Overcoming Tremendous Challenges As They Pursue Their Dreams

I enjoy stories

Reading them, hearing them read out loud, listening to a storyteller.

Among my favourites are those featuring people who were faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges and with their inner strength along with the love of others at their side, they managed to climb those mountains and reach the summit.  And what a joy it is to witness them in those sweet moments of their achievement.

I give you two such stories that were shared with me a couple of weeks ago.  They feature two different young people whose big dreams – at their particular summit – were to share their love of singing.

Here are youtube links to watch, and I hope they bring you inspiration, as they did for me.

The first one features a young lady, Kechi Okwuchi…

 

 

 

And for the story featuring Christian Guardino, I couldn’t find a link that had everything combined, so the first link gives you his performance, and the second one gives you his background story.

 

 

*****

 

With different instruments….still as beautiful

One of my friends shared this clip with me yesterday

And I’d like to share it with you.

I love this cover!  

In addition to being played in a beautiful traditional Japanese way……do those instruments ever sound amazing!!…….BUT also being one of my most FAVIEST of songs!! And it wasn’t because of its popularity that I’ve always loved the Zeppelin version, but that there’s always something about it that seems to strongly resonate with me in the musicality of the song.

These Japanese players have given it a similar feel – I had goosebumps!!

I searched on youtube for this clip, as the original came from another source….and the BONUS part is at the very beginning they have added in some educational information on this unique instrument….the Nijugen-Koto.  And there’s the other quite similar instrument….the Jushichigen-Koto.  The flutes are called Shakuhachi.

Always something new to learn!

 

An Unusual Singer

Yesterday I found heart-warming inspiration from an unexpected source.

I happened to glance at the activities of some of my Facebook friends and stopped at one where I read that one of my friends had liked a particular video post…..about a deaf singer performing at a talent show.

One other time I had come across a Ted Talk in which a woman was talking about her experience about being deaf and being involved in music, and she had been deaf at a young age.  She had overcome various challenges in her life and had fulfilled her dream of being a professional musician, or more precisely, a percussionist.

So, with that in mind, I was especially intrigued with this new post.

What increased the intrigue was that this other young woman – singer/songwriter – was appearing on the show, “America’s Got Talent,” which I generally don’t watch.  But now being somewhat savvy  that deafness doesn’t mean that a person can’t achieve their musicianship dreams,  I had a hunch this would be a ground-breaking experience.  Ever since Susan Doyle wowed the judges on the British equivalent show – where she overcame her hurdle of no formal training and wavering self-confidence – I keep a keen eye and ear open to those more “unique” aspiring singers.

Well.

What an incredibly momentous experience for this young lady!

Mandy Harvey – inspiring and amazing – how she handled overcoming her biggest obstacle….herself.

No spoilers from me, but I encourage you to watch this clip.

 

 

A Taste of….Wrongful Conviction!

As I have mentioned on a few previous posts, in addition to writing and blogging and other jobs, I also am busily involved with music, having experienced being in bands and performing live as well. (And I started eight years ago, when I took up drumming lessons)

Here in the Ottawa area is an organized opportunity – called the League of Rock – for aspiring musicians to take part for 10-week sessions in being put together in bands, learning 3-5 songs, having weekly rehearsals, getting coached from mostly local professional musicians, getting to perform live, as well as going into a recording studio to experience the process of recording one song.

I have taken part in four sessions – started in the fall session 2015 and finished with this last fall session – and it’s been an amazing experience!  I have met so many keen and talented musicians and had a LOT of fun.  There are a lot of friendships made, and also a sense of family created amongst the participants.

Truly memorable moments.

Here is the video that my band finally received from the photographer about our part of the finale live performance, where all five of the bands in this fall session showed the appreciative audience what they’d been working on.

*****

Videographer – Christopher Paine

The Hang…part Two

A girlfriend just shared a youtube link, featuring a young man who’s performing fascinating, rhythmic, and melodically rich music with his hang drum.

And since I have a particular interest in hang drums, as I described in an earlier post – from September 14th, you can see it here – I decided to share this clip with you as well. This street player is self-taught and he incorporates a diversity of sound in his playing; even adding in separate percussive elements!  Wow!

As I was doing a bit of research, as a result of what the young man says to the street crowd before he starts playing, I learned that the instrument is correctly referred to as The Hang.

The Hang “is a musical instrument in the idiophone class created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland (developed in 2000).” – Wikipedia

I invite you to check it out!  😀

 

Six Word Story #4

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The show is about to begin!

 

**********

 

My selfie from last night as I was sitting down at the drumkit and getting ready….just minutes before my band mates and I rocked out on stage at the League of Rock’s finale showcase, where five bands who have been diligently working for the past ten weeks to learn four songs, get expert coaching during that time, and then show what they have achieved in that final performance

Ooooh, what a night!  ❤

 

The Wonder of Street Magic!

My boys recently introduced me to the street magic of David Blaine.  They kept telling me, “Gotta watch him, Mom!  He’s amazing!”  They told me tidbits without giving too much away.  And so I went searching for him….found him…..and have enjoyed all that I’ve seen so far!

His magic is mind boggling!  THAT good!

Have a look for yourself…

 

 

I just watched the top one; the bottom one I watched two days ago (it’s shorter in length)….my introduction to him – David is charismatic, cool, fun, and incredibly good at what he does!

 

 

 

The Lady with the Harp

Over 20 years ago a close friend introduced me to a Canadian musician – Loreena McKennitt – who has been a dear favourite of mine ever since.  From the first time I heard her singing and harp playing, I was entranced and enthralled and only wanted to hear more of her songs.  She is also known as a composer, accordionist, and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes.

Luckily, I have had the utmost pleasure in getting to see her giving a live performance at a music festival in Ottawa a few years back – at an open air festival – and even though it rained heavily that day, all of her staunch and keen fans endured the wet in order to see her show.  I was in that audience!  A cherished experience for me.

Even though in addition to her harp playing, I saw her play the keyboard and accordion, equally well, I primarily think of her as “The Lady with the Harp.”

Here is a youtube link to one of her well-known songs, The Lady of Shalott.  It’s a poignant tale within a song, taking place during the time of Camelot.

 

 

In some of her songs her singing adds a haunting quality to the lyrics.  As also in this next one, called “The Bonny Swans.”

 

 

As I was looking through more youtube links featuring her songs, I also came across this one – “Greensleeves” – which is a particular favourite of mine; firstly, because of her beautiful version of it, and secondly, it was the first full-sized classical song I learned to play on my guitar in my pre-teen years.  It’s a lovely old-English song, and here’s the link below….

 

 

 

 

When Music is a Racket…

….as in a tennis or squash racket?

But yes, here is another example of, well, when there is no limit to what the human mind can conceive and construct with which to create cool music.

Check it out!