my album finally has a title: 

Florescer (Bloom)

A few nights ago, I was really tired, had just gone to bed, and of course, that moment was when my overactive brain chose to prevent me from sleeping! (Don’t you love that?) Unlike most times this has happened, however, it was actually productive! I couldn’t get the word “bloom” out of my head, and images of hand-drawn flower art kept popping in.

The next morning, it still sounded like a good idea, and also sounded cool when translated to Portuguese, which feels appropriate for an album of Brazilian music. Then, I read that May 29 (this Kickstarter’s launch day) was the Full Flower Moon, the usual name for a full moon in May. The deal was sealed.

Though I might be a little biased because I was born in May, it’s my favorite month, because of the arrival of greenery and beautiful blooming trees. The Hasses also tend to be botanically gifted people (which I strive to be) - my dad has even co-authored a book about roses - so flowers seem baked into my DNA.

I also find myself using metaphors about planting seeds and growing things all of the time, and, of course, this quote is one of my favorites, which regularly inspires me to get moving on my goals:

Rebecca-Hass-plant-a-tree.JPG

If you haven’t already, please back this Kickstarter to help it grow and bloom, and make the album a reality!

Thanks in advance for your support - if you can't support financially, sharing on social media is great, too!

If you want to stay in the loop on the album and upcoming gigs, be sure to hop on my mailing list here!

My Kickstarter is Live!!

Rebecca-Hass-Brazilian-album-KICKSTARTER-Launch.png

The Kickstarter for my upcoming album of Brazilian original compositions and piano arrangements is live! Less than 12 hours in, I'm SO excited to say that I'm just over 15% funded, surpassing my expectations, for sure. Much gratitude to my 24 backers so far!

Besides the album itself, I have lots of cool rewards, like an enamel pin and art print that I designed, custom ringtones, and more.

Thanks for following along with my work all this time - I invite you to check it out! 


I'm also excited to share this fun video that features Gingando, one of the songs from the album. This is a solo piano version, but it will eventually have percussion and marimba, too! 

Thanks in advance for your support!

If you want to stay in the loop on the album and upcoming gigs, be sure to hop on my mailing list here!

Virtual Office Hours Now Open!

Rebecca-Hass-VIRTUAL-OFFICE-HOURS.png

I'm excited to announce that Virtual Office Hours are now open to the public! I'm offering free 30-minute conversations about the challenges of creative work, including: 

  • Finding and honoring your priorities
  • Making small + sustainable changes
  • Creating more ease and balance in your work and life
  • Developing and keeping healthy habits
  • Managing time
  • Avoiding burnout
  • Adjusting your mindset
  • Moving through creative blocks⠀

If you want some new perspective on any of these things, let's chat! 

Sign up for a free appointment here, and if you don't see any times that work for you, feel free to send me an email to see if we can work something out - I'd love to hear from you! 


And, it's getting SO CLOSE to Kickstarter launch day - just 4 days away. I have a really fun video that I can't wait to share with you on Tuesday, so stay tuned!

Rebecca-Hass-KICKSTARTER-launch-May-29.png

If you want to stay in the loop on the Kickstarter and upcoming gigs, be sure to hop on my mailing list here!

What’s your biggest challenge as a person who does creative work? Let me know in the comments. 

New Sheet Music: Brincalhão (A Maxixe-Samba)

Introducing May's new release in my sheet music store

Brincalhão, a Brazilian lead sheet that switches back and forth between an asymmetrical maxixe (AKA Brazilian tango) and samba. Brincalhão means "playful" in Portuguese, and I think you'll see why I named it that!

Here's a video of Jenny Klukken and I performing it earlier this year: 

Brincalhão is available as a lead sheet for $2.99, and will be appearing on my upcoming album of my original Brazilian compositions and arrangements, which you can pre-order starting May 29!

KICKSTARTER-Rebecca-Hass-Brazilian-music.png

Each month I publish one new piece - if you want to stay in the know about new releases, hop on my mailing list at the bottom of this post!

You can also check out the other pieces in my store (lead sheets and piano pieces) here

Getting to Know Brazilian Music: What Is Choro

BRAZILIAN-MUSIC-CHORO-Rebecca-Hass.png

It’s been almost a year since I stopped featuring Brazilian music on a regular weekly basis, but seeing as I’m making an album of mostly samba and choro this summer, I’m going to start giving a bit more background on the wonderful music of Brazil! I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like it - it’s so much fun, and makes you move involuntarily! (As I type this, I’m listening to this samba album and doing a seated dance in my chair.)

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, it’s probably pretty obvious how much I love Brazilian music, but what’s maybe not so obvious is what it’s all about (it’s a big country with as much, if not more diversity than the United States). Most people are familiar with bossa nova, but there will actually be no bossa nova on my album! All of the music will be in either samba or choro styles (with maybe one baião).

Both samba and choro are vast genres with many subgenres, but today I’ll give a brief rundown about choro, especially because April 23 (the legendary composer/flutist/saxophonist Pixinguinha’s birthday) was National Day of Choro in Brazil:

  • Choro comes from the verb chorar, which means “to cry”. There are multiple genres of choro, though, and much of it is very upbeat, with a fast tempo.
  • Choro developed around the same time as jazz and ragtime in the US (early 1900s).
  • Choro's popularity has come and gone many times over the past century, but the scenes in Rio and São Paulo are alive and well, and plenty of people are innovating in the genre right now!
  • Like jazz, choro is improvisatory, and read from a lead sheet (or, really, should just be memorized, like the early musicians did), with a large repertoire of standards.
  • Choro’s most common instrumentation is flute/clarinet/saxophone as the melody instrument, a plucked instrument like bandolim (mandolin), cavaquinho for rhythm, the sete cordas (7-string guitar) as basslines; and pandeiro (a tambourine-like percussion instrument), but it can work with most instruments.

For a little more background on Brazilian choro, check out this Pop Matters article, which references an amazing documentary called The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho (highly recommended!), and this WNYC feature on Choro Ensemble with Anat Cohen.

I’ve written 2 choros so far: Anelante, a choro serenata (slower tempo), and Gingando, a more upbeat choro, which you can listen to below:

If you want to get more familiar with some great Brazilian music, I used to write weekly posts featuring a different song each week, in various genres, and I made a playlist of all of them here:

Because things are really ramping up with my Kickstarter launching on May 29 and recording my album in July, I’m going to switch to a more sustainable blogging schedule of once or twice per month. (To avoid burnout, I actually have to walk my talk about wellness!)  

But, if you’re on my blog mailing list (separate from my gig mailing list), I’ll still be writing you weekly newsletters, so if you want to hear from me more often, sign up below:

What’s your favorite kind of Brazilian music, song, or artist? Or, if it's new to you, what do you wish you knew about? Let me know in the comments!