Hey lovelies! I answered some questions with The Big Idea prior to recording that podcast with Don’t Give Up Your Day Job, and there are some really great nuggets about pursuing a career in music and what can make you successful. A must-read for aspiring professional musicians, have a read!
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a similar career?
Before you worry about fans and tours and recording for commercial release, focus on perfecting your art, your craft, your instrument. That’s what all this is built on, after all – especially if you want to have a lasting, life-long career in music.
I’m pleased to announce some new music, currently available exclusively on YouTube!
UK-based ambient artist Paul Landry and I collaborated on an ambient version of Kingfisher. It’s absolutely lovely, with beautiful atmospherics and a gorgeous flute melody to go along with the music of Kingfisher.
The rest of the video is Paul’s original music, which is lovely and relaxing and worth keeping in your ears as you go about your day.
I hope your day is starting out as beautifully as mine. My heart to yours
Hey lovelies! A few weeks ago, I spent a great Saturday afternoon chatting about the music industry with some super smart and lovely musical humans, Danny McCrum and Bobby Kennedy.
We recorded some of that great afternoon chat in the ‘Don’t Give Up Your Day Job’ podcast. We talk lots about the music industry, and Bobby and Danny asked me some really great questions about my music journey, my story, and my history and how the things I’ve learned can apply to other musicians. You’ll basically feel like you’re hanging out with us if you listen to this, and we delve into some interesting political and social issues surrounding the music industry, the US, what we owe each other as musicians, and more.
Steve and Chrissy Sheppard interview Rachel about her life, her influences, and her musical journey. You’ll hear some snippets from Rachel’s debut album, Wandering Soul, and get a sense for who Rachel is as a composer and a person.
I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Kathy Parsons of MainlyPiano.com. She asked some really great questions! Read on if you’d like to learn about the meaning behind Wandering Soul, my musical influences, hanging out with David Lanz, my philosophy and creative process, and more! The review originally appeared on MainlyPiano.com (with more pictures!) here.
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.
It has been quite a big week for me. On Monday, I had my new piano delivered!
The upshot of this is pretty much everything I needed to do this week that’s not *playing* this piano went out the window. This includes finishing an interview with a lovely member of the piano-press, properly re-writing my bio, following up with radio stations, reaching out to other members of the press, putting up singles for sale on my website, and figuring out how said website can take multiple currencies. You know, all the stuff I’m supposed to be doing as an indie musician, on top of practicing my instrument and creating new music for my next album.
I know. You should see my to-do list.
So why *is* this such a big deal? I mean, if you’re on social media with me you know I’m making a pretty big deal out of this.
David and I came to Auckland to settle almost a year ago (what?! I can’t *believe* it’s August already!). Up until about a month ago we were living in a house-sharing arrangement with five other people. An acoustic piano was just not a possibility, so I had a little Casio digital piano that I could play with headphones.
Let me tell you what every experienced pianist knows: NOTHING compares to the real thing. It’s hard to put into words, but if you consider that an acoustic piano is made of organic materials, it makes sense that it would respond in an organic way. A digital piano is, by nature, NOT organic. No matter how much money you put into buying a digital piano, it just can’t be as responsive as the real thing.
What’s more, because Wandering Soul has done well, David and I decided to invest….ah, who am I kidding? We splashed out. On a very nice piano. It’s a 1990 Yamaha C7, and my amazing new technician tells me I got an unbelievable deal on it. I think the seller loved my music (I played in her basement for about half an hour) and wanted to see this piano go to me….for 20% less than what she was asking for it.
For those who don’t know, the Yamaha C7 is the most common grand piano in recording studios around the world. It is a top-end piano, and this particular one is so spectacular I’m going to be able to record at home. This is definitely what I was hoping for, because it means I can release new music more often than once every few years, without shelling out a few grand to a recording studio every time I do it. Plus I can keep it immaculately well-taken-care-of, which honestly will give my piano a leg up on sound-quality over most recording studios here in Auckland.
Take into account that before we came to settle in Auckland, David and I were traveling for a year and I usually didn’t have a piano around.
Finally, I’ve never in my life gone so long without a piano I could play every day.
So yeah. It’s a big deal.
And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The big reveal.
I’m absolutely FLOORED and SO HONORED by this gorgeous review of Wandering Soul that just came in from international music writer Steve Sheppard over at One World Music Radio. Just about every new age solo piano album released comes across his desk for review, so I am especially overwhelmed by his enthusiastic, effusive writing about Wandering Soul! I’ve included the text of the entire review below, but to give you a sense, here are some tidbits:
“…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.”