Category Archives: Piano

Roque’s Weekly Review on 8/15/2018

August 15, 2018

Creativity / Piano / Roque's Weekly Review / Website Updates

Hello Beautiful People!

It’s Wednesday! Time for another update from me about my creative projects, but first, I wanted to let you all know that the new film Crazy Rich Asians opens in theaters today, August 15th, across the country!!

It is produced by a major motion picture studio and has an entirely Asian cast. This is worthwhile to support because this kind of representation and diversity has been sorely lacking in mainstream entertainment in America! Also, it’s a fun and salacious story that makes for a lively movie-going experience.

I’m going to see it this week. Find it at your local theater and go see it too!

Okay, on with the update .  .  .

 

1. Remember that drawing I started last week. Well, here is a photo of the progress I am making. I’m thinking it is the first of a series of flowers done in pencil that I will do. I should be much further along by next week.

2. This coming Sunday, August 19, 2018, I am hosting my annual Piano Salon. I will be showcasing fellow musicians Oliver Flowers, Matilda, and Goatboy, in addition to performing some of my own songs with Nashville guitarist Andrew Weitze. This is a private concert that I will have in my home in the woods. If any of you are interested in coming out to see the show, let me know in the comments, and I’ll get you the information. I’ll post pictures from the show in next week’s update.

3. Pianissimo COMING SOON!

I am launching my new and revamped monthly email newsletter! It is going to feature all kinds of information about upcoming creative work, art, and what I am calling visual poetry. The inaugural issue comes out later this month.

4. Here are the newest posts from my blog Tropical Shade of Green:

PLASTIC IS A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM WE ALL MUST FACE

I LIVE MY LIFE IN A GENEROSITY LOOP

LEARN FROM THE PAST BUT LIVE IN THE PRESENT

Well, that’s all folks!! Thanks for checking in!

Be kind and be generous.

-Roqué

 

Roque’s Weekly Review for 8/1/2018

August 1, 2018

Creativity / Intention / Piano / Roque's Weekly Review

Hi Everyone,

It’s time for another weekly update! Today is August 1st! This is my birthday month! As such, I have a lot to share over the next 31 days!

1. Here are a couple of the newest posts from my blog Tropical Shade of Green (Click on the Link to Visit) :

Learn From the Past But Live in the Present.

A Morning Routine Will Ground Your Life.

Surround Yourself with Good People.

2. Pay what you want for Roque’s Music:

In honor of my birthday month and for a limited time, the songs off of my debut album Seahorses will be available on my band camp store with the option to pay what you want. This includes a free option if you so desire; however, any amount you can give will go a long way toward supporting my music and my visual art projects.

Check out my Bandcamp store by clicking here:

roquemusic.bandcamp.com

3. Roque’s Piano Salon on Sunday, August 19th!

I am having a  piano concert at my home in Liberty, TN in a couple of weeks. My friends and pianists Oliver Flowers, Matilda Earl, and others have been scheduled to play. It’s gonna be a super fun show that will involve three different pianos!! Yay!

I have MORE to announce next week!

See you then .  .  .

Roqué

 

My Daily Rituals for a Meaningful Life

March 18, 2018

Culture and Society / Intention / Piano / Reading Will Save the World

I have a lot of goals and dreams in my life, and I am cultivating daily rituals to help me accomplish them.  These are incremental steps that I take on a regular basis to help me get further along in my goals. They may not seem like much, but in the overall scheme of my life, they make a huge impact.

Here are my daily rituals that I try to live by:

1. Drink lots of water every day in the morning.

One of the first things I try to do after waking up is drink one or two glasses of water. I also have coffee in the morning, but water is absolutely essential. After six to eight hours of sleeping in bed, your body needs nourishment. This is also an easy way to wake up and refresh your internal organs after a long night of sleep.

2. I make my bed after I get up every morning.

This happens immediately after I get up. Not only does this make my bedroom look more orderly and calm, but it makes coming home later in the day more pleasant. My bed is my sanctuary, and if it looks clean and cared for, it becomes a much more inviting oasis. Coming home to a messy, unkempt bed is a lot less pleasant.

3. I write every day.

These days, I have created numerous opportunities to write in my daily life. What I mean by “write” is the exercise of composing my thoughts clearly and expressively on paper or on my computer.  I have the options of writing for an assignment at school, in my daily journal, my blog, or for a post on social media. Usually, all or at least one of these options is available. I have found this to be the best way to learn how to communicate. If you can write well, you can speak well. These skills are valuable in any situation.

4. I play music every day.

I am passionate about performing music, and it is a lifelong pursuit no matter where I am or what I am up to. I know how to play the piano, the cello, and the ukulele. The piano takes up the lion’s share of my music time, but I love the contrast that the two other instruments create. Playing music engages my mind and body in a way that feels effortless, fun, and creative. Whether I am learning a cover song, writing one of my own, practicing several pieces from my original catalog, or just making stuff up, the act of using my body to syphon music out into the world is extremely fulfilling.

5. I spend time with my cat every day.

I am an animal lover at heart and a cat person. I try to spend at least 15 minutes of my time just focused on my cat Steinway. Cuddling and petting are the main activities, and these are moments when I can extend my attention to something other than myself. It works out best whenever I get home from school at the end of the day. He is often ready to purr and give me numerous cat kisses if I lie down to greet him. The affection from an animal that loves you unconditionally is healing and comforting.

6. I express gratitude outwardly every day.

I say out loud something for which I am thankful. Usually, my partner and I ask each other what we are thankful for every morning. This is a daily practice for us, and I also say “Thank you” to people as much as possible.  When you cultivate thankfulness, you become aware of the abundance in your life. This is as close to happiness as I have found on a daily basis.

7. Read a minimum of 20 pages of a book every day.

Let’s do some math. If you read at least 20 pages of a book every day, that amounts to 7,300 pages. Let’s say the average book is 300 pages long. After a year, you will have read about 24 books. There are people who have not even read that many books in a lifetime.  Reading not only exercises your mind and fine tunes  your comprehension skills, but it invites new ideas and sensibilities into your mental vocabulary.  You can learn something new, laugh, cry, and be enlightened through reading books.

Again, these daily rituals may not seem like much, but for myself, here is the big picture:

1. I want to live a long life in good health. Water sustains everything on this earth. It also sustains me.

2. I want to have mental and emotional well-being. Caring for a pet, having a safe and clean place to rest, and continually being grateful are the building blocks  for a strong heart and mind.

3. I want to be an accomplished musician. Playing music every day strengthens my musical muscles.

4. I want to write a book someday and be an articulate and effective communicator. Reading allows me to learn how others communicate, and writing as a daily practice helps me express my ideas better. Like everything else in life, practice makes you better and stronger.

If you have a goal in your life or something that you deeply value, look for ways that you can integrate them into your daily existence. Weave them into the fabric of your life and watch how they can make you stronger, more focused, and more aware.

The goal becomes the process, and this is always good.

-Roqué

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My New Baby Grand Piano

January 14, 2018

Piano

Life is full of glorious surprises. I never imagined that I would ever own a grand piano of any kind. I have been content to play them at music venues and showrooms. They are notoriously expensive and justifiably so. Depending on the brand and condition, one would typically pay the same amount of money that you would for a brand new car. They are not cheap and certainly qualify as a long-term investment.

Well, rewind my life to almost two months ago, a friend of ours who works at the arts center in a nearby town called and told us that a local woman was offering to donate a grand piano to them. Perhaps they did not need one (!!!!!!!) because they declined her generous offer. Our friend was calling because he wanted to know if I MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN HAVING IT (!!!!!!).

I was bewildered while standing in our kitchen as I heard this.

A grand piano? Me? Whaaaaaaat?

I obtained the woman’s contact information, and we arranged a meeting a few days later. I arrived at her house, which sat high up on a hill. It had a view of gently rolling hills that people would pay thousands of dollars to see every day as part of their home. They rolled gracefully into a beckoning horizon. I had to pause and stare at it before I got out of my car.

She was incredibly charming when she first greeted me and ushered me into a house that was tailor-made for her and her husband. It was less of a house and more of a rustic cabin castle. It was somebody’s dream home. I walked into a living room that had a wall of windows that looked out into their stunning hilltop view.

There was so much to take in, but my eyes hunted for the object of my desire. I did not need to look far because it stood in the far corner of the room that stood opposite from the entryway. Prior to this, I had no idea what it looked like or even sounded like outside of knowing that it was a grand piano. To my surprise, it was a baby grand. A gorgeous and finely built baby grand piano.

I sat down at the piano bench and carried out my usual introduction whenever I meet a new piano. It is my equivalent of a friendly, gentle, and warm handshake. I slowly press down on one key on the treble side, usually an A or an E, and then something on the bass clef (whichever key calls to me I guess). The sound I receive from each key almost always tells me everything I need to know about the piano. My ears hear its timbre and tonal quality immediately. I have played enough pianos in my life to discern its character through this simple interaction. Pianos do not need to say much to tell you all that you need to know. You just have to listen.

From there, I might play a simple mid-tempo number or two just to get acquainted. This is not an exchange for showing off with a bombastic piece. To be overbearing is to be rude. Pianos are shy creatures.

What I heard when I met this piano was a rich tone buried deep underneath years of neglect. I knew instantly that it was not a lost cause, as many neglected pianos tend to become. With a little bit of work, I knew that this could be a fine instrument.

The offer for me to have the piano free of charge was made upon my conversation with the owner. I accepted the offer, and I walked out of that rustic castle as the new owner of a baby grand piano.

A month later and with some logistical maneuvering, I enlisted the help of seven strong friends (one of whom was experienced in moving pianos). On a cold and rainy fall afternoon, we managed to transport the piano on a big, hefty truck a few miles away to my home. It had a damaged leg that was repaired the next day, and after giving it a few weeks to settle into its new environment (and to finish out a hectic semester at university), it had its first official tuning by our neighborhood piano tuner this last week.

I have played it a lot ever since. It still needs some work, but at this point, it makes a big and full sound across the board. This piano is coming back to life. It will not be neglected again, certainly not by me.

I love this piano. I love it very much.

-Roqué

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