Sunday, December 1, 2013

December News...

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 represent
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 friend Doug Cochran helped me make a couple of slide show type videos set to my music as well. There’s “By The Stars” which features art from my friend Erik Anderson’s book “Vistas of Many Worlds” and “Free-Range Chicken” which features art from my good friend and T’ai-Chi student Betty LaDuke.

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 interested” spirit.

So…in case you’re interested…

Recorded Music

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: 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 ( 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.

To see all of my Music videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Videos

To see all of my T'ai-Chi videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Movement

To see all of my Nature videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Nature

For a quick and easy way to sort through, listen to, or download all of my albums free or with a donation, click here: The Unforced Music

To see my regular blog “The Unforced Life”, click here: The Unforced Life

To visit my youtube channel and possibly subscribe, click here: My Youtube Channel

To see all of my youtube playlists click here: My Youtube Playlists 

New Videos:

A bunch more “Sky videos” which feature my songs set to video I shot of our beautiful Southern Oregon skies:

Here’s a link to my “Sky Videos” youtube playlist if you like this sort of thing:

A T’ai-Chi video:

A Message to my Youtube subscribers (just went over 500):

Three more Rogue Poetry Slam videos of me reading my lyrics:

Some new Nature videos:

Ron Khosla tells a crazy story:

Ron and Kate raising the window:

Three slide show videos, two with art by my friends...

By The Stars

And one featuring an entire Scrabble game between me and Samarra:


I've stopped posting pictures on facebook, (for many reasons), and started posting them instead on Flickr, which I like much better.

Here's a link to my "home page" at Flicker: Photostream.

I have many photo galleries there but a few of my favorites are:

Small Miracles (mostly Nature related stuff)

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.) 

"Head" and "Boot" (devoted to our two gerbils)

Upcoming Shows:

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 Pub with 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 songs.

Saturday December 28th, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in 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: 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.


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