Ragon Linde

LIVE ALBUM RELEASE!

 

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016!! 

2015 was an important year in my musical and professional growth!  With the release of my sophomore studio album, Under the Covers, I was able to bring a long-term goal to fruition.  In that, I was able to mark a milestone in my development as a vocalist, arranger, and recording artist.  Following the release of Covers, I was able to share these songs with many of you in several differing performance settings.  This process culminated with two late fall concerts, evenings which I shall cherish for a long time to come!  The title of this live album, "With Babies and Dogs", is recognition to the loving and intimate surroundings that you, my dear friends, provided me as 

AlbumCoverI had the privilege of presenting these pieces.  I am humbled and energized by the support you have given me.  This record is for you!

With Babies and Dogs includes live versions of all 16 tracks from Under the Covers and new live arrangements of 5 tunes from my debut album, Both Sides of the Story. In addition, the album concludes with 2 live bonus improvisational pieces featuring member of the Portland Eclectic Music Society! 

With Babies and Dogs is available now for digital download only from the following distributors: 

CD BABY: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ragonlinde3

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/with-babies-and-dogs/id1077658524

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3UHMaGuQ7PvP4QbzShAnnT

 Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AYPBNE2?ie=UTF8&keywords=Ragon%20Linde&qid=1453788000&ref_=sr_1_1&s=dmusic&sr=1-1-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0

BandCamp: http://ragonlinde.bandcamp.com/album/with-babies-and-dogs

 

Track Listing

  1. Fake Plastic Trees* - Radiohead and featuring Saffire Bouchelion
  2. Enjoy the Silence* - Depeche Mode and featuring Saffire Bouchelion
  3. At Seventeen* - Janice Ian and featuring Saffire Bourchelion and Conifer Linde
  4. Hallelujah* - Leonard Cohen and Featuring Saffire Bouchelion
  5. The Eternal Shore Pt1 – Ragon Linde and A. Molotkov
  6. Mood for a Day* - Steve Howe
  7. Love on the Rocks* - Neil Diamond
  8. Crying* - Roy Orbison
  9. Child Inside – Ragon Linde, Scott Butler, and Cayla Butler
  10. Baker Street* - Gerry Rafferty
  11. Sunken Waltz* - Calexico and featuring Charlie Kersch
  12. On My Way Back Home – Ragon Linde and Scott Butler
  13. Losing It*  - Rush
  14. Transcendent Love – Ragon Linde, Scott Butler, Cayla Butler
  15. Helplessly Hoping* - Crosby Stills & Nash
  16. Space Oddity* - David Bowie
  17. Praludium IV* - Dmitri Shostakovich and featuring Laura Stahman
  18. Time* – Pink Floyd and featuring Dave Unitan and Charlie Kersch
  19. Turn on a Dime – Ragon Linde
  20. Midnight Radio* - Big Head Todd and the Monsters
  21. Let’s Count Silences - Ragon Linde and A. Molotkov and featuring Linda Jo Reinhard
  22. Tangled Mess (Bonus Track1) – Portland Eclectic Music Society
  23. Let it Go (Bonus Track2) - Portland Eclectic Music Society

*Used by Permission

 

November 2015 Newsletter

 

Greetings my friends and I hope the fall season finds you in a place of gratitude, peace, and creative thinking!  I know I have so much to be thankful for in my life right now and I want to share a few of those things with you today.

Upcoming Show - UNDER THE COVERS LIVE!                               

This coming Saturday, November 14th, I will be presenting a very special concert at Vox Academy.  I will be performing all 16 songs from my latest album, "Under the Covers" in a 2 set format.  As many of you know, I have been studying voice at Vox for over 4 years.  Vox is a unique and special place serving the needs of Portland through healthy vocal exploration and instruction, as well as providing healing outreach to the community.  I am also a member of the Healing Voices Choir at Vox and we do several outreach performances throughout the city each year.  Vox is a 501(c) non-profit organization.  As part of giving back to Vox for what has been such a blessing in my life for the last several years, all proceeds from this concert will go to support the continuing mission that Vox provides.  To learn more about the mission of Vox Academy, please visit their website at http://voxacademy.org/

I am so lucky to be joined in this special performance by Saffire Bouchelion, Conifer Linde, Charlie Kersch, Linda Jo Reinhard, Laura Stahman, and David Unitan.  We will be filming and recording this performance and have made arrangements for special lighting, and a fantastic "Black Box" viewing experience.  I am so looking forward to this event next week and I hope that all of my Portland friends will be able to join me!  Following are the event details:

When - Saturday November 14th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Location - Vox Academy
Address - 5101 SE 17th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97202
Suggested Donation - $10 - $20 benefitting Vox Academy
Event Link - https://www.facebook.com/events/1705145579705873/

 

Reverb Nation:

I am excited that since the release of "Under the Covers" I have been making nice traction on the Social Media/Indie Music site ReverbNation and as of this week I broke into the Top 20 (#13 as of today!) of local Portland Artists.  Check out my page and Fan Me!  :)  I will be honest in that I don't perform with rankings in mind and I do take this with a few grains of salt.  That being said, it is kind of fun to be gaining a little exposure and getting to connect with some new friends and great musicians in the Portland area and around the world!  You can view my ReverbNation page at https://www.reverbnation.com/ragonlinde?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav.

 

 

Recording Tech Nerd Out!:Zoom

For those of you that like to discuss and read about the technology behind recording audio, I wanted to share a little about our plan to record my upcoming show at Vox.  As you may know, video camera's do leave a little to be desired in terms of their ability to capture a good audio representation of a performance.  There are many factors that play into this such as ambient room noise and inability to isolate individual tracks.  For this performance, we plan to use two Zoom H4n hand-held recorders shown here.  One will be taking an audio feed directly from the mixing board, and one will be recording the ambient room experience from the back of the room.  The plan is to then dump these audio tracks (recorded at 44.1 kHz/24 bit resolution) directly in ProTools where I can combine these and do a little post processing to form the audio track for the video.  Hopefully we can capture some good audio performances from this method and even release some of these songs as Live Tracks and make them available for digital download!  Another method would be to run each individual track into ProTools on site and record each that way.  Based on our event budget and space constraints, we are going to try this method as preliminary testing seems to be yielding a good result.  One thing I learned here is that you need to attenuate the signal coming out of the mixer (a Peavey XR8300 in this case).  For anyone reading this with experience or advice on this live recording method, please reply to this e-mail as I would love to hear your feedback!  To learn more about these recorders, visit the Zoom website at https://www.zoom.co.jp/

Thank you for reading this months newsletter and I hope to see many of you at the Under the Covers Live show next week.  Please lend your support by sharing the links below with your friends and family, and for those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a safe and positive experience!  Finally, if you need musical entertainment for your upcoming holiday party or event, please reply to this e-mail and I would be happy to learn about your needs.  I can provide a variety of original and cover material as well as many holiday favorites! 

 

Fall 2015 Performances

 

Hello and welcome to early Fall!  September went by so quickly and while I have been thinking about some new topics for this months newsletter, I have decided to make this one short and just focus on getting the word out on a couple of exciting performances coming up soon!  

Music of Weill and Sondheim: NW Vocal Yoga Studio Recital:

When - Sunday October 11th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Location - Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church
Address - 247 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, Oregon 97216
Suggested Donation - $10 benefitting Vox Academy
Event Link - https://www.facebook.com/events/1001602163225484/

Branching into new territory, I will be performing, along with many other wonderfully talented singers, at a Recital hosted by my vocal and yoga teacher, Becca Stuhlbarg. This concert will feature music by Kurt Weill and Stephen Sondheim. I will be performing two selections from Sweeney Todd, "My Friends" and "Johanna"!  The talented pianist Jennifer Creek-Hughes will accompany. This is sure to be a fun evening of music! 

Under the Covers - LIVE!

When - Saturday November 14th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Location - Vox Academy
Address - 5101 SE 17th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97202
Suggested Donation - $10 - $20 benefitting Vox Academy
Event Link - https://www.facebook.com/events/1705145579705873/
 

This has been such an exciting year for me releasing my second solo album, Under the Covers. It has been such a great pleasure to share this album with many of you in several different formats and events. Please join me as I will be performing all 16 songs from the album in a special concert setting at Vox Academy.  I am excited to share this music about Finding Meaningful Connection with others in this unique setting and I have invited the following special musical guests to perform with me on various pieces.

 

Saffire Bouchelion - Percusion and Vocals
Charlie Kersch - Vibraphonium and Piano
Connifer Linde - Trumpet
Linda Jo Reinhard - Flute and Vocals
Laura Stahman - Piano
Dave Unitan - Guitar and Vocals
 
Tickets will be sold at the door with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Vox Academy, which is a non-profit vocal education academy.
 
I hope to connect with many of you at these upcoming performances, and please keep me in mind if you need music for your upcoming holiday gatherings.  As always please help me spread the word by sharing the links below with your friends and family! 

Ragon Linde

Connect with me on Social Media:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://ragonlinde.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ragon-Linde/327727310588776

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/LindeRagon

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCalo43ehoz3Nf3nxDA-gjXA 

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/album/0DCrLJfdkJnWxn5yCJfUrU

Apple Music: https://itun.es/us/bloO8 

 

Finding Creative Inspiration Through Practice

 

Hello everyone!  I was thinking about discussing practice in this month's newsletter.  However this past weekend on a short trip to Seattle, as I was walking around downtown near the Space Needle, I was also thinking about the concept of inspiration.  When are we actively seeking inspiration, or do we just learn to be open to it at all times?  Then it came to me, is practice just really a form of being creatively inspired?  

Finding Creative Inspiration Through Practice

So for any of us that studied music at any level, and over any length of time, we have all heard about how much more time we need to be spending practicing our instrument.  As a child, we are often practicing so that we can demonstrate to our music teacher that we got a little better at playing whatever they assigned, and our parents won't be embarrassed after the lesson when the teacher tells them that their kid isn't practicing enough. Trust me, I have been that kid, I have been that music teacher, and I have been that parent.  So yes, learning the fundamentals of any creative and/or athletic activity takes repetition - i.e. practice.  But, my experience is that model of practice is flawed and doesn't successfully keep kids engaged over the long run, but instead frustrates them and makes them resent the activity.

 I have been thinking the activity of finding inspiration and engaging in true practice to be one in the same.  For me it is music, but think of the activities that you are truly passionate and care the most about.  Think about the art of being committed to something.  The practice of becoming committed and being engaged is a true source of inspiration.  I think about music all of time when I am not playing it, I am thinking about the business end of my art, my next artistic mission, and what it will take to get there.  And along the way, it will take some practice.  But I now try to look at the practice as not the boring stuff that gets me to some end goal; it IS the journey.  

Learning a new song, set of chords, beat, or anything is a wonderful opportunity to bring out some new phrasing or emphasis on that fundamental that has never been tried before.  The repetition helps it become engrained and second nature.  A part of us.  All of the branches that touch our lives each day seep down deep into our inner being and spark or interact with the jelling's that form our creative output.  And the end result is always an outcome that is unique and adventurous to each of us.  But another deeper form of practice comes from being aware of our lives, surroundings, and inner (emotional) and outer (existential) environments.    It takes practice to be open to that.  Our own unique and personal art forms, they become the practice of our lives, just as the practice of yoga or meditation brings awareness to the deeper parts of our mental and physical states, so does the practice of allowing our art form to encompass who we are, and how we live our lives each and every day.  

I think we spend too much time as children and adults beating ourselves up about not spending enough time practicing, or perhaps getting the desired result by the "recommended" time.  Really those goals are quite arbitrary and not always very helpful.  Personally, I am beginning to allow the word practice to define the warm-ups, rehearsing, jam sessions, trying to get gigs, networking, planning projects, singing in the car, hiking in the woods, sleeping, dreaming, and going to my "day job" everyday - those are all part of my personal practice of being a musician, and husband, a father, a friend, a fan, and an observer.  Those are all part of my practice of trying to live my own mission in life, and hopefully sometimes I can capture that and express that in one musical form or another from time to time.  My hope is to approach practice with a sense of open curiosity and as setting the inspiration for creativity, the final result, the fun stuff - the reason we all do what we do! 

 

So what am I trying to uncover?

 

Having just recently completed an album of mostly cover songs, I thought I would tackle the topic of artists recording and performing cover songs. My own experience with this topic begins from working as a musician in Oklahoma.  There it seemed hard to get gigs if you didn't play cover songs that sounded like the originals.  Moving to Portland, I have found the opposite to be true.  Many prefer to hear artists that do primarily original material.  Instead of spending the entire article on the merits of either model, I wanted to explore the topic of when did it become an expectation that performers create their own material?  It seems to be an expectation of rock artists that you don't see in many other musical genres.  Many, but not all, pop and country performers rely on professional composers and arrangers.  Orchestras and choral ensembles do not typically present original pieces unless they are commissioning a new work from a contemporary composer.  Folk music has traditionally been passed down through the generations to be re-used to express the human plight.  Jazz ensembles often rely heavily on standards which continue get re-arranged and re-interpreted. Artists such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald relied almost exclusively on arrangers and composers to create the material that they performed.

Music composition and arranging are very different skill sets than singing, playing an instrument, and expressing the emotion of a song.  So when did we expect that to be a legitimate rock artist today musicians had to excel in all of these areas at once? Don't get me wrong; there are countless performers and bands that are very good in both areas.  However, have we diluted the quality of composition and musicianship in the process?

Another point I have often thought about is that when an artist stops performing, does that mean that their music should not have the opportunity to be performed by others?  We would not consider a symphony orchestra to be unoriginal because they are performing the music of Mozart.  So why would we consider pop/rock act to be unoriginal for performing music of the Beatles?

I don't pretend to know the "right" answer.  I guess this also begs the existential question of does one actually create music or is the music just another entity that just uses the composer as a means of getting written down?  

It is important though if an artist does choose to record and perform cover tunes that one legally obtain the performance rights so that the original composer or their estate is properly compensated for their work!

For my second CD release I had my own reasons for choosing to do cover songs.  My first two personal goals on this album were to improve my technique as a vocalist and also as a recording engineer.  I spent a few years working in group and individual voice classes and lessons on the first item while also investing in better recording tools, re-creating my recording space, and incorporating some valuable lessons and feedback with regard to recording technique (these will all likely be topics of future newsletters). My third goal was to improve as a songwriter, and I decided that working with some great, established songs and re-arranging them based on the emotional response that those songs triggered within me would be a good way to become better versed in what it takes to create well composed music. 

A big musical influence to me throughout my life has been the late Michael Hedges (http://www.nomadland.com/Point_A.htm). One of the most thrilling parts of his live shows were the eclectic covers that he sprinkled in the midst of his sonically rich original material.  In the future, I look forward to again recording and performing original music and have many ideas already in the works!  However based on the joy I felt in the experience of recording Under the Covers, I know that in the future I will surely incorporate cover songs that resonate with me personally and that will hopefully complement and enhance my musical catalog!   

 

Under the Covers Release

 

Hello my dear friends and supporters and welcome to my first newsletter! 

Today, it is with great joy and gratitude that I announce the release of my second album - UNDER THE COVERS!  This work represents the apex of several years of work whereby I have received loving assistance, support, advice, and general encouragement from many of you, some of whom contributed their wonderful talents to various pieces on this record. 

As the title suggests, this record is a collection of 15 beautiful cover songs that I have chosen based on their individual meaning to me and the place they each hold in my heart.  In addition there is one original bonus song at the end of the album called LETS COUNT SILENCES that I co-wrote with a dear friend and artistic collaborator, A. Molotkov.  The general theme of UNDER THE COVERS is one of reaching out for connection with others, one that I think we can all relate to.  

You can now purchase UNDER THE COVERS from CD Baby using the link http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ragonlinde2 or from iTunes searching under Ragon Linde.  If you have subscribed to the free 3-month Apple Music trial, you can stream the entire album using the link https://itun.es/us/bloO8.  

For my friends in and around Portland, I want to also invite you to come celebrate the release of UNDER THE COVERS with me at the Analog Cafe on Sunday August 16th.  The show starts at 6:30 p.m. and you can save money by purchasing advanced tickets at https://tickets.aftonshows.com/RagonLinde.  

Over the coming days and weeks, I will be speaking further on the making of this record, the reasons why I selected these songs, and mentioning some of the individual contributions from many of you in the recording and production of these songs. You can follow these discussions on Facebook.

Again, my warmest gratitude to each of you for your interest and support. If you like what you hear, please help me spread the word by sharing these links with your friends and family! 

Ragon Linde

 

Connect with me on Social Media!

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://ragonlinde.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ragon-Linde/327727310588776

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/LindeRagon

 YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCalo43ehoz3Nf3nxDA-gjXA

 

RIP Chris Squire of Yes

 

Along with being a bass hero and prog music favorite and pioneer, Chris Squire was also a great person and loved meeting fans. I had the opportunity to meet Chris and the rest of Yes at a fan event before a show in California in 2001 on the Magnification tour. He brought that same energy and joy of his playing to his interactions with all the fans that day.  For further information on Chris Squire, please visit yesworld.com