Lisa Robbin Young // Dream On. Aerosmith cover. #300songs

About 18 months ago, I met this kid, Des. He's got an amazing gift for playing piano. Watching him perform is like watching God sit at the piano... It's almost like Des isn't even there... just music direct from the Divine.

I was looking for an arranger. For this song, in particular. For a few years - ever since I'd heard Michael Buble's version of "Feelin' Good" - I'd wanted to take "Dream On" and do it in a similar style. The song is so timeless. It speaks generation after generation, and has always been a powerful song - one of Aerosmith's classics.

But not everyone likes the screaming guitars of rock music, so there are a lot of people that have never heard the depth of these lyrics. To me, that's one of the powerful pieces of popular music - the story of the lyrics. This was actually the first song that got me thinking about a style of music that is no seeing a larger audience and a broader range of artists - like Buble', Postmodern Jukebox, and more.

We worked back and forth for several months before we got an arrangement that worked. It's been about a year since we finished it, and it remained unperformed. Written for a full instrumental ensemble, we simply didn't have an ensemble to perform it.

I couldn't stand not letting the world hear it. So I asked Des back into the studio, and he condensed the entire song to a single sticky note, and played the entire piece in two takes.

Yes. Two. He's that good.

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It started innocently, as revolutions often do.

I've been working (and re-working) my branding and messaging for the past year, and nothing really seemed to hit the mark. I dove into course after course that offered bits and pieces of what I was hoping would help me craft a clearer direction for me as both an artist and entrepreneur. As usual, some were better than others. While class is still in session in at least one of those programs, I want to update you on a major ah-ha I got from Revolution U579, the brainchild of author and all-round good guy, Jonathan Fields.

"You say you want a revolution? Well...."

It probably sounds better when the Beatles sing it.  Jonathan's premise is that instead of creating a business, we can create a commercial revolution that sets us apart in our industry as well as in the minds of our biggest fans. We stand for something bigger than just the "stuff" we sell.

That sounds like a pretty sexy idea to me. 

RevU takes you through a series of exercises and prompts to ultimately identify the core idea of your revolution. Jonathan asks what you're moving away from and what will supplant the old dictatorial regime. For me, it boiled down to one simple idea:

When we stop dreaming, we start dying.

As kids, our hearts are full of whimsical fantasies and never-ending stories about our biggest dreams. Firemen, princesses580, becoming a rock star. We keep on dreaming until, one day, something happens, or someone else enters our lives and slowly, those dreams get squashed, squelched, or otherwise relegated to some dusty corner in the attic of our minds581... often to never be revisited again.

motivational-quote_152264-1582That's when death begins. It's slow, plodding, and sad. Most of the time, we don't even realize it's happening to us. Someone tells us we're too loud, or too enthusiastic, or a bit obnoxious about our dream, so we turn the volume down. Little by little, (more…)