I am a T'ai-Chi Teacher and Singer/Songwriter living in Ashland, OR. Please visit my site: www.GeneBurnett.com for more info about my teaching and music. At my site I have over 20 albums of songs available for downloading free or with a donation. This blog is dedicated to musings about what I like to call "The Unforced Life".
Sunday, December 1, 2013
From Gene Burnett
I have a new friend and student, Ron Khosla, who is a great guy
with a million great stories. Before a recent lesson, the subject of hyenas
came up and he proceeded to tell me the story of how he…well, I’ll let him tell
the story...Also, recently Samarra and I were out on a walk and we came upon Ron
and his wife Kate who were about to hoist a big homemade soundproof storm
window up to the second floor of their house. I decided to document this feat.
Here’s a link to my video which, while long, is, I think, pretty entertaining. “The Raising Of The Window”.
Recently, I launched what I’m calling “The
World's Easiest Fundraiser” to help me pay for one of the key expenses involved in making
my music as freely available as possible. It will only cost you a buck and you
will get something back immediately.
Lot’s of new videos this month…I’ve posted several new “Sky
Videos”. These are videos of some of my songs I set to sky footage I shot over
the Summer here in beautiful Southern Oregon. See below for the links. I
realize they’re very minimalist and slow moving and not everyone’s cup of tea.
But I like them and what the hell, no harm done.
Also below in the “New
Videos” section of this newsletter you'll find links to more Nature videos, a new T’ai-Chi
video, and more of my Poetry Slam performance videos. I was also honored to
Taoism and play a couple of songs at our 30th Annual
Thanksgiving Interfaith Ceremony here in Ashland. I played “Imagine” by John Lennon as well as my song “Shut Up For A While”.
My wife Samarra and her friend Momo Smitt co-organized a really
nice and successful tango festival here in Ashland over Thanksgiving weekend.
It was called “Connect 2013” and was dedicated solely to deepening connection
rather than learning new steps or techniques. I do something similar in
teaching T’ai-Chi forms. There are times when it’s better to stop adding new
moves and focus on quality for a while. This was a whole weekend dedicated to
doing that. Here’s a link to Momo and Korey Ireland performing Momo’s tango rap
song called “Like A Drug”. The sound isn’t the greatest and the
lighting’s not either, but even so, I think you can really get a sense of the
good feeling in the room and the general spirit of the weekend.
My voice is slowly improving from some kind of throat infection
and my high range is slowly coming back…I have a batch of new songs that I’m
very happy with and I’m hoping to begin recording them soon. I really like
these new songs a lot, but I’ve got to get my full voice back before I go into
the studio. I'll probably end up recording them next year…we will see.
As some of you know, I mainly teach private lessons but I’ve
started teaching a drop-in T’ai-Chi Fundamentals class every Monday morning
from 9:30-10:30am at the Family Massage Education Center on the corner of
Mountain and E. Main here in Ashland. This is an on-going drop-in class, no
experience necessary. I won’t be teaching any forms in this class, just
relatively easy solo and partner exercises designed to give participants a
better sense of unforced balance, what it is, how to deepen it, and how to cultivate
it. Samarra made me a simple poster for the class that says:
Flow More ~ Force Less
T’ai-Chi For Daily Life
Learn to balance effort and relaxation
Fundamentals Class with Gene Burnett
Nice! That’s more or less what we do in this class. No need to
pre-register just show up a little before 9:30am. The fee for the class is $10.
So here we go…starting with the usual information about where
to find my music, videos and pictures, including information about new
projects, and then followed by information about local shows in case you’re in
the Rogue Valley.
There is so much to listen to and watch on the net these
days…I’m amazed anyone even gets this far in the newsletter let alone watches
or listens to anything I’m doing. I’m sincerely grateful for every view, every
listen, and every nice comment I receive. I’m happy if anything I post truly
reaches even one person. I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re
So…in case you’re interested…
My newest album, is called “Already There” and like all my
other albums (29 so far…), it’s available for downloading free or with a
donation at my website: www.GeneBurnett.com I like all of my albums but some people
really seem to especially like this one.
Videos In General
Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 900 so far! I'm not trying to build a fan base...In fact, I'm not trying to
build anything. I'm not expecting you or anyone else to follow what I'm doing
or watch all of these videos. Posting videos is just part of my overall plan to
make my music (and my T’ai-Chi and Nature videos too) as freely available as possible
and see what freely comes back. I think of each video as sort of like a message
in a bottle...and more I toss out there the more likely one of them will land
on a friendly shore and something good will come back to me. So here are some
video links in case you're interested:
How to Find My Videos: First of all, I've set up a "Videos" page on my website (www.GeneBurnett.com) with a menu similar to what you see
below as well as a digital tip jar in case any of you want to contribute to my
cottage industry. Every little bit helps and not just financially.
I've also set up some blogs that make navigating and viewing my
various videos much easier. You can go to any of these blogs and see thumbnails
for all of the videos posted there. Scroll across the thumbnails and you will
see the titles of each video. Click on it and a page will open that will let
you watch the video right there without going to youtube. My latest videos are
always in the upper left hand corner.
The Dish Whisperer (I started posting a daily picture of my dish stacking
work over a year ago. I’m approaching 700 straight days. I have no idea how
long I’ll keep doing this. I’m so used to it, it hardly takes any effort at all
to continue. I made a video for my song “I'll Do The
Dishes Tonight” that
featured a slideshow of the first year. If I make it through this second year,
I may write a new “Dishes” song or use some other song I’ve already written to
make another video.)
Monday, December 2nd, I'll be playing at one of my favorite
Ashland venues, Liquid Assets. A relaxed living room
vibe with great service, excellent food and wine, and a really nice place to
listen to music. I play from 7-9pm, maybe longer...
Wednesday December 4th , I'll be hosting my regular Themed Open
Mike at The Wild Goose. Usually this happens on the
First Wednesday of each month. This month's theme is our “3rd
Annual Winter/Holiday Songs“so musicians and spoken word artists will
be doing songs and poems relating to the Winter season and/or any of the
various Winter holidays. We're never too strict or narrow about the themes for
this event. The main idea is to focus our attention a little to hopefully
inspire and motivate us creatively. These are always fun. No Cover at the
friendliest bar in town. Sign-up is 7:30pm. Show starts at 8:00pm.
*A heads up for next
month: Wednesday January 1rst, 2014. “Dreams And Wishes”
Saturday December 7th, I'll be at OSF Great Hall in
Ashland, playing from 1:30pm-3pm. This is part of the annual Oregon Shakespeare
Festival Holiday Art and Gift Sale. The sale will be happening all weekend and
there will be music throughout. Come support local art and music. I’ll have
copies of my CD’s and books with me.
Friday December 13th, I'll be playing at Paddy
Brannan's Irish Pubwith The Graceful Losers, a.k.a. Robbie
Lindauer backing me up on guitar and Mark Arinsberg on cajon. I’ve decided that
whenever I play with other musicians in a band setting, we will be called “The
Graceful Losers”. We play from about 9pm 'til around Midnight. Stop by for a
pint and some music. I've always liked the friendly and fun vibe of this place.
One of my favorite places to play.
Tuesday, December 17th, I'll be competing with many other
poets at the Rogue Poetry Slam which happens at Northwest
Pizza and Pasta in Ashland. Sign-up is at 7:30pm and the show
starts at 8. If you've never been to or competed in a Poetry Slam, I highly
recommend this one. Come to watch, compete, or be one of the judges. Some
people think of slams as hardcore hip-hop events or places where people are
mean and talk trash, but nothing could be further from the truth. All kinds of
poetry are welcome and people are very supportive. And it's so nice to
participate in an event that is all about the words, or in my case, lyrics. For
me it's really not about winning or losing, but just the fun of sharing my
words with people and seeing what happens.
Wednesday, December 18th , I'll be playing at The Wild
Goose. Just me solo from 8-11pm. Friendliest bar in town. Never a
cover at The Goose. I usually play here on the Third Wednesday of every month.
Saturday, December 21rst, I'll be presenting as part of the Solstice
Interfaith Ceremony at The Havurah Shir Hadash , at 185 N.
Mountain in Ashland at 7:30pm. This event is free and a regular interfaith
ceremony each year. There will be representatives from many different
traditions, each giving short presentations on the solstice theme of “Light and
Dark”. I'll be representing Taoism, (even though the Tao that can be
represented is not the true Tao!) I'll do a short talk and then play one of my
Saturday December 28th, I'll be at The Downtowne
Coffeehousein Talent, playing from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics,
super friendly neighborhood scene.
Saturday December 29th, I'll be at The Greensprings Inn
near Ashland playing from 6:00-8:00pm. Google it for directions. Great place,
great food and friendly service. No cover.
For more info on these and all of my shows, and to confirm that
there have been no cancellations, click here: Calendar
Since I'm putting this newsletter out once a month, it's
possible there may be a cancellation of a given show by the time it
happens. Please double check with my web calendar if possible to be
sure the gig is still happening. I'd hate to have you come out for nothing.
Also another gig or two might be added or times or locations might change, so
do check the calendar for the latest info.
I continue to offer all of my albums for downloading, free or
with a donation at my website: www.GeneBurnett.com I started doing this about 7 years ago and considered it
a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years passed and I decided to start
calling it my "ongoing creative experiment" as I have no plans to
stop. Since I returned to my folk roots and stopped climbing, or trying to
climb, the industry ladder, I've been enjoying music in my life more than ever
before. And enjoyment, rather than achievement or worldly success has always
been dearest to my heart anyway. So now I focus totally on what I love most:
writing, recording, performing and sharing what I create. If other people like
it, so much the better, but getting other people to like me or what I do is no
longer my goal or focus. I'm out to please myself first. I want to do my music
exactly the way I want to do it and see who likes it that way, not figure out
what people will like and try to do it that way. I put it out there freely and
see what comes freely back. So far so good. I've never had more success and
appreciation than I have since I started doing it this. Go figure.
Thanks, as usual, for your support and well wishes even if you
don't make to any shows.