What are you doing New year's Eve

A little 2008 holiday gift from me

This one was simply a little card from me to my BATB friends last year. I just felt like giving a very small thing back, a "thank you" note for the wonderful time many of them had shared with me through the whole year, especially those closer and dearest friends I got to finally hug at the NJ con for the first time that July.

So I sat and recorded this song in an impulse, no time for rehearsals, just some volume adjustment to the file. As a result, it's somewhat rough - not a smooth track really - and my pronunciation makes me cringe! But when a couple of very special people found it so good, I forced myself to "like it" some more. I had it up for a couple of days on BBTV and the Gutter, but took it down after that.

Hmmm... I suppose it's already time for a 2009 card, isn't it? I'll se what I come up with! I certainly have a lot to celebrate.

I had a wonderful surprise that holiday season!

To Vincent and Catherine

An anniversary song

After daring to go out of my shell and sharing "Love, undisguised" in Winterfest Online 2007, and with all the wonderful things that celebration brought with it that year, - mainly beautiful friendships, - I was ready to try my hand at another little project for the next WFOL in 2008. My original plan was to write something for Vincent's birthday; I already had a melody in my head and had started on some lines... But the muse suddenly decided to take a break, without a word of warning! Evil, evil muse... how dared she, with Winterfest a week away? Well; WFOL came and went, and I just stacked that file away. Maybe some other time it would find its voice.

"April 12th" was approaching. Soon we would be celebrating with Vincent and Catherine yet another anniversary of the meeting that change each other's lives (and many of ours) forever... so another feast was in order, and preparations already on their way. It was then that I was presented with a proposal I just couldn't resist: A song for that special celebration at Batbland. The theem were to be Hope. So perfect. So appropriate! So I set to work. I got that early file out and tried to fix it... but that melody no longer spoke to me, you know. Somehow, it had lost its inicial charm; its moment was gone, not to mention it had a completely different feel to the theme, the emotion I wanted to convey then. So a few days before the Anniversary, I closed the file and deleted it forever. (Mind you, traces, pieces of that melody still live in my head, but I doubt they will ever become a whole).

After deleting the file, I picked my guitar and started playing, while getting flashbacks of how they met, their conversations, the intro, what they meant to each other... and the song just came to me, I think it wrote itself... or rather, Vincent and Catherine wrote it.
It was done in a couple of days, by April 10th, just in time.

one word about the title again: The fact is, I couldn't come up with a title! I just saved the file as "To Vincent and Catherine", and told the "batbland fairy" she was free to name it whatever she wanted. Well, she either couldn't come up with one or thought this appropriate, because that's how it appeared in the page in the end. And then I didn't want to change it.

You may listen to it here; it's a better version than the original Batbland recording. The words to it can be found here, as part of the April 12th, 2008 celebration. Enjoy!

And Amber has made a video with it! Here it is. Thanks, Fruitcake!

You are my sunshine

When I woke up this morning, Fruitcake had left me 23 (that's twenty three!) offline messages. Something very exciting had happened to her, and her enthusiasm was seriously contagious! Among those messages were the words to this little song, and after reading them, that simple melody got stuck on my head all day... Until I finally decided to grab the guitar and just sing it, to see if I could get it out!

It's just a wee thing, but the song itself carries some pretty (and fun!) memories, so I thought I'd post it. I recorded it based on a little known Carlie Simon version. I'm posting the raw draft, so you'll have an idea of how I spend my breaks at work. (There's an advantage in working from home, you know).

Agua Pura

Huh? What is this?

I was cleaning (or should I say uncluttering) my room the other day. I had to get rid of this huge lot of cassette tapes, since I already have everything on CDs now anyway. Suddenly I came across some tapes of me rehearsing: and here was this song from back in 1995!

It was my last year of high-school, and I'd been singing in school contests for three years, alone and with our choir (which I directed). As a very shy introvert, those years did a lot for my self-confidence. I even started getting noticed outside those festivals, and appeared in newspaper interviews and on tv... scary stuff! One day, this song writer (who used to be at these school contests) called me, and asked if I'd like to participate in a national festival, and said he had already written a song for me. I did... I was the youngest! hehe

This is the demo of that song, recorded in 1995 when I was 18. Seriously, my voice here makes me want to scream! And at the same time I realise how much I've learned since then; I've really come a long way. The lirics are obviously in Spanish, and it's a very simple melody, but it brings back nice memories, and I guess that's what makes it fun to share. In context, the title would translate as Clear water, or something.
Sorry for the poor and rough sound quality though: it's just a transfer from an old tape!

PS: I would post those news clippings... but they're all in spanish!

Close to you

My first con!

This clip comes from what has to be one of the most wonderful experiences of my life so far: that week in NJ/NYC last July. I could just talk forever about it! But don't worry... I'm going straight to friday night and the song.

Earlier friday morning, when Rosemarie asked me if I was going to sing that evening at the talent show, I said of course I would. But later as I was getting my dress ready, I realised I forgot to pack the CD containing the couple of background tracks for the songs I wanted to sing! That was so disappointing, I was really looking forward to it.

I should have known I could count on Amber's excess of energy and excitement: as it happened, she had brought two or three songs for me too, just in case! I can't even remember how we picked Close to you... maybe because it was the only one from her selection I had tried before, and since I wasn't planning to waste precious time with my friends in rehearsals, I just went with what was familiar.

It's funny how so many things can flash through your mind in a very little time, and yet, you can make perfect sense of them all. That's what happened as the music started: I thought of Je, broadcasting for Lynn and I from LA the previous year and telling me they had played the video with my song... And Chan, saying they had even have a guy in the roof trying to get the internet connection to work in the conference room so I could hear... Well, I thought of how all of that had seemed so far away, so to speak, and yet here I was now. Anyway, you would have thought after so many performances I'd be calmer, less nervous, but I was a mess! It was so good to realise everyone seemed to really like it!

Well, I got to check the lists' messages next wednesday, while Amber and I stayed at Zanna's house in Baltimore (on our way to VA). I just couldn't believe it when I found JE's first uploaded con video was this one, I didn't know she'd made it! (Here's the mp3 version). I suppose it's only too appropriate that she and Amber, of all people, would help me build and keep this bit of memory this close. But again... that's another story!

Love, Undisguised

My first song

I've been asked about this song so many times... the first one I ever wrote.

When I attended my first Winterfest Online in 2006, I was amazed at the flow of talent from so many... That year I didn't interact with anybody; I didn't know how, and the little I knew seemed intimidating enough to keep this shy introvert away for a while longer. (What? You don't believe it?)

When WFOL was over, I joined some of the lists and made myself "visible", but I still kept my distance somehow. When I saw the first candle for WFOL 2007, I wanted to be part of it, to feel more on the inside.

I had been having an idea for a song, but the more I worked on it, the more elusive it became, until finally I gave up: It was no use to force the muse to go where she didn't want to go.

And then one night, I kept replaying that scene... I herd that music box in my head... I imagined Vincent and Catherine dancing to it, and wondered what that moment must have been like for them... and the words just came to me out of nowhere! I grabbed my guitar and sat at the computer, and in the next hour or so the song was mostly ready.

However, I want to scream every time I listen to it! I had very little experience recording on the computer, and since there were not many programs that would be user-friendly to my screan reader (that has changed, thanks heavens), I had to stick with Window's sound recorder. What a nightmare! It took more time to record the thing than to compose it! Add to it that it was the middle of the night and everyone was sleeping, so I had to keep my voice to a reasonable volume. As a result, we get an emotionless performance, (not to mention some bits of my english still make me growl).

Anyway, I sent it to the Wintercandlemakers that night as soon as it was finished, but after hitting the Send button I started to pannic! You absolutely can't imagine what their letter of encouragement ment, least of all my shock at Chan's request that it be used for a "special project".

One note about the title: I am terrible with titles! At the last minute I decided to just save the file as "Undisguised", but then Chan started refering to it as "Love, undisguised", which I didn't bother to correct because I loved it.

You can listen to the song here, or better stil, you may want to enjoy dear Tunnelmom doing her magic watching the beautiful video here. The lyrics are included in the page. Enjoy!

Update: Finally! Two years (and much more experience) later, I re-recorded the song! And our amazing TM fixed the video with the new track. I'm excited! Now it doesn't make me cringe so much, and it's not that emotionless.