monkey at your disposal

ahem... after much deliberation and tootling around, i finally come to a point where summer has ended and the new autumn, well, fall semester must begin.  and being a freelancer i am, it's always a bit tricky to find out how to 'market' oneself.  do i become serious? cheap? expensive? funny? exclusive? inclusive? there are so many ideas and so many tactics, but i have to stick to one thing i know... 

be what i am and be good at it. 

often i wonder whether i should be a bit more louder in what i do/who i talk to.  self-promotion is one of the most wealthy traits that one can be born with.  funny enough, some people do it naturally and then there are some who do exactly the opposite- put oneself slightly down.  why would that be? well, i suppose there are no repetition of colours even in the basic twelve colours crayon set.  i tend to joke about what i have done and i dont think it does any favours (in comparison to being all serious and business-oriented), yet i cant help but to laugh a bit about what i do.  yes, i do have a doctorate degree but you see, i still am very happy to move chairs and piano around the stage.  

but i am going to try one new thing this semester: to be serious and honest about the work i do. it's enjoyable to poke fun at oneself and i do quite enjoy making often brutal comments about my own affairs- certainly in canada, as we tend to be a bit more modest than, say, americans.  and this self-deprecating humour is a rather peculiar thing, as no one has the license to be more brutal than- self, yes.  

remember? only the black people can say the big N word- anyone else, even when the blacks dont mind, would be slapped on the face by some political-correctness-insanity.  i get a real kick out of calling self a banana, or even a twinkie: an eastern asian who is fully white-washed.  haha, i can imagine a few flinching at that expression.  but see, it is sarcastic yet... accurate.  it's like self-round of the comedy central's infamous 'roast' *check out this url. the youtube link is my favorite comedian (RIP) giraldo roasting joan rivers... brilliant.

i often think of my wee bro. and my granny, who is unlikely to keep on living (she is 86 this year) - we never know how it'll all turn out. life is a fragile thing and because it is so fragile, it involves some level of frivolity. luckily i work in music.  i think as life contains much humour, being a bit frivolous with self is a healthy side effect of being a musician.  i can only be who i am. only i know the best of my ability at a given point in time.  and i do hope that i bring myself further and further, as every single thing i do, it has potential to add- and to create, ignite, provoke and combust (BOOM)

but there's the silly point- a few people i know are very good at self promotion and let me tell you, it works very well for them, like a dependable amplifier. so here it is, my self-promotion.  i hope that if not gigs, it would bring a bit of laughter, even a smile.  music, being what it is, is impossible to set a objective value.  i always enjoy working with others and i can only hope they also enjoy working with me.

though ive been known to rather be demanding (in preparation, punctuality) and that there has been occasional quarrels- but it's because i care... well, if they didnt enjoy the process, i can at least say that i did give a fair shot, as much as i can.  and being myself, i cannot completely uproot the silliness- but what is life if not a frivolous ride between birth and death? if you need a pianist/harpsichordist/organist, i may just be your monkey. seriously.  do shoot me an email and i will be there. enough of advertisement- the important thing is that even if you dont need a musician, i do need friends and family. so here is my love, going outward, as i am constantly enveloped by love, flowing so easily and graciously from my dear peeps.

*now to shameless advertisement:

greetings and salutations everyone!

hope summer was smashing well and that everyone's excited about the new semester starting soon.  just thought i would send out a short hello and also let you know that my (questionable) company can be yours for a price! *insert evil laughter.

i am currently on accompanist list for the utoronto and GGS (which means GGS students can convert their accompanist budget into monkey grocery bill!) and i do throughly enjoy difficult and unwanted things, including:

reading from full-score *i play for prof. harcus' orch lit class for brass/winds, filling-in from full score

making impossible reductions to sound 'tolerable' *such as jolivet trumpet concertino; i make good cuts!

very old music *i do read figured and unfigured continuo

shifting bench to harpsichord or pipe organ *i studied these seperately for years...

repertoire for all instruments, including a-bit-awkward-ones such as viola, trumpet, bassoon...

contemp music *even when they look 'black'

and last minute fiascos *i learned martino cello sonata 1 and strauss cello sonata in a week last sem... for a recital

but i also do like normal-pianists-preferring-accompanying music, say, violin-cello-flute (okay, let's put back viola, trumpet, bassoon...) repertoire.  i would also love to do some more vocal accompanying, which i never had enough of...

it is all very silly but true. i do like playing and i do enjoy the challenges of each project (though i hope it wont be too demanding most of the time).  but it may also be of your interest that i am also available as recording engineer.  i currently work with peter olsen @ walter hall, utoronto as an assistant and i do have access to decent gear. do talk to me into recording your next application cds...

of course, i can be at your event voluntarily BUT
should you ever be in need of a keyboard monkey,
(or when you, the pianist, are running out of standard 24 hours/day)
holler up! i be glad to be involved in your- or your-associates' projects.
and after all, we only do this because we love what we do- music!
impractical, money-draining yet... oh... so... satisfying...

good luck everyone and see you around soon!
im quite inept with phone, but am good with email and texts :D

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