Last fall I began thinking about who I might like to work with for this album. I knew that it was time to record more music and that I had enough potential material. The journey began in October when I met Brad Prosko at Break Out West and had a lovely conversation with him and thought that he would be a great person to work with, open, authentic, talented. Then I began planning 2017. Each month and what could be accomplished from writing potential songs to the CD release party and tour. So far, I’m glad to report I am on track. I have been waiting to decide on the next part of the journey until I have the final mixes.
When I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago about the fact that I wasn’t certain if October was a realistic goal she was surprised. “Don’t you just do it”. Unfortunately, there is a lot to do once the album is recorded. So now the next step is coming close. Will I have time to get the art work done, liner notes, publicity, tour planned, physical copies ordered? (by my proposed date of October 13-my 58th birthday).
Plus my new head shots are happening this week which will then require updating of websites and my online presence in general. I am looking forward to them as the photographer has some cool ideas. This is the point where I know that trust comes in, both to trust myself with the next step and to realize that the universe is at work helping as well.
So here is to the next steps. I want to love my music into the Universe. The songs I’ve written and recorded will find there way to the people who need them. I just need to stay out of the way and do the work. Thanks for listening. So may we remember that in whatever work we feel passionate about, it is one small step at a time and that we do need to do the work that is required.
In all thinks creative,
Two weeks seems like such a short time and here I am chatting to you again. One of the things I have done in the last couple of weeks is read a great book called Big Magic by Liz Gilbert, which is a book about creativity. It feels like it came along at exactly the right time. I needed a reminder of what creativity is all about. Do the work and then magic can happen is one of them. As well, Liz had so many interesting ideas about inspiration. Like the idea that inspiration goes around looking for someone who is ready to receive it. That is such a cool notion.
I can say that I have no real idea where melodies come from except that they are comfortable for me to sing and they often seem to match the lyrics. Creative people are often asked about this process. I am realizing more and more how being available to it is huge, ie: making the space and time and letting myself be a channel for what needs to be said. I finished the vocal tracks for one of my songs a couple of weeks ago and said to Brad Prosko (my music producer) and Robyn ( my wife), “I have no idea what that song is about”. It rather wrote itself. Later that night I realized that I was partly telling someone else’s story (I had written it a year ago) but I didn’t know where the lyrics or tune came from. Some would say they were buried in my unconscious or was I available to receive them from the Universe?
All this to say that I believe that Spirit or Universe or what ever you call your higher power is at work through creativity. No wonder it is so important and we are so drawn to it.
So go out and find your way of expressing your gifts and creativity.
Yours in music and creativity,
As I sit and ponder the next thing to write about as I continue on this musical and creative journey I was challenged with the idea of writing my signature story. I was listening to a podcast, Brassy Broadcast, where a guest suggested that one of the important things to do is come up with your signature story as a way to engage with your listeners. I gave it some thought and realized that the signature story of how I became more engaged and serious about this whole process is quite a simple one.
I was sitting at the lake and on the phone to my musical neice Jesse, asking her questions about equipment for a 100th Anniversary that I was going to play at for our town of Shaunavon. I said to Jesse, I am thinking of contacting a music producer I know, Ross Nykiforuk about working with me. I’m nervous about it though. Well, aunty she replied , you just need to send him an email. Which I did that day and he said sure. That conversation too place four years ago in May of 2013.
That was so significant for me because I was so nervous about having anyone do anything with my songs, felt that I wasn’t good enough and I knew nothing about the music business at all, let alone about recording a CD. So now I am headed into the studio in 23 days(but who’s counting) to record my sophmore album. I am grateful, nervous, and excited all wrapped into one. I really can’t believe my good fortune. So it often begins from a very simple place. From singing songs on the dirt roads around the farm at the age of 12, to now at 57 writing my own songs and putting them out into the world. Thank-you Universe! So go out there and become more engaged in your own creative interests and endevours.
Yours in music and creativity,
I am putting my first grant proposal in the mail this morning. I feel like I have joined the land of the musician, asking for money to do music. As I asked colleagues to help me out, I was touched by their willingness to help. They wrote me thoughtful letters of support. And hopefully this grant will help support my upcoming project.
As a part of my upcoming album, I am heading out next week for a 10 day writing retreat. I am looking forward to dedicated time away to write, to improve what I have already written, to finish some incomplete songs and to write totally new ones. I have been planning the outline of this next year for awhile and it is rather amazing as one step leads into another and it looks like this project of mine is a real possiblilty. As well, I will be working on my songs when I return home, until I go into the studio to start recording in May.
When I decided to record my first album I knew absolutely nothing. I had some songs that I had written and had performed a few times. I went to a producer I had met and he helped me with the process. He helped make a beautiful album. This time, three years later, I know a bit more about what I want. Well, all that to say that I can hardly wait to see what this album will be like.
Grab onto what you love, remember that it is one small step after another that leads us to where we want to go.
In creativity and song,
These past two weeks have been full of hope. I performed with a group of female singer-songwriters called Girls Like Us at a local music venue here in Regina, Sk. called the Creative City Center. We were planning to only meet for a retreat of singing and practicing and ended up also having a show. We were full of hope that all would go well and it did.
As I plan my next album and am gathering songs for it, I was asked if a theme had emerged. I took a close look at the songs I have and found that yes a theme of hope had emerged. One definition of hope I discovered was ‘a feeling of trust’. This is my theme for the year, trust. Trust that I am on the right path. Trust that all will be as it is meant to be.
I have found a great producer and have great musicians coming to join me in this next project. Hope and trust. They do go very well together. I am a total type A personality having worked for years as an Intensive Care Nurse. In that job I needed to do my very best and trust the colleagues whom I worked with. Perhaps things that I learned in that work environment are helping me now as well.
In just a little less then three weeks I am heading out for ten days of songwriting for this next album. I am looking forward to the focused time to write and revise the material that I already have. I am hopeful that I will have the songs that I need by the end of April when I will head into the studio again.
May your life be full of hope and trust. May you know that you can be guided to be on the path that is meant for you!
Yours in music and creativity,
I have some thoughts that I wanted to share as the New Year begins. As the world is talking about how challenging 2016 has been, I keep thinking about the fact that I have had one of my best years ever. My summer was especially good with a songwriting retreat where I co-wrote two songs that I still love. As well the silent retreat I attended this past July that was spent in nature and was both empowering and nourishing. There was a contrast between the songwriting workshop and the silent retreat, but both were so enriching.
I have spent a lot of time in my life thinking about ways of taking care of myself. When I was a young mother, wife and nurse I was often over caring for others to the point where I became an empty shell as other’s needs became more important then my own. I spent my thirties and some of my forties trying to figure out how to take care of myself. The point of this conversation is perhaps that I am now doing something that I love so much . As I have recently said to friends, I would talk nonstop about songwriting and music if I could. It is my passion and one that I have only been partly aware of until these past few years. I feel that I am right in the middle of my life, not off to the side.
So I would encourage you to find some passion that brings you delight. Creativity comes in many forms and I have found that the more I inhabit the Center of my live the more creative my whole life becomes. I hope that 2017 brings you much joy and love and a big dose of hope!!
I am off to get back to my goals for the next ninety days and to keep my core values ever before me, authenticity, vulnerability, wisdom, creativity and compassion.
Yours in music and all things creative,
As I reflect on the summer I don’t think I have ever enjoyed one so much as this past one. It was a season that was full of inspiration, from the hills I got to hike, to the songwriting retreat I took part in and the silent retreat I attended in Moose Jaw. I did some nursing work in there as well, but I’m told that my facebook feed looked like I was spending a lot of time reflecting, resting and rejuvenating, which I was.
I have been writing new songs for a CD which I hope to record some time in the New Year. As well, I have finished a memoir which I also hope to publish in the New Year and present it with my CD. Writing new material is a fun and frustrating process. Sometimes songs seem to come easily but I find that now I want to write more, the process seems slower. Melodies with unfinished lyrics present themselves and won’t go away until I figure out what the song is about and then today two songs found each other and became one. Creativity certainly can’t be put into a box. This summer at the Canadian Songwriting Challenge here in Regina, I was thrilled to spend three days with other great songwriters and co-wrote two pretty cool songs. One of which I hope to put on my new CD. As well, we were able to record a demo of our songs at the Regina CBC Studio One with Jason Plumb. It was a great time.
This past weekend I spent 24 hours with 5 other women songwriters. It was great to share songs, both old and new. We all met last January at a songwriting retreat and I am thrilled to be able to continue these connections. We plan to meet again in January and then present a show together in the spring.
This fall I am participating in the Playing for Change day at the Artful Dodger here in Regina on September 24th. Then I have a show, “An Evening with Wanda” at the Living Sky Retreat Center in Lumsden, Sask., on November 10th. I hope to have a couple of house concerts this fall as well. As well, my CD Awakening can be found as a free download at www.noisetrade.com/wandagronhovd.
I hope everyone’s fall is starting well. I am happy to feel the crisp air and harvest the garden. May everyone be happy and well.