Lazy Sunday CLI: Frederick Ingram, Part I

As I’m considering retiring Supporting Friends Friday—at least for a short while—I realized I’ve dedicated quite a few posts to my good buddy Frederick Ingram—six, to be exact!

That’s the perfect number to eat up a couple of Lazy Sundays honoring my musical homeboy:

That’s it for this first installment of Ingramania.  Stay tuned next Sunday for Part II!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Midweek TPP Update: Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp, #MAGAWeek2022, Etc.

Summer is rolling right along, sometimes at an alarming speed.  I’ve gotsta buckle down if I’m going to get all these projects finished.

This week I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp, which I offered for the first time last summer.  Last year I had three campers—a small but talented group.  This year, I’m down to one diligent bassist.  I wasn’t even sure if he was going to show up, but his grandmother rolled up Monday morning and dutifully dropped him off, so we commenced a-rockin’.

Essentially, he’s getting twelve hours of private lessons from yours portly for about 22% of the normal cost (if I charged my half-hourly rate of $30 for twelve hours/twenty-four half-hours of lessons, I’d pull in $720; I’ll net $160 on this camp [that’s $200 total for the camp, less the 20% the school takes]).

Of course, we’re not playing bass for three hours straight each morning.  Where it’s just the two of us, we’ve worked out a schedule that seems to work pretty well:

  • Start with about thirty minutes of bass guitar—his bass “lesson” for the day.
  • Shift over to piano (his little fingers need a rest from pressing metal against a hard wooden fretboard) for about thirty minutes, working on chords and music theory.
  • Take a morning break, during which we talk about songwriting.
  • Work on songwriting (we’re currently wrapping up a tune called “The Story of Sam the Clam”) for about forty-five minutes.
  • Take a second, shorter break.
  • Review the songwriting session, then clean up and organize the Music Room for the day.

It’s pretty cool to have the flexibility to build the camp around what he wants to learn, while also working in some things that I know will be beneficial to him.

The other looming event of the year is #MAGAWeek2022, which will run from Tuesday, 5 July through Saturday, 9 July 2022.  For newcomers, #MAGAWeek2022 is when I celebrate the people, places, things, ideas, concepts, institutions, etc., that have, in their own way, Made America Great (Again).

During that week, all posts are behind the paywall over at my SubscribeStar page, but generous previews will be available here.  Fortunately, it’s just $1 to get access to everything for the week.

Finally, I’ve at least pulled up the manuscript for the first volume of Sunday Doodles, which I hope to publish via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service by the end of the summer.  The plan originally was to include the first fifty editions of Sunday Doodles, which are normally only available to $5 and up subscribers, as a handsome, black-and-white paperback.  Now, however, I’m thinking I might go even bigger, and include the first 100 editions of Sunday Doodles.  Talk about a nice coffee table book!

Speaking of, I am running late—for the first time in a long time!—on this past Sunday’s edition of Sunday Doodles.  Hopefully it will be live for subscribers by the time you read this post.

So, there you have it—some quick updates on yours portly.

Happy Wednesday!

—TPP

Supporting Friends Friday: Frederick Ingram’s “Ephemery”

My phone has twelve tracks downloaded to it, which auto-play in alphabetic order every time I get into the car.  Six of them are the tracks from my album, Contest Winner EP; four are from Frederick Ingram’s Elements; one is Frederick’s single “Fish Bowl“; and one—oddly—is Ozzy’s “Shot in the Dark” from The Ultimate Sin album.

This Friday, I’m diving back into Frederick’s exquisite EP Elements, one of my favorite indie releases of the past decade.  Because I listen to this EP multiple times each week, I’ve gotten to know these tunes very well.  Indeed, I wrote about another song from the EP, “Yesterday’s Weather,” back in January.

Today, I’d like to examine the other standout track from Elements, the shimmering “Ephemery.”

Read More »

Supporting Friends Friday: Bette Cox on Heavenly Music

“God loves music. He invented it.”  Thus begins Bette Cox‘s wonderful piece—aptly titled “God loves music“—about music and its divine origins.

As a lover of music myself, I’ve long believed that the existence of music—that certain frequencies together create consonant harmonies and beautiful textures, that the mere manipulation of sound waves can become a transcendent whole greater than the sum of its physical parts—is proof positive that God Exists.  How could something so precise and so beautiful emerge from a chaotic Nothing?  Unless we’re including twentieth-century German Expressionism, it couldn’t.

Bette’s piece went up earlier this week on her blog Esther’s Petition, and it is a must-read.  She points out the ultimate purpose of music:  to glorify God, to worship Christ.  She also dives into the endless variety of music, and how a single song could keep a composer occupied for eternity.

The most poignant part of her piece, however, is a “mini-vision,” in which a throng of singers and instrumentalists of every stripe arrive to sing for an “audience of one: Jesus.”

Go read her post—and go make a joyful noise!

SubscribeStar Saturday: The TJC Spring Jam II Review

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

The second TJC Spring Jam was a little over a week ago, and in the spirit of the original TJC Spring Jam, I’m offering up a rundown of how things went.

To put it briefly—and for those of you that want the essence of the article for free without paying $1 for it—it went quite well.  Instead of treating it as a big concert with a couple of opening acts, I decided to take a different approach:  highlighting my private music students.

As such, I presented it as “The TJC Spring Jam and Recital,” but really emphasized the “recital” portion.  My buddy John and I did play a few tunes, but even then I tried to incorporate students, and the whole event was much shorter than the first Jam and the two Spooktaculars.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

It’s Not Bandcamp Friday

Today is not Bandcamp Friday.  According to that link, “Bandcamp Friday is over.

However, Bandcamp sent the following e-mail to its users:

On Friday, June 17th, from midnight to midnight Pacific Time, we’ll hold our third annual Juneteenth fundraiser, where we donate 100% of our share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a racial justice organization with a long history of effectively enacting change through litigation, advocacy, and public education. Read our statement here.

Bandcamp Fridays will resume on September 2nd, and continue on October 7th, November 4th, and December 2nd.

Please help us spread the word!

bandcamp logo

Yeesh!  As such, I would encourage my readers not to purchase my music and merch on Friday, 17 June 2022.  I’m not surprised Bandcamp—a company dedicated to helping indie musicians sell their music—is embracing the woke agenda; personally, I don’t care.  I don’t even mind if Bandcamp makes money from sales on the platform; they’re a private business, and while they’re a pretty big player, there’s nothing totalitarian in their practices (yet), and there are multiple alternatives for musicians to sell music online.  It’s not like Google or Facebook, two virtual monopolies in the tech sector that dominate access to free speech and information.

Read More »

Gig Day VI: TJC Spring Jam II

It’s time for another front porch concert!  This event—the TJC Spring Jam and Recital—will be the fourth Front Porch concert I’ve hosted (I think), and I’ve learned quite a bit from the others, especially the last Spooktacular.

This year, instead of inviting another band to open the concert, I decided to make the first portion into a recital for my private music students.  I’ve been teaching private lessons for years, but have never done a recital, so it was high-time to give my students and opportunity to share their considerable talents.

The recital element also brings with it a built-in audience:  the students naturally come with their parents—and, potentially, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc.  More people means more merch sales, and possibly more tips and donations.

For this one, though, I’m not playing up the moneymaking aspect too heavily.  Yes, I hope to recoup some of my expenses for food and such, but the point is more to celebrate the hard work and talents of my private students.  If I sell some t-shirts and paintings, well, all the better.

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Beethoven’s Routine

Long-time readers know that I love Beethoven (particularly his Sixth Symphony, the “Pastoral”).

Readers also might know that I keep a fairly busy schedule.  Doing so requires sticking to routine, but that’s not always my strong suit.  My mind tends to jump from one task to another, but I find that writing out a detailed “to-do” list and crossing it off helps me to focus in on a task for extended periods of time.

When I really get into something—working on a new collection of piano miniatures, grading papers, or writing blog posts—I can focus in for hours, and often do that.  But working into that flow state takes time and, more importantly, motivation.  It’s the latter that I have been lacking the past week, a combination of end-of-the-school-year exhaustion and a renewed interest in Civilization VI.

So I thought it’d be interesting during this winding down season—when my own routine is about to change to the more leisurely pace of summertime—to look at Beethoven’s daily routine, care of YouTube channel Inside the Score.

Read More »

Lazy Sunday CXLV: Friends, Part VIII

The cavalcade of friendship continues this Sunday with three more posts.  Apparently, I’ve given musician, actor, and international playboy Frederick Ingram a lot of screen time in Supporting Friends Friday, but all of this weekend’s friends have enjoyed two or more Friday shout-outs:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments: