Uh oh… She figured out key changes. Run!

I am guilty of cruel and unusual treatment of musicians. Part of my album is in Bbm and Cm, and I have songs with key changes that include Cm and D#minor. You literally can’t make several of those chords on Irish bouzouki. Sure, that’s what capos are for, I just have to figure out how to fix all the keys in a song with one capo. I am a terrible human being. It sounds good though!

On the flip side, there’s a song where I use about 5 different sus2/sus4 chords (which can be a pain on Zouk), and somehow I managed to pick only the ones that are super easy to play.

Also, in the vein of: if it’s applied well, more key changes are better (also known as channeling my inner Andrew Lloyd Webber), I have updated the subscriber version of Bigger on the Inside. I am much happier with it now. 🙂

Bigger on the Inside/Strip Me Down – Subscriber song

Okay, first of all, I have been fighting with this song over the tune since August. Its part of that big batch of songs I wrote in a month. Given how much this one meant to me, you’d think I’d have been able to pin the tune down sooner, but in all honesty I think that was part of the problem. I needed distance, and to replace anger with determination.

Also, the key wanders like you wouldn’t believe. Sure I’ll borrow interesting chords for my usual songs, but I don’t tend to write actual key changes. (Lest you point to Fragile Dreams for a rebuttal, that was all Alec’s doing. I just gleefully went along for the ride.) This song and its predecessor both called for it, and I think I pulled it off well.

I decided to include it as a second song this month, because it’s much simpler. This is a reasonably well done first draft with just vocals and guitar. If you think it would sound good as a solo project song, I’ll put the extra effort in to make you a fancier version. Also, there’s such a sense of triumph finishing this that I wanted to share. 🙂

This song started with a spark, but that spark landed in a aged supply of ready fuel. How many times must we be told that we are too much, too bright, too alive? How often are we faced with the choice to be less or lose someone we care about? Sometimes it’s time to say “Enough is enough.”

BRIDGE: I’m tired of being half of who I am
And still it is too much, I make you drown
So I’m throwing out my dimmer switch
Because you never stick around
Even dim I am too bright
So what’s the point of hiding all my light?
Take me as I am or walk away
But don’t demand that I be less for you to stay.

To listen, head over to music.leannansidhe.com and subscribe for as little as $3. Subscribing at any point will get you all subscriber offerings, and you get to keep them even if you stop subscribing.

On to the Tokyo Zoo

The walk up to the zoo was lovely and lined with cherry trees. I saw signs indicating there was a panda cub and got super excited… right up until I found out that you had to get a special viewing ticket, and they were sold out.

Most of the large animal exhibits were closed for maintenance and animal care, but we saw a whole bunch of birds. My inner cat was convinced about half of them were snacks, but they were pretty snacks and fun to watch. The raptors are never food, no matter how tiny and bite sized they are. They convert size into a paralyzing cuteness attack.

We didn’t have time to catch all the animals, and I wasn’t able to get good photos of the otters or kangaroos. Honestly this is one stop where I’m pretty sure Paul got better photos than me with his ability to change lenses. The iPad Pro isn’t bad, but it has its limitations.

I did have to wonder about the missing swans when I saw the sign. With all the other birds on display, were they saying there was a concern that the swans were sick? Or just that they were at higher risk? The reminder that this is part of the region bird flu came from had me cautious about actually trying things like sparrow on a stick. Also, while my cat would have loved it, it looked like a mouthful of mostly bones for a human. Perhaps I missed out?

Altered my Bandcamp Subscription

After some thought, I realized those of you most likely already have my albums. I removed them from the subscription and dropped the price down to Bandcamp’s minimum of $3 to make it more approachable.

I am pleased to be able to thank my first sign up, who has apparently been spamming Breathe on repeat. 🙂 At least that’s what I’m assuming based off how many times they said they’ve played it so far. I’m delighted that it’s being enjoyed!

The link? That’s music.leannansidhe.com

(I will continue with the travel posts shortly.)

Spring in the Imperial Garden

This should be a stop on everyone’s list, it’s beautiful and restful. So much so that the grounds are scattered with rest houses where you can sit and rest out of the cold and eat your packed lunch.

Mostly I’m just going to let them speak for themselves.

Birthday Space Boats

We started my birthday (actual birthday? Second birthday? Tokyo birthday – I am living in the future now after all…) with a walk along the river. Along the way we saw the Tokyo Skytree from a distance. Its one of the tallest buildings in the world, I believe it ranks #2, and is much, much taller than the Space Needle. We looked it up and I think it was around three times as high? Tall, anyway. Going up sounded neat, but I was hoping for a clear enough day to see Mt. Fuji and it was still decidedly damp.

There was also a space boat on the water!

The Space Boat gives tours, but I never worked out where to get on. Also this way I can totally imagine it was crewed by aliens or robots or something. The truth was only bound to disappoint.

…Spaaaace.

Our first tourist destination of the day was the Imperial Gardens. Which meant exiting at this nifty station that totally reminds me of King Street station in Seattle, and seeing swans.

Sakura, Snow, and Ravens on Ostara

Given the day was too wet for good photos we headed over to Akihabara to look around the area and find the Kit Kat Chocolatary. Plans were immediately derailed as falling from the sky in fat fluffy flakes as we came into the station was SNOW!!! I immediately declared that my birthday was today instead of tomorrow (Mom went into labor on the equinox, that counts, right?)

After that I took off wandering random directions outside in the snow. Paul considered his promise fulfilled. “It may have taken several years” he said, “but look! I finally took you to play in the snow!” Given that the snow in question is in Japan, I think we can agree that even if it isn’t going sledding, it definitely counts. Even if it was an accident. 😀

The raven? Was sitting in that Sakura tree. I wasn’t sure at first, but it had an awfully deep voice for a crow or craven, and then it finally shifted so I could see its beak. And then I realized that Japan is positively filled with ravens for at least as far south as Kyoto.

The snow was starting to die down when I saw it. The Book Store. At least ten stories that felt like it rivaled Powell’s. I felt like I was in a never ending mage’s tower of books. If I could read Japanese, I’m not sure there would be much to tell about the rest of the trip. Though Paul might’ve put his foot down once they kicked us out at closing and refused to let me go back.

See the thing is, it wasn’t just filled with books, it was filled with books I’ve never read or seen before!

As it was we did leave, after being severely tempted by some art books (so pretty!) And checked out other things like game arcades, the Square Enix Cafe (all full sadly), figurine shops, PS4 games I can’t play because a) I don’t have a PS4, b) wrong region, and c) it’s hard to play an rpg if you can’t read the language. But there were so many awesome games the US doesn’t have and will probably never be ported over. Is playing a game in Japanese a good way to master language comprehension? The fantasy vocab may not be useful in conversation, but as a storyteller/Songwriter? I passed for now because I think I would also need a Japanese console to play on. If I’m wrong please correct me, and I’ll grab something neat looking next chance I get.

There were cosplay and maid cafe’s (we didn’t go in, apparently many of them are designed to part you from all of your money before you realize.)

I was amused to find that even in Japan, you can drop me in a city with no directions and I will find a Lush. Found two on the same day even! I noticed the store lacked some of the harsh scent edges the US stores have, and the scent was lighter over all. I found myself wondering if the formulation was different or something. Or perhaps there’s more thought given into what sits next to what?

As we headed back to the hotel…