This is Part 1 of 2. (Part 2 coming very soon). This is the footage from my concert with Jace Vek at Benaroya Hall here in Seattle in December of 2007. This was such a fun concert to do – as we both felt the same energy on the piano and had a very engaging audience. This was recorded in HD, so if you prefer the widescreen version you can watch it directly on YouTube (though for some reason the HD button is working, even though I uploaded it in HD). Hmmm weird wild stuff.
Part of being an independent artist is the fact that YOU are in charge of your own destiny. Whether that means you work your butt off for a year to put out an album and let it sit because you’re so exchausted, or you turn right around and start marketing that puppy straight away. Whether you are writing new music, or not.
It’s. Up. To. You.
You are constantly, constantly, conSISTENLY trying.
This past week was kind of an odd one for me. I’ve been really caught up in trying to market my new album – which takes a lot of time, by the way. So much time, in fact, that it’s nearly impossible to ever be finished marketing. New stradegies and marketplaces open up all of the time. Others close down (eh HEM download.com). I think it is safe to say that I am STILL marketing Key of Sea, which I released 2 and 1/2 years ago. And it’s probably taken this long to see the level of popularity for it that is encouraging, partially thanks to “Jennifer Thomas Radio” on Pandora developing a huge following.
So to embark on the process of marketing a new album is a bit overwhelming at first. You never feel like you are going to get all the things on your list completed. And all of the places where you worked so hard to get your first album into, it seems like starting all over again with submission processes.
This past week I have feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Consumed by it and allowing the stress to really get to me. That, and also trying to remember exactly how I put on this thing called “thick skin”. Oh that’s RIGHT! As an artist I put myself out there to be critiqued and so it’s expected and I am uneffected.
He-he, can I please laugh at that statement? Because it is so not true. Well,…unless when it comes to critique on something where I am actually not happy with the work myself. So in a way, I know and expect the negative response. (I’m speaking of my song “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Key of Sea…a song which even though I think it is hip, in hindsight, I don’t think it was a great fit for that album and YES I’ve reaped the blessed recorse of comments from opera purists).
My point is – there is a LOT that can overwhelm you as an indie artist. It has me lately.
And then something happened that made me realize how utterly unimportant stuff like this is, and how precious LIFE is…
Jace Vek and I at our Dec ’08 Concert in Seattle
A fellow musician collegue of mine, who is also a dear friend, recently experienced a tragic trial of his own.
On the afternoon of July 25th, Jace Vek was attacked from behind as he was walking up to his front door. A group of men, one of whom had a brick, bashed the back of his head in and then they all proceeded to beat him in the face and body until he was left for dead. In fact, he was dead when he arrived at the E.R in the ambulance. They had to administer CPR and stick a tube down his throat. He suffered 2 skull fractures and several concussions (among many other things).
Nobody heard from him in a week, and when he finally announced what had happened, it shocked me to my very core. This just DOESN’T happen to people I know.
He is home resting and recovering now, but I can’t help thinking about him every day and what happened. It sure does make you realize how petty every day worries are. The neat thing is how incredibly forgiving Jace has been to the perpetrators, whereever they are. He wishes them to find joy and correct their ways, never again to do this to another human. He prays for them.
I pray for Jace.
What an interesting week. I guess to sum everything up, all we can do is to take everything one day at a time. Keep trying. DO something every day. BE grateful. Be yourself.
Trials are a part of life. Regardless, you just have to keep TRYING.
Ahhhh. That is how I feel today. After a busy season of concerts, I feel so relaxed today knowing that my major performances are over. And this past weekend was one I have been really looking forward to for a while. I’m sad that it’s over already.
Jace Vek and I performed together in downtown Seattle to a sold out crowd. We’d been planning this concert for a few months, and so it was with much anticipation that the evening finally came.
We enjoyed showing my hometown to Jace – he was particularly surprised by the size of the mountains all around. I guess in PA their highest mountain is like 3,000 (compared to our Mt. Rainier at 14, 450 ft).
The concert was Saturday night, December 8th down at Benaroya Hall in the “Soundbridge” recital hall – which was a very intimate room for 60 people. I started the concert off with a few songs (“You By My Side”, “A Beautiful Storm”, and…uh, I don’t remember. LOL). Jace came up after and played “Jennifer’s Largo”, “The Mariner’s Theme”, and “Toccata in G Major”. We switched on and off with each other until we stopped for a short intermission. And then I came back and performed “Boogie Woogie Bumble Bee”, “Romance Theme”, “Will’s Song”, and a recently composed rendition of “What Child Is This/Carol of the Bells”. Jace finished it off with “Thadet Variations” and “O Holy Night”.
My friend, Ali Mohsenian, filmed the concert in HD and is currently editing it. Once I get the footage back from him, I will post some clips.
It was so much fun performing with Jace. I love his music, he is such a great person inside and out – and of course, not to mention he is an amazing musician as well – and his music is beautiful. I have to admit, I was a little nervous to perform with him…until he admited he felt the same about me. So we got that confession out of the way and then just decided to enjoy ourselves. The nerves wore off and I think the audience truly enjoyed our music and we surely had a great connecting with them, making them laugh and cry, and performing for them.
I truly look forward to performing with Jace again sometime next year after I have my baby. We are tentatively planning on doing another concert together back east sometime next Fall – so stay tuned. (my baby is due June 8th, so perhaps in August or September).
Jace, Seattle loved you and you are welcome anytime. ;)
Live in Concert! December 8th, 2007
For those of you in the Northwest area (or anyone who is interested in travelling out!), you are invited to attend my next concert which will be next Saturday night – December 8th, at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall’s Soundbridge Recital Room at 7:00pm.
Soundbridge (located on the northwest corner of Benaroya Hall) – 200 University Street • Seattle, WA 98101•Seattle Symphony website
This will be a very special concert – as I will be sharing the stage with my good friend Jace Vek – who also happens to be an extremely talented pianist/composer/film scorer (two time Emmy award winner). He is flying all the way out from Pennsylvania for this. This will actually be his first time to the great state of Washington – so we’re very excited to show him around Seattle.
Jace and I are very excited about this concert! We both have similar styles when it comes to our piano works. We love to take classical elements and incorporate them into our own and make them new and fresh. We hope this will be only the 1st concert together with more in the future.
Tickets are just $10 each, and we only have a handful of tickets left! Seating at this venue is limited to 60. Tickets are being pre-sold exclusively from my website: www.jenniferthomasmusic.com
To hear samples of Jace’s music, he’s in my Top Friends list. He has two profiles, one featuring his symphonic works, and another for his pianoworks. Check them both out to hear this amazing talent!
Hope to see you there!
I just wanted to let you all know that tickets are now available for pre-order via my website for the following concerts:
Jennifer Thomas & Michele McLaughlin LIVE in concert – November 24, 2007, 7pm – Baldassin Pianos Performance Hall, Salt Lake City, UT – $5.00 per person
Jennifer Thomas & Jace Vek LIVE in concert – December 8, 2007, 7pm – Soundbridge at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA – $10.00 per person
Order online at: www.jenniferthomasmusic.com
I’m so excited to perform with both of these wonderful musicians. For anyone who can come – order now! Seating will be limited. Hope to see you there.
P.S. And for anyone in the Idaho Falls area, I am also doing a FREE concert on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at The Piano Gallery, with special guest artist Michele McLaughlin.
It is with much excitement that I officially announce that on December 8th, 2007, Jace Vek and I will be giving a concert together in Seattle.
I absolutely love Jace’s music. It gives me goosebumps everytime I hear anything he writes or plays, he just has a magical touch. And I especially love that he has fire in his fingers!
We’ve been talking about it for a long time, and finally locked down the date. Jace will be flying out to my hometown of Seattle for this special event. The venue will be announced soon, but I’m trying to work with my connections at Benaroya Hall to have it in one of their smaller recital halls.
If you’re in the Seattle area, we’d love to have you out for this special night! Let me know and I’ll add you to my email list when we send out the email for tickets.