Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spring 2012 - Ups and downs. Oh, and updates.



HI EVERYONE!

Been getting asked how I am a lot these days, I apologize for not posting lately.   I'm sorry if I worried you.
I know I should write everyone back personally, but it seems a bit overwhelming of a task at the moment, and there is a lot to say, so please accept this cop-out blog ^^;;

BLASTED HARP

I'm very sorry about how long it is taking me to get some new music uploaded :(

I have both my mics and equipment set up in a painstakingly specific formation for recording a harp part and I don't dare move anything until the part is fully recorded.   Once it is done I can do some spontaneous recording again.

For the record, this new harp that I have gotten has been extremely difficult to record and work with. It behaves nothing like my original harp - it's louder and the sound carries a lot more, and I guess it is more like a concert harp than the little harp I used to play.  Just getting the mics set up to record it without it sounding very boomy and unpleasant took a whole month.  That's right, an entire month devoted to nothing but knob turning and mic placement, and I'm still making little adjustments.

I read up extensively on recording harps, learning a few new things but none of them really applicable because, sadly, concert harps - or harps with that level of resonance, like mine -  need to be recorded in acoustically luscious rooms in order to bring out their sound, with mics spaced several meters away from the instrument.   Just like recording a pianist on a grand piano, the room itself is as important as the instrument - the sound bouncing off the walls creates the 'sound', the desirable one we like to hear.     I have a closet for a studio, and while that works SO WELL for things like vocals, flutes, guitars, it does not work with this big resonant harp.  Put the harp inside that dead room, and the parts of the harp's sound that would normally dissipate don't have anywhere to go and become much louder and overpowering than they should, especially the midrange.  My mics cannot be spaced more than a meter away from the harp, actually less necause of the small space, so they're getting the full brunt.   It's hard to explain.

To make the situation work, I ended up stuffing the entire inside of the harp with foam to muffle the resonance, and then I had to experiment with mic positioning to get a desirable sound - not boomy or overwhelming, but clear - and also minimize white noise  (these mics pick up the air conditioning systems of all the other apartments around mine, so I can all too easily get heavy white noise even though my own AC is turned off)  There's little need to say how utterly frustrating its been to have spent so much precious recording time on this simple-but-not-at-all-simple issue.  I will also need to re-create the set-up every time I need to use the harp, which is going to be pretty often as it is my go-to instrument for the most part.

I took the time though because I've made a name for myself by creating music with a high degree of production quality, and I'm not about to let that slip now, no matter how much time it takes.   All I have to do is picture you guys listening to the final track and I know that I owe you guys my very best.

END OF HARP COMMENTARY.  (commendations if you read this far)

BEGINNING OTHER TOPICS:

I've been working only on album songs again.  I have a serious drive to work on them, and am trying to take advantage of it.  Hopefully I'll have another CD ready by the end of this year.  It's definitely possible, I just need to will it through.   At the moment I'm recording my original, 'The Dragon's Lullaby', which is what this current harp part is for.   It's actually one of my oldest compositions, but I can't say I've ever come up with a better melody.  I have the same sort of special fondness for it as one would have towards an eldest son or daughter.     It'll definitely be the album song I pick to upload in full to youtube. (as with "No One But You")  and I have really fun ideas for the music video.     Will let you all know lots more about the album songs in the coming months, I'm very excited about this collection.

ABOUT THE TRIP TO JAPAN:

For those of you who have been asking about my trip to record in Japan and whether I've gone yet, the answer is that, unfortunately, I never heard anything else after that first (extremely wonderful and exciting) bit of communication.  Spring has, of course, come and gone.  It's possible I have been overlooked or passed by (the composer doesn't always have his first choice of vocalist, especially if the company is pushing for someone with more visibility), or perhaps the entire project is extremely delayed, or a number of vocalists were being contacted just in case - I just don't know, and it really wouldn't be polite to ask.  And who knows, I may still be called out.  I'm just letting those know who are curious about the whole thing that I haven't heard anything further on the matter, and that nothing was really set in stone to begin with.

That email felt about the same as a it would to have a phoenix touch down in front of me while I'm out shopping for mundane things like toothpaste and toilet paper.  I can't say I particularly deserved it, nor why it happened, and I'd be silly to expect it to happen a second time.  But it was wonderful.  And I will always have it to turn over and over in my memory late at night when I can't sleep.    At least I went ahead and got my passport - so I'll be ready if I do ever need to travel overseas.

LITTLE ASSHOLE: 

The other big opportunity I thought I'd received with a major game company here in the USA (I told a few of you about it I think) sadly turned out to be nothing more than a badly timed practical joke.   It served more to simply disappoint me than depress me, as it was a game I would have been over the moon to provide a song for and I'm well used to trolls at this point.   Coupled with the slight humiliation of having written to the actual composer's email address and asking about it, (he probably thought 'who's this crazy chick?') the whole thing was very upsetting and embarrassing.  I've done my best to stop thinking about it, although the disappointment and embarrassment of it still nags.   Still hoping for some sort of break in the near future.  Some big game to swoop me up and offer me one song to sing.   Do I deserve it?   Hell, I don't know.  But it would sure help.

MY MOM: 

In other news, my mother has been very ill.  I see her struggle in great pain every day with the smallest tasks like putting on shoes or watering her plants.  And still she works so hard - has worked so hard all her life.   It makes me feel angry with myself that I chose an unstable career like this, instead of trudging my way through something like medical school.  If things had been different, if  I  had been different, I would be able to make her more comfortable now by forcing her to retire and being able to shovel out the money for any and all health care/procedures would make her comfortable and able to move without pain.  I'd be able to fund any crazy idea she thought up and wanted to pursue.   While some months (especially last year) my CD brought in enough for me to truly feel I'd contributed, other months, (especially this year) made it very difficult on my conscience.

MY ADVENTURES WITH ILLEGAL UPLOADING/DOWNLOADING:
-just getting this off my chest and then we need not speak any more about it- 

Orders for my album abruptly came to a halt a few months back, and for a while I was only able to sell one or two precious CDs a month.  I was upset by this but waited it out to see if things would pick up again after a while.  They didn't.  I was very humiliated to not be able to have contributed much of anything during those months financially, and I'd have more than my conscience to worry about if my mother wasn't the understanding parent that she is.  I couldn't talk to anyone about it without feeling - knowing - that there would be little sympathy for the financial issues of an able-bodied adult who doesn't have a 'real job'!    After a spell where I didn't sell a single album for a whole month, I decided to take the dreaded 'tour of google' and see if my album was uploaded anywhere for free download.   Unfortunately it was.  I found it up in three places.   Last year I would have turned a blind eye on these uploads, as I was selling enough then to feel it was okay if there was a little of this going on.   But when orders stopped entirely, and the ratio of monthly downloaded albums to sold ones bordered on 100/0 I really didn't have a choice.  I tried to write these places and get these uploads removed.    I couldn't get them removed from two of the places as they were (and are) less than savory and wouldn't reply to my emails unless I had a lawyer (fat chance in hell of being able to afford one of those)  but I was able to remove it from 4shared.  The 4shared team was very nice and seemed genuinely concerned with protecting small artists like me.   After that, I started receiving some regular orders again, blessedly, and as always, am extremely thankful for them and thankful to those that ordered them.  Even though there are places where they can still get it free.  I can't stress this enough!  I am thankful to you.

I know the majority of anyone reading this blog would never think of downloading an album of mine illegally, or already own the CD, and that this is being presented to the wrong set of people entirely.  I would post this somewhere more appropriate, but unfortunately I don't know where an appropriate place for a message like this could be put.  I've tried talking about it on facebook a few times, here and there, on different occasions, and while most reply posts were very kind, a few hurt my feelings terribly, or left me very confused, guilty and conflicted with myself and my choice of life, and a few definitely inadvertently kicked up debates that I was not in any way intellectually equipped to hold my own in.   I felt soiled and guilty for ever bringing up my need to survive on my CD sales and the way something seemingly simple like an illegal upload hurts me.   Even with my direct personal experience with this stuff , defending my points proved impossible...I buckled under the scrutiny of extremely smart people and their cool logic.  heh.  Maybe my choice of career in itself isn't very logical in the long run.  But I will do it - try to do it - try to make it -  until it becomes absolutely irresponsible for me to do so.   Just a little farther...

I guess I just want to present this message - to the one single person that this might apply to that is reading - Even if you are having financial problems and can't afford the album - but want it still -  please, please, come talk to me, we can work something out.  I don't bite, I'm nice!   If you like my music, then I love you!    Just be sure to get my album from me, the artist, and not a third party.  They don't deserve your time, but I on the other hand, would love to talk to one of my listeners.

IN CONCLUSION, I EAT PANNA COTTA:

I hope all of you reading this will forgive me for writing this long blog.  I kept a whole lot of little random things bottled up not feeling any of this was even bad enough or big enough in the grand scheme of things to post up publicly or lay on anyone else, and really ashamed of how much it was bothering me.  (Especially since just about everyone I know has a harder and more stressful life than I do; deals with tougher subjects and situations daily.)  Still, I've heard it's unhealthy to keep too quiet about things, and while it was difficult to find the courage to talk to a few of you, I've found it's far easier to talk to all of you.

Anyways, thank you for reading, as always!  I'm going to go finish up in the kitchen (been making panna cotta lately to lift everyone's spirits, I think I'm addicted.  Tonight is Honey-Vanilla with a Chocolate-Rum-Cinnamon layer on top)

Much love,
~Kate/Erutan/katethegreat19

30 comments:

  1. Why the heck did I post my comment on Facebook instead of here? Sometimes I'm really ridiculous.

    Love and hugs, Kate. It's going to be better.

    -Dani

    ReplyDelete
  2. Keep moving forward, Kate!

    Keep struggling and I promise - I freaking promise-, one day, I'll be able to lift up such worries from your mind and all you'll have to worry about will be your music!

    But please, please, please keep moving forward and wait, wait for me! PLEASE

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kate, you're so sweet and talented. I promise that life will get better for you. Always pursue in what you love to do (some people make tons of money but they're not happy, happiness is key).
    That being said, I'm off to buy your album now, I have been wanting it since it first came out (but didn't really have the money since I don't get allowences/don't have job, etc). But now that I have a bit of money, I'm OFF TO SUPPORT YOU!

    Keep singing! I'll be listening!

    May

    ReplyDelete
  4. I do a lot of promo work for a small London based band here in the UK, it's made me appreciate the artists way more than I even did before. I've never been a huge fan of illegal downloads. But being closely involved like I have, and meeting other musicians, I've really learnt how damaging is can be!
    My ex boyfriend once asked me to send him an entire album. I told him to go and buy it instead. Sure the band have been around for ages, and have a lot of money because of their success, but you should still support the artist, even when they don't need that little bit extra.
    Another musician friend once had a go at someone for downloading his stuff from youtube. When I explained that I've done this, but that he knows me well enough to know I plan to actually buy the stuff when it's released anyway, he seemed perfectly okay with that.
    Uh... Sorry for such a stupidly long comment!
    Being unemployed I don't yet have your album, but I WILL get it sometime! I've not even heard it, but I love all the stuff on youtube, so hey, can't go far wrong with an album I'm sure!

    Much love!
    Tilly

    ReplyDelete
  5. Shame about the practical joke, some people should get a life, really.

    I'm going to Japan myself in September *first time overseas for me!!* Which month are you going in?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for telling us Kate!
    1. Harp: I know how perfectionist you are, so it must be a hard task to find the best mic positioning for every instrument you have O_O I'm sure you'll come up with the best result!!
    2. I can't wait to listen to your new songs *_* I'm so excited about it, even though there are so many months left until the release date! xD
    3. I'm still hoping Mitsuda will call you to record!! I know he will *-* (Ok I don't, but it would be stupid not to have you in his recording! xD)
    4. That asshole story is awful ;_; I'm sorry about that
    5. I'm sure your mom is very happy about you having the career you always wanted, so it'll be ok as long as you work hard as you have been doing until now!! And I can't believe people keep uploading your albums to the net, that really sucks ._.
    Remember I'm here for anything you need Kate! See you soon Kate and thanks for keeping us updated!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kate, I'm sorry about those people who downloaded your albums... I don't know if this is comforting but you know, I really admire your talents and your courage to use the gifts God has given you. You had the courage to follow your heart(not everyone can do that-- and we as your fans are glad you did as you music IS not only pleasing to the ears but also speaks to our hearts and souls in ways mainstream music never could) and I am certain as with many other endeavors, if you do your best, there WILL come that big break for you just don't expect it to come a certain way. For one, you've had that message about going to Japan right? Whether it gets followed through or not, that in itself is a sign or a "teaser" of better things in the future. Don't give up and guilty as you may be at times which is understandable, each choice has its ups and downs and this phase is part of it but the positive side of it is: it will pass. It might help to think that tribulations are only a temporary state of deviation from our original state which is abundance and bliss. I personally believe this and it lifts my mood(I hope I don't sound too confusing!! >.<)Besides, You have met many wonderful people and experienced many things, developed many talents through this choice of yours yes? So it's not totally a waste. You are touching everyone with both your music and the passion you put ever so lovingly into it. Keep going!

    lovelots and looking forward to your next album,
    Janine

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's really sad that your album was illegally uploaded on to other websites. I'm hoping that your fans will turn away from illegal downloading, especially since most of them know that you're not a "big" artist.

    Please keep trying your best >__<! Many more people will find about about you, and your fanbase can only grow from here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kate, I just want to thank you so, so much for working so hard to make your music! It's such an inspiration to me the way you keep persevering, even when life is hard.

    I have an illness that keeps me bedridden and in pain a great deal of the time, but I have a dream to be a writer. Your music is such a wonderful comfort and encouragement! I feel like having a dream is possible, even for me.

    I'm sure your music has touched more people than you realize, and who knows how many more you could touch in the future? Please keep following your dream! I will follow my dream too. :)
    ~Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second this. I too have a debilitating and painful chronic illness that doctors have, thus far, been unable to diagnose. In the last seven years, my strength has waned to the point where even painting or playing the piano a short while will jeopardize my ability to get out of bed the next day. As Laura's already said, your music is an invaluable source of comfort and encouragement to me - something my quest for answers in the medical community has been sadly lacking in.

      I can't speak for your mother, bless her...but, I can say that what you do can help where doctors can't. Case in point, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_therapy

      My prayers and gratitude for you and your family,

      ~Sara

      Delete
  10. Hi.

    New fan here, been listening to your music since I accidently discovered it few months ago, when I tried to google that one catchy tune from Dragon Nest SEA. Your profile on YouTube is the first one I've ever subscribed. I was amased that You cover music from my beloved Final Fantasy series and its so great that you decided to go pro and You create high-quality material, while still being close to Your fanbase. World needs more musicians like You.

    Don't give up Kate, the world needs Your music. Release new albums, publish through iTunes if You haven't and You'll eventally make loads of money, because goddamit, You deserve it. Haven't bought Your CD yet, but I will in this month and I'm SO looking forward to it.

    Keep up it Kate and good luck!

    - Maciek, Poland

    ReplyDelete
  11. I bought your album pretty much on release and, to this day, still consider it some of the best money I have ever spent. I'm sad to hear that people have taken the illegal route to get your music, but hope they'll eventually come to their sense and purchase the genuine copy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey sweetie. I'm sorry your mom's going through what she is; I can relate. My mom has iterally just been given the all-clear after having had cancer. Things will get better, so chin up! Hey, at least your CD's are selling better than my book xD Very, very few people seem to want to buy it, and my options as to where to post it are limited. As the publishing company is small, they cannot afford to publish any more of my books, so. . .

    Anyway, keep your chin up, things will get better. You have to trust. We're all here for you. Should you ever need anyone to talk to, you know my inbox on facebook is always open, right? :) *huggles* Can't wait for your next album!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hay Kate, give me a link to your CDs sales site. I'll promote it via my company on Facebook!

    ReplyDelete
  14. *Hugs*

    Sorry to hear about the illegal downloading bit as well as the bit with your mom.

    Just you wait, Kate. If you ever decide to go pro and if a recording company picks you up, you'll have money for a lawyer to get your album off those other two sites.

    Keep trucking! I'm still listening to and enjoying my hard copy of your CD and I'm looking forward to the next one. Dragon's Lullaby sounds nice and it might get me inspired to write for my All World canon again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kate, I'm glad you let everything out and vented your emotions. Its hard for one such as yourself to keep all the stress in. I know I may not have to right to say this but, in my heart I believe that your mother would have wanted you to follow your dreams even if it meant you would struggle. I know she would deffinatly want a true smile on your face from your gifted talents. I know this cause of my own situation. Fairy dust to you Kate! :D

    ReplyDelete
  16. Kate. We all love you. I would never even have thought of looking for an illegal download of your music, because you are wonderful and special and you're not the kind of famous people who can afford to have a few hundred album sales stolen from you illegally. I hope the people who did it get what they deserve from the universe.

    I'd love to own your album, and I'm one of the people who can't afford it. But someday. I will. And it will be amazing, because your music is the special kind of thing that touches souls.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your courage is admirable. Hold on!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kate, sorry to hear about all the things that you are giving you trouble and worry in your life right now. We all love you very much, and I proudly say that I purchased your album from you and would never get it from anyone else. I listen to it quite often and never grow tired of it. Keep fighting the good fight and I'm sure everything will be alright. My dreams of making a living through music have long since died(all that money wasted on equipment and setting up the studio, I feel a fool.) I refuse to see the day when you too give up that dream. Embrace Your Dreams and always protect your honor!(Total Zack Fair steal there)

    Anyway, through dealing with and defeating life's trials we grow stronger. I have absolute faith that you will too and that your new album will be absolutely phenomenal when it is done. Your attention to detail and perfectionist nature will see to that. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. As the name that I signed in under implies, I am going to be trying to make a new way in my life by making cosplay props and armor, that is the path that I have now decided to take, because I honestly feel that the path of an artist of some variety is the only path for me in life. Take care of yourself and I look forward to new music from you. I will be watching and listening, never forget that.

    Much love and hugs, Gamoden.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Kate,
    You've been going through such tough times, you and your mama both. :( I know it's not much, but I'm here, any time, any day.
    Don't forget that!

    I love you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Kate,

    Coming from a fellow musician, you've got major guts. Coming from a huge fan, please don't give up. My family and I all love your music. You are far too talented to follow a medical position or something "average."
    Now, coming from a game designer...
    Kate, if the title I'm working on were a bigger project with money, I would hire you in a second. I WANT your music in my game. But I can't this time. Who knows, maybe after a Kickstarter campaign or possibly with a later game when I have better established my own company (which right now is just 9 people working in a friend's basement).

    My point is, if game designers are showing interest in your talent, and you want to make video game music for a living--we share a common dream--then you have a foothold in the industry, and all you have to do is keep doing what you're doing and not give up.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can't wait to hear your new music!!! DDD: I think in the end, spending so much time getting the harp piece right will pay off, and you'll be so happy. C:

    Honestly, you are one of the nicest people I have seen on the internet; I don't know why people would want to play a prank on you, and that is really awful and mean. They'll get what's coming to them. And also people, it baffles and upsets me that people who have the audacity to "like" or "friend" you on facebook tell you that they have the right to argue with you about your career and need to survive; those people aren't your fans... just really awful jerks. You are great and wonderful. *w*

    My own Mom was in and out of the hospital for so long, so I know how you feel. Of course you know, I chose the path of being artist, and I too feel bad and guilty for not being able to support my family, especially on top of wanting to be an "artist" I have mild scoliosis and a generally messed up spinal discs. I hope you can hang in there for her, (as well as yourself) and I know that as a musician herself, she must be incredibly proud of her daughter for not only following in her footsteps, but becoming extremely talented through her hard work, successful and getting contacted by Yasunori Mitsuda... even if that didn't pan out the way you wanted too, it's still something.

    Anyway, this has been long and mushy but please don't give up. You've gone too far and we all love you and you're music too much so if you stop, know we're all going to pester you everyday to start singing again.

    Take care of yourself!
    Mattie

    ReplyDelete
  22. Kate,
    Sorry to hear things has been tough lately. You have a true gift not many others have. You are meant for greatness, your music is truly something heavenly. I remember how excited I was when I received your album way back then. Kept me happy for a very longtime. Sorry to hear people illegally put your music on the internet. Your mom will be in my thoughts and hope she gets better soon. Never hold in how you feel, I did that for 29 years, in then end it did more harm than good. I am finally able to share everything, it really helps.

    Take care,
    Cory

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kate,

    Never sell yourself short. Yes, you didn't choose the more extravagant career such as the medical field, but you're in a position where you want to be, and I hope that deep down you don't regret anything. I'm actually going down the medical career path, but in all honesty, despite me wanting to help people, my heart lies in my art that I create. And so here I am admiring you from afar.

    I've been wanting to buy your CD for the past few months now, but right now, things are looking a bit grim financially, so it will have to wait for a few more months. But I am sorry to hear about what you're going through. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  24. (this comment is late, but I only noticed this journal now)
    It would be insane for someone as talented as you not to follow a career in music. Happiness is more important than money, but I believe you'll be able to make a living and more out this.
    I brought your CD as soon as it came out. It was the first (and only, so far) time I brought music with my own money. I'll definitely buy your new CD when it comes out.
    Stay strong!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kate, I read all your post and I just wanted to say I love your music. I bought your album, I live in Brazil, and my husband and I listen to it all the time.

    I love writing - I'm writing a fantasy novel, and your music helps me so much... I really just wanted to thank you, very, very much. Know that you touch many hearts with your gift.

    I hope your mother is getting better, and you will both be in my prayers. I really hope someday you'll get the recognition you deserve.

    I wish all the best for you!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh, and I'm definitely buying your new album when it comes out, I can't wait for it!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hello Kate,

    I hope your mother is doing better nowadays. We all do what we can in our own ways to support our loved ones when there are hardships. Please don't feel guilty about the choices you've made in life. It is also very important to not forget about yourself, and pursue what makes you happy. I bet that your loved ones want to see you be happy as well. You have amazing talent, both musically and artistically, and I am sure that everything you are working towards will pay off in the end. I wish you and your family good luck and good health, and look forward to the chance to buy your next album when it comes out. :)

    ReplyDelete