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A Christmas gift for you

22 Dec

I know I promised you an update on Jade. I haven’t forgotten, I swear! A proper post requires some time to sit down and focus, though, and I’m hoping to get some of that over the holidays. But she’s doing great and has had a very exciting month.

I’m just stopping by today to share a song with you. I recorded it last week with my friend Daniel and you can download for free from my music website: fawnfritzen.com/a-christmas-gift-for-you/

It was such fun to record. I hope you enjoy it! Merry merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones from me and mine.

P.S. If you are looking for more Christmas music, there’s always the little tune I wrote in 2009.

Heintzmann & Co.

24 Nov

Since I mentioned it yesterday, I thought I’d show you that new piano of mine. It doesn’t have fancy carved scrollwork, but it’s in great shape and sounds beautiful.

1390636_10153350913915012_410038589_n (1)

And I’m also due to make a post about Jade and her exciting new world of food possibilites…

 

A landmark day

7 Mar

(Reblogged from http://fawnfritzen.com/a-landmark-day)

I’m exhausted, but I can’t go to bed yet. I’m ensconced in my home-away-from-home, Easter Seal House in Vancouver. In the morning, I’ll be taking my daughter for her regular neurology appointment. She hasn’t had a seizure in almost three years, but the fight against her epilepsy isn’t entirely over yet. In preparation for her EEG, she has to be sleep-deprived… which means Mama has to be sleep-deprived, too.

Ah well, no different from any other night, really.

And it was such a wonderful day. The sun was shining in a blue sky in Whitehorse. Jade was a delightful travel companion on our flight down to Vancouver; she charmed everyone around her with her happy chatter and questions.

And some other exciting things happened, too.

I got a message first thing this morning from a local woman who does a show on the local French CBC radio station; she wanted to play a song from my upcoming album and promote the release concert. I got another e-mail from a producer who broadcasts for CBC North out of Montreal and I will be doing an interview with her early next week.

So that was fun.

Then, while I was downtown running some super-quick errands in preparation for the trip, I decided to pick up a copy of our local entertainment magazine, What’s Up, Yukon. Turns out, this issue contains a review of my album. And I’m thrilled with the review. (I’ll put a link up here once it’s available.)

THEN! When Jade and I boarded our Air North flight, I pulled out the in-flight magazine, Yukon North of Ordinary. I’ve been so busy, I hadn’t had time to see if the Spring issue was out yet. So it was pretty thrilling to open up the magazine to page 79 and find this:

Yukon North of Ordinary

The article was written by local journalist / blogger / amazing mother of three (soon to be four!) Sarah Niman, and I can’t believe how much information she packed into two pages. (I’ll put an electronic copy of that up sometimes soon, too.)

THEN!!

I arrived at Easter Seal House and found that the four boxes I was expecting here had indeed been delivered. Here’s what’s inside those boxes:

Bedroom Voice CDs ready

Hot off the presses!

Just over a week left before the album release, and I have a gigantic to-do list to wrestle into submission. But it will happen. And, you know, that will be an amazing day, too.

Song Rise

20 Nov

Song Rise PosterThis Saturday, I’m going to be part of a fantastic concert!

I don’t think I mentioned it before — whoops! — but my original song I’m a Fool for You was chosen by a jury to be part of Yukon Women in Music‘s newest CD.

(Just look at the artwork! Isn’t it gorgeous? The painting in the background was donated by local artist Emma Barr.)

The gorgeousness keeps going inside the album, too. Fourteen songs are on it, in all sorts of styles, and I can’t stop listening to it.

And you can hear them all live at the Yukon Arts Centre this Saturday evening. I’m so excited, I could bust!

There’ll also be a reception afterward, so you can have your CD signed by your favourite artists and view the original painting by Emma Barr. (Which, by the way, will be going up for auction in a month or two.)

You can get your tickets on the Arts Centre website or by phoning the box office at 667-8574.

(Our last CD release concert sold out, so do get your tickets!)

Now, should I go with the long red gown… or the crazy colour-shifting shoes…?

The next step

17 Oct

I never got around to telling you why I had such a long absence here over the summer. I didn’t even tell you about our trip to Thailand. (!!!!)

That’s because all my online time was getting sucked into this:

Fawn Fritzen Music Website Screen Shot

That there is a screenshot of the front page of my website. I poured myself into it for a couple of months. I had a pretty clear plan of what I wanted when I started, so I figured it wouldn’t take long, but… well, you know how it goes, right?

So my new website is where my other blog lives, of course, and it’s also the place where I post upcoming shows. I’m going to add a store once my album is ready.

Oh right, did I mention? I’m going to be in the recording studio starting this Friday. THIS FRIDAY!!!! So yeah, there’s a lot of work that has been going into that, too. (I’m going to tell you a secret: I’m excited, but I’ve got big butterflies. GIANT butterflies.)

One of my very favourite things about my new site is that there’s a spot on it for you to sign up for my newsletter. I am very excited about this! And I’d LOVE for YOU to sign up for my newsletter! I’m planning to send out the very first issue next week, with stories about how recording is going, photos of the work happening in the studio, and other fun stuff that I won’t post anywhere else. So you’ll totally be part of an exclusive club. (Besides that, when you sign up, you get a free download of one of my songs.)

So that’s where I’ve been between the end of Frantic Follies season and the beginning of my Nunavut/Ottawa tour. I’m about to plunge headlong into the next step of my music career, and I’ll come up for air here when I can. It’s been quite a journey here, hasn’t it? I feel like I’ve been so many different people on this blog — newlywed up north, Yukon transplant, new mother, grieving mother, health advocate, ketogenic cook, gluten-free cook, musician… Thank you for coming along for the ride.

A few disjointed thoughts…

20 Jan

On Decisiveness

Michael’s been pretty sick this past week and a half with a doozy of a virus that just won’t quit. It’s left him drained in the evenings, occasionally to comic effect. Yesterday evening when I asked him if he was going to band practice, he gave me this unequivocal answer. “No! Maybe… Yes. I don’t know.” Yes, that actually came out of his mouth.

(He went.) (And played between bouts of coughing.)

On Health

I’ve been wondering for a while if I have hyperthyroidism; there’s some history of it in my family. I have many of the symptoms (irritability, insomnia, fatigue, sweating, increased appetite… and did I mention irritability?) but don’t have many others (intolerance to heat, hair loss, weight loss…). I had a doctor’s checkup yesterday (you know, that yearly thing we ladies need to do) but the doctor was running a bit late so there wasn’t time to discuss signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, as I hadn’t done any research before going.  The only thing I already knew about hyperthyroidism is that it can make one irritable.  (Theme? What theme?)

Last night, I wondered if I should call the doctor to ask about adding a thyroid function test to the routine bloodwork he was sending me for.  When I looked at the lab requisition, guess what was already checked off? “Suspected thyroid disease, not yet diagnosed.” So, was that just a coincidence, or did the doctor notice something he didn’t mention to me? Either way, kinda freaky.

On Cold Weather

It’s been a deep freeze around here all week, with temps dropping down between -35 and -40 °C. Yesterday, I was driving home along Robert Service Drive, which runs along the Yukon River, in the semi-twilight. The sky was a beautiful dark blue, and one star (actually, I suspect it was a planet…  I don’t know enough about these things) shone brightly directly above the cliffs. The road was perfectly clear, but above the river, the ice fog rose up straight and still. Looking out the driver’s window, my eyes hit that thick fog and gave me the feeling of driving next to a wall, most jarring when one expects to look out across the water. Very eerie and very cool at the same time.

On Improvising Crafts

Halia is on a painting kick.  I have a plastic egg carton that I use to portion out small amounts of tempera paint and she goes to town on a stack of scrap paper.  Last week, I had no yellow left and was running low on red, so we improvised. I had a jar of ModPodge and figured it was a good “white base” with the right consistency. So I filled three egg compartments halfway with ModPodge and let Halia mix drops of food-colouring in. This is great for working those hand muscles AND for a counting exercise. (No more than TWO drops, Halia. No, I said TWO. THAT was four.) Then a Q-Tip in each compartment for mixing, and we had beautiful colours that dry to a glossy finish.  The only problem with it is that the pages DO get sticky. And ModPodge doesn’t easily wash out of clothes once its dried, so smock up the kids!

On Being a Special-Needs Mom

None of us has enough hours in the day. I don’t care how simple your life is, these days we’re very good at filling up every minute with stuff we “have to” do.  Sometimes I have to stop to remind myself that it is literally impossible to do it all. Yes, I would love for the dishes be done every night, the beds made every morning, and the laundry folded and put away every afternoon, but the only way I could accomplish that would be to give up on everything that makes my life exciting.

Now, Jade does have special needs. But she’s loving school so much and growing intellectually by leaps and bounds, and besides that, one day we’ll be able to wean her off the keto diet, so I feel there’s nothing for me to complain about. But sometimes, I have to stop to remind myself that there is extra work involved. I don’t just mean preparing her meals and snacks. On good days, I can make three meals and two snacks for her in about half an hour. When it’s suppertime, assuming I have the ingredients on-hand, I can make her meal in about five minutes.

But there’s other stuff. Like dragging her to audiologist and ENT appointments that start three hours after they’re scheduled.  Doing paperwork to get funding for some respite, or to cover the few medications she’s on (all of them for combatting side-effects of the keto diet). Spending literally seven hours trying to get a prescription for antibiotics to combat an ear infection, because the antibiotics must contain fewer than 100 milligrams of carbohydrate over the course of the day. And then there’s the occupational therapy activities we’re supposed to do every day. Balance, hand strength, core strength… How do you fit that in between the end of school, downtime, and making supper?  Even if it’s just for 15 minutes? I don’t, that’s how.

On Succinctness

Yep, this post isn’t it. Whoops. Didn’t mean to ramble on so. Look, I can’t even stop when I’m talking about being succinct.

A little bit bad

24 Nov

The downside to songwriting is that the dishes don’t get done.  But I can always catch up with the dishes, right?

Besides, as my friend (and fellow-songwriter) Richard says, “It’s nice to be creative, making something that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you, and it’s (hopefully) pretty, with no carbon footprint, and it might even inspire people or make them dance.”

I’ve posted a video of the latest tune I’ve been working on.  (I put it up on my Facebook fan page — have you “Liked” it yet?)  It’s so much fun to share a work in progress, so let me know what you think!

(And by the way, yes, Michael is currently in Russia. But don’t feel like you have to take the lyrics literally. *winks*)

Julie London in Whitehorse

1 Nov

Jazz in the Hall, November 3, 2011

Tonight is the final rehearsal for the concert I’m giving at the Old Fire Hall on Thursday.  I am thrilled and excited and totally battling butterflies.

Once a month from September to May, Jazz Yukon holds “Jazz in the Hall”.  It starts with an “educational vignette” by Steve Gedrose (who used to have a jazz show on CBC radio), then there’s a 45-minute set by a professional local jazz group.  Then there’s a jazz jam to close off the night.  This month, I’m the featured act.

The butterflies are pretty significant because not only am I being billed as The Professional Act of the month, but the whole concert is going to be recorded and videotaped.  That ups the ante right there.  I’m trying not to think about it too much, though, and just focus on have a great live gig.

Fortunately, I have a fantastic band to back me up.  Dave Haddock on guitar, Anne Turner on upright bass, and Ken Searcy on drums, are an ah-MAZE-ing rhythm section.  Plus we’ll have Colleen McCarthy for a trombone solo on one tune and Lisa Preto on flute for another tune.

I am singing all Julie London tunes; she’s the one who first recorded “Cry Me a River”, which I recorded as a demo this past summer.  If you Google her, you’ll find YouTube videos, of course, and lots of pictures of her in all sorts of fabulous gowns.  I wish I could have a costume change between each song!

So, if you’re in Whitehorse, come on out to a great night of jazz.  If you’re not in Whitehorse, send some good vibes my way on Thursday night, would ya?

The music fills my life

25 Oct

It’s noon and I’m still in pajamas.  Jade is at school.  Halia smells of blueberry shampoo.  I’m thinking about my rehearsal tonight, the gala dinner I’m playing music for tomorrow, the piano students I’ll be teaching right before that, the logistics of getting changed and over to the venue, the e-mails I have to send about the music showcases I organized last week…

When I quit my job in June, I was looking forward to a more balanced life.  One where I could feel like I was doing a good job as a mother, but still have time to develop myself as a musician.

Blogging has taken a backseat because in the wake of shedding my employed life, a thousand music-related things have rushed in.  I have never played so many gigs, attended so many workshops, organized so many shows, as I have in the past three months.

I’m not complaining, I’m just sort of stunned.

As I’ve been telling friends, I apparently still need to learn how to say no once in a while.  I thought quitting my job was a huge “NO” to things that fill up my life, but I’m learning there are still NOs I need to say.  I’m so excited to have all this good stuff happening to me, but still need to realize I can’t do it all.  And after attending the BreakOut West conference this past weekend (Read about it here on my new music blog.  As an aside, I feel like I have to find a new voice for that…) I am feeling I need to pick up the blogging ball again.  I’ve missed it, you know.

So, raise your cup (coffee for me) and let’s drink to the idea of finding balance, finding the “right” mix of music and mothering.  I might never achieve it, but I’ll give it my darndest.

Fawn at Arts in the Park 2011

7 Jun

Arts in the Park, June 14, 2001, LePage Park, noon to 1. Featuring Fawn Fritzen with Marg Tatam on piano.  Hot vocal jazz in the summer sun.

Here’s one of the projects that is keeping me busy this month: rehearsing for a one-hour set at Arts in the Park next week.

Please keep your fingers crossed for good weather, as this is an open-air concert!  The show will go on, though, come rain or come shine.

Spread the word!  And if you’re in Whitehorse, I would love to see you there.

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