I flew from NYC to San Francisco last week on a new plane, the United 777. Wow.
The first officer announced it was the 2nd week the plane had been in the air. Pretty cool. Brand new. It is a very large plane with lots of leg room and a new business class. It was traveling on a big scale. A great way to start the trip. Went to San Francisco to Burbank on a paper plane, or so it seemed in comparison. Very small.
Have been seeing friends, family and meeting new people. Went to an Oscar party last night. I have often thought about having a song of mine or one I worked on- in a movie – and the song being up for an Oscar. Many people hold the award in their hand (s) and say – “I have always dreamed of this moment.” and so I dream on…
Off to Tucson for a few days then back to LA – celebrating this birthday in California.
Just found this fab video from Mylene Farmer, one of my favorite French artists, which I want to share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ7L9XLjBic
Here’s some encouraging news. Our post on Facebook (we boosted it) featuring the lyric video EQUAL https://www.facebook.com/DeniseMarsaProd/posts/1201971819851862 has been getting a good amount of likes and we are seeing new names coming across our computer. Hello new friends…in Brazil and Spain and here and there!
“Did you sit at your window gazing at the world, wondering if you’d ever fit in?”
For all those demanding, seeking Equality…how can anyone expect less?
When I think of LA, I think about my beautiful blue vintage car that I bought in Santa Monica. I love driving on country roads and in fact drove to Cold Spring this weekend. I got there from New York City via the Pacific Palisades, it’s my favorite road to drive on. It’s not Rt 66 but it takes me where I need to go!
On Thursday I fly to LA. In April of 2016 I signed an admin deal with BMG Gold Songs for my music catalog. I’m about to embark on a 2 week journey to visit those who signed me, believe in me, friends, family and future listeners. Originally from New Jersey (easy!) I have lived for decades in New York City and have also lived for years in both London and LA. So in a way, I’m going back to my old stomping ground. Fun stuff!
I have always enjoyed moving around. The sensation of motion is even more appealing to me than the travel itself. I have several places to stay in various cities so that wherever I go I can relax in my own environment. I don’t think of myself as unsettled or restless, I just need change.
It’s true the world is a global village–internet blogs makes it possible to see so many images from different parts of the world instantly and films allow us to enter into scenes that were once beyond our imaginations. I watched THE DRESSMAKER last night and the cinematography was wonderful. It takes place in rural Australia. I enjoyed the film.
Here’s my big want for 2017. My music in films. I love films old (TCM) and new, watching them is one of my favorite pastimes. I have been told my songs tell stories and are very vivid, perhaps all the films are seeping in. One of my goals while in LA is to make a few new contacts in the film industry. In addition I look forward to meeting other BMG writers, and to celebrating my March 3rd birthday–( oh sure my age is so crucial!) the first one I will spend in LA in may years. I also want to enjoy the change of outlook that being in a new city brings. And I am also very tired of my 1810 home being a haven for mice this winter!! “No more nice to mice!!”
The freshness of the ocean breeze is sure to refresh my mind. I am an adventurer after all and drawn to the allure of new experiences. However, I will definitely be returning to my home in New York and all I cherish here.
After The Grammys I was inspired to bring this song out of the vault! I wrote it while in Los Angeles (my final year) and recorded it with my friend Eric Gorfain from The Section Quartet. It feels like songs with strong lyrics, melodies and hooks are back. and I’m in!
I loved the Grammys this year! There were so many songs that had powerful meanings and substance especially compared to other years. I thought the Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood song THE FIGHTER was really strong, classic pop with a hint of the 80’s and loved the way they use her voice in the one section and he was answering. http://www.rollingstone.com/country/news/see-keith-urban-carrie-underwoods-duet-at-2017-grammys-w466339
I also loved the arrangement of George Michael’s FAST LOVE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3mO6DSY4gU and the visuals behind Adele and she did her best, difficult song to sing live, especially that arrangement. Her humility was admirable and she is one of a kind. Adele kind of reminds me of the 50’s Peggy Lee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4hXyALR9vI
Music is and will always be a force to reckon with. I am excited to have venues like this- where I can features songs, including my own. I hope you enjoy BRING ME HOME.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about home, and the role it plays in giving us a spiritual center. The apartment where I live in the West Village of NYC has been my dwelling for over thirty years; I have come to think of it almost as an extension of myself–like my arm or the shell a turtle carries on its back. As I think of performing my show THE PASS in different venues around the country, and maybe even in London, I know I must leave my Village sanctuary, if only for brief periods of time. Right now I can see a beautiful blue jay from my window, speaking loud and clear, perched on a bare tree.
My little apartment–it is one big room like a French artist’s studio–is so cozy and arranged to my liking: an antique Oriental rug, a comfy bed, closets packed with my favorite possessions in cupboards that are painted beautiful colors; my musical equipment including my keyboard; computers that I use for my PR work. Outside my window wind chimes blow a song with the wind and I often see the communal cats prowling around. They keep the mice away. It’s all idyllic, complete.
Yet I contemplate deserting my home and going forth into the world, performing for strangers and staying in hotels, or inns or apartments. The vagabond, the gypsy in me is on and ready. The sailor is looking to find ways to tear up the anchor in celebration of my musical journey through the years.
I might spend some time in Tucson–awesome desert air, a pool, a living room with a fireplace! Or I can hang out in L.A., to experience the scene in West Hollywood. Oh what a scene!
No doubt, after I travel I will long to come back to my little nest in NYC. Or will I outgrow my little pad, as I have before and leave it only for a time. It is where I have written so many of my songs. I know that I will always love my home in the Village, my place in which I have invested my heart. But there may right now be empty places, just waiting for my heart to fill them too.
winter solstice mandalas
Today I watched the snow falling outside my window in my NYC West Village studio. I was engrossed by the huge whirling snowflakes, and the beauty of their motion. With white icing the nearby rooftops, the pink building in the courtyard in the background, the stark branches and the slate-grey sky, the world suddenly seemed a poem. The spareness of it made me think of changes I have been going through in my own life. Recently, I have also been paring down, re-assessing relationships both personal and professional, cleaning out my closet, even eating healthier and exercising more. I want to be in the good health and in great shape as I venture towards launching my one woman show. I am savoring the many changes ad enjoying a less hectic and chaotic life, time seems to be moving by much slower. I like this. The pleasure of watching movies alone at night, or going to a movie with my brother David, (LION-Loved it!) and going to friends live music performances. Relishing each bite that I eat, choosing what to keep, what to discard, they are all adding to the value of my life. Simple, calm and productive.
We often accumulate so much in life that we think is essential only to find that when it is lost, or retired, we feel lighter, happier, more free. That is my experience this winter 2017. I am seeing the loss of things as a gain, a sweeping away of the non-essential not only to make room for new growth, but to appreciate the sheer structure which lies beneath my life–the purity of bones, the strength of steel. So a winter of the heart can be a season not of discontent but of sheer and total bliss.
For whatever reason I’ve had this stigma about raising money online for my projects–like I’ve had some success: publishing deals, hit records. It makes me feel like I’m starting from scratch. Then I look and see all the amazing artists who are doing crowdfunding and I realize I have been limiting myself by judging myself.
So I’m shedding my old self and my colleague Maryanne and I are working on my first crowdfunding campaign. We’re researching, creating content and preparing to raise funds for my one-woman show THE PASS. We applied for a grant from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and we’re waiting to hear, should know sometime in February. In conjunction with the grant, we are starting the crowdfunding part we spoke about in the application.
I am trying to come up with a fun concept for the video. There are many aspects to being creative–certainly it has its pain and challenges. However, I’m now looking at things from a different angle; my new mantra is “focus on the fun.” After all, creating is my chosen path. No one is forcing me to write a new song or write a show; it’s coming from me naturally. For me to do anything else would be unnatural.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day; I hope we all reflected on his profound ability to make a difference in the world. My goal for the show is to entertain people and to bring them enjoyment. With my work in PR and with my mentoring I have made a difference in a handful of lives. Now I’m focusing on the fun.
Spiders get a bad rap. Consider their fascinating origin according to Greek mythology: Arachne, a talented but mortal weaver, challenged the goddess Athena to a weaving contest. When Athena, who rules over crafts as well as wisdom, won the content hands-down she decided to punish Arachne by turning her into nature’s first spider. So spiders spend their days weaving endless beautiful and intricate webs, but are not always appreciated for their artistry!
As a songwriter, I also weave webs–from music and words not thread. This week I have been crafting a new song for “The Pass”, LIFEBOAT. It will be the penultimate song in the show, the second-to-the-last, an important position. I have been playing it for friends, whose comments have helped me to take it to new levels. All of my life I have told stories, in words and music, bringing vocal shape to the world I experienced. At some point I gave this ability a practical application, by using it to write press releases, attract clients and create a PR firm. But the need to use it purely creatively always comes out; throughout my daily life I tend to burst into song. By patient and skillful crafting, I have taken my latest song to a new place, a heightened place of pain and love and soaring emotion. I can only hope that even the goddess Athena would approve!
Fun Fact: According to studies done at the University of Miami, spiders respond to music. They don’t like techno or hip hop but, when Bach was played, the spiders began to spin webs closer to the speakers.