Various News-y Updates/Newsletter

Hey, how is your heart today? I’m in my little office cubby, writing to you as the afternoon sunlight streams through the windows, and I have to say my heart feels pretty good (major world political events notwithstanding).

I hesitate to call this a newsletter, simply because I don’t like the word. Any ideas for a better word for this mostly-monthly-updates?

This past month has been all about finding balance for me, finding the good habits and routines to keep my mind and body healthy as I work as much as I can. Since I’m just coming off a few months which included moving house and a lengthy trip to visit the US, I’ve been a bit all-over-the-place as I try to find that balance and those new routines. I love evaluating my habits and routines to make sure I’m pursuing the most sensible path – it makes me feel a bit more in-control of my direction and goals.

I even have a slew of spreadsheets to prove just how nerdy I am about it!

Getting used to working as an indie musician has been a trip…I’ve just recently started telling people it’s like starting an international business by yourself, from scratch, which is fairly accurate. I’ve pretty much been two or three months behind since the release date for Wandering Soul, and I physically and mentally just can’t do enough each day to get caught up. I have to be careful to make sure I make time to create and spend time at the piano, as well as take time to do the things I need to do to keep my head in a creative space. Hectic, driven days full of to-dos and constant stimuli are definitely *not* what my brain needs to be creative! I’ve just recently started exploring the idea of hiring someone on to assist me, per-project, so perhaps I’ll have a delightful personal assistant to introduce you to in next month’s newsletter!

Speaking of newsletter, this – this thing you’re reading, this is my monthly newsletter. You can make sure you see every issue by subscribing to my email list. In it, I’ll talk with you about major events of the past month and any big things coming up (ie; new album, concerts, tour, all that good stuff). You can also choose to subscribe to my blog, which are blog posts/articles I write when some particular thing happens that requires a deeper dive, or I want to share some deeper thoughts or experiences.

Now, news! I FINALLY BOUGHT A PIANO and I’m clearly not excited about that at all. But really, this has been such a big thing for me. It’s been TWO YEARS since I’ve had a piano of my own to play, and I’ve been in a bit of a crazy vibrating-with-excitement-all-the-time space since it arrived. I wrote a blog post here if you’d like to read it.

The day my new piano arrived, I made this video of Kingfisher

I can’t wait to see what other fun video projects I can get up to with this piano!

 

I also had an absolutely *gorgeous* review from Steve Sheppard at One World Music. Some snippets:

 

“…she produces some of the most empowered and also tender passages you’re likely to hear.”

“…a truly delightful and thought provoking journey…”

“…One must truly applaud her rather wonderful style of being able to create such wonderful visuals within the mind’s eye…”

“I keep coming across favourites [tracks] and this is another, totally sublime in all ways.”

“I must say I loved every second of this release, now many will know I get many solo piano albums across my desk, but this is a real bar raiser, Wandering Soul is a quality album that I feel will reach the heart and minds of all who listen.

In my opinion this rates in the top 5 of my favourite solo piano offerings over the last couple of years, each track is crafted in the most professional way, to bring us the eager listener a truly marvellous and empowering experience, and as such is completely recommended.”

What. Even. I can’t. I just don’t have words for how this review makes me feel. I am so proud and humbled and honored, all at the same time. You can read the full review here.

 

I’ve also set up my first proper concert in New Zealand! If you’re in Auckland, check out the event listing by clicking here. It’s going to be an absolutely lovely afternoon of wine and piano music, all in a gorgeous historic estate in Newmarket. Not-to-be-missed if you’re a local!

More generally, I’ve been looking into setting up other concerts in Auckland and around New Zealand, and chewing on the idea of a tour to Australia. I want to see how this concert in Auckland goes first though – it’s my first time organizing and promoting one of these, so I want to make sure I’ve got a winning system figured out before I go reserve a bunch of venues and make more concert plans!

I got completely knocked down by a three-week bout with the flu…something they never tell you when you immigrate to a new country, you will get sick a lot. Right in the middle of that, David and I ventured up to the Bay Of Islands and I got certified as an *Advanced* Open Water Diver. I still can’t believe I managed it, as sick as I was. Finally, the chart-ranking for Wandering Soul with Enlightened Piano Radio jumped up to #7 (yay!) and I booked flights to Cyprus (squee!!!) to go hang out with David Lanz and Kristin Amarie in January. Anyways, more on that later.

 

The sunshine is fading, but its effects still linger…

I hope the rest of your week is filled with delicious, challenging stuff – good things to get your mind and spirit engaged and excited…all the good things.

From my heart to yours,
<3
Rachel

 

 

 

What do you think?