This is a recording at my home of one of the pieces of improv I am using for the soundtrack of my book. It has the sound quality of a phone recording, so it is not that good. But I am also recording it at the same time. I will be making a video of of that recording soon. I love the nose sniffle at the end!
I’m going to include the better quality recording from SoundCloud under it. Thanks for watching.
How do I find my way? What is the reason why? How do I know what is the truth When I see my life pass me by I need to know what’s real I need to know what I should do No one told me. No one showed me I had no choice you helped me through
What I believe isn’t helping me So I have to ask again What is the reason why I’m here What caused my life to be So far away from all I love So many pieces fell apart Still I should thank a god above? who caused this puzzle of a man to wonder why this is the truth If it doesn’t tell me who I am
Nothing is out there watching me No one cares and no one plans No one knows when I’ll be free No one cares or understands It’s up to me and what I do I don’t know, I can’t undo the reasons why this tragedy Made me question my belief It hasn’t helped one day in here I learned to fear I learned grieve
I yearned to learn a different way Take control and never blame My life on any other cause I bent the rules I played the game I never fear these years because I lost these years by my own hand It took twelve years to understand
I recently posted the chapter, poetry and music for the title, “Can Anybody Hear Me?” , one of the chapters in the book, “Inside The Forbidden Outside.” Last night I uploaded the music video. Little by little I work through finishing all the parts. I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel ( way down at the end and around a corner.)
I have posted some chapters over time of the rewrite, but I haven’t given links to be able to read them with any continuity. I’m going to post them so anyone who wants to can read the early part of the book, to hopefully create enough interest to want the finished product when it is completed. You can subscribe to my mailing list at Sonni Quick and get info on other chapters and music published as it goes along. I will be depending on followers to help share what they like. With the sake of the book, 50% of the profits go to Jamie so when he gets out of prison he will have a cushion to help get his life started and also to help write sequel to this book. I also to have merchandise for sale that relates to the book. I have released partial info at many places ahead of it being done to help it’s success. My growing followers here are big part of That. It is appreciated.
This book will end before he is released. The sequel will about the process of getting, and the difficulties, mentally, emotionally and actually living in a society who has already prejudged him as a person. Our society is not very welcoming. There is often so little we can do to help the people who have been abused in our prisons.
But the one thing people can is to support the efforts being made to help them be able to stand up when they get out. If I thought for one minute that he was a threat to society in any way I would not be doing this.
These chapters do not start at the beginning, and don’t entail what happened to put him in Juvenile detention from late 16’s through 21.
Remember your life When nothing could defeat you? Nothing came between your dreams to make you think you won’t succeed. All the world is yours if you believe with all your heart All your hope of things to come will push away the doubt of some who want to see if you will fall from up above the sky so high. Spread your wings and ride … the wind Soar through the air like life depends on every dream you ever had You can’t lose the power of your dreams to anyone who can’t believe in you If you cry from deep within Never let the fear begin to hold you down it’s strength you need to make every dream be real Don’t let it in and keep you down Become the man you found Through all the years you only had yourself to hear you Now the time has come to show… the world that you are more than anyone took the time to know
Latest music video uploaded to YouTube to go with a chapter for my book “Inside The Forbidden Outside” about the life of Jamie Cummings currently in Allred Prison in Iowa Park, Texas.
What started out as only a book, now in the second draft, became a book with music, a soundtrack with music for each chapter with the same title. Since all of my music is improvised, that is a pretty big project to work on.
The music business is different than when I was a working musician back in the 70’s and 80’s. There was no internet! We could not share our music with anyone except at a live gig. Most musicians barely had enough money to record a so-so demo at a recording studio and have 2″ tape reels run off into 1/4″ tapes and then run off on cassette tapes. We didn’t give them out to people. If they were good enough we sold them at gigs. We also sent them to record producers and had no way of knowing if they went straight into the trash. If we had a gig somewhere that let us play original music we staples notices on electric poles near the club announcing we’d be playing. Sometimes we had a booking agent who booked bands into clubs that wanted top 40 music.
Everything is so different now. People hear my music more now through the internet than I’m sure heard me at gigs. Playing live is fun, but it is a lot of work unless you have someone carting your equipment around for you. I used to have that, but it was a different era. I don’t have near the energy or muscle tone to do that anymore. Although I’d love to play live again, and I’m sure I will when this is done, in the meantime I have to conform to what people need to hear and see.
That means music videos. At first I thought, “how?” I’m not playing live, until I found software programs that help you make videos. Now this was fun! But still it takes quite a bit of time, and I’m still learning and getting ready to try a new software program.
There are quite a number of places to submit your music profile – radio programs, magazines and much more. When they pull up your profile they want to see videos and every self respecting musician has at least one. The more the better. Having a YouTube channel with subscribers can make or break their interest in you.
So now I am making videos for my chapters for the book. I can only do one thing at a time. Everything progresses, but at 1/3 the speed. If you like what I’m doing, the best thing you can do for me is to click on the YouTube icon on the video and go there and like, comment or subscribe. You can’t like a video if you don’t actually go to YouTube, but it will record a play. I need stats until it gets far enough along to multiply on it’s own. The channel is only 2 1/2 months old, with a new video made about every 2 weeks. When I have 20 videos and they are being promoted, especially when the book is published, then I can use other media outlets for promotion. Right now I need you guys – unless you really don’t like it.
It is very important to me that this effort be successful. Another life depends on it – and someday in this latter part of my life I’ll just get too old. Until then, I’ll pretend I’m 36 instead of 63.
My main website that has music and videos in one place is simply Sonni Quick
You can sign up on my mailing list for when I put out the next new music or videos, (which I promise not to abuse!)
This is older piece of music, recorded 3-4 years ago before I bought my white piano. The piano I had at this time was 15 years old. I was crushed when it started to die. I used it from 2000-2015 when I lived in Key West.
A piano tech worked on it. Unfortunately, the company that made the piano, Technics, a Japanese brand, stopped making it. It was impossible to get a main board replacement in the US. I would have to send the piano to the UK to get it fixed. That wasn’t practical. A local business that repaired keyboards opened it up and found corrosion growing on the main board. He did what he could to clean it off the components that was causing the keys to stop playing, one at a time. Because it was impossible to clean off every speck it would come back, just like decay would grow on a tooth. He told me that when it failed again, he wouldn’t be able to patch it up again. The piano might work for a week or maybe a year, but it would eventually fail. So when the first key started failing I went shopping! The piano still had some life left so I gave it to a piano student who needed it. It was still better than the one he had.
I was playing a Yamaha electric grand back then in the distant past of the eighties. The piano was elevated on a platform so I could stand. I had to raise my foot to the platform to work the pedal. The grand piano sound was awesome. This very heavy elephant was carried in two wood cases that took more strength than I had to carry. (that is what roadies are for!) It had a full harp to attach to the back. It could be raised and supported like a wood grand piano. The keys had a heavy action ( keyboard players understand what that is. ) The harder you play the more sound it makes. The spring back is slower. Totally opposite of playing a keyboard with the action of an organ. The harder the action the more control you have over the sound. You end up with strong hands and strong forearm. Playing that piano was a workout. I loved it. Even today the cost of one in good condition hasn’t depreciated much in 40 years. You’ll play around 3 grand.
I eventually gave that piano to my son, Robo Quick, who was playing boogie woogie and he really gave that piano a bigger workout than I did. When I was playing R&R I played so hard I had callouses on my finger tips like a guitar player. I often split the callouses by the end of the night and they would bleed. My music today is so different.
I’ll try to find an old picture of a stage performance playing it in my archive and add it (after I scan it in). The band I was with – The Robin Crow band – was sponsored by Nike so I’m probably wearing their gear.
This is the keyboard I bought and use now. I fell in love with it. (That’s nutty, I know) It has been my baby ever since. I put it on a rack instead of the legs that came with it so I can stand and play – easier to move up and down the keyboard – or lean on a tall stool. I don’t like to sit down and play. It’s too confining.
When I record music that strikes a nerve inside, grabs me in my chest, I know I’ll keep it. But I have also deleted music many times that didn’t say what I wanted it to say. I honestly don’t know how I spontaneously play these pieces. Where does it come from. I knew at age 7 this was what I was striving to play. I could hear it. Almost anyone can “learn” to play the piano with enough practice. But when you take away the written music, can you play? Improvising can cause fear. What if you make too many mistakes? What if you can’t play? What if its terrible?
I don’t plan what I’m going to play ahead of time. Some call it, ‘ playing by ear’. I don’t think about chord structure, or even the time signature. There are other improv players. I search them out to see how their music makes me feel, but many just show off technique, trying to impress you with their skill, how fast they can play, but the music has no beginning, middle and end. There is no story. There is no emotion.
You have no idea how good it feels to let music flow out of your fingers. Dancers feel that when they dance – not choreographed dance steps – instead, letting the music make you move. Some people have no way to do that and turn to other ways to make them feel. Sometimes drugs – alcohol – sex. I remember the day I recorded “Sadness”. The emotions that day were very heavy. Emotion makes me want to play. I have to.
It has been a long time since I really listened to this piece from beginning to end and felt it, like I did the day I recorded it. Indeed, the music is very sad and haunting. It brought back memories. I hope you enjoy it.
Here are a couple more photos of many history
Because of the book I’m writing and the music I’m recording, this will determine success or failure when it is all published together. I believe this is the project that will define me as a musician to the public. All of the years of playing and teaching, and other crisis and events happening in between, has brought me to this place. I’ve been working on this book/soundtrack for 3 years, writing, re-writing, learning. I can see the end now, but still have lots to do.
Jamie, in prison, needs this to be successful as much as I do – to give him a start when he is released from prison, and to help me live – period – as I go through these last ( hopefully) decades of my life. Leave something behind for my future generations (of musicians) to understand where their music comes from.
Just like everything else on the web, stats play a huge part in how much traffic you get. Some people use stats to determine if they’ll even click on a song, or share it.
But getting a new “fan” or “follower” doesn’t mean anything if they don’t come back or share your site with others. It’s hard to grow a new audience from scratch. There is a lot of competition for a few minutes of your time – there are so many other places to go on the web. The attention span of many people these days is roughly only seconds before they click on something else. It’s also hard to stay connected with those who also have websites that need support as well, when you are busy working on your own. Then there is the daily communication with friends. That takes time. That is a lot of plates to spin.
It would mean a tremendous amount to me if you went to my website – http://sonniquick.net and looked around. It’s an important website for me. I use it a lot when I am promoting my music to various places and people, when I want to be taken seriously as a musician – an older musician – a dinosaur with a lot more music inside. Many in the business still focus on the youth.
Someday maybe they’ll get it. Experience brings quality. At least we now have indie music and indie book publishing so we can promote ourselves. Not long ago your age kicked you to the curb if the music industry didn’t want you, or book publishers wouldn’t give you the time of day.
Good skin does not make good music, and just because a major book publisher doesn’t want you doesn’t mean you don’t have a good book. But you have to be willing to do the work to get it out there, you have a solid chance at success. 15 hour days are not unusual for me with multiple projects going.
You can help by subscribing to many mailing list at the website below (I promise not to abuse your email) and open it to see how production is coming along and listen to new music. Maybe then you’ll be interested in having the entire project and a soundtrack to listen to when it is completed. Thanks to all followers for everything. ( you know who you are.)
I bought adspace for a number of publications today to promote my newest piece of music. “Ghosts in My Head” If you see it anywhere let me know. Right now it is running for two weeks. This goes along with a chapter in the book I’m writing, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”
Sonni Quicks Piano Improv – Additional YouTube videos of the music soundtrack for Inside The Forbidden Outside. New videos are released as they are made. When you subscribe and share, other people have the opportunity to learn about the book being written which will help Jamie start a life when he is released. He needs your help. If you have read his story on the blog you understand why. Thank you.
Skunk Radio – Indie radio out of London. My personal page