Aretha Franklin, Arts, Bands and Artists, Compilation album, Harold Arlen and EY Harburg, John Lennon, Johnny Nash, Music, Positive Music, Positive Music Imperative, Positive Thinking, U2, Victor Sinclair, Your Best Life 2013
Around a year ago, I made a wonderful connection with a man named Victor Sinclair. After a few tweets, emails and telephone conversations, I learned about his passion — his positive philosophy and online community. I was so intrigued with his generosity, background, and ideas, that I wanted to volunteer some of my time to help spread positivity through music.
The first Positive Music compilation CD is entitled Your Best Life 2013 - and it is coming out next week!! Stay tuned. The second compilation is due out in January and the songs are focused on gratitude.
What is the Positive Imperative?
The concept of the Positive Imperative/Positive Music Imperative is to develop a collaborative, collective social enterprise to create a legacy of positivity through education, action, and programs like these Positive Music Imperative (PMI) compilations. We want to invite independent musicians to participate at whatever level they think is appropriate for their career and time commitment.
What is Positive Music?
Positive music is in a category of it’s own – these songs have been considered the most popular songs of all time; for example, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg, “I can see clearly now” by Johnny Nash, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Imagine” by John Lennon, and “One” by U2. While Positive Music is not new, it comes in any style or genre, from any country and culture, and from every age group and persuasion. Through its lyric and melody, this music shares the quality of being edifying, motivational and value-based.
We know that music has the ability to change individuals, communities and the world like no other force we know. The need for positive music has never been greater. There are many stressed and depressed people trying to balance all of their roles in life. Teens feel isolated and some are even taking their lives. Children are angry unloved, lonely and powerless. In fact, the WHO identified mental health as our number 1 issue for humanity to face on the planet.
While Positive Music is not a panacea, combined with a holistic program of personal support, encouragement and retraining, it has the best opportunity to steer the mind into healthy thinking patterns that will support the individual. Just think, if it takes 1000 plays of a song on radio for a listener to be familiar with it, wouldn’t it be great if that song could heal, change, energize, lift, fill, and bring people together.
The aim of Positive Music is to inspire, build, energize, love, calm or change the listener. It can also serve to create both individual and social awareness/consciousness. PMI wants to honour the artist while providing a gift to the listener.
The Business Model
We believe strongly that distributing Positive Music is a very viable means to provide a second or even multiple income streams for the participating artist. We also believe this is a unique opportunity to leverage the community in at least two ways:
1. If you participate in such a great socially-consciousness creative community, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with many like-minded singers, composers, musicians and producers.
2. On the marketing side, we also strongly believe that as we unite as one brand, we will have much greater penetration in everything we do. In this model, we will be able to cross-pollinate such great talent and also “band it”, under the PI/PMI brand. Think of the “Motown” concept — one of the most successful collaborations in the history of recorded music.
We will have two versions of each album. One album is entirely music. The other album is a magazine version with some spoken word and artists doing a 30 to 90 sec. introduction about the meaning of the music. All albums will be electronic at this point for environmental, operational and technological reasons. PMI will develop the artwork and will make it available electronically.
Submit your Song
If you are an unsigned musician and you have a well-crafted, well-recorded, mixed and mastered song that delivers a strong vocal and instrumental performance of a positive story or message, please send me a Soundcloud link or mp3 file to email@example.com. When I receive your email, I will send you a document outlining the business model, timing and requirements.
Let’s change the world with positive songs!
I had the opportunity to be on Leigh Anne Saxe’s segment of Career Buzz earlier this month Nov. 6/13 on CIUT 89.5 (University of Toronto Community radio). What a fun time being interviewed by Leigh Ann Saxe who is a happiness coach! What a job right?
If you would like to listen into the radio show, here is the attached segment (it starts at 4mins)!!
Andrea Ramolo, Angela Saini, Angie Arsenault, Deanna Wells and Trina Nadeau, Heather Hill, Jenny MacDonald, Joy Phillips, Kat Leonard, Kristine St. Pierre, Marta Pacek, Nicole Coward, OVARIAN CANCER CANADA, Sarah McClurg, She’s Listening CD, Sophia Radisch, Tessa Duc, Walk of Hope Ottawa
…I need your help! I am working with Ovarian Cancer Canada to raise awareness and money. Why? Ovarian cancer is the most serious of all gynecological cancers. Over 2600 Canadian women are diagnosed every year; and every year 1750 women succumb to this disease. Symptoms are varied, vague and easily missed. Until there is a reliable early detection screening test awareness of the signs & symptoms is our most powerful tool. The organization is not funded by government or pharma companies – it is funded by you and I.
A group of talented Canadian indie artists have joined together to offer a compilation CD called “She’s Listening“. We are raising money to produce this CD so we can offer it for sale at the Ottawa Region Walk of Hope. Several of the artists will be performing. Can you help us bring this CD to life so we can help this cause with music that heals, soothes and inspires?
Artists contributing to the CD include Jenny MacDonald from Antigonish, NS; Angie Arsenault from Montreal, QC; Sophia Radisch from Ottawa, ON; Sarah McClurg and the Wild Vines from Ottawa, ON; Kristine St-Pierre from Ottawa, ON; Tessa Duc from Ottawa, ON; Deanna Wells and Trina Nadeau from Ophelia Syndrome in Hamilton, ON; Marta Pacek from Toronto, ON; Andrea Ramolo from Toronto, ON; Heather Hill and Kat Leonard from Toronto, ON; Nicole Coward from Toronto, ON, Angela Saini from Toronto and Joy Phillips from Toronto. You will love the diferences in styles and genres.
Please support this indiegogo campaign. We need you to bring this project to life! xoxo
Canada Parties, Compilation CD, fundraising, Heather Hill, Marta Pacek, Mike Anderson, National Capital Region Walk of Hope, Nicole Coward, ovarian cancer, OVARIAN CANCER CANADA, She's Listening, Tree and Dee
This Saturday night (July 20th) at The Central in Toronto, an inspiring lineup of Toronto artists are coming together to raise money for the “She’s Listening CD project” for Ovarian Cancer Canada. The lineup will include: Nicole Coward, Marta Pacek, Heather Hill, and Tree and Dee (Deanna Wells and Trina Nadeau from Ophelia Syndrome-Band in Hamilton).
She’s Listening is a compilation CD with tracks from female artists across Canada, with proceeds going to Ovarian Cancer Canada and the National Capital Region Walk of Hope. Artists contributing to the CD include Jenny MacDonald from Antigonish, NS; Angie Arsenault from Montreal, QC; Sophia Radisch from Ottawa, ON; Sarah McClurg and the Wild Vines from Ottawa, ON; Kristine St-Pierre from Ottawa, ON; Tessa Duc from Ottawa, ON; Deanna Wells and Trina Nadeau from Ophelia Syndrome in Hamilton, ON; Marta Pacek from Toronto, ON; Andrea Ramolo from Toronto, ON; Heather Hill and Kat Leonard from Toronto, ON; Nicole Coward from Toronto, ON, and Joy Phillips from Toronto and Meg La Grand from Ottawa.
These artists represent a wide range of musical styles and backgrounds, but each has a commitment to the battle against ovarian cancer which affects so many women and is of the most deadly diseases, often not diagnosed until too late. These artists represent a wide range of musical styles and backgrounds, but each has a commitment to the battle against ovarian cancer which affects so many women and is of the most deadly diseases, often not diagnosed until too late. Some of the artists will be writing songs especially for the CD. Mike Anderson of CanadaParties.ca has been heading up this project!
For more information on ovarian cancer and how you can help check out Ovarian Cancer Canada.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/320068428124022/
Positivity is Hard Work – 10x harder than doing nothing or creating negativity
I was at the hairdresser the other day and the ladies were chatting about Reese Witherspoon, who I have always greatly admired. We were talking about how she has worked super hard on her family and career. She has managed to stay away from “negative press”. All of sudden, she was drinking and disorderly at a party with her husband and all those years with a spotless image are under scrutiny and her image even lost. One mistake and all those good years are forgotten?
It begs the question, why is it so easy to make a negative impact and why is it always extremely difficult to make a positive impact. Victor Sinclair’s Positive Imperative“Posiratio” explains this phenomenon. As he explains,
Significant Positive creations, like raising a responsible human take ten times the effort and energy to create. A Neutral one (not participating in a positive way to raise your kids) are actually a Negative and do between three and five times the damage thus also causing a ripple effect. Negatives however take ten times less effort and energy to achieve but do ten times the damage and thus create a huge Negative ripple effect, and sometimes even more. (PI)
Let’s talk about raising children to explain the quantum effort involved with creating positivity. With my two children, it is challenging to always be a positive force in their lives. Let it be said that I am completely committed and accountable to being a positive guide in their lives. What that means is I need to teach them as many survival tools as possible. As soon as my babies were born I knew that I really had to be on top of my issues in order to care for them in the way they deserved. I needed helpers too – strong counsel, great role models, new tools and approaches etc. It truly takes a community to raise a responsible, whole, happy child.
On Tuesday night Alyson Shafer, a parenting expert, came to our local school. She was helping parents understand that children don’t misbehave, children are just using a misguided approach. It is up to the parent to figure out the behavior and to get to the underlying symptoms with the right approach. Understanding that one of your child’s primary needs is to connect with others and they will use whatever approach works to meet that need (and they are creative and persistent). A parent needs to encourage a child in their goodness (often well “behaved” children go unnoticed). What if you reverse this idea – acknowledge good “behavior and not bad”.
It is hard to change approaches and mindsets that may have represented the norm in parenting in the past generation. It is not easy trying new ways to retrain yourself and coach your children how to connect in a healthy way. It is far harder learning and trying new ways than simply doing nothing and participating in the same unhealthy dances. It is also much harder to commit to always being a consistent positive force than being a negative force. To be a negative force you just do nothing to help your children connect – just continue to create drama, distress, control, aggression, abuse.
With the awareness of a new positive parenting approach, you can start small. Maybe you want to start by smiling. Maybe then you decide to stop nagging. Then, you might try to change the negative bedtime dance or the dinner table conversation. Maybe you tackle several moments in the day that frustrate you. When it comes to big change, sizable effort is required. This change has to be consistent, regular and lasting. Everyone around your children have to help too! If you feel yourself slipping back into old ways, you need to get counsel and help to boost yourself back up. Raising positive children is a big task.
Long term meaningful “Positives” take 10 x the effort to create, and the “Imperative” is that people “get it”…. raising a child takes effort and work. Doing a great job means employing the hand,s but also the heart and mind. Making a big difference or any difference takes time, energy and a lot of work. Understanding this concept is critical in accomplishing “the big idea”. If more people understood, there would have to be more “buy in” for doing what needs to be done. But “when the big effort is not done” responsibility has to be taken for not “getting there”.
The PosiRatio was formulated by a few different inputs. Firstly common sense. We all know and understand the domino effect, on the negative side. The positive side is all about building strong foundations to withstand the negatives that face us all.
Next you look at two universal laws: the law of ”cause and effect”, and the law of “momentum”. In the Buddhist philosophy, you apply the law of cause and effect in 10 directions to reflect both time, (past present and future) and direction (including up and down). For a more thorough explanation click here.
From a research perspective the renown Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, did a lot of research to come up with the Positivity Ratio, by which she states you need 3 meaningful Positives to sustain positive or happy emotions against one bad, and one bad will always happen (death, loss of jobs, etc.). In her findings, she emphasizes the amount of effort and preparation it takes to build that Positive Foundation. Taking that idea and adding the spin off effect x 3 like pay it forward will also give you the 10 to 1 ratio.
So knowing the rationale is one thing, but really the rest is common sense. Negatives pay if forward just as the positive do, only because of their insidious nature, often they go a lot further. Positive Foundations are the same as what we learn with the three little pigs. A house of sticks and straw will never survive the winds of negativity, only a house that took 10 times the effort to create; a house of bricks will survive.
May you find your way, Heather
Arts & Entertainment, Business, Damzels Doll Factory, Ellyn Lilly, Filmmaking, iPhone, Kat Leonard, Lisa Anita Wegner, Media Production, Music video, Orville Heyn, Rob Small Tomahawk, Robert Saxe, Roncy Rocks, Video editing, Wanda MacRae, YouTube
So, I have finally thrown my hat into the YouTube ring. I am finally working on my first video. I have to admit, I was pretty worried about the whole effort. Fortunately, my team was fantastic and the process has been pretty smooth.
My criteria for the video was to make an artistic, fresh video at a minimal cost with a short amount of time. That sounds easy right? Well, if you have an amazingly, creative and resourceful team, anything is possible.
Here are my takeaways from the process:
- Pick a song and create a final, polished recording prior to making the video. Why? As Orville Heyn, my producer and cowriter on the song insisted, I would need to match the picture with the music and my mouth and fingers would need to be identical with the picture. Makes sense.
- Practise the song so you can sing and play exactly with the track. Your day will go faster is the song is under your fingers. Since you can’t have music sheets in the picture, you need to know the song and all the nuances. You may even want to action the lyrics so that you can express/perform every line!
- Figure out a simple location you can have access to for 8 hours. I picked my parlour as I knew it would work for my time period. I also needed a piano and a room that didn’t scream out any particular era.
- Work out a budget, timeline and story. It is possible to make a good video on a phone! Working with a phone cuts down the budget considerably. Not a bad idea if you have constraints like I did.
- Find a film-maker, videographer that can help you film (on a film camera or iPhone). Find an apprentice or helper so you can have multiple angles. I was fortunate enough to work with film-maker Lisa Anita Wegner and her apprentice Rob Small Tomahawk.
Set up hair and makeup. I asked the film-maker for her recommendation for someone who could do 50s hair and makeup at a day rate I could afford. Lisa MacRae was my choice for this project and she did an amazing job!
- Find a costume. I purchased a dress from Damzels – Doll Factory a local dress maker. Why not use a local designer to support the artistic community. I had a choice of several dresses that would be perfect for my 50s set.
- Order lighting. In my case we used natural lighting and we had some good overhead lighting already. Consider the lighting for the different times of day.
- Source props – if you so, make or find them. My only prop was a beautiful bouquet of flowers that I sourced in my neighbourhood at Ellyn Lilly.
- Test the lighting, location, etc. on the day before the shoot.
- Source a photographer. Heck if you are all dressed up, you might as well get a few head shots done right? Robert Saxe took some photos on location.
- Determine your launch plan – when and where can you launch the video for the biggest bang. In my case, I am launching the video on June 15th.
- What will you feed everybody? Buy some great food for the day! I made a big lasagna, ceasar salad, bagels and my banana muffins.
- Pay and thank your helpers! Enough said.
- Bring friends that can help out with holding or fixing things as needed. I brought Kat Leonard who makes me laugh, holds the bounce lighting screen, and presses play on the stereo really well.
If I missed anything please let me know. I am new to this and tried hard to keep it simple. After all of this, I think I will do it again a few more times! I would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for the upcoming video launching on my YouTube channel on JUNE 15th at Roncy Rocks Festival in Toronto.
American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, ASCAP Expo, Bruno Mars, Canadian Music Week, Holly Knight, Kat Leonard, Katy Perry, laura michelle, lucy LeBlanc, paul williams, Songwriter's Association of Canada, Tina Turner, YouTube
“…Through our music we bring order to chaos; we bring solace to suffering; we bring joy to heartbreak; we bring freedom to captivity; we bring hope to despair; we bring soul to the machines and meaning to the lives of millions.” Paul Williams, President ASCAP
Last week, I went down to LA with my friend Kat Leonard to check out ASCAP Expo (April 18-20). This was both of our first times to this conference. I normally hang out in Canada and partake in Canadian Music Week and Songwriters Association of Canada functions. I went because I just wanted to see what several of my American friends had recommended! The conference was big, a ton of fun, and while the music industry is in a state of flux, the music creators proved to be a passionate, positive and innovative bunch!
Paul Williams, president and director of ASCAP kicked off the conference. He is an amazing hit songwriter and incredibly inspiring. He is passionate about getting musicians (songwriters, recording artists) fair pay for their work. ASCAP is busy doing deals with the big players in order to get settlements from online streamers, congress, etc. “We do the work, pay us for our music. We are not machines…we need to be properly compensated.” He pointed out it all starts with the composer and the songwriter – copyright protection is critical!
Katy Perry was a keynote presentation. She is an incredibly hard-working and resourceful woman. Even though she had been dropped twice by her label, she managed to be resigned — the rest is history. It was great to hear her journey from a Christian artist into the secular market. She was 100% committed to her career and to her music. She loves to cowrite and looks hard for artists that inspire her. The panel was full of interesting information and it was entertaining watching her change in persona from a shy, coy girl at the outset to the strong-willed, confident tigress at the end!
Holly Knight. I was fortunate enough to have a one-on-one session with killer hit songwriter Holly Knight (Heart, Pat Benatar, Tina Turner, Meatloaf, etc.). I learned that cowriting with writers is an essential part of your growth. She was a recording artist and then became a prolific songwriter. Being a performing songwriter is critical these days. You need to be able to showcase your songs to other artists you may want to write with. We also talked about rock…Holly mentioned the demise of rock, but that other categories has revealed themselves. I received some great advice for my own musical journey.
Steve Lindsey. In the pop/rock feedback panel, Steve was an incredible source of information for creators. He helped develop Bruno Mars (amongst other incredible things). He told us the importance of knowing at least three hours of cover material. His point was, it is difficult to be a great songwriter without extensively studying great music on a daily basis. He told us that he held Bruno Mars back for five years while they learned an extensive catalog of hit music.
1. Take Youtube Very Seriously. First we heard from several product folks at Youtube. The amount of content on Youtube is enormous and growing exponentially! We need to contentID and tag our music or we won’t get paid. We need a channel and we need to be part of larger Multi Channel Networks. The Youtube 100 may one day replace the Billboard 100. A&R and music seekers are following the success of musicians on Youtube as a primary source for selection.
2. Wait to record until you have fans and great songs. Several artists felt the recording process was too much money – maybe we are wasting our money. Time and time again we heard about waiting to spend until you have written a ton of songs, perform them, build fans and get fans to pay for songs. Novel concept right? It was great to hear this, because we all know that great songs are rarely our first ones.
3. COLLABORATE! Find people to learn from and write with others a lot. You may find an incredible synergy!
4. Focus on Writing and Learning Music – Naturally you hear a lot about working super hard on music and business. Every day you need time to write, practise, and work your business. It is a full time job!
About the Sponsors: the sponsors were also paid panelists promoting their software and services. Their products/services are not necessarily what songwriters and composers want/need to hear about. It was not worth sticking around for these panels. I understand that the expo needs money, but the people paying to be there want unbiased information about what will help them. I like the sessions where music was being reviewed (date with a tape). You really learn a lot from the comments of industry experts.
About the people. The best part of conferences is meeting the people. I met countless artists (thousands of singer/songwriters) and a few industry folks (note that I hardly saw any industry folks). Comparing notes and getting ideas from other musicians is invaluable. You hear the realities of artist development, recording, positioning, etc.
Tools. One great thing ASCAP Expo provides is the ability to:
- pay a low fee to have a one-on-one interview with an expert
- watch videos on all the sessions since you can not possibly go to all of them since they all take place at the same time
- you have the chance to be showcased on the last night. You don’t find out until that day if you are selected.
One suggestion I can offer to ASCAP EXPO is to open the city to the music!! I like that Canada Music Week is full of music. Bars are full of performances giving artists a chance to showcase their music. At ASCAP Expo there was hardly any music going on for a music conference (until the last night).