Vulnerability & free pints

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I wrote two songs on Wednesday and boy, am I proud of them. They really managed to bring out some deep feelings/fears/hopes, and I think that’s mostly because they’ve been sitting drafts for six months now. I hope to be able to share them with you in the near future 😉

Sometimes, certain ideas/thoughts need to marinate before they can bloom into anything shareable, I must let them steep in flavors before I can cook them. And there’s just no other way, I can try and push them, but it won’t happen unless their heart is ready to beat.

These two did their time and even though I knew I would finish them this week, I was still surprised when it happened.

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Last week, I could hear them call out to me. Like ghosts, haunting me, in every corner of my mind, I’d hear their echoes, I’d see their colors, I’d feel them taking shape under my skin, boiling in my blood. And so when I sat down on Wednesday, they simply poured right out of me. I was overwhelmed as I looked at the small crumpled piece of paper that barely managed to hold these two freshly reopened wounds. But above everything, I was beyond excited to share them.

So, on Friday night, I was eager to play them live for the first time to a small crowd at the Haven open mic. Although my throat was very dry (despite my religiously drinking my mandarin peel infusion, but I’ll blame it on my nervousness) and breath support was barely happening, my performance was fine. Exceptionally emotional. My voice was struggling to get out there and stay on track, but I had these emotions coming pouring out of me that I almost cried on the second song. And it hit me that the wounds had never closed.

That second song I performed is called A different ending and is about dreadful separations, losing friends, love… But it’s not just hopelessness, there’s also a painful hopefulness deeply tied to the despair.

It took all these months for the song to tell me what it was aching for me to sing. At first I thought it was going to be simple, but then, when I was finishing it, writing those last lines, I found out that it was actually a song about my lost friend(s). And so much more. But, when I recorded it raw to give my close friends a listen, I was fine. So I did not expect me to break down while performing it. And boy, was that foolish of me.

There were sparks as I sang it but I guess I didn’t get it yet. When I performed it that night, I almost choked on my own heart as it was imploding with emotions. And as I was holding back the tears and keeping on singing, I realized I wasn’t over it. I mean, me, getting over something? Ha, ha! I knew I wasn’t but I thought, maybe, just maybe the pain had left, at least… And, as I have always preached, sharing the art is what truly gives life to it. A different ending came to life in the Haven, left the room silent and made the cracks on my heart glow again.

Anyways. I don’t really want to linger on and on on this. What I really wanted to write about is this vulnerability that I’ve been feeling very intensely lately! Which, I’d like to emphasize, is not a bad thing at all.

It’s no surprise if I tell you that going up on a stage, to do anything at all, can be a nerve-wracking experience. Although, usually, once you start, it gets better as you realize instant death under the audience’s gaze was only a spooky pipe dream. And even if you’re not super comfortable you realize you can survive it and if you’ve been blessed with bad eyesight (like the me) you might not even see the people in the room, and maybe for a split second you’ll tell yourself you could definitely do that again. It ain’t that bad. You might not like it, but at least you’ll know that it’ll take more than a room full of blurry people to take you down.

The real vulnerability I’m pointing my finger at right now though, is the one that comes with climbing on that stage with all your guts exposed and a screen on your chest. With my many (lolzor) years of theater in high-school/university, I’ve met people for whom a show is just that, a show, you know a persona, it’s all pretend. But I’ve never been that way. I like things to feel real, to be real and so I’ve always made a point to be honest in all I do. Well, at least in my art.

The closest experience I’ve ever had to what happened on Friday was during my last year of high school, when I played Ophelia from Hamlet, and went full-blown tragedy. That shit was intense when I played it for my final exam, I could feel all the feelings burning right through me. And all of it was real. We were the same person every time I would get up on a stage to play my scene and with time, we grew closer and closer. And the thing is that, with songs, it’s even worse..

Being on a stage already puts you in a vulnerable position, we got that. However, when you bring with you your very own songs, which you wrote with whatever came out first, tears, blood or whatever fueled your riffs, it’s even greater than simple vulnerability could describe it. Because these songs are made of you, it’s not just your vision of something else, it’s literally you (& more). And having to play these, especially when they reach as deep as A Different Ending and Find Me do, is…. Something else.

It is some type of bittersweet terror, I’d say. I put my all in these songs, not just energy and time, but also heart and I’m pretty sure parts of my soul end up in everything I make as well. They reached really deep into me (and I am learning, wishing, to go even deeper). And as much as I was dying to share them so I could breathe life into them and feel them fully, there was also this fear.

The last time I had to play a freshly written song live was with This Isn’t Me back in summer. But I didn’t apprehend it as much because this song, although being made of raw feelings of then, was not as deep. This time, though, I knew it would be different because these two new songs are actually me plucking my heart’s strings and the sounds it makes are hauntingly sincere. And, I swear, standing up in front of eight or twenty people, pouring your very heart out, takes more strength than you could imagine.

I would very much like to keep going because I still have loads of thoughts to share, but I have to cut this “short” now since I’d like to spend some time on my guitar (and theory books aaaaah) and if time allows it, maybe paint a thing or two. So, I will just add one more thing and then I will release your eyes.

All of Friday evening, apart from the emerging sadness after my performance, I was thinking about the reason why. Because I’ve felt many different things these past few weeks and sometimes I got discouraged and sincerely asked myself, what on earth is the point of all of this? And as I sat down and listened to these beautiful souls sharing their songs, I looked around me and within, and I just knew. That’s what we do.

We feel things intensely. We see things differently. And we morph them into bridges from reality to surreality or mirrors in which each can find their own truths and never be wrong. We turn ramblings of our souls into songs and nothing can compare to the cries of your heart echoing in someone else’s and feeling a whole room breathe to the beat of your pain & joy.

I refuse to let anyone, not even myself, ever try to convince me that art is pointless and life is meaningless. Because art fuels souls and the light each of us tiny stars emit keeps the Universe alive. And if it wasn’t for all of these passionate specks of dust, then there would be nothing.  You try and imagine a world without music, without colors or love. It’s everywhere and cannot be erased.

And that is why we were all in that room on Friday night. And that is why I kept on singing when I doubted. And it is why I won’t ever stop. 

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At the Brù on Monday

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What a July!

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Well, it’s all in the past now. Time to process it and upload it to my memory box…

Although I had the idea of it all laid down in my bullet journal, this month was full of surprises. And even the things that I knew about surprised me! It was a nice month for self-discovery, confidence, happiness and also, my social life!! And funnily enough, as busy as it was, I was not stressed out. It was like, enjoyable, and I’m looking forward to August now to make it even better now that I’ve had a first taste of it all.

In three weeks, I performed a total of SIX times. Which is both, crazy and not crazy enough. It could’ve been more but there were some cancellations and unforeseen obstacles on my part as well.

I remember the first open mic like it was yesterday. I was really relaxed, just as I used to be before my theater performances in high school and university. And it hit me right in the face. Like, as I was singing I was being hit in the face by the reality of it all. Ha ha! Because, as per usual, when I was speaking my voice was fine, right? But as soon as I started singing, it got all shaky and I was powerless. I forgot words and I kept my eyes closed too much. But I still managed good enough! Especially for a first time.

The one right after that was already much better! Just a slight little unwanted nervous tremolo in the voice. He he. And the one after I was fine. Still did not have that much control over things. But there were no more shakes and I handled it better. And the one after that was even better! Like, my voice did things I didn’t think I could do yet, let-alone under the stage pressure. Ha ha And it just keeps getting better.

One of those experiences which I do count as performance although it was a complete different setting, was a recording-type session in the Haven café (first open mic). I was terrible on the guitar that night. Actually I was too tired to go but my host mom made me go anyways and I’m so glad she did!! I had a great time! Made some new friends! And even ended up singing on a song that we wrote on the spot! But what this specific experience brought me, unlike every other, was a new light shone onto my voice.

I know my voice is good. And I know I sing okay. But when I heard my voice on the recordings it blew me away. It was not my phone’s microphone. It was so clear. I could hear all the depth of it and it was just beautiful. Beautiful in ways I had never heard it before. And it made me much more confident and happy! It was also really fun to just jam with the guys!!

One of the hardest part I’d say would be, well, to be 100% honest… It’s having to carry my heavy guitar all the way down to Douglas when I repeatedly miss my buses on my way to the pubs and am desperately trying not to be late!! Ha ha ha. But, really, the one thing that makes it hard is that there are no monitors at the places I’ve been playing. So I never get to hear myself as it is. And it can be quite frustrating at times.

One of my favorite parts though is just looking around as I play and see people truly enjoy the songs. Because, these are songs I wrote, they are parts of me and I see these strangers genuinely tapping their feet to the beat, nodding their heads and smiling, or just turning over to their friends. And I’m like, wow!

This has been such a positive and empowering experience so far. It’s very addicting also!!

The one little thing that’s been bothering me though, especially this week:

I’ve had to leave Nostrum at home for the last couple of nights because, my electric guitar just doesn’t sound complete and I’m trying to get my hands on some juicy pedals before the end of next week, so I can be fully me.

It’s been really frustrating because, as much as I can handle playing right-handed, it’s just not who I am. And it restricts my playing and it feels wrong as well.

Also, every time I pick up the right-handed guitar, I feel I lose half of the progress I’ve made on the left-handed one, which, in the end, kind of cancels my progress and I have to start over always.

The one thing about music is that it’s a place to freely be fully me and I can’t be that without Nostrum! So, fingers crossed I can get my pedals soon before my spirit breaks!!

But yeah, I’m hanging on to sanity and the good times! In time it’ll be perfect. For now, I just have to wait some more. Again.

I’ve been meeting so many people also thanks to these open mic nights! Which feels crazy because I’ve got myself a really good friend and so many people who recognize me, know me and have moderate interest in me.

Everything is blowing my mind away! So much that I’ve not even been caring about not having done any music theory or Italian work at all this month. Believe me, I tried, but I have so little free time right now, and all the energy I have left at the end of the days go into music and sleep!

I did have a very small anxiety fit last week which fucked me up good. But I won’t let it scare me. I was on a very sensitive day and I just pushed the wrong buttons. But I wasn’t alone through it. And that makes it even more insignificant! Fuck this. I’m strong and bigger than any demon. They should be the one scared; damned for an eternity in the wild flames burning inside of me. Ha!

Art wise, I did get a couple paintings done! And also, this fine liner madness is neverending!!! I’ve also, as per usual, been to the art gallery at least once every weekend. Pretty sure time would stop if I wouldn’t go… And I have the project of creating an art-only website on here as well as an Instagram page. But so far, this is still a work in progress. Soon though!

And I’m pretty sure that’s all of it! Such a nice month! Making me look forward to all that’s to come. I know it’s only going to be brighter!!!

Until next post, keep at it, guys! ❤

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Hi there, guys!! Just quickly, before I go to bed because it’s nearly midnight already (how)!

I’ve had such a busy week!! I cannot wait to share with you all that’s been happening!! Probably at the end of the month as next week will also be very busy; hopefully!

I just came back from a recording session thingy and tomorrow I will be performing yet another open mic!

I feel really good and I am so tired! But it’s all worth it!

You’ll get to know more pretty soon! For now, let’s enjoy every minute of it all! And, until next post, keep trying(even if you’re scared, even if you’re not ready)!! ❤

Performing for the first time tonight!!

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Hey there!

I still haven’t finished the post about my holidays back home, but it is on its way. It contains feelings which are hard to get out just yet, so it’ll take the time it needs!

I just wanted to write this right here to let you all know that I will be performing at an open mic tonight in the city! It will be my first ever musical performance and I cannot wait!

I will be singing Brandi Carlile’s what can I say alongside my latest original song, Running Gag.

I’ve been practicing all week long! I’m a little nervous right now even though it’s only four hours away. But I’m confident!

I’m going to be watching some Brooklyn 99 right now and rest my voice for a while! I wanted to do some work but my brain is too ecstatic for me to do anything other than relax atm.

I literally can’t wait anymore!! I am not fully ready, but I am so ready!!

I will definitely be blogging about it tomorrow!! Maybe I’ll even get some videos of it, which would be great!

I will do my best and I hope that it all turns out awesome and I can have some nice memories of this first time!

Cheers!

Home is calling.

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Sometimes I close my eyes and it’s like I’m already there. The warm lights, the warm smiles and the drums in my chest.

And when I open them, only to find out that I am still so far from where I want to be, that heart of mine sinks in my chest.

It is hard, at times, to keep going when all you do never seems enough. It is hard to keep running towards those new horizons when all you do feels like running in circles.

But the one thing that is harder, is giving it all up.

I would never conceive a life without music and a future where I’m not there. My mind can imagine loads of things but that is the one thing that defines “impossible” to me.

And why would I give up anyway? I can feel myself getting closer and closer.

And as I slowly approach this dreamland, it only gets harder and more frustrating. The challenges flow and it’s not easy to follow.

But I can hear them.

Out of my window.

When I close my eyes.

When I lay in bed.

When I breathe.

I can hear the voices. I can see the lights. I can feel my pulse and almost feel my smile.

I feel it in my heart, my bones; my soul.

I can hear the stage as it’s calling me.

It’s closer by the day.

I might be crazy but I believe.

I’m on my way.

I like the idea of a future because although it never comes, it’s somehow always happening” – Hotel Books

Until next post, keep believing and don’t stop trying. Make things happen! ❤