Friday, February 10, 2023

New 2023 Canvas Rebel Interview

Here's a link to a short interview with me and Canvas Rebel Magazine. There has been a lot of activity lately with the Edinburgh festival announcement, but this article is really more about the personal side of music theater projects and offers some of my thoughts for people considering a career path in musical theatre. The interview actually took place last year and is just now getting out there.
2023 Canvas Rebel Interview
I've always found it intriguing to see which parts of these interviews the publisher decides to use. My guess is Canvas Rebel tries to focus on the things that creative people undertake that might inspire others who are working through the same sort of issues and/or circumstances. I think it's nice that they draw attention to the personal side of the creative process and look for things that might help others with their own journey.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

360° video stroll in Central Park New York

Here's an immersive 360° video from Central Park in New York City. I entered the park at Columbus Circle and just took a leisurely stroll with my camera on a selfie stick. It was overcast and the quality of the first generation Insta 360 is what it is, but at the end of the day, I think the video provides a pretty good experience of walking through the Central Park on Thanksgiving weekend this year. I exited the park near the Simón Bolívar statue at 6th and 59th street and it started to rain on my way back to the hotel in midtown.
Map of Central Park 360 Video Paths

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

360° Video of Time Square in New York City

Here are a couple of 360° immersive videos from Time Square in New York City. There are plenty of places to take pictures, but they've added several convenient platforms to the northern and southern ends of the area for taking photos and it's easy to get to the highest point and lift your selfie stick high in the air. It was a good day with mild weather and blue skies peeking through here and there too. The atmosphere in Time Square is very international and a good place to capture the diversity and culture in New York.

Friday, November 11, 2022

"WYSIWYG Finale" released

Here's a master track for the "WYSIWYG Finale". It's the last 5 minutes of the show and closes the loop for all the character threading. We even included an upbeat curtain call that rocks. The finale starts with April lamenting Carl's initial reaction to meeting her in the real world. Ron emerges and serenades the audience at the piano with a closing soliloquy. Denise turns to Ron and lets him know that she's willing to work things out with him.

Ron searches for the answer through song and April breaks down and starts to cry when Carl returns to give her some support and advice. He tells her that she is a real as anyone he has ever met and she deserves love, but that she can't go around living her life defined by others, then suggests that they all logout and login to life, she closes her laptop and they all sing together. (What You See Is What You Get).

It's sung by Blake Nawa'a, Carolyn Jordan, Tony Domenick with a cameo from yours truly. (October/2022) Here's a link to download the Sheet Music for the "WYSIWYG Finale" to follow along. Use the icons below to listen to the song on your favorite streaming service. 

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Friday, November 04, 2022

Concept Album for the WYSIWYG Soundtrack Complete

That's a wrap! We've finished the concept album for the WYSIWYG soundtrack (21 songs - 67 minutes). It's been a little over two years now. We completed the first track (August 2020) as the pandemic was hitting full stride and now the soundtrack is complete (November 2022) as the virus slows to a crawl. The project was orchestrated, recorded and mastered remotely with participants from all across the country. Thank you everyone! 🎭

NOTE: also available on the major streaming sites on 11/11/22

Here's a list of all the people who participated: David Traugh, Blake Nawa'a, Antonio Domenick, Jessie Sotwick, Sienna Stocky, Joe Columbo, Luke Columbo, Joe D. Castro, Jody Haught, Kelsie Bedard, Carolyn Jordan, Anne Jennes, Brandon Bill.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

"Mañana" released

Here's a master track of "Mañana". It closes out the prologue and it's a classic music theatre "want" song. It's similar to how Ariel sings "Part of Your World" to express her desire to become human in the beginning of Little Mermaid. WYSIWYG's main character (April) wants to get off the Internet and be accepted as a woman in the real world, She wants to fall in love with a man and take on the same sort of challenges that all women face. It's sung by Blake Nawa'a, Carolyn Jordan and Tony Domenick (October/2022). Here's a link to download the Sheet Music for "Mañana" to follow along.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

360° Video of Jet Skiing Lake Powell Canyon

Here's a couple of 360° immersive videos from Lake Powell in Southern Utah. It's in the Glen Canyon National Park near the Bullfrog Marina. We rented a couple of jet skis and explored the lake and the wonderful canyon scenery. I used the Insta 360 One X camera and these two videos are from Eden Canyon across from Halls Landing. It was a fun day, but the water level has really dropped a lot over the last few years.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Lake Powell water level over 12 years

I was living in the valley (Los Angeles) when Dassault Systèmes asked me to manage their regional office in Denver. I agreed and during the move I spent the night in Green River, Utah. I was taken back by the beauty of the canyon landscape and the amazing lightning storms and I've visited the area a half a dozen times since then. Now, I stay at the Defiance Hotel in Glen Canyon National Park because it's the only lakeside hotel near Bullfrog and it's relatively inexpensive. It overlooks the Marina and is about six (6) hours from Denver.
Lake Powell water level (Bullfrog Marina)  2010-2022 

In any case, the hotel only has 48 rooms and it's in the middle of nowhere. I always like getting a room with a view and I happened to line up a couple of "before and after" pictures from several visits to the lake. The change in the water level is really quite dramatic so I thought I'd share it for everyone to see.

Immersive 360° image above Defiance Hotel (September 2022)

Immersive 360° image above Bullfrog Marina (September 2022)
My guess is the water level crisis at Lake Powell has something to do with climate change, but I'm not a scientist or anything. My observations are only anecdotal, my hope is that information like this can be used to make a better world for all of us.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

"Someone Who's Just Like You" released

Here's a master track of "Someone Who's Just Like You". It takes place at Frank's Tavern after Denise tells April about Carl's handle online. Afterwards, she looks-up his profile and can't believe that he likes to cuddle and wants to find someone to settle down and grow old with. Then, the line that gets her "the man of your dreams". It's the last song of the 1st act so it's a cliffhanger. It's sung by Blake Nawa'a with Tony Domenick and Kelsie Bedard on background vocals (August/2022). Here's a link to download the Sheet Music for "Someone Who's Just Like You" to follow along.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Streaming Alsup songs on Deezer

We're getting more and more airplay of April Alsup songs in Europe these days as a result of expanding our streaming audio services to several local providers. Our latest partner is Deezer. They are based in Paris, France and can deliver nearly the entire WYSIWYG soundtrack now. You may have to register, but I think there's a free version with advertising. In any case, when they stream one of April's songs they give her a small royalty.
April Alsup Artist Page on Deezer
Here's an image of some of the songs we found on their website. Deezer has a huge audio streaming catalog with more than 90 million songs, playlists, podcasts and radio channels. So you can discover new music releases from April Alsup, WYSIWYG and/or any of the current trending albums. They even let you create your own library.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Alsup music on Tidal streaming music service

Over the last year or so we've had some inquiries about the availability of my songs on several European streaming audio sites. We weren't as familiar with these music distribution channels, but after a little research we connected with our music distributor and discussed how we could do a better job at making April Alsup songs and music available to as many people as we could. Here's a link to the Tidal network, the company is based in Norway and their streaming audio services are prominent in Scandinavia and Europe.

April Alsup Artist Page on Tidal

TIDAL is a global music streaming platform that tries to bring fans closer to artists through unique experiences and the highest sound quality. You might have to register, but there's a free app version and they do claim to give artists and songwriters (aka me 👩) better royalty percentages. Select the link or image above to access the Alsup artist page on Tidal.

Saturday, July 09, 2022

"Hey Alexa play music by April Alsup"

I was having a manicure the other day when the nail specialist told me her Alexa device was taking requests. I had never tried using an Amazon device before since I've been using Google for that sort of thing at home. Now, bear in mind I do have some Apple devices and use Amazon a lot too. I guess I wondered if Siri and Alexa ever get together to share playlists with Google? 😏
Hey Alexa pay music by April Alsup
Alexa taking requests for April Alsup music 😀

Anyway, just for chagrins, I asked her to ask Alexa to play music by April Alsup and sure enough for the next 45 minutes Alexa shuffled Alsup songs on Amazon music from the official soundtrack of the musical theatre show WYSIWYG. It was really neat and made the whole experience pretty painless, she liked my songs a lot and the time really flew by.

Monday, June 06, 2022

"The Sweet Bell That Tolls" released

Here's a master track of "The Sweet Bell That Tolls". After Ron's quarrel with Denise he heads down to Frank's Tavern to perform at the weekly open mic contest. He really lights the place up and the crowd goes wild! It's sung by Joseph d. Castro with backup vocals from Jody Haught.

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Saturday, May 28, 2022

I'm going to the moon!

NASA's Artemis I will be the first uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The flight paves the way toward landing the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon! Here's your opportunity to join me on this historical flight. Just follow the link below to get your boarding pass and add your name on a flash drive that will fly aboard Artemis.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Mothers Day song release

Here's a link to a song I wrote for my mother. She passed away nearly ten years ago, but I still think about her all the time. She always encouraged me and would often say that "my someday will come". I added "if only in my mind" recently. It seemed only appropriate to distribute it to the streaming music services on Mothers Day. It's sung by Blake Nawa'a and David Traugh provided the orchestration. We finished it up in April 2022.

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Sunday, May 01, 2022

Canvas Rebel Interview

Here's a link to a short interview with me and the folks at Canvas Rebel Magazine. My shows are picking up some momentum now that theaters are opening up again, but this article is really more about the inspiration that happens behind the scenes with music theater projects. I'm glad they used material from my early life in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Canvas Rebel Interview
It's always interesting to see which parts of these interviews the publisher decides to use. I think Canvas Rebel tries to focus on the things that creative people undertake that might be beneficial for others who are dealing with similar issues and/or circumstances; in any case, it's nice that they draw attention to the human moments too.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Playing Scottish Cèilidh music on accordion

Last Saturday was a milestone! I played my first Cèilidh, well sort of. Here's what happened; some local theater friends volunteered to learn how to dance at a Cèilidh while I played the accordion. Back in 2019, after a short visit to the Isle of Eigg, a small island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, I decided to incorporate Scottish Cèilidh music into a music theatre show about the island. I worked with several professional accordionists on Skype during the Pandemic. Mike Aman owns Monarch Accordions and we worked on my repertoire and technique. His accordion orchestras are legendary and his daughter is a national accordion champion. Sandy Brechin is in Edinburgh and he's one of Scotland's best known Cèilidh accordionists.

Cèilidh Dance Training

In any case, earlier this year it felt like it was time to come out of the woodwork so I reached out to several local organizations specializing in Scottish dance and one of them connected me with a Scottish couple living in Colorado who were involved with Cèilidh dancing in Scotland. We had a Skype call to discuss the specifics and penciled in a date to get together. Everyone was eager to participate and learn more about the dances and the culture behind them too. Playing the music was the easy part and everything seemed to flow naturally. We played tune sets for a Gay Gordon, a Reel and a Jig and it was so much fun! 🎭

Friday, April 22, 2022

"Live for Today" released

Here's a master track of "Live for Today". During the first therapy session Denise explains to the group that her husband is the one that has driven her to seek consultation and that she can't get the images of him dressed like a woman out of her mind. Mark tries to help with a simple counting exercise and she admits that when she goes online and flirts with other men her problems seem to fade away. It's sung by Sienna Stocky with Mark and Luke Colombo singing the backup vocals.

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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Alsup songs on YouTube Music

YouTube has been around for a long time. It started out as a streaming video service and over the years it's been trying to figure out how to best serve musicians and their listeners. I remember creating videos with a single image so I could upload a song to YouTube; eventually, Google Play came along, but it was discontinued in 2020 and customers had to migrate their music to Google Music instead. Today, YouTube Music behaves like most streaming music sites and it's free to use, but you'll have to get a YouTube Premium Membership for ad-free listening and/or download music to listen offline, in the background.

Alsup Songs on Google Music
April Alsup songs on YouTube music

Here's the link to the official April Alsup Google music channel. I can't wait to hear from all the Google peeps out there. I'm planning to add more songs each month so please hit the SUBSCRIBE button if you want to stay up-to-date with all my music. Peace! ✌

Monday, March 21, 2022

Introducing April Alsup Radio

I finally got approval for an artist account on Apple music and it includes a radio station for my music. It made me think about how Wolfman Jack would spin 45s for the AM radio in my Chevy back in the day. It's amazing how much the landscape for music has changed over my lifetime. It seems like we use our phones and the Internet just as much as records, tapes, CDs and the airwaves to listen to music anymore. In any case, I wish I could hear the Wolfman Jack introduce my latest song...I can hear it now (in a raspy voice), "It's the Sweet Bell that Tolls... coming to April Alsup in West Virginia". 👹