Hello! Wow, it has been quite the year of 2020, hasn’t it? I have so much to share with you.
First of all, I’m happy to report that my new album Central Star is finally here! You can buy it here or here . I’ve been so happy with the feedback and am repeatedly hearing how much the music is helping people process and cope with difficult times. Heart full!
You can also stream from your favorite platform such as Spotify, Itunes, Amazon Music, etc. Or, simply say, “Alexa. Play Paula Dreyer Central Star!” Feel free to give me a Spotify follow. I could use some beefing up in that department! 😉 And if you’re so inclined, please help spread the word to friends and family. I would really appreciate it!
Interested in learning how to find freedom through basic improvisation and fulfill your need for an enjoyable creative outlet? I’m offering a free training next week! Participants will receive a free sheet music digital download of a piece from Central Star. You’ll leave with inspiring ideas for you and/or your students.
If you want a really deep dive into improv and yoga and getting into the flow state and gaining a fluid technique, join us regularly in my Piano Flow Intensive for 8 months! Only two spots remain. Shoot me an email if you have questions! It would be my honor to help you flow at the piano and in life.
I think I’ll stop there. I could go on! I’ll leave you with this beautiful video of the free piece participants of the free training will receive. I hope it brings you peace.
Last fall, I was knee deep in booking concerts to promote my upcoming original solo piano album Central Star. I contacted venues all over the country, created a spreadsheet, got my pauladreyer.com website completely revamped, and started reaching for the stars. The first venue to accept was the prestigious Old First Concerts of San Francisco. This was an easier one to book, as I have played there multiple times in the past so I already had a relationship with them. This was an exciting time for me, as it was the first time that I was inquiring about solo performances featuring my own compositions. For the past 20 years, I have performed heavily as a musical band member, an accompanist, orchestral pianist, as a classical chamber musician, a flamenco/latin ensemble performer, and a member of a contemporary chamber jazz ensemble. After years and years of fulfilling musical collaborations, I suddenly found myself in the middle of Central Oregon, as our family decided to leave the city life and retreat to the mountain town of Bend. Without my ties to a musical community, I started creating on my own.
How tired are you of hearing about pivoting during times of Corona? But, we must do it. People all over the world had plans. They had plans, dreams, visions, and goals for 2020. So many of these plans cannot come to fruition, so we must pivot. We can sit and wait. Or, we can roll with it and create new opportunities for ourselves. Did you read my blog post about Resiliency? I was so excited for 2020 and then during the first week of the year, I had some disappointments. I didn’t know it at the time, but that week of disappointments that launched me into 2020 was merely the beginning in a string of events that no one could have possibly imagined. My children home with me 24/7 for months on end? People wearing masks everywhere I turn? My whole teaching world existing purely online? Yoga retreat in Hawaii- cancelled. Concerts in San Francisco and Portland- cancelled. Dance performance set to my music in Miami- cancelled (most likely).
I am not one to sit around and wait for things to happen for me. I believe we have to create opportunities for ourselves. Instead of focusing on the disappointments of what could have or should have been, I am focusing on what can be. I launched my highly successful online Piano Flow Summer Intensive where we learn about improvisation, composition, technique, yoga, and the power of a positive and focused mindset, and I will most likely offer something similar in the fall. I am putting the finishing touches on my album. I am working on a new Little Gems for Piano book and a children’s book about creativity. I am composing new material for internationally renowned pedagogue Tim Topham ‘s inner circle. I was particularly proud of a video I worked on of dancers from all around the world who danced in free form to no music. A dance photographer compiled the video and reached out and asked if I would like to set my music to the video. I thoroughly enjoyed timing my music to the dancers’ energies and movements. Be sure to watch the video below.
I am posting performances from my album and musical meditations regularly on social media. I even performed the whole album on a Facebook Live and invited the neighbors to set up chairs in our front yard. This weekend, I am live streaming the entire album and more from the comfort of my home. Am I disappointed that I don’t get to go down to the bay area, visit with friends and family, perform on a gorgeous Steinway in a beautiful church in front of some of my most treasured community? Absolutely! However, I am taking it with grace and putting forth my greatest effort to perform a beautiful show. I am focusing on how grateful I am to be able to perform it for people all over the world, not simply people in the bay area. If you’d like to “attend”, simply click here.
No one knows how long this pandemic will last and how long public gatherings will be limited, therefore highly impacting the arts. Now, more than ever, we must find a way to speak our voice, to express our creativity, and to touch souls through our gifts. The world from just a few months ago looks very different from today. How can you adjust to this new reality and still find a way to shine your light? It might not be in an ideal way, but it sure beats sitting in the dark and waiting for things to change. I have really enjoyed watching documentaries lately about musicians- John Coltrane, Quincy Jones, Linda Rondstadt, and currently Bob Dylan. This is my favorite line from Bob:
“Life isn’t about finding yourself or finding anything, life is about creating yourself.” ~Bob Dylan
To say I am excited to collaborate with well- known choreographer Kevin Jenkins in Miami in November of 2020 is an understatement. Kevin perfectly interprets my music in his unique and innovative style and uses incredible dancers to carry out his vision. His choreography gives me the chills and moves me like no other dance experience has. He is also a very kind and warm soul and I feel so honored to have him share my music with the dance world.
This video showcases Ballet 5:8, a dance company in Chicago. They will perform Kevin’s program, including 20 minutes of my works, in March 2020. This video is quite moving. No pun intended. 🙂
Please give a warm welcome to the new website and a new logo! I wanted the logo to include a subtle hint of piano, as well as the natural elements of the moon and the stars. The font choice of Philosopher was an added bonus, as I am always game to sit and philosophize. Take note, www.littlegemsforpiano.com contains all of the ordering information, audio, and videos for my Little Gems books. For the new site, I would like to give a special thanks to the artistic photographer Benjamin Edwards for his beautiful shots from Smith Rock. He executed my vision perfectly!
Lots of new beginnings are happening over here in my musical and personal world. After 20 years and with mixed emotions, my family and I finally left the San Francisco Bay Area and moved up to tranquil Bend, Oregon. I still visit the bay regularly for teaching, performing, and connecting with friends and family. Musically, I am creating loads of new music on my new Steinway, getting involved in the music scene in Bend, and collaborating with choreographer Kevin Jenkins and SF based visual artist extraordinaire Adrian Arias. Together and apart, we are coordinating various innovative performance and recording projects. Stay tuned!
I hope you enjoy exploring the new site. Some new features are the commissions page if you’re interested in being involved in the creation of a new work, tour schedule, mailing list, and the press kit. Stay tuned for details about the upcoming release of my new solo original album Central Star, expected to be released in early 2020! Take a listen to the playlist at the bottom of each page (another new feature) for a sneak preview of the album. Happy listening!