May: FiddlerNotes – Slow it Down…

Which is not the reference you think it is, unless you’re WAY into K-Pop! 

Wait, I didn’t really use a turn signal there, did I.  OK, let me back up and fill in the gaps.  Or, at least try to.  

Being a performing musician with a day job and a pair of ridiculously awesome teens still in school, there’s not a ton of concerts that hit the local-ish scene that I can feasibly get to, so I can MAKE music, but rarely outside of a bit of St. Patrick’s Day  do I get to SEE and HEAR music that isn’t mine.

Part of my Word for the year (go check the January FiddlerNotes for more info!) is getting out and seeing more things.  That could be concerts, the zoo, hitting a museum…basically going and experiencing more of the world and life around me.  This also helps the music because experiencing all those things?  They inspire.  They add new and interesting shapes in my brain.  They make the music that’s already there bend and twist into new forms, gives me ways to speak with the notes that weren’t there before.  

I’ve already started in February with opening for Jim Pipkin’s CD release then making the time to listen through to the end of the show. Then we went to the Mia X Ally concert a couple weeks later.  My brain?  She is full of music to write.   What also helps is listening to a ton of different genres of music, finding inspiration from other places and modes of sound.

The next concert?  Scheduled anyway? Ateez.

Any of y’all say gesundheit will get Fished. 

Ateez is a K-Pop (Korean Pop) boy band.  Eight members, all ridiculously good vocalists, writers, choreographers, dancers and performers.

‘But Elf,’ You say, ‘A quick Google shows that there’s tons of money behind Kpop bands and that’s why they’re so successful.’  Normally I would agree with you, but this time, you’d kinda be wrong, at least at first.  KQ Entertainment was, and in a ton of ways still is, super tiny.  Like when Kim Hongjoong (last name goes first) auditioned for the company to form a team there were a TOTAL of eight employees. Not counting him.  He gathered his members, and they performed anywhere there was space.  Schools, Libraries, parks.  The street corner…anywhere.  And KQ?  Didn’t want them at first.  They gave Hongjoong Herculean tasks.  And he knocked each one out of the park.  The management finally admitted defeat and let the group debut in 2018.

In April of 2024, they were the first KPop boy band to headline at Coachella.  And boy did that venue have NO CLUE what to do with them.  There are videos from around Coachella where you could hear the fan chants at Every. Single. Stage.  It was sheer dumb luck that all other stages were in between sets when Ateez hit the stage.   They *just* (shortly before I started writing this) released advanced sales for the US leg of their world tour.  I’m SO freakin’ excited to go!!!

First, CONCERT *happy dance* Second, these guys are heckin’ inspiring and to be able to go and support another artist’s music is SO GOOD.

It’s more than that, more than the deluge of dopamine and serotonin that the concert is going to be.  These eight started from *nothing* and they worked their butts off to get to where they are now.  It’s so much dedication, so much time.  They are, by the ages of somewhere between 24 and 26, where I eventually want to get.  Yes, they have a management team and everything NOW but they didn’t start there.

Now, I don’t necessarily want to be doing huge arena shows. BUT I do want to get to the point where our music is making a broad impact.  Is brightening people’s lives.  Is what someone reaches for when they’re having a rough go at it.  Is making someone sit and hit refresh a dozen times to try and get good seats at the concert, or trying to get in to the festival we’re performing at. 

I guess this rambles around to say I want to make a difference.  I want our music to make a difference, person to person, band to fan to listener.  Ateez DOES that (seriously their fans, called ATINY, are a huge pile of actual cinnamon rolls) and to go see a group that is so inspiring is core to improving and evolving my, and in turn, the band’s music.

To clarify that last bit, No.  We’re not becoming a kpop band.

Might convince the guys to do a couple songs tho!

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