Telling A Story: 'Pisces Rising' and the Next Chapter

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Telling A Story: 'Pisces Rising' and the Next Chapter

Stories get to the heart.  When I write music, I write to tell stories in hopes they might help out my fellow humans.  

Each of my albums has intentionally told a story, leading from one album to the next.  My next album, Community And The Void (being recorded through an Indiegogo fundraiser and pre-sale at Parzival Myr and Radical Hearts: Albums That Matter) continues the story.  But before I share some of what's in Community And The Void, I thought you might like to hear the story in my last album, 

Pisces Rising

A sensitive soul is emboldened by an experience of true, timeless love (which you can hear in "City In Your Heart", the finale of the previous Postmodern Love).  In the first song, “Beauty Saves”, they accept risk, separation, and even death to spread a message of love.  In “Modern Peace”, despite a realization of the dangers of our day and age, they still feel blessed simply by this experience of love.  In “True Love”, a family legacy of love and a desire for freedom through generations is worn as a badge of honor.  

But the cost of separation and the intimacy lost in a quest to spread greater love weighs heavy, and in "Til I Knew You" a true appreciation of companionship with another soul grows.  Despite an appreciation of what was, change has already been set in motion. In “Transparency (The End)” a commitment to unfolding greater love can no longer be hidden, and leads to a sense of meaning and fate. Old ways of life colored by shame and fear are broken in flashes of knowing and unfolding freedom.  

Still, the feeling of loss and the experience of human suffering that follows this break is unexpectedly stark, as expressed in “Flower Child”.  Only an earthy connection to others and a mindful awareness of our fleeting time together, things found in partner dancing, begin to rebuild hope and relationships, as expressed in “Seven Dances (To Save The World)".

After the bitter pill of loss, and contemplation of the humanity of all, a greater experience of life emerges in “The Radness”.  The beginnings of simpler human living are humble, but there is a desire and vigor to do what can be done with this one good body in the last song, “Creature”

 

Community And The Void picks up where the story left off.  The individual brings the immediacy and natural presence developed through the experiences in “Pisces Rising” to bear in building long-term relationships and community... More story to come!

If these stories resonate with you, consider contributing to Parzival Myr and Radical Hearts: Albums That Matter at http://igg.me/at/parzival-radical if you haven't already.  You'll be the first to hear the new album, and together we'll tell stories that might help our fellow humans, and ourselves.

-Parzival

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Let Go, Dance, and Make Peace:  Rock Rites for the Times

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Let Go, Dance, and Make Peace: Rock Rites for the Times

Besides the fun of it, why create and invite you to Parzival shows, like our weekly Thursday sets with Marmalade at High Dive in February?  Why grow a musical message?  Because there is power in music. 

Myself and those involved with Parzival music believe too often the transformative force of music and art is used without rudder, so we work to maintain a creative vision.  What is that vision?  Simply put, our songs are made to act like rites, expressing processes we all could go through in order to participate more fully in our times.  Chief among those rites:  Let Go, Dance, And Make Peace. 

These rites come out in the lyrics and feeling tones of the songs.  When you need to Let Go, just listen to “Transparency (The End)” as it encourages you to let go of shame and fear, and embrace boldness, change, and togetherness. 

And Dance.  As I wrote last week, my songs “Throw A Revolution” and “Seven Dances (To Save The World)” encourage the sacred act of dance, and its spirit of joy and connection that is so vital to thriving in our times. 

And Make Peace... When you go out and dance and connect with others, you may encounter the tragedy and conflict, abuse and neglect of self, others, and environment with which our world is rife.  When you make peace in the face of these things, you participate in another critical rite of our times.  Songs like "City in Your Heart" and "Modern Peace" speak to making peace in a hectic world. 

So when you come out, listen, and support a Parzival show, we think you are participating in and contributing to movements to Let Go, Dance, and Make Peace.  So come out, enjoy, and know that we hope what you are doing goes beyond the hour of music you experience, the CD you listen to, or the event information or video you share with others.  We are getting together so that we all, including those that need it most, might Let Go, Dance, and Make Peace. 

Join us on Thursday, February 19 and February 26 for two more shows at the High Dive in Fremont with improv funk band Marmalade.  We play at 8:30 sharp, cover is $6, 21+.  Info and RSVP is here.  We’d love to see you there! 

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Dear Dance Community, From A Musician: You Complete Me

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Dear Dance Community, From A Musician: You Complete Me

As I lie awake reflecting on the first of a string of band performances, my mind drifts to the first group of people I invited to the shows, a group I love playing for: Social dancers. A number of dancers came out to this first show, and throughout the performance and afterwards I found myself wondering, Are the dancers having a good time? Is the music too loud? Is the floor okay? Here and there a couple folks commented that the music was loud and the floor a bit sticky. Other feedback was good; the music was good and the dances were fun. I listened closely and catalogued the different feedback I got that night. Now in the wee hours of the coming morning I ask myself, Was it worth it? Are these shows a good thing to invite dancers to?  And even with my feelings of caution, I find the answer is still clearly: Yes! And here's why...

My dear dance community: You complete me. 

I mean that in a few different ways. Most simply and personally for me, I love to play for social dancers. As my good friend and fellow musician Jake Nannery said after the show, "Playing is always better when people are dancing." As a musician, it's simply inspiring. Being around people dancing to our music makes me play better, makes me feel musical.

Aside from that enjoyment, there’s also something that happens when musicians and dancers get together in unusual contexts and bring music out into the world:  The world is filled with more dancing! 

As an artist, my music focuses on integrating the power of dance into everyday life. You might quite easily hear this message in my songs “Throw A Revolution” and “Seven Dances (To Save The World).”  This spirit of integrating dance into life comes out in my sets at dance venues, but perhaps more poignantly and significantly, it comes out in my sets in music venues and other places (farmers markets, art walks, special events). The music and dancing that happens at these events feels significant because I believe these places and the people in them need dance -- they need to see it, they need to feel it, and in some way they need to do it.

I believe people can get caught in the limited feelings and narrow routine of everyday life, and often dancing is not a part of that. When they see dance and feel the joy it brings, it makes an impression. I can't tell you how many listeners, fans, musicians, venue personnel, passers by, and more have commented at my shows about how unusual and cool the partner dancing is. My hope that the experience is seeing our music and dancing somehow frees those individuals up to dance more in their own lives. 

And to me, sharing that experience of music being answered by dancing matters.

So, I am more proud than ever to help create instances of music and partner dance in unusual places in our city.  I am also learning more with every show about how to support better dance experiences in these new places. If you come down to one of our three remaining February shows at High Dive, I recommend: bring earplugs or use the free ones we’ll have, be careful with each other on the floor as it can be sticky, and be ready to explore some new tempos and feels if you dance to every song. 

Our next performance is this Thursday, 2/12, at the High Dive in Fremont at 8:30 sharp (come early!).  Our set wraps up around 9:15, and we’re followed by a DJ and more live, often danceable, funk music.  Info and RSVP here.

So take good care as dancers, and I invite you to continue bringing dance out into the community.  You might have fun and make the world a little bit better place at the same time.  And if you come out, don't be surprised if I'm happy to see you and ask how your experience was. Because my Dear Dance Community: You Complete Me!

-Parzival

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