EARWORMS Vol.II BLACK&WHITES
EARWORMS Vol.II BLACK&WHITES
- 1Sleep Comes Trickling Down Like Rain1:30
- 5Piano Fun In F Minor0:12
- 7Sun'r Eyes1:03
- 8Ooo, Spooky Mystery!3:12
- 10Breaking Tempest0:46
- 11Piano Practice I0:17
- 14Piano Practice II1:13
- 19My Heart To You3:11
- 21Buhb’s & I5:06
- 22Blues Piano0:59
- 23Wonder (RAW)4:19
- 24Hb (RAW)4:18
- 25Solar (RAW)9:34
- 26Piano Fun In F Minor (RAW)14:20
- 27Roses (RAW)2:42
- 28Sun'r Eyes (RAW)10:46
- 29Infinitum (RAW)20:17
- 30Breaking Tempest (RAW)4:08
- 31Piano Practice I (RAW)11:37
- 32Smooth (RAW)5:49
- 33Arpeggio (RAW)7:36
- 34Melon-Holly (RAW)2:42
- 35Clarity (RAW)14:29
- 36Chibi (RAW)2:07
- 37Effervescence (RAW)2:22
- 38My Heart To You (RAW)3:13
- 39Blues Piano (RAW)4:27
EARWORMS VOL. II BLACK & WHITES
1. Sleep Comes Trickling Down Like Rain
5. Fun in F Minor
7. Sun’r Eyes
8. (Oooo!!!) Spooky Mystery
10. BREAKING TEMPEST 11. Piano Practice I
14. Piano Practice II
19. My Heart To You
21. Buhb’s n’ I
22. Blues Piano
23-39. (RAW Tracks)
This is EARWORMS Vol. II BLACK&WHITES; recordings of my God given process learning and creating on the piano.
When I was a small child, my parents shared a recollection they had of me in my crib raising my hands in the air; wriggling my fingers as if I was conducting with those ten wormlike fingers to heaven.
The first time I was introduced to the world of music was within the walls of the church sanctuary praising The Lord with voice through song (that’s just what you did in my family-it was like breathing and ironically I was reluctant of the breath at that time).
However sacred and special that was, the first time I played piano was upon the unholy premise of a lie.
When I was of the age of seven years old, my family and I had moved from our house in San Pedro, California (Saint Peter) to live with our grandparents for a little while. It was becoming tougher to live in that God forsaken area (I love that city, I’m only referring to the crime) and I guess it only took some gunfire, squad cars and a criminal situation to break the camels back that kept us living there.
Once we found a place, we moved to Long Beach, California; a quaint little home with a backyard, school down the street (my older brother would skate with me there while I scooted. We traveled through a tunnel from time to time till we reached the end. He’d go his way, I’d go mine. It was hallmark worthy)and it all seemed swell , but due to a seemingly bad deal (I didn’t know this at the time, I was a child), not having a garage, leaving our things outside to rot in the rain (I did know about that) and a bad termite problem we inevitably were back with my grandparents in Gardena, California; right across the street from a park that held a talent show at their club house. There was a piano…
I told them that I was going to play Beethoven (I didn’t even know who Beethoven was)-I said I was going to play a never before heard piece at that! Goodness.
Now, Lying is a sin, and by no means I am going to try and conjure some justification for it here, but the only reason I could even think of for deciding to lie was to play. I don’t know why I wanted too, but I did.
I don’t even remember what I played, but as soon as it was my turn, I walked through that darkened room to the spotlighted piano, sat down and played something.
When I was done, I stopped, got up, turned around and bowed.
My parents told me later that while they were applauding they asked each other , “When did he learn to play piano?”
My first time was there.
By no means do I suggest you dear reader to be encouraged to lie in getting what you want, but that was how this story started and to not include it, may be construed as false witness, so, we press on!
It wouldn’t be till years later that I would touch a keyboard again.
After my grandfather passed away, my family left my older brother his keyboard that was played for him before he went home to be with The Lord (I inherited what I would later learn to be his college binder for a piano class and what was left of his record collection, but I would not use these great tasting resources till later).
My brother was (and is) a lyricist and would make his own songs; rapping to back beats and recording his outcomes (it’d be too simple to call him a “rapper” for he is much more than that, a poet and an improvisationalist at best). I’d wanna play along with him-and he did oblige me to aid on a word or two through the editing process (in our downstairs laundry room /two door garage that was part of our newly lived in apartment in Torrance, CA). I wanted to make music of my own (I guess) too.
I remember distinctly clicking away at the piano keyboard coming up with a melody of my own (I could probably play it to this day). It went, “Com-bust-ion, Com-bust-ion, Bust-ion, Bust-ion”…That was all I got.
As time passed by and I headed into middle school, I began to discover my own taste in music. I remember watching “VH1” before heading to school (for people unaware of what that is, there was this thing called the television…) and I haven’t forgotten the first time I heard and saw Amy Winehouse sing, “You Know I’m No Good”-(it could have been “Back to Black” honestly.
I had officially found my first celebrity “crush” (and I had no idea how much her music would influence me later in that moment). I not only found my first celebrity heart throb, but I also found one of my first school girl crushes, her name was Jade (I am happily married now to my beautiful-movie star quality-lovely-God given lady, but I figured I’d put my school-crush in here only for sake of context & transparency). She was pretty, kinda punk-rock, rebellious and all around different (flowing chains, ripped jeans, piercings and attitude-with joy I might add). I never had seen a girl like her before. Not only was that the case, but she also had a band and I wanted in so what did I do? I lied. Again.Oh boy…
I told her and her band that I’d been playing piano for eight years!…I think the group quickly realized that wasn’t the case after our first band practice (it can be pretty easy to tell). She sang and strummed out one of her tunes (on an orange Epiphone Wild Kat guitar I found myself getting in yellow later in life and calling her “Blondie”) we hung out, I met her family. Her dad played banjo (I recall him sitting on his bed, bald head shining from a reflection of the sun), and her mother played some kind of oriental stringed instrument (she told me I would be very good looking when I was older…strange, but sweetish sentiment at the age of 12 or 13ish). With all of the gothic architecture and art decked around her home I thought she was legit, but I knew I was not.
As you can tell by now this “lying” thing is an unfortunate theme in this tale and one I had to pay for later (through being bullied, unfriended, alienated and untrusted). That is not the focus of this mythos, but take it from me-DON’T LIE! God hates it and so do others who are not as loving and as merciful as He is, now, where was I? Oh yes! The band ended up not being “a real band”, more like a quasi-cool-gang cover up for scene cred or somethin’-thing, (maybe Jade was just a lone guitar player with no one else that could actually play),but the seeds of playing music in a band had already been planted in me and were being watered (to play, listen and discover more about The God given world of sound), but it wouldn’t be until much later that that path would be traveled by way of the piano, but since this album is about “Piano”, I will now stick to my piano story (after this)!
I eventually got in trouble at my school (on the last day of 6th grade) and I was suspended (it was dumb don’t ask, but if you do, I won’t mind telling what happened). I was pretty sure I was expelled, but my mother insists, “I was suspended”. This was providential, because in fact we were moving from Torrance to Redondo Beach, California so…cool! I didn’t have to be that lying bullied kid anymore-I could be someone else…(existentialism: existence precedes essence…, reality: essence precedes existence…translation: how you live depends on who you are, you can’t decide who are by changing how you live-in other words-although I’d like to be-I’m not a cat, and I can’t change that, but you can call me that and I’ll know what that means*.)
Wish i knew that then, but as providence had it this someone else wrote songs, played, bass, guitar, but still wanted to play piano. He (I) got his chance (through a person I’d rather not talk about in too much detail-they are forgiven of course, but if I do this story will become unnecessarily longer…ha gotcha there!). They tried to teach me. They were not successful. They told me “Id never be able to learn how to play the piano ever”.
I believed them.
I believed that lie till I graduated highscool. I just never tried, until I found my grandpas old piano book from college (and all his old records).
Now I wish I could say here that I took up that hand written piano book and started learning. Nope. I was lazy and knew that if I wanted to learn it’d be hard work; that I’d have to be dedicated and put the time in just like I did for guitar or songwriting, singing or anything else I did, so I opted for the records instead-and my ohhhh my, did my grand-pappy have good taste! If it wasn’t for him, who knows, I probably would believe that Justin Beiber (and artists alike) are the standard of excellence in regards to music (that’s laughable, no offense to Justin, I’m just grateful to God I was given a historical musical background, heard Jazz, Boogie-Woogie, old whirlitzer organs and Billie Holiday-that stuff helped mold me into the artist I am today), But once I got around to it, I finally cracked open that faded-green-tattered book and started turning those aged-seemingly burned yellowing pages of wonder, magic and learning. Yes!
I gained a lot from it , not only how to play the piano, but that my grandfathers instructor must have not been very good. I could be wrong, but from knowing how brilliant he was, I find little to no evidence I that would lead me to believe my fore father deserved a “D-“ (there were mistakes, but come on man, an Augmented chord can sound warm!…God bless ‘em). Anyway, when I eventually started to teach piano (I was asked to by a family of two, now I have been teaching it and learning to teach it better ever since) I knew I couldn’t take this task lightly-I’m teaching image bearers of God (people) to think and create! I don’t wanna wreck that so after learning and teaching out of my grandpas book for awhile, I began to go deeper through study, learning, playing and all by The Grace of God through the work of Kent Hewitt’s book, from which I still teach today.
In regard to my keys;
my pops co-worker was shipping off to be a sailor and left me his keyboard, he was really cool and had the mug to fit a pirate ship (ear ring, beard and all-the skally-wag ). Later I found an old acoustic upright piano at Goodwill that looked like it was found at the bottom of a pirate ship. I’ve been playin’ on her ever since (still haven’t named her-I name all of my instruments so…).
I have to say upon writing this, It’s funny how significant music is to our lives. I know that’s pretty obvious and that this album is supposed to “just” be about piano, (and this description is turning out to not be), but I am struck by how much happens around the instruments we play; the lives, the people we meet, the things they say, that we say, that we believe and later may teach to one another.
No matter what you’ve gotten from this short excerpt of my journey with the piano, I hope that you’ll listen, learn from it-see my story and in turn see (and appreciate) the story that God is telling about “you” (not solely the instrument itself, for it is what it is, “a tool”, for you to use to tell your story: The story He is telling through you and around you).
If it was not for God, there would be no music, there would be no story, there would be no you. Your story is the one I want to hear (and others too) because it points to His story (The Creator), who created you and I to sing (wether that’s on the piano a tambourine or with a bag of gourmet jelly beans-garbage), you can not only know Him, but He also loves to hear our sounds.
If you look around you’ll hear his voice (Genesis 1, Psalm 33, John 1, Acts 17, Romans 1, Colossians 1&2, Ephesians 1&2) ; only because of His voice is anything worth listening to. That includes you. No lie (this time)….
No matter what anybody says, “Make a joyful noise unto The Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praise.” (Psalm 98:4). These recordings were taken from March 2nd, 2015-July 15th,2021)
Soli Deo Gloria,