Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Announcing Hannah and Friends: Virtual Recital Series

I had this idea swimming in my head about using the Hangouts feature on Google+ to share music with a greater number of audience. The Google Hangouts feature is a video chat that allows up to 10 people to chat together. Google recently came out with a "studio mode" for musicians to share music online. Even though only a limited number of people can be in this chat, the performances can be streamed live to Youtube and is automatically recorded for later view.
So I am in the process of launching a project called Hannah and Friends: Virtual Recital Series. Every Saturday, I will be singing and inviting my performing artist friends from all over the US and other parts of the world to come to this cyber space to share their talents with you. The genres will include (but not limited to) western and eastern classical, crossovers, jazz, pop, indie, comedy, theater, folk, and other types of world music. We will be sharing the Youtube video on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media sites to reach as many viewers as possible. Audiences and communities have become very insular to their niche and I wanted to create a platform where people can discover something new. It is my hope that this project will also provide opportunities for different types of artists to come together to create an online and offline community that unites all races, cultures, and people of various socio-economic backgrounds.
The launch date for this project is Saturday, April 4 at 3pm pst. I have some amazingly talented friends who will be performing so you don't want to miss out! The website for this project is almost complete and I will be posting it on here and everywhere when it's done. You can preview the profiles of the artists there.
More than anything, I am really excited to share the talents of my ridiculously gifted friends. I think you will really enjoy watching! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Schubert's Ave Maria

Here is a video of me singing Schubert's "Ave Maria"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coming Up!

A newly edited video of Schubert's "Ave Maria" is coming soon! Also I will be recording some new songs in a couple of weeks so stay tuned for more music! There is another exciting project I am planning on launching in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled for some fun news!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pulling Myself Out from Rock Bottom

About a year ago, I hit rock bottom. I was completely depleted of energy, had no motivation and was physically weak. I felt anxious, afraid, and hopeless. But the good news about hitting rock bottom is that there is no where to go but up. And luckily I had enough strength to pull myself out of it step by step.
One thing I realized during this process of pulling myself out of the emotionally gutter was that the level of our physical vibration and energy mattered. As a matter of fact, if we don't understand how our energy works, we won't know how to move out of the state of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. So, here are some things I have done to boost my energy level and increase my vibration: exercise, meditation, tapping, and practicing the breath of fire.
I didn't like to exercise. I hated running, lifting weights, and being out of breath. But I knew it was crucial to bring my energy up. Running seemed too strenuous so I started walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day while watching my favorite Korean TV show for about a month. I didn't push myself. I didn't want to hate the process, so I let myself do what I wanted to do. Watching my favorite Korean TV show made me look forward to the experience. After about a month, I decided to run a little bit. So I did that for about a week. Run a little and as soon as I felt a hint of fatigue, I stopped and just walked. Then, I started running non-stop for 35 minutes. And guess what? I loved it! I never thought I'd say this but I love running now. So, I run 5-6 times a week. The important thing is to keep yourself entertained and provide a fun experience for yourself so your brain can link the experience with pleasure, not pain.
While exercising boosted my energy, meditation saved my mental and emotional well-being. It helped me forgive myself, stay aligned with the Divine, and live in the present moment without resistance. Of course, this is an on-going process and I am still learning a lot about what all this is. Most importantly, it calmed me down and helped me look at life from a bigger perspective. Also reading books on spirituality played a huge role. A couple of books I recommend are A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. I have also been listening to Igniting Boundless Receiving by Panache Desai. These are my Bible for life. 
Some of you may think this is "woo woo," but I recently discovered Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or more commonly known as "tapping." I have heard of tapping before but never looked into it because it sounded silly. But after reading a few endorsements from trustworthy sources, I decided to give it a try. I looked up tapping on Youtube and there are thousands of videos that teach you how to tap for specific problems you have. So, I tried a video on anxiety, and like a miracle, the anxiety disappeared within minutes. The anxiety came back after two days but much lighter in density. I used to wake up feeling anxious and dreadful but I have been surprised to wake up peacefully. I have been tapping for about a week now and the anxiety has decreased about 70%. Not a bad deal.
Another method I discovered to increase motivation and confidence is to practice the breath of fire. It's a type of Kundalini yoga breathing that stimulates the solar plexus area (the pit of your stomach). If your solar plexus area is energetically blocked, you feel timid, scared, unmotivated, hopeless and depressed. The fastest way to feel yourself out of these negative emotions is to do the breath of fire for a few minutes. You will automatically feel more confident and in charge of your life. Keep doing this for a month and see how you change and how much guts you actually have!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What? You want me to sing? Like, now?

I went hiking with a friend and a bunch of strangers last year near Seattle. I awkwardly made friends with some of them as we stopped by some waterfalls, took pictures and exchanged some customary niceties. When it was lunch time, we found a space that could accomodate about twelve people and made sandwiches. As I was munching on my lunch, one of the guys that I had "befriended" asked me about my interests. Of course, singing came up and he immediately asked me to sing something for him. Right there. In the mountain. In the middle of all these strangers.
This happens to singers ALL. THE. TIME. Singers get asked to sing at dinner tables when people discover their identity. Or in a car ride, or at a shopping mall. And I get annoyed by it as most singers do. 
Over the years, I have developed a way of deflecting the awkward moment and cleverly rejecting the request. "You want me to sing? Get me a stage and a Steinway. Then, I'll sing." Mind you, you have to say this with certain flair and humor as not to be mistaken as a snob. So with humor and primadonna charm, I successfully deflected the opportunity to bust out a "Quando men vo." 
A few moments later, as we were in deep conversation about nothing important, I heard a beautiful voice singing in Persian. I looked over and one of the Iranian girls in our group was singing like an angel looking completely comfortable and enjoying herself. I had a brain-freeze. For the first time, I saw how okay it was to sing in an awkward situation and not make it awkward. Hearing her sing was like an unexpected mini-concert in the woodland.  
This changed my paradigm of singing in unexpected places. What if singers did sing during those dinner parties, or game nights or in a car ride? Yes, it's awkward and embarrassing. But what if this was considered a marketing tool or a tease to your next performance? It's like you are a live Youtube channel or a Tweeting bird or a Face with a mouth. As long as you are comfortable with it, the audience will love it. They asked for it, didn't they?
I have yet to try this myself and as much as I am dreading it, I am open to trying it. And when I do, rest assured, you will be hearing all about it on my blog.
So, let's get our pipes warmed up!

A Writer's Blog from the Get-Go

My friend Shaun and I had talked about writing a musical together for like a decade. One of us would always ask the other, "So, when is this going to happen?" to which one of us would reply, "Soon. Soon." Writing a musical is such a daunting task. I would be in charge of the story, organizing the structure of the musical and of course, the lyrics. Shaun would be composing the music. But a couple of days ago, I suggested that we first write a few of songs together before we take on the monstrous project.
So, I am supposed to send Shaun some lyrics for him to write the music to next week. And I am totally at a loss as to what to write and how to write it. I will be pulling out some hair over the weekend. But the good news is that we will have a few original songs to publish and share with you all! And that's exciting. I hoping to complete the lyrics to the first song today and send it off to Shaun so wish me luck!


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