Kat Downs

Starting from Scratch

If there is one thing I have learned that I constantly need in my life, it’s perspective. For some reason, when anything becomes even remotely challenging that’s the FIRST thing that goes. Every time.

This is why I enjoy teaching private music lessons.

Seems unrelated, I know. Just stick with me.

I had the joy of starting a brand new flute student a few months ago. I love this. You both sit on the floor cross legged and open your flute cases. You tell the new student the names of the different parts of the flute. You ask the student to put the instrument together the way they think it should be put together and then play it for you. It’s this great cozy bonding moment. One of my favorites ever.

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The Healthy Artist

It is perceived by most (and seemingly proven time and time again) that most artists are in some way shape or form, insane.  But do they have to be?

Beethoven heard music in his head so strongly that he had to write it down immediately, no matter where he was.  Rumor has it his landlord ripped out the window sashes after his death and sold them at auction because they were covered in his handwritten music.  Van Gogh, of course, cut off his own ear.  Dali saw owls on peoples heads among other things.  The Beatles were infamous weirdos, not to mention the extra levels of weird once Yoko came on the scene.  Syd Barrett, Michael Jackson, the list goes on and on.

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On Tour: Mission Bells

So on July 11th I got a phone call from Thomas Pridgen referring me to a band called Mission Bells.  They would be coming along as opening support for The Memorials nation-wide tour.  I met with Micah later that evening and we talked through the tunes and the tour and all the logistics – seemed like it would be a pretty good fit, and strangely enough it landed right in the middle of a big open spot in my calendar between all my other traveling gigs.  The only part that would be tricky was that I already was leaving for the Bask Music Festival in Russian River – so that meant two rehearsals with the new band before I left for 5 days, then four rehearsals before our opening show.  At the time that seemed like a huge undertaking – but in truth by the second rehearsal after my return from the River I pretty much had the stuff down.

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Sit Kitty Sit

What the….wait, What??

So, shock of all shocks, I had a moment to myself tonight. (Dare I say a moment of Zen?)  Quiet, still.  In my already clean house.  I ordered some eggplant in garlic sauce while working on an arrangement of a new tune and I realized something.

I shot two (count ’em, 2! ) amazing music videos in the LAST MONTH.

WHAT??

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