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.

Continue reading

Sit Kitty Sit

How to Play to an Empty Room

It happens more often than you might think.  Especially when you’re playing in a brand new city.  Maybe they didn’t book a local band, or maybe they cancelled at the last second.  Maybe you’re playing on a Monday, or the venue down the street has a huge sold out show.  Or maybe you only got the gig about a day ago. Or the venue forgot you were coming, or…or…or…

At times during an interview, or when I’m chatting with someone I’ll get the question “what’s your one piece of advice for musicians just starting out?”

It’s a legit question.  Typically I’ve spouted some kind of “do it because you love it” or “just don’t quit” type comments, which are kind of lame pieces of advice, but now I finally feel like I have a legit answer. What’s my piece of advice for musicians starting out?

“Learn how to play to an empty room”
Continue reading

My Relationship with Songwriting

Me and songs.  Specifically, MY songs.  If I can call them that.  They feel very alive to me.  I am the gateway that brings them into the world, but after that they are their own beings.  They grow, develop and have small, beautiful, precious moments that only I get to be a part of.  They say things I would never expect.  They take me places I would never have chosen to go.  They make choices that make me cringe and infuriate me.

Continue reading

12 Kinds of Glue

I like making stuff.  Always have.  I think I get it from my Dad, who is basically like MacGyver.  I believe I have mentioned this before.

I stopped making stuff years ago when I started consistently moving every few years.  When you make stuff, you have to own stuff in order to make other said stuff.  And when you own stuff and you have to move, that means you have a lot more stuff to carry which I just do not have the patience for.  So no more making stuff for me.

Until now.

Continue reading

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??

Continue reading