Nerd Note #1

I am a musical nerd.  I have been known to overwhelm people.  I’ve been learning to talk “normal”. Teaching English to students from ages 3 to 70 has helped me come down to Earth. I desire connection through music.  Students make it clear when they aren’t experiencing connection with the teacher, or the material.  The audience lets me know when they can’t relate to the song. Perhaps you, dear reader, also have nerdy tendencies. It has been said that all … Read More

Everyone Is A Singer: How I Came To Write This

As a small child, I sang freely.  Singing was one of my favorite activities.  At age 7, for no apparent reason, I  “lost my ability to smile”.  I also became ashamed to sing. Something happened, maybe at school.  I was loud and precocious.  Perhaps I attracted derision.  I don’t know.  My parents love singing, and have always encouraged me.   Maybe I already sounded like Nina Hagen, David Byrne, or Edgar Winter, all of whom I have emulated at times.  … Read More

A joke about a joke?

The young fool rebelled against rebellion.  A non-conformist amongst non-conformists, chaotically angry, feeling dispossessed, he asked:  “If peace is a ‘thing’, Where?  When?  How?   Mistaking the map for the territory, he ate the menu!  “Who, me?” “Stole part of one song, put it in another.  Now I forgot, what was that line?  Am I condemned to plagiarize my own existence?” We are all standing on the shoulders of giants, in a universe swimming with information.  How can we own … Read More

3 AM

This song is blues, and a prayer for us all to  fully own our greatest gifts:  Our Voices, and Imaginations.  This is for you  if you have lost your voice and want to get it back.  This is for you if you don’t have a dream for your life.  This is a lament for everyone who has a song in them, but doesn’t dare to write it.  We remember how to dream, we remember how to re-member.  “The Young Fool … Read More

Seamas FAQ

Can you describe your music? I take different musical influences, combine them, mutate them into something different.  Sometimes true to the original form, at other times altered to suit the mood.  Influenced by free innovation of Frank Zappa, and groups like the Grateful Dead.   Sometimes sci-fi folk, other times classical guitar, jazz, celtic, blues, rock’n’roll, maybe within the same song.   And your lyrics? Words of personal and planetary transformation:  Born of childlike wonder, pain, angst and rage, self-honesty, humor, and utopian … Read More

The British Folk Invade My Teenage Daydream

I’m a dreamer;  I always have been. To me, dreaming is a practical activity that enables new possibilities in my life.  I just heard an indigenous woman, Melanie Goodchild of Bilgitigong Nishnaabeg First Nation, say that in their tradition, dreams were considered as “empirical evidence”, and that important life decisions would be made, based on dreams.  I live my life that way as well! In my early teens, I spent a year or two immersed in “The Lord of the … Read More

All Music Is Folk Music, ‘Cause It’s Played By Folks

I once bumped into a bass player at a jazz club. Because he had seen me playing what is called, in Chinese, a “ballad guitar” (民謠吉他, steel stringed acoustic), he said “You play folk music, don’t you?”.  I replied “Not exactly, eh!”. My answer was somewhat inaccurate. I am a folk musician. I grew up in the 1960s, in a household where all kinds of music was heard, including generations of protest songs, and traditional music from around the world.  At … Read More

Quantize Me! How I Got Rhythm.

Rhythm is the pulse of music; the backbone.  It separates music from noise.  Coherent rhythm brings more harmony into our bodies, and into our lives. Different rhythms suit us at different times. Some are good for waking up, for exercising,  for studying, and others for going to sleep. Our personal rhythms vary with the time of day, the phases of the Moon, Sun, and so on. Rhythms affect people differently. Each of us has a unique rhythm in our lives. … Read More

Introduction to Ear Training

Introduction to Ear Training:  How To Play What You Hear If you can sing what you are hearing, you can then begin to find the notes on your instrument. I’ve always had a good ear, and good feeling, for music. I was lucky to be born into a family where my parents sang all the time, and where I got to hear a wide variety of music from a very early age. I believe that there are many different kinds … Read More

Self Interview

Why interview yourself? It’s a long standing literary tradition, and a way of kickstarting my autobiography. Why write songs? Fascinated and bewildered by life, I wrote what I believed in, to help me remember my way.  After a while, songs started to come in dreams, including waking dreams.  I began to “receive songs”.  I haven’t written much lately, because I’m too busy producing what I’ve already written.  I’m always improvising music tho. How long did it take you to make … Read More