All I Want is Loving You… and Music! Music! Music!

I have a four day weekend, and a house to myself! So what am I doing? Playing with music of course!!!

I recorded another A cappella cover song today. It’s ‘Without Fear’ by Dermot Kennedy, who is one of my absolute favourite artists of all time already, though I only discovered him about 6 months or so ago:

A Cappella Cover of Dermot Kennedy’s Without Fear – Lisa Gillan

Seriously, if you haven’t heard of him by now, check his stuff out.

I just absolutely love music. It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but it’s only recently that I feel I’ve really embraced it as a full fledged hobby.

When I was very young, my parents bought my sister and I an electronic keyboard. I’m not sure why a keyboard exactly, other than that this was the late ’80’s/early ’90’s, so I’m sure it was probably pretty much the most popular instrument of the day at the time. That and maybe because I would always play the piano in the church reception room after Sunday services while all the adults had their tea and coffee. I didn’t know what I was doing, mind you, but I would strike keys here and there where I thought they might sound good, and sometimes adults even asked me if I’d taken lessons (which I hadn’t). I was just making it up as I went along. Maybe my parents thought I would be some kind of prodigy. Unfortunately I never lived up to that though! Ha. I did however learn a few simple children’s songs – one key at a time style. The title of this post is from one of those songs [(Put Another Nickel in) Music! Music! Music!]. Still don’t know how to play a single full piano chord. Are they called chords on the piano? I don’t even know.

I also sung in the church choir for a few years, and even asked the choir instructor if I could play the piano for a bit at an event we were going to sing at. She said no. That always stuck with me for some reason, even though as mentioned, I didn’t know what I was doing in front of a piano. I just knew I liked doing it.

My Oma and parents gave me cassette tapes as Christmas and birthday presents from as early on as I can remember, so I had a good background in oldies, at least. I memorized lyrics obsessively, and especially loved those which told a story. ‘A Horse with No Name,’ was one of my first favourites, probably because it’s so visually appealing; especially to a young person.

In Grade 2, our teacher taught us how to play the recorder, and the ukulele. He also brought in a saxophone for us to try, and we made ‘one-string, cookie tin banjos’. By now the world of music had completely captivated me.

I wanted to be a drummer. I think I just connected with the beat of music more than any other part, aside from the lyrics of course. When I was 12, my parents bought my sister and I each a guitar. This was never an instrument I’d even considered learning. They said drums were too loud (also, probably, too expensive, though they didn’t mention this part). I took guitar lessons for a bit that year, but I was only interested in learning quick, easy pop-punk songs I could rock out to in my room. My teacher taught me some acoustic classics (though it was an electric guitar) and indulged my power-chord only choices from time to time. I don’t think I continued with lessons for even a full year.

As an adult I learned the occasional new song, having now switched to an actual acoustic guitar. I never learned theory or anything like that. Still, music never lost its grip on me. For a time, I thought I was going to be an entertainment reporter, and that would be how I stayed connected to it. Maybe I would even write musician biographies. After a semester of covering the arts while in college for journalism, I changed my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I got to interview some fantastic famous people from bands I admired. I also, unfortunately, interviewed a slightly up-and-coming band who thought they were too cool for school (literally, as most, if not all of them bragged in the interview about dropping out of college). They didn’t answer my request for an interview via email, so I showed up at their show and asked in person (hey, I had a deadline to meet). They agreed and all sat down with me together. I think there were like five or six people in this band, and I didn’t really know who any of them were, so it was incredibly difficult to keep them all straight. They gave an arrogant interview laced with a bunch of idiocy, and then they were all so uncomfortable with what they had said being put in print, that once the piece was published they contacted the school to complain about it, and me. That was enough to kill it for me. Honestly, I don’t have the patience to deal with the egos of some people who are in the music scene.  Having dipped my toes into the punk scene of Toronto, even as a fan, I was put off by the snobbery of some artsy types who think they are better than everyone. Even though all the people I spoke to who were already famous, or even on the brink of actual success were some of the kindest, most humble, down-to-Earth humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of having conversations with. The fact that some parts of the job would entail kissing ass to people who thought they were better than everyone, just to get an interview, which would help give exposure to undeserving assholes, in order to fill a quota, really turned me off of the idea.

Plus, more concretely, the actual reason I didn’t pursue it was I realized I didn’t want to be writing about people living out their dreams – or attempting to. I wanted to be attempting to live out mine. Admittedly, I did always dream of being a rockstar, though I never thought I would ever attain it. It was just where my mind would wander to as a child when I had free time to play, and as an adult, occasionally, when I would lose myself in someone else’s songs I’d hear over the radio (or more recently, computer). I’d envision myself living the life, touring, playing shows to crowds most nights of the week. If you’re gonna have dreams, might as well go big, or go home, right?

Anyway, I know it’s a hard thing to obtain, and I’m nowhere near it, but I have been focused on music as a hobby lately, and whether or not it turns into anything for me, I’m just having so much fun playing with it.

I have written over a dozen songs, at least 9 of which I’m happy enough with to potentially release at some point. And I’ve already recorded three of them, and put them out into the world. They were recorded live (so I’m playing guitar and singing at the same time) and admittedly aren’t perfect, but I’m still so happy just to have them exist in this world. They can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and a number of other platforms.

Here are the a Spotify links:

Cinderella by Lisa Gillan on Spotify

I Know What All the Ramblers Know by Lisa Gillan on Spotify

Darling Don’t Worry by Lisa Gillan on Spotify

That last one I already linked to in another post but why not link it again, right?

Anyway, hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter, and finding time throughout your lives to pursue your passions, even if only in small doses.

❤ L

 

So here’s the funny thing…

If you were to look at my life through my blogging, it would look like I’ve gotten a bit lazy.

Actually, the opposite is true.

Since the last time I posted in this blog, I finished my movie script, and even revised it. I started the process of writing a query letter to companies, and I started formulating a plan to put it out there into the world.

I also, in the time since my last post, have written several songs, recorded a few, and even distributed one throughout the world wide web. I have another recording date booked coming up, and I’m undecided as to whether to release my songs individually, or keep them private until I have enough to put an album together. Do ‘albums’ even exist anymore, really? I mean, I still buy and listen to CD’s in my car, but when I’m putting it all out digitally (at least at first) does it really matter if I release it song by song, or collectively? I don’t know.

But here’s the thing: I’m having so much fun with it! Working on both the script and my music gives me a renewed energy for life that I’d been struggling to connect with for the last while.

And the best part? I’m only doing it because I feel like I have to. Because I feel so driven to do it, that any time I’m doing anything else, I’m thinking about what my next steps are going to be with both of these projects. They are ‘side’ projects right now, but they are also what my brain focuses on most of the time, so calling them ‘side projects’ actually feels so inadequate.

They are my goals. And they take time. But in my silence from blogging, I have been chipping away at them, and that, I think, is what really matters.

Stay focused on your goals. Decide what’s important and figure out how to do that as often as you can. Everything happens in stages. My favourite ‘inspirational message’ I think came from someone endorsing a fitness program or something like that, but it was something along the lines of pointing out that a baby takes about nine months to grow in a mother’s womb, and there’s no way to rush that. (And if it does come out too soon, there are complications because it wasn’t really ready – that wasn’t part of the original inspirational message, but I think it applies here, haha!)

Most things, especially of value, are not achieved in a day. But I am continually chipping away. ❤

My first recording session was more nerve wracking than I anticipated, and I will do some things differently at the next one, but here’s a link to the song I have released:

Darling, Don’t Worry by Lisa Gillan

(I hope that works!)

-L

 

 

 

 

Aren’t Sundays the worst though?

Ok I still didn’t get around to formatting this at all. I was a good daughter and took my dad out for a Father’s Day lunch, and wasted a lot of the rest of my weekend re-binge watching a tv show that was a favourite of mine and my sister, mother, and friend’s, about 10 years ago.

My plans for this weekend, going in, were to go kayaking, write some of the screenplay I’ve been working on for the last year, and go to the beach. But instead I did none of those things, except wade up to my ankles in the river while my friends and I took their dog to cool off from the heat wave.

I think sometimes we build up our own expectations so much that it can be overwhelming. Truthfully, I didn’t want to go kayaking when Saturday came around. Partly because of the heat wave, but also partly because I literally just wanted to lay in bed and zone out. Hence the binge watching. (Plus I am addicted to this show, but you know, not the point). But I feel bad about it. I feel like I let myself down for not checking all the things off of my list that I had planned.

But the beautiful thing is, I know better. I know not to beat myself up about not working on the screenplay even though I’m hoping to get it done before the end of July. Or for getting next to no exercise over the course of the entire weekend. Because a couple days, here and there, of not working towards your goals, are ok, and actually even beneficial. It prevents burnout. Or maybe it’s a sign that you’ve reached burnout. It doesn’t mean you’ve given up, or that you should give up. It just means, today was the day to rest. I will still work on my screenplay in my spare time. I will still get exercise this week. Just didn’t do it this weekend, and that’s ok. It has to be ok.

Sure, the goal of completing my screenplay is to be able to transition from my current job, to working for myself as a writer. And not working towards that goal over the course of the past two days means I did not get any closer to accomplishing it – over the last two days – but it doesn’t mean that I won’t get there.

The point is, your free time should be spent doing things you’re passionate about, as often as possible (in my opinion). And if you aren’t feeling the passion in that moment, then clearly it just isn’t the moment for it. But keep chipping away and you’ll get there.

As a player of sports, I can tell you, sometimes you play better when you’ve had a couple days to rest. The key is balance.

I did however have a deer come for a visit today, so here’s a pic of that…

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So I’m gonna rest up now, cause I feel like it’s going to be a busy week ahead. ❤

-L

 

 

Well hello,

Just started setting up my new blog, where I plan to share my photos, writing, and music. I claim to be an expert at nothing, except maybe putting my thoughts down on the (web)page, so keep that in mind. I plan to play around and add much more content in the near future, but at the moment I’ve already spent far more time online than I would like to for a Saturday. I’ll leave you with this upload of me singing an a cappella cover of Vance Joy’s Snaggletooth. He’s definitely someone I have on heavy rotation right now, and this song is one of my favourites of his (although let’s be honest, I have a lot of favourites of his). Though I have to admit, I messed up some of the lyrics a little near the end (I was reading them off a website on my phone while singing. I knew right away they were wrong, but I was kinda caught in the moment). #sorrynotsorry

*Actually after trying for too long to figure out how to embed the track, I’ll just post a link for now to where I uploaded it to Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/lisa-gillan-193673685/snaggletooth-a-capella-cover 

I really am just messing around today. I will be back to edit better soon, and add pics and writing as I go! This page is an outlet for me so I don’t inundate my facebook friends with all of this stuff! Thanks for stopping by. ❤

-L