The Mockingbird cabin -- though I'd really call it a
cottage -- at
Best Nest Cabins.
By a pond on the Best Nest property.
Doing the hot tub on the Mockingbird deck.
A week ago today, I achieved thirty-eight years of sobriety. I have
scribbled out some words that I've posted, though after-the-fact,
on the actual date of the anniversary. The post didn't appear
until the same time as this post.
Click here to read it,
if you're interested, that is.
If you've been here before you may know that I took both the
Embassy Pro bass
Giannini acoustic bass
with me on Autumn
2020. I'm happy to say I utilized them both. I started a new song on the
acoustic and I worked out the synthesized bass line for "Identity"
on the Embassy.
I sat on the porch of the Wolf's Den cabin at
Thunder Ridge Cabins
to start the new song, which has the workship title of "Chilled October
Morning." I stuck the
on the fifth fret of the Giannini and created the chord structure, which is
not finalized yet. I started the lyrics Thursday morning, on the deck of the
cabin, which happened to be a chilled October morning.
A big goal was to at least get a big chunk of the synthesized bass line for
"Identity" worked out, and I accomplished that. It's not perfected,
there are still some things to finess before I'm ready to record. But a lot
of progress was made.
I'll write more on these in the official account ot the
Meanwhile here are some pictures from those moments:
On the Wolf's Den porch composing the new
"Chilled October Morning."
MORE ON THAT MUSIC I WORKED ON DURING MY
Since returning home from
2020 I haven't worked on music, at least not directly. What I have
done is edit together a DV movie that I shot last Saturday while I was at
Mockingbird Cabin at
Best Nest Cabins.
I'd shot myself playing a little sampler of the new song (Song
#7; workshop title: "Chilled October Morning"), and I shot
myself playing a bit of the synthesized bass line that I worked out for
"Identity" while on the same
I performed that bass line for the camera -- (iPhone,
actually) -- accompanied by playback of the tracks already laid for the song.
Well, honestly, it's sans the vocal track, which as I have expressed before,
I really don't want anyone to hear; it's only value is as a
Monday night and last night I sat down at
Final Cut Pro X
with the footage, along with a collection of relevant still photography shots,
and edited together the following video. It probably has too much auxiliary
business included, but, here it is, anyway:
TWENTY-THREE YEARS AGO:
It's very odd to think that today is the twenty-third anniversary of the
passing of my mother. Just like one day you turn around and some kid
you've known is a full-blown adult, whether they are your child, another
relative, or a friend's little one. It's the same with our loved ones who
have died. The next thing you know the decades have multiplied. And in both
these scenarios, how often do we catch ourselves saying, "It seems
like just yesterday."
Since I've been back from
2020, until last night I had not done any music stuff, except to edit
together the DV movie I recently posted. I keep getting down to close to
the end of the evening and I don;t feel like unpacking everything and
setting it up. So I kept saying to myself, "Tomorrow. I'll do something
Yesterday I decided to short-circuit that bullshit. Before I "went to
the office" (you know, set my work stuff up out on my apartment patio),
I set everything up in the little "music corner" of my bedroom to
work on music in the evening.
So, last night, after an eleven-day break, I finally sat back down with the
SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal
and further rehearsed the synthesized bass line for
Song #6/"Identity." I still don't
have it worked out to the point that it's ready to record, but I have
come much closer. I made some further little tweaks to the arrangement of
the part last night. There are still some places where I'd like to, I
don't know, I guess "liven it up" might be the right term.
When I was done last night, I left pretty much everything set up to work on
it some more, so that it's readily available and setting there as a
strong taunt for me when I'm home tonight. It would be more than grand if
I was able to have a finished, locked take of this part recorded before the
end of the weekend. Actually, before the weekend would be good, too.
Yeah, before the weekend would definitely be better. Then maybe I could
start working on that troublesome vocal melody.
The little "corner of the bedroom"
recording studio set-up, all set up, early in the
day for later in the night.
It's time to rehearse!
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN:
Just because I haven’t recently posted any photos of me at my home office
in no way meant that I was finished doing so. As I wrote before, I will be
working out there until the weather no longer permits it. So, there I was
yesterday. Might have been dressed a little warmer, but, no problem.
TAKIN' THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SOME THEATRE MAKE0VER:
New DTG board member Michael Welly
While we have been on this unfortunate, extended intermission from
productions we have been taking advantage of the down time to do a lot of
different sort of work at the theatre. There's been some clean up and
clean out, some organizing, and lately, a lot of painting.
I missed a bit of the painting, once because I felt sick, and then i missed
several sessions that took place while I was on
But, this past Saturday, I was able to be there to pitch in. I actually
had been scheduled to be a reader
for the current
Ohio Playwrights Circle
play writing class, which is meeting on-line, but I canceled my participation
in that in order to be free to do work at The Guild during the same times.
There was a good turnout Saturday, in these COVID-19 days, anyway. You kind
of don't want too many people, but too few isn't great, either. Some of the
stalwart regulars were there and two of our new members for 2020/2021 were
there. Michael Welly and Edward Hill.
We only were there for a few hours, but a lot was done. A lot has been done
prior, and I'm kind of jealous that I didn't play a part on a lot of it.
The new look for the lobby wall.
DTG board members Kathy Mola (bending over) &
Sarah Saunders (on ladder) paint the board room.
Me (K.L.) touching up some spots outside the men's
Board members Jeff Sams & Edward Hill (new)
Edward, again, doing to fine-touch work.
Veteran board members Barbara Jorgensen (back) &
Carol Finley (foreground)
Yep, lately, all of my instrumental practice has been on the
running through the
SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal,
trying to perfect (or some approximation of "perfecting")
that synth bass line for Song #6/"Identity."
The synth bass is taking the solos during both the bridges between verses.
It's simple stuff, but, really, ought to be. I like what I've
worked out, but it's not singling me out as the new
Jaco Pastorius, or anything. But,
again, the lead work in those spots really feels like it should be simple
stuff -- which is a good thing.
There is a lead guitar section later in the song, which I hope whoever
the guitarist is does not keep simple. I do have someone I've approached
about laying the electric guitar for this. At some point I'll pursue that.
I'd like to get the rest of the tracks laid first, get that vocal line and
performance where I want it, especially. Also, I plan to add "horns,"
which will be on one or both of my Yamaha keyboards. I'm not sure if I'll
add the organ voice from my Williams piano
or not. I'm also not sure yet whether background vocals are necessary.
After I have this other stuff laid I make those decisions.
Rehearsing, once again, the synthesized bass line for
"Identity," last night/early this morning.
WELL, IT IS MID-OCTOBER IN OHIO:
So, damn, it was just a little too nippy out Friday for the usual
home-office set-up. I had to work from my actual office set-up inside my
By the way, you can't tell but on the screen in that first photo is the
Biden/Harris election website, where I was just about to make a donation.
BOWING TO THE INEVITABLE:
We regret that due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic we
are postponing our live performances until August of 2021,
when we plan to kick off our 2021/2022 season.
Your health and safety, and that of our volunteers, casts,
and production crews is of the utmost concern. We have come
to this difficult decision as so many of our fellow arts
organizations, both local and around the world, have done.
We look forward to offering you a robust season when we open.
Please stay tuned for information on upcoming productions
and ticket information.
During the pandemic, and as we approach the end of the year,
the Dayton Theatre Guild would appreciate any monetary
donation, in any amount you are able to make. All donations
will be used to help keep the Guild viable until we are able
to reopen to the public.
We have been fortunate to have your loyal patronage for
all these years, and we are impatient to get back to the
business of "Giving You Good Theatre, Done Well!"
Be well and stay safe!
At our DTG board meeting yesterday morning we made the painful decision
to cancel the truncated season we were going to launch this February. The
coronavirus pandemic is simply not calmed down enough for it to be a safe
and sane proposition to open our doors then.
Plus, in practical terms, the current Ohio mandates on inside theatres does
not allow us to have a "full house" of a size that would have a
ticket gross that would even cover the royalty fee for that performance.
There's just not a pro side to the February opening, and there are many
cons -- of course, risk to health and safety being the biggest con. That
would be the risk to health and safety of our audience members, to the
cast members and production staff of the shows, and to the boardmembers
and other volunteers.
All the board members were in agreement. It was not difficult for us to
realize that postponement was the only action to take. I think we've all
known for a while now, as we have been watching the news of new cases of
COVID-19 surging in our state. In fact, our region of the state has been
one of those seeing bigger surges.
It was a difficult decision to make, however, in that it certainly is not
at all how we want it to be. But, this is how it is, and we have to act in
accordance with the reality of the situation.
Still spending all my music time on the
SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal,
working on the synth bass line for "Identity." I spent time on
it last night and I was getting a little irritated with myself. As I
commented to a friend, who commented on the facebook post above:
J.K. Simmons and
Miles Teller in
that's what having a perfectionist's mentality does for me. Or is that
Self-castigation aside, at least I can point to the fact that I am at the
point of finetuning, and it's the missing the mark of a perfomance of a
instrumental part that is challenging, at least for a musician of my ilk.
And I can look to the point that when I am playing the part to my
satisfaction I will have improved as a musician.
I've also pretty much honed down the arrangement of the part to what I want.
So the arranger/composer part of the synth bass line is essentially done.
There may be some minor adjustments, but ultimately I know what I want to
play. Now it's just a question of executing the performance.
When I was rehearsing last night I didn't use the headphones for most of
time, instead running the mix through monitor speakers. I usually don't do
that at the apartment for a couple reasons. First, the obvious reason
that I don't wish to disturb my neighbors. Also, however, I'm not keen to
draw too much attention to the fact that music equipment lives in the
apartment. But I wasn't exactly blasting the music last night, and as it
got later, I did switch to monitoring with my headphones.
The rehearsal started with the TV on. I gave it a try, watching TV while
rehearsing. Had I been just doing exercises it would have worked. I've done
that before. But I was working on a specific part, so it did not
work. I was either concentrating too much on the part to be at all paying
attention to the TV, or, frankly, the music out of the monitors drawned the
TV out. I don't even know why I imagined it would work. By the way, that's
My Boys on the
screen, one of my personal favorite sit-coms, starring one of my major
celebrity crushes, Jordana Spiro.
Ultimately, TV aside, regardless of my critical verbal assaults on myself
as I was working to perfect the arrangement and the performance of this
synth bass line, there was progress. Whether that was because of, or in spite
of, my harsh attitude toward myself, I can't answer. That wish I expressed
in the Oct 15 post to have the synth bass line laid by the end of this past
weekend, clearly was not realized. I've also just figured out that I've been
actively working on "Identity" for over three months, and it's
been two months since I first laid official tracks on the multi-track master.
Yeah, this project isn't going to be on the home stretch any time soon.
Watching TV while I worked on the part didn't really work
And, of course, the standard second and third photos from
Of late I am seriously considering hosting an on-line, virtual
private reading, probably
via Zoom of the play manuscript. All three
of my original readers are on board,
contigent, of course, on their schedules. A cursory look at things makes it
seem like the early November period is a good candidate range for a date.
I have a new revision of draft #5
that I polished off Sunday. Only one of the actors has seen any rendition
of draft 5. For her, the changes will be subtle. The other two will see a
significantly different starting and ending of the play. We know, naturally,
that there's no guarantee that there won't be more revision before any
reading takes place. It would all be minor, i think, but certainly not off
What are the rules in your state for absentee ballots?
Are you mailing or dropping off your absentee ballot?
Do you know where to drop off your ballot?
Are you voting early?
Where is your polling location?
How are you getting to your polling location?
Do you know the answer to these questions? Have you devised
your plan for voting in the 2020 General Election?
Your vote has ALWAYS been important, but this
time maybe more than ever before in your life.
"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the
right to vote except the American people themselves and the
only way they could do this is by not voting."
-- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"For this Nation to remain true to its principles, we
cannot allow any American's vote to be denied, diluted, or
defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American
liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished."
-- President Ronald Reagan
Last night I continued rehearsing the bass synth line for "Identity."
on my Embassy Pro
and my SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal.
I'm getting closer to the performance I want, but I still ain't there! I've
yet to exactly perfect the arrangement of that instrument during the
chorus section, though I came to several decisions last night. And I have
some performance finesses to master. There are a few places where I need to
hit the execution consistently with the dynamics I want in those spots.
There's also still a little run during the bridge between verses three and
four that I am not playing to my satisfaction. It needs to be cleaner and
it needs to be faster.
Meanwhile, I'm not getting the sustain for a note (high B) that I want on
the string I'd rather play it on (D). I've had to adjust for at least the
early part of the song and play that B on the A string. The reason is simple:
my strings need to be cleaned. There are several ways to clean them. In the
past I've boiled them, but I don't want to take them off. That's also why
I don't plan to soak them in either rubbing alchohol or white vinegar, both
which are options. So, Tuesday I went to Sweetwater
and ordered several guitar cleaning items:
Beyond cleaning fluid for the strings, there are also two microfiber brushes
of different widths for cleaning the strings and other parts of the guitar.
There's guitar polish and fretboard conditioner. For good measure, I bought
some extra microfiber cloths, though one comes with the Lizard kit. The
stuff arrived today, so one of my first orders of business when I get home
is to clean all three basses.
I'm also in the process of looking for a good pickup for my
Giannini acoustic bass. It
has a built-in electric pickup, but the signal is weak on the E string.
It's been recommended by one guitar tech that it's more cost-efficient and
practical to add a soundhole pickup rather than to replace the built-in
pickup. However, the sales rep at Sweetwater thinks I might be better off
with what is called a piezo pickup.
The difference between the two is essentially that a soundhole pickup
is a standard guitar pickup that is fixed, literally, in the acoustic
guitar's soundhole, right under the strings. It picks up the sound vibrations
from the strings. A piezo is usually installed under the guitar bridge and
it picks up and translates the vibration from the body. There are pros and
cons to both. This blog article,
"Acoustic Piezo vs. Soundhole Pickups – What’s the Difference?,"
touches on most of them.
By the time I get to the point of recording
Song #7/(workshop title: "Chilled October Morning"),
I want a new pickup on my Giannini. I don't want to have to mic it. That is,
whenever I get to the point of recording it. I'm not done writing it yet,
and I haven't done anything with it since I got back from Autumn
Continuing to "Perfect"(?) the synthesized
bass on "Identity," last night.
As I write this post, I'm at lunch, sitting outside, on-site, under the
overhang, at the rent-payer.
I'll probably go on to do a little bit of HTML work on the
"soon"-to-come post about
2020. That's what I did at lunch, on-site, Tuesday, only at my desk.
Lunch time Tuesday at work, working on the eventual
2020 recounting that will be posted here.
If you have HBO Max or would be
inclined to get it, even temporarily, and if you are a fan of the TV show,
The West Wing,
I highly recommend the special reunion re-staging of one of the show's
(S3:E15). The re-staging was shot quite recently and is a beautiful
marriage of theatre staging and television production. It was done in
When We All Vote a bipartisan
movement to get out the vote for this upcoming U.S. general election.
In late 1969 and early 1970, Paul McCartney
recorded his first solo album,
playing all the instruments himself. It was made during a bad period for
Paul. The Beatles were in the
downward spiral that was going to soon result in their disbanding.
Ten years later, Paul again recorded an album all on his own --
Again, crap had hit the fan. He'd been busted in Japan for possession of
marijuana and had to spend, two weeks, I believe, in jail -- yeah, it
absolutely could have been worse. His new band,
had been scheduled to tour Japan, but the bust ended that. And the band
split at that point.
Forty years after that, Paul was sequestered on his farm in Sussex, due to
this COVID-19 insanity, and he has created McCartney III, which
will release this coming December 11. Again, all Paul and only Paul.
If you know me at all, you know my rection is:
As an actor I was privileged to have a small roll in this
multi-award winning, very touching, most poignant short
film. I was further privileged to accept the award, on
behalf of Beth McElhenny, for Best Family Film at the 2008
Secret City Film Festival in Oakridge, Tennessee. The film
has won awards far more than that one time. Click on the
image to go to the official site and see the successes,
ANNOUNCEMENT -- PRODUCTIONS POSTPONED
We regret that due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic we are
postponing our live performances until August of 2021, when we plan
to kick off our 2021/2022 season.
Your health and safety, and that of our volunteers, casts, and
production crews is of the utmost concern. We have come to this
difficult decision as so many of our fellow arts organizations, both
local and around the world, have done.
We look forward to offering you a robust season when we open. Please
stay tuned for information on upcoming productions and ticket
During the pandemic, and as we approach the end of the year, the
Dayton Theatre Guild would appreciate any monetary donation, in any
amount you are able to make. All donations will be used to help keep
the Guild viable until we are able to reopen to the public.
We have been fortunate to have your loyal patronage for all these
years, and we are impatient to get back to the business of
"Giving You Good Theatre, Done Well!"
Be well and stay safe!
Dayton Theatre Guild
And, if you live close by or will be
visiting soon, check out these other theatres in the greater Dayton Ohio