End-of-Summer Update + Navigating Transition

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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.)

Album Title Reveal!

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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:

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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!!

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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!

Video: 3 Original Brazilian Tunes - Piano/Marimba Duo

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Last Friday I was delighted to be able to perform 3 of my original Brazilian tunes at a faculty recital at MacPhail Center for Music (where I teach), joined by my friend Jenny Klukken on marimba. We had a blast putting these arrangements together - it was fascinating to figure out how to layer our parts, considering that both piano and marimba have so many possibilities for combining notes.  

The first one, Gingando (which I posted a solo piano version of back in December), is an uptempo Brazilian choro, and Gingando is one of those words that doesn't directly translate, but means "grooving" or "swinging. 

In case you're wondering, "What's a choro?", there are different types - many have a very fast tempo like this one. See here and here for more background on Brazilian choro, and watch the amazing documentary: The Sound of Rio: Brasileirinho.

Anelante (Wishful/Wistful) is a different, slower type of Brazilian choro: choro serenata. This piece has traditional choro form (AABACA), but not traditional choro harmonic progressions - it has a healthy dose of Debussy influence in there, too!

Brincalhão (Playful) has sections of both maxixe and samba. What's a maxixe, you ask? It's a dance from the mid-1800s that was sometimes also called Brazilian tango (and developed alongside the Argentinean tango) - check out the composer Ernesto Nazareth, who wrote many of them. 

Thanks for checking out these videos - wishing you a peaceful weekend with hints of spring (but if not, the Brazilian music always helps)!