The 440s play Arlene’s Grocery in New York Thursday 09/16

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Playing at Connollys Friday August 20th at 8PM

Oh boy! We have a gig at Connollys in Times Square! Was this planned? Ummmm, maybe? It’s gonna be the 440’s rocking out some covers and originals. Maybe some friends will come and joins us on-stage for a few songs… maybe not. I have no idea.

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First show of 2021! It’s on!

OMG! I got a gig! First live performance since that crazy Christmas show in 2019!

I will be playing with “Pat Gillis and Friends”, also known as the 440’s, at Arlene’s Grocery on Monday August 9th at 8PM. But when you’re at the club, tell them you are there to see “PAT GILLIS AND FRIENDS”

Pat has a bunch of guest singers coming up to perform with the 440’s and hence the “and friends” part. Whatever man, we got a gig. Come on down and buy us drinks! 🙂


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Re-Connecting 2021

The journey has been long and full of rich experiences. The journey, my journey, extends to far away places, new friends, new bands, wonderful musical experiences… It has been way too long! It is time for me to re-connect on this blog and bring all of these wonderful moments here to the site.

So hang in there while I re-trace my steps of the past four (five?) years, update all of the website software and webby gizmos. And then start uploading content… (gigs!) as much as I can find and gather from across several gigabytes (maybe terabytes!) and do my best to present it in chronological order… I don’t know if I can pull that off but I can certainly try!

This might take a while..

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Summer Jams and Learning New Music

Rene at DUMBO studio 14July2016

It’s been over eight months and I am still finding my way to getting a band, recording, performing back on track. I’m not complaining, just stating the facts. I have been playing with two bands that are doing completely different music. I have learned a lot about playing covers, when NOT to play covers and generally how to balance out volume and sound and tone between so many different types of musical styles. While all of THAT is happening, I am still exploring musical ideas and recording all of those little bit and pieces that may ultimately end up being an actual complete piece of music for my own project. I’m not there just yet… But I know that I am close. My main goal is to find what it is I want to perform and what I intend to say through that performance. This is not about technique or soloing or showing off. It’s about finding my way to a musical expression that will be both enjoyable for me (and my band members) to play and should resonate with my audience. I mean, let’s be real, it’s a show and it’s about doing this in front of an audience. Right? I’ll get there. And when I do, we will have a great time. See you soon.

P.S.

Yes. That’s my newest toy. It’s a 1994 Les Paul Standard. I cannot properly describe how beautiful it sounds and plays. It’s a rare gem with a TONE that made a lot of people look up in appreciation. 🙂

RF

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Musical Winter Journey

rene_at_dumbo_arts_27Feb2016

It’s been quite a fun time since my last post. I went off to the other side of the world (via Hong Kong and Kyoto, Japan) to sort of clear my mind and eat interesting new foods (heh). I did a lot of musical re-organizing and cleaning out of lots of stuff at home. I’ve made time and met and played with some really talented people. I jam with a bunch of really great people and I keep myself open to playing as opportunities arise. I have a growing list of musicians I can tap into at any time. For now, jamming is a good way to keep the musical chops going. My own musical works continue to remain ‘in progress’ and not much happening there. I think it’s me just not wanting to push or force the creative process as hard as I thought I wanted to.

I do have a notebook FULL of music and a hard drive just as loaded with demos, clips, riffs, hummed ideas, subway tapping on the walls and benches, words on loose bits of paper… all of that. I think that these little bits and pieces are my new habitual creative process. The most important part of the process, I think, is that there needs to be time set aside for pulling all of the bits and pieces out of the various formats and collecting devices (phones, laptops, paper) and then to try and assemble the ideas that fit or work together. Sometimes the original idea does not itself become a song or piece of music but it may lead you down unexplored musical paths.

Sometimes in the morning I will hear a small melody in my mind and I stop everything I am doing so I can focus on the idea, find a guitar, hit record and record it  before I walk out the door. Sometimes I’ll hear a second part as I walk to the train and I will hum that into my phone. By the time I get to work, I may find that I have bridge and ending and I’ll make sure I stop walking and hum or sing or tap that out into the phone as well. They key to that process is to have a deliberate focus on the tiny idea and hang on to it just long enough to capture it or play it out on your instrument and make it real.

You need to make time for recording in those moments when the idea is there and waiting for you to act on it and you need to take time out for listening. It’s not about saying ‘hey, listen more’. This is about stopping everything and focusing on both capturing the idea and then focus on the process of listening so you can hear back and build on it. I promise you, you won’t remember or get back to a musical idea. If you don’t stop and dedicate time to first record/capture it and then work on it, it will fade away like whispers in the wind… 🙂

RF

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