This facebook stuff really does get addictive. I've managed to set up a few things. If you have a facebook page, I now have a better artist page that you can view, become a fan of, etc.

You can also click the "iLike" button to say you like the music - this has all sorts of benefits - you get informed when I upload a new song, you can post on the "Fan Wall", and it means I get more airplay in iTunes. I also think (if you have a facebook account) that you can just click on this image:

On that page, there's also the capability to listen to my songs, add them to your own profile, dedicate them to one (or all) of your friends... and each time you do, I get more fans and there's more likelihood that even more people will stumble across the music I'm uploading. Have fun!

Promoting My Favorite Clown

One of the things I'm trying to learn how to do is how to promote these songs effectively online. I'm not even thinking about how to earn money on them yet as the first step is to build audience.

First step is to upload a new song and tell my family and friends about it. I've done that. Next step is to figure out ways to make it a bit more viral and submit it to services, though. And for that I need your help!

I'm a member of GarageBand, iLike, and Facebook, and they're all kind of linked together. So if you want to help out, please do any or all of the following:

  • Visit my artist page on facebook and add my music to your facebook profile. It's easy, all you have to do is click the "Add to Profile" link next to the song. You can also then choose to dedicate it to your friends if you like and encourage them to add it to their profile (and tell them to dedicate/pass on, ad infinitum). But also make sure to click the "(click) to iLike" button below my picture!
  • Visit my iLike page, and click the "iLike" button on the page. You can also click on each of the songs and click the "iLike" button for each of them as well. It appears most important to "iLike" the actual artist, because that improves how often I get recommended to other people that might like my music. Fastest way, click this button:

    iLike Curt Siffert

There are probably other things I could do but I haven't found them yet. Leave me a comment if you have ideas.

My Favorite Clown

5:04 minutes

I don't really know how to describe what this one is about, but I'm interested in hearing how it comes across, so leave comments or contact me. This one was another one-nighter - I seem to have better success with the songs I write in one night. It was a Saturday night, took about eight hours to get from the appearance of the first piano riff to the first recording where I got through without bobbles. This recording is from after digesting the tune for a couple of weeks.

If you enjoy this song, feel free to download and share, but please sign up for my mailing list. Thanks!

Art Musings - Metal Knotted

Another Kasey Baker painting, in response to my piano musings.

Metal Knotted came from a discussion about the nature of anxiety and what it feels like when it dissipates. I didn't actually know that is what I was feeling when I improvised the piece, but Kasey captured it afterwards by coming up with this artwork in reaction.

Metal Knotted

"Start with a loose tangle. Find two ends, and start pulling them in opposite directions. Make them want different things. Force through the tangle, fight against it. Turn it into a knot, make it harder, as hard as metal. Then remember, how could metal ever become a knot? To untangle, remember where it started. With softness."

Leaving Deja Nu

Well, it's been about two years and all good things must come to an end. Over the weekend I informed Deja Nu that I would be leaving the group. When I joined Deja Nu, it corresponded to the time when I accepted delivery on my grand piano, which is when music started becoming a big part of my life again. It's hard to say goodbye to a group that is so closely associated to my own sense of personal progress, but it was time to move on. I am looking forward to having more time for musical exploration now, before I decide what my next project (or projects) will be. I'm looking forward to looking around and making myself open to new ideas.

I came up with a new rendition of One For My Baby, kind of exploring my feelings about leaving - sad and destination-like. If you don't have access to my standards page, feel free to email me. I sent it along to the group to say goodbye. I wish them nothing but the best.

November Newsletter

There's a new newsletter posted. It's been a few months! Lots of news to report. Go check it out - if you're not already subscribed, you can subscribe here. Have fun!

You Tubing All Aboard

One of the fun things about having my stuff up online is that people will occasionally ask permission to use them for random things. Yay Creative Commons. Paul Ivanov asked permission to use All Aboard for a local contest having to do with the Berkeley International House. Here's the resulting video - my music starts about 1:30 in. It's just a rehearsal recording of my song, and Johns Williams is a tough act to follow, but it's always fun to see one's own work applied to someone else's stuff.

Art Musings - Dancing About Architecture

Another Kasey Baker painting, in response to my piano musings.

Dancing About Architecture corresponded to a time when Kasey and I were just getting to know each other - she told me she was an architect and I was challenged to come up with something that represented architecture in my mind - simple structures that vary with time and effort. I couldn't get as complicated as I wanted since I was making it up as I went along, but I felt that I got the idea down. Kasey then responded with this work.

Dancing About Architecture

"It's a strange structure, new. She moves around it tentatively, slowly assembling the pieces in her understanding and movements. It's a careful embrace, but ultimately whole and secure."

Art Musings - Busted Lemonade Stand

Another Kasey Baker painting, in response to my piano musings.

Busted Lemonade Stand came from a random memory of a friend telling me about her attempts to sell lemonade when she was a kid. Her and her friend didn't tell their moms what they were doing, so they kind of improvised.

Busted Lemonade Stand

"Lemonade stands always sound like such a good idea. Although sometimes there's splinters in the plywood, or the ice melts too fast, or you realize you don't have enough dixie cups, so you start reusing them. And the day stretches on."

Cocktail Pianoing

One of the things I have been focusing on lately is my jazz piano skills, particularly in regard to the old songs and standards. I am trying to do more singing too - and so all in all, I'm basically trying to become a cocktail pianist. It feels kind of odd to be aspiring to be a cocktail pianist. I remember before I started getting more into jazz piano, I saw cocktail piano as being a little bit lame. Really! Old people drinking their sorrows away, singing songs no one sings anymore. Now I think it's a really romantic atmosphere, and I kind of like drinking more than I did, too.

I mean, I know how it (theoretically) hooks into my future goals. I learn more jazz piano and I get a richer harmonic palette. I learn more songs and I have more ideas for my own songs. There's a risk, though, to focusing a lot on jazz. A lot of musicians never find their way out.

Nevertheless, I've been happy to have some breakthroughs lately. I was able to sing/play I've Got You Under My Skin at mid-tempo all the way through by myself. What that means is, expanding out all the chords to comping, soloing, turnarounds, bassline, singing... all at once. I'm doing it badly, but I got through it.

And just now, I decided to give myself a recital, which is a step forward. I picked the twelve standards I'm most confident on, and performed them back to back, recording each one. I find it's about an hour of material overall. I'm about to listen to them. Kinda nervous.

By the way, remember that if you're a friend of mine, you can email me to request the username/password to my "Jazz Standards" page. That's where you can hear my jazz recordings, which I post fairly often. I can't make them publicly available because of copyright reasons.

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© 2007 Curt Siffert. Some audio protected with a Creative Commons license.
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