…One week later…

Back. Only one week this time. That seems more respectable. For now I’m approaching this as somewhat of a public journal. I’ll throw my thoughts out into the void and see what sticks. I’m still terrified of the internet, where nothing ever really dies and to be fat and a woman is a mortal sin, but I’m feeling brave at the moment so here goes? 

So. 

I’ve been writing music. 

I’ve had ideas and instead of letting those ideas sit in my head and dissipate or be squashed by fear of doing the “wrong” thing, I actually played them, wrote them down (electronically of course), and even shared them with a few people. This is huge for me. 

For the longest time I’ve been a musician, and I’ve always considered myself to be a person who is “crafty,” a problem solver with a vivid imagination, but I’ve been incredibly resistant to referring to myself as creative, and I’m STILL hesitant to call myself a composer. I may have four degrees, but none of them are in composition after all. But lately, and by lately I mean a journey that has been taking place over the last few years, I’ve been convincing myself that composing doesn’t. have. to. mean. notated. music.

I know. Wild, right? 

And also…not at all. 

As a music educator, I’ve held this stance for about 5 years, but applying it to myself and my own artistic output….that is a lesson that hasn’t really stuck. I’m trying to break down that conditioning within myself though. I may have years and years of training as a technician of other people’s music, but that is not all that I am. I may have finally found my footing as an educator in the place I now call home, but that is not all that I am. Composing = creating I can create. I can compose. I’m a…composer? 

That doesn’t quite fit right just yet. 

I’ll keep trying it on for size every once in a while, but for now I think I’ll try and focus on the actual creating and growing in comfort with that. 

More on teaching and repertoire next time..unless my brain dictates otherwise. In the meantime, feel free to checkout an excerpt of the piece I wrote “Unsure” with my duo partner and friend, Chelsea! Follow us on the socials @consumingarts

Tia

…4 Years Later…

Are blogs still a thing? The internet says “yes, but…” and to be honest, I’m not sure I have the mental capacity to go down the rabbit hole of that “but..” Needless to say, I find myself on this website I created, 4 years later, the same and a very changed person. I’ve since completed that DMA I was embarking on, as well as a 2nd masters, and now have a full time job (where I previously worked hourly/freelance) as Program Manager, Social Media Coordinator, and Lead Percussion Teacher for the social change through music program, Accent Pontiac (AP). 

The fog of grad school has mostly lifted, but there’s still a lot of habits I formed to make it through that persist. I can’t seem to shake that imposter syndrome, the pushing to constantly be productive (also part of capitalism) is real strong, and ya know that little global pandemic we’re still living through is making’ the old noggin a tad on the messy side. 

I’m not sure what’s coming for me. I do not know if my next entry will be in 4 days, or another 4 years. I’m trying my hand right now at finding a balance between Dr. Tia, as the amazing young musicians at AP call me, and Tia just me. I feel like somewhere over the last couple of years I’ve lost who I am as an individual person and artist. I’m looking to find that again. I’ve written some music over the past year. I’ve even shared with a few people. I’m hoping to get more comfortable doing that, and more comfortable being vulnerable. 

I think of myself as a fighter, often. Fighting racism, fighting the patriarchy, fighting the dishes that so quickly can pile up, and I think so deeply on things. I get lost in those thoughts. I get overwhelmed at how large the issues facing our society loom. I’ve got so much schooling and even experience under my belt, and I still just feel helpless in the face of it all sometimes…more than sometimes…most times…if I’m being honest. My reaction to feeling helpless for so, so long has been to work harder, to dig deeper, to get up earlier, that if I were just more “on top of it” I could have solved that last problem. If I anticipated better, I could have given the kids a better experience. If I exercised more and were thinner, more people would make music with me. Oop…there’s that messy noggin again. Maybe I’ll make space to get in to some real things here…instead of just fight them. Maybe I’ll find it within myself to be open. Or maybe I’ll run and hide because the internet is a terrifying place for a fat woman…for any woman? 

I want to create. Music. I want to perform. I want to teach. I want to be a part of not actively making my corner of this planet a worse place to live. 

I’m in an uncomfortable place right now, mentally. Maybe writing will help me through it. 

Maybe it will help someone else too. 

Tia 

Another school year, another degree

The Fall semester is here yet once again. Summer has come and gone. This past summer was full of many musical moments with students and performing alike. The camps were fun, the waking up after the sun had risen was arguably even better, but it’s back to that grind of graduate school. This semester is different though. I haven’t announced this publicly anywhere yet. I think part of me was still unsure it was real. But, I’m starting a second masters this Fall as I work towards completing my doctorate at MSU. I am now also working on a masters in Musicology – and very excited about it, I might add…nervous…but excited. I’ll graduate some day, but for now I’m going to dig in and learn as much as I can.

 

M.I. Concerts – TONIGHT, 7:30PM

Hey everyone,

The past month has been crazy getting this show together along with the usual hustle and bustle of school, teaching, the election, and just living in general. BUT show day has finally arrived. I really hope you’ll be able to make it tonight, or will tune-in to the livestream (planning to “go live” on facebook). So if you haven’t done so yet, head over to facebook and “like” the M.I. Concerts page so that you can find the live stream later today! I think tonight’s show is going to be a great success, giving those Michiganders who, like me, have a had a less than stellar time since last Tuesday a little reminder of the excitement, possibility, and bonds that Michigan has to offer.

M.I. Concerts is from the community and for the community, Michigan inspired and Musically driven. I hope you’ll join me along with my very talented and hardworking colleagues this evening for some contemporary chamber music in a bar…because that may be a little of what so many of us need right now. The arts and friendship. Let’s celebrate local. Let’s celebrate good beer. Let’s celebrate music. Let’s celebrate the power of just being in the same room with other people. Lets celebrate nature and industry, relaxation and a hard day’s work. Let’s celebrate Michigan.

See ya TONIGHT at the Lansing Brewing Co. (518 E. SHIAWASSEE STREET, LANSING, MI) for the very first M.I. Concerts event at 7:30pm!

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M.I. Concerts

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the recent radio silence on my page here. I’ve been busy!! For those of you who don’t know, I’ve got this really neat project going on that I’m trying to get of the ground, M.I. Concerts. It’s a contemporary chamber music series with a mission is to create and nourish new music through events that are Michigan-centric from the composers and performers to the venues and inspiration. M.I. Concerts brings music to the people by curating events in places like breweries, art galleries, and coffee shops. Please, please PLEASE like the M.I. Concerts page, and share it with your friends! Let’s get some love generated for New Music in Michigan!

The very first (of hopefully many) M.I. Concerts event is next month at the Lansing Brewing Company on Thursday, 11/17/2016 at 7:30pm. Admission is free! Please come out to support the Arts in Michigan, get yourself a wonderfully crafted beer, and enjoy some music created by your fellow Michiganders!

I hope to see you there,

Tia

Consuming Arts

I’m very excited to be collaborating again with Chelsea Koziatek at another one of her Consuming Arts events!

Delicious Food, Wonderful Music, and all local!

Enjoy a meal provided by Red Haven’s locally-sourced restaurant inspired by the performed music. Local composers and musicians include Philip Rice, Justin Rito, Tim Patterson, Chelsea Koziatek, Tia Harvey, Suzanna Feldkamp, Jennifer Pittman, and Sam Davies.

There is a reception at 6:30pm and the dinner will begin at 7:00pm. The ticket cost does not include tax or gratuity. There will be four courses served with paired drinks plus the reception.

Each dish was artisically designed by chefs at Red Haven to accompany the performed music.

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Multi-percussion and live electronics: A Collaboration

Composer (and friend) Doug McCasuland and I have been collaborating for a while now on a new piece for multi-percussion and interactive electronics.

Today felt like a major turning point in this project that started out as a trip to a junkyard! We met today to tweak the set-up and play through some of my part. I also got to hear some of the electronic sound world this piece will be existing in (so cool). The piece has some very interesting interesting inspiration: sound pollution, waste, landscapes, personal struggle. More on that at a later date. I’m looking forward to premiering it later this month at my recital on 4/23! It really is so cool.

It’s moments like these that remind me why I’m doing this whole music school thing. It doesn’t take away the frustration, but it’s a welcome reminder of what brought me to where I am today. Music. Art. Thoughtful responses to the world in which we live.

Stop Telling Women To Smile

I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure lately from many different sources (strangers on the street, but also colleagues at work and school) to smile constantly. And ya know, that just…isn’t me. This project by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is really powerful, and although it’s directed at street harassment, I ask that we all consider how we might be encouraging that culture in our everyday interactions with people we know.

“I’m not here for you….that’s not what my existence is about..”

http://stoptellingwomentosmile.com

Hope

…and then there are days when a colleague in your percussion studio asks you for recommendations on academic resources relating to feminism because they are interested in learning more.

Many days being an activist/critical thinker are frustrating. Activist Burnout Is Real. We can’t reach everyone, I can’t reach everyone. It’s been an uphill battle (that I may or may not still be in the midst of) learning which conversations have the potential to be productive, and which ones will only leave me with yet another glass of wine when I get home.

But it’s not all bad! Sometimes you reach people. Sometimes just by talking about these things, individuals come to you for guidance (or just an open mind for listening) when facing something they’re unfamiliar with maybe regarding their sexuality or of that a loved one. And sometimes you get the warm-fuzzies because someone (who you didn’t know was really at all interested) asked you where they can learn more. It’s hope for me that things will change. It’s hope that maybe I actually can make a difference. It’s hope for me that this world will get better.

hope