Give The Gift Of Music!

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Is it the weather? (This has been one of the best Novembers I can remember). Is it me? Or (fill in the blank)…? I’m not sure, maybe a combination of many things, but I know that Thanksgiving came up on me so fast that I just haven’t been able to get “in the Spirit” or “in the Holiday mood”, and now it’s here! So I thought to myself “I’ll get my Christmas EP – Christmas The Reason and pop it in the CD player”, (don’t laugh, I still like CDs, hey, I even love vinyl!). And there it came. The mood, the Spirit, which is why I recorded it in the first place. The contemplative place I like to be when Christmastime is upon us. Phew, that was close. I was beginning to think I’d grown numb to what should be one of the greatest times of the year. So as I reflect on it’s meaning again, I am thankful this Thanksgiving weekend for the gift of music and how it is transcendent to time, places, people, etc. That is awesome!

As we prepare ourselves for the day we call Christmas I want to encourage you to take some “you” time and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and how it affects you, and how you respond to it. It always puts things into perspective for me because all the hype, parties, and “I want’s” can cloud the truth pretty doggone quick!

So I am thankful this Thanksgiving as a listener and a writer/player. It’s the combination of just the right notes and memories that can give meaning and perspective to a time that means so much.

Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas!

Rhon –

Visit this link to listen and purchase Christmas – The Reason  

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Good Friday Spent “In The Quiet”

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Today is the day. The day that we call Good Friday. A day to be quiet and remember. Remember what The Cross is all about and my reaction to it. I am posting the Official video of In The Quiet because this is the day the notes were written for. To take time today to reflect on the crucifixion in a quiet place. The inner me, my Spirit. May it be a blessing to you!

– Rhon

“Shouting About The Quiet”

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http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rhonvanerman4

Yes! Yippee! Thank you God! Woo-Ho!

Well, that was my first reaction when my song In The Quiet finally posted to iTunes and CD Baby five days after the release date. A lot of hard work goes into every release and it’s always a dichotomy of excitement and unknowing that floods the day. So this was an occasion to shout about something that was meant for quiet time. Hmm, that’s an odd statement, but this release has been just that, not a “normal” release, so I will expound a bit.

First of all, thank you! Thank you to a patient God who’s wisdom is beyond the thoughts of man. It was His patience in which I had to rest because mine was about spent. Every time I’m challenged to it, my “A” personality rears it’s ugly…. (no pun intended). To a my Engineer Daryl Powell (Studio D), who always comes through in the clutch. One phone call and a master CD was made and sent over night to my distributor. A woman named Sally, who works at CD Baby, and whom I will probably never meet or speak with personally, but who loaded the full length version of my song to be available to the world. The fans who purchased the song on the original day of release, you are my “Super Fans” that fuel my inspiration further! And to my Angel In Disguise, my wife Tonya. Your embrace and words of encouragement are a blessing I can never repay.

Second of all, I have to say that this has been one of the oddest things I’ve been through. Not only musically, but Spiritually. I have come away with something that my “A” personality really struggles with, but I believe over time is making me what God wants me to be. – “To put my head down and run, only to look forward on the path I’ve been given. Not of it’s outcome, but the wisdom gained that puts me closer to the One who is wise. To let gratefulness over rule expectation, for in this I have truly been blessed”.

Good Friday is April 3rd 2015. I have attached the CD Baby player of the song In The Quiet above for you to contemplate this day and your reaction to the crucifixion of Jesus. I pray that it is a blessing to you. The iTunes player is below (the full version is available but the player only plays a clip), and other digital music retailers will soon have this song available. You can always email me if you have questions about where you wish to purchase this song. I am hoping to have a video of this song by Good Friday so stay tuned. Please share this blog with others and comment below. Thanks for reading and listening!

Blessings,

Rhon –

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/in-the-quiet-single/id976161054

A Stinky Little Word Called Truncate… What?

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Photo Mar 21, 8 08 55 AMRelease day! When all the hard work of writing, copyrighting, recording, blogging, contacting media…(believe me the list is much bigger, but I think you get the point), has come to one moment in time of a few clicks and viola, it’s worldwide! An amazing day each time you have the release of a new song, otherwise known as, “one of your babies”. That’s when it all goes right technically. And with all the data flinging across that little cord from our computer, things really do work pretty well most of the time. It only takes one time when it goes awry to put you into a very uncomfortable position. Well, let me be honest, I was seething! Here’s where and when the release of In The Quiet all came into perspective.

If you don’t know me personally, I’m an “A” personality. I live by goals and schedules and love the Nike slogan, “Just Do It”. So when I’ve done everything on my end and worked my tail off to make it happen, and it doesn’t, that’s not a room you typically want to be in. Again, if you know me, and something is amiss, I’m usually very quite, breathing very deeply and quite often just before the storm finally hits. And in the instance of the release of “In The Quiet”, I had to deal with this stinky little word I’d not been introduced to call Truncate. Okay, so now I’m really hot. What in the world is truncate? It means to shorten, or, cut off at the top or end. In this case, my wonderful musical creation was now worldwide and only 0:48 long and not 2:13. Um, that’s not a good thing!! The icing (or Dairy Queen as I like to call it, Truncate was the cake!), I found this out at 4:30 a.m. EST on release day and couldn’t speak with a human at my distributor until 12:00 p.m. EST. Good times! Here comes the war of human, Spirit, and faith.

Regardless of how firm we are in our faith, we are still human. I struggle with that everyday. And the human part of me was about to cave to circumstance. After all, In The Quiet is a definite leap of faith for me, especially being a slow, moody, contemplative, instrumental, that you have to take quiet time and reflect. In this smart phone driven world, that’s a tough calling. And not every one of my fans may want to even listen because there’s a Cross on the cover. And now, it’s not even half of a song to hear. And at 8:00 a.m. I’m receiving messages that people were buying the song and not getting the full length! Ahhh!!! How could this have happened? What now? Time to cower? I think not!

Thank God not only for his Word, but the encouragement of my wife, friends, and fans!! At just the right time the right words were spoken to me. And the Spirit of peace was alive. How do I react? Just like the song In The Quiet. How do I react to the Cross? Like an “A” personality? Not this time. It was time to let go and let God do the work. Okay, now I’m exhausted (It’s now 2:00 p.m. and I have to prep teaching music). So, the physical may be weary but the Spirit has been filled.

I spoke with my Distributor and clarified the problem and would have to overnight a CD of the song to correct the problem. A true drag at best, but better than canceling the release and starting all over. Especially since Good Friday is only two weeks away. Yes, that little stinky word (as much as I hate it) taught me once again, in His time, not mine. After all, this song is much bigger than a worldwide release, it has an eternal message!

So my hope is that sometime the week of March 23rd, In The Quiet, in it’s full length, will be available for you to download. And if you’ve already purchased the :48 version, you’ll be able to upload the full length at no extra charge. By the way, thanks for being some of the first fans to download this song, you’re awesome!! Be it good and bad, music and it’s Industry has changed so much over the last 10 years it’s amazing. But the one thing that will always remain is the thread you and I share, the songs God gives me, and the ability to connect in their language. That will always be more important than any technology!

Blessings –

Rhon

“In The Quiet” art work

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In The Quiet by Rhon Van Erman ASCAP 2015

In my previous post I spoke about the meaning and creation of the song “In The Quiet”. The process to find the right image for this song was a difficult one, mainly due to the fact that there weren’t cameras back in Jesus’ time. Quite honestly, I’m thankful for that. In the search for the best image I kept coming back to not just Jesus himself but, the Cross. The symbol by which he will always be remembered. So there it was. In this particular image the visual is fairly gloomy but with a bit of light in the back round to add to the emotion of the song in which there is tension and release, anguish and hope. I believe this art work aligns perfectly with the upcoming release of the song “In The Quiet”. The release date is Friday, March 20th, 2015It will be available worldwide on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and http://www.rhonvanerman.com There is also a new page on my website In The Quiet dedicated to the release of this song. Just click the italicized title in the previous sentence. May this release be a blessing to all of you.

– Rhon

Quiet – Need Some?

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Photo Mar 13, 10 43 20 PMWe live in a very interesting time don’t we? I’m sure all generations have said this, however, that little rectangular thing you can’t leave home without has changed everything we will ever be. Albeit good or bad. And as always, we are daily given a choice to use it for something good or bad. Kind of like a volume control, loud or quiet? With the previously mentioned device I could use a little of the latter in my life. How ’bout you?

Several years ago I was in my kitchen prepping a music lesson with an old sight reading book I hadn’t looked at in quite a long time. The morning sun was shining in, and the anticipation of Spring was filling my bones with overwhelming exuberance (that means I was fairly excited). The neighborhood dogs weren’t barking, the phone wasn’t ringing, and my little rectangular thing was turned off. Quiet time. The world was on pause for a bit and that was good.

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Teaching music enables me to give back but it also allows me to look back. The excitement of first’s. The first time playing a chord that moves my very being. The first time being able to confidently play a solo with all the notes I was thinking at the time I was thinking them (musical conversation). And the most important thing this time was, playing three chords that transcended me into an event that I yearly commemorate, but I was never able to express the emotions until the notes came out. It was very moving. And once again I was the instrument playing the instrument for the emotion to have sound. Anguish, tension, abandonment, weeping, torment, hoping, on a level that we most likely will never know. The quiet had given me the time to reflect on something that was done for me that I’ll never be able to repay. Good Friday.

I want to encourage those that are not Christian, or are Christian, not to click off right now. This is not a post to preach to you, but, to engage you to take a quiet moment and ponder for yourself what Good Friday is. I’ve often looked at paintings of this horrific event and had to turn my head at the shear brutality. How can this be “Good”? But the question that really hit me this time was, what was Jesus going through? The personal side of Jesus. Not what I thought, but what he felt. And how do I react to that? It is said to know another’s life you must walk in their shoes. The thoughts of Jesus on this day I will only read, and never fully understand. And this is the story for the “Inside the music” of the song, “In The Quiet”.

Today all the things that needed to be done for the release of is this song were finished. The uploading of audio, artwork, and distribution. The biz stuff. So now all is good with the technical world, and on the release date you’ll be able to purchase something called an mp3, load it into that little rectangular thing you can’t leave home without, and take a moment from the spinning of your world and listen. “In The Quiet” is an all instrumental of just piano and guitar. Just the intimacy of the two instruments speaking the emotion of the song. My hope is that when you listen with no distractions, the song will help you reflect on Good Friday and it’s true meaning. This will be a digital release only, no CD (yet), and available at all the major music retailers like iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc. The date will be posted in my next blog. If you have any comments or thoughts you’d like to share you can leave them below or email me at rockin@rhonvanerman.com 

www.rhonvanerman.com 

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Valentine’s Angel In Disguise

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Ah the day of love, chocolate, romantic dinners, cards, flowers…. Valentine’s Day. For the naysayers it’s a mushy, made up by Hallmark Card Company, self induced choco-coma, waste of time, Holiday. For the true romantic, it is a day other than a anniversary to kindle the fire that started we you first met your better half. What I call “Keeping The Honeymoon”. So if you hate mushy, sappy, love stories please click away now (you could read on and be inspired). If you are the romantic type, here we go.

I have an acronym I’ve used since I was a teen. It was probably brought on by my prideful teenage years, but is very apropos. S.I.T. (Self-Induced-Trauma). To sit, reflect, learn something, and be better because of it. The self induced trauma I’ve gotten a bit better about. And I’ve actually gotten to the point of enjoying time to “sit” and ponder on the past, learn from it, and make my future a little better.

As far back as I can remember, a wee lad most likely, I’ve always thought that being married would one of the greatest things ever. To find that person to share your life with that would be your friend, lover, etc., My confidant through all of life’s up and downs. Ya, count me in! I’ll graduate and we’re off to happiness. I’m ready! Or so I thought.

You’d think that being in my 20’s I wouldn’t be using the aforementioned acronym quite as frequently. Ya, you’d think. Well, this is where wanting something before you’re ready comes into play. Man that’s hard to admit no matter how old you are. Especially when it’s something you’ve been wanting since you were a kid! But, it’s that little voice that goes off in your head and says, “Yep, this is it”, that you’re either listening to or not. It took me until I was 29 years old to finally hear that “Yep, this is it” from the voice that had been telling me from ages 20 to 29, “Um, I’m sorry, this is not it”, but I went in head first anyway. Ugh, more self induced trauma.

I have to give credit to one of the most influential phone calls I made to an old school friend. I remember her saying “There’s a girl up here you really need to meet”. And so I made the trip, made a date, and less than a year later was married. Holy arrows to the heart! I even let go of this possible relationship to try and clean some recent S.I.T. only to have that voice say “Yep, this is it”, with the addition of “Are you out of your mind?, call her now”! I’ll never forget that day either. I knew in my soul she was “it” when the emotion was so deep it brought me to tears. No more S.I.T. I cleared my mind of the past, listened to the voice, and in just a few months I was married.

I truly hope that you have found “The One” for you. I call my wife my “Angel In Disguise”. She came along not in my time, but at just the right time. A true gift of God himself. I will spend the rest of my days in gratitude doing my best to try and come somewhere close to making her as happy as she has made me. Happy Valentine’s Day!

– Rhon

No Way! In A Manger?

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As far back as I can think, I remember singing the song “Away In A Manger” during Christmastime. As a small kid, it seemed to be very easy to remember the words and music, unlike some other songs with words that I couldn’t pronounce let alone understand their meaning (Omnipresent? Don’t think I’ve ever received one of those!). It also seemed to get an “Awe” from the listeners (especially the parents of the singers) and plenty of applause from the congregation after the kids from my Sunday School class sang so wonderfully out of tune. And even the day after you’d find yourself singing this melody at various times throughout the day. As a songwriter that’s quite the feat to hit that many people with one simple melody.

Upon the first thoughts of what music to put together for Christmas The Reason, I sat down at the piano, albeit a patch on my synthesizer, and the first thing that came out was that infamous kids song. God works in mysterious ways! What was I thinking? A kids song to go on my CD? Well, like my Dad always says “Why not”! As I began to play the simple melody line the Adult side of me started to play some very moving and sometimes tensive chords. A culmination of my inner child and the older version thereof all wrapped up in one. This made the song come to life for me because of the calming affect of the melody and the tension of what this baby would someday face. Contrast, a cuddly baby that would someday die for my sins. And there it, was my first song for the CD that would actually be the last in the order of the tracks. When the last chord of this track is played, it makes me feel like Jesus’ words “It is finished”, making the whole story complete.

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The picture above is also a great vision of contrast. A humble bed for the newborn Savior and a crown of thorns in which He would someday wear. There is beauty in the simple.

This is the final blog for the “inside the music” look at the CD Christmas The Reason. I am eternally thankful for the privilege of creating music on all sides of this walk we call being a human. I never know what is going to come out but that is the beauty of it all. Thank you for interacting with me along the way and I wish you not only a Merry Christmas but a one to one relationship with this Savior that changed everything for all time.

Blessings,

Rhon –

rockin@rhonvanerman.com 

Wasn’t This Supposed To Be Silent?

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Silence. How do you define that word? Complete absence of sound is one definition. Believe it or not, I look forward to that time. Probably because I hear, play, or listen to music most of the day. Not that I’m sick of it, I just need to, as some would say, chill from it for awhile. To let my mind’s ear be uncluttered. To mentally breathe.

To prevent from speaking is another definition that is a bit more interesting and challenging. I love this, and yes I will, ponder, on this idea for a moment.

Let’s get down to the meat here. Okay, hypothetically, I’ve died. All the premonitions of what I thought it would be like just came in the blink of an eye, and if all I said I believed is now real, I’m giving an account of my life before the very God of creation. Hmm, will I be able to speak? What words can I say in defense of wrongs or promotion of good deeds? What does one say to the Creator of the universe? My inner Spirit tells me I won’t be able to say a blasted thing because I will be in total and utter awe! Silent!

One of the greatest things I love about the song Silent Night is the depth and brevity that it brings to mind. A “Holy Night”, unlike any other that the world has ever known. I can’t imagine what Christmas Eve was like in real time as it happened. Our advanced culture is so far removed from being out in a dessert gazing upon a divinely created, beaming star, that I think you’d have to literally have a camel look someone in the eye and say “That star is amazing, don’t you think”? Shock factor, like only a talking camel could do. May I never be that far removed that I have to be spoken to by a camel!

This song is one of my favorites from the CD, Christmas The Reason. I love to play it for several reasons, but, the dreamy guitar part at the beginning and end of the song takes me to that “happy place” that Darrell my Engineer is always trying to get me to go to when I’m recording. It’s a bit transcendent for me, and I hope a happy place for you as well. One of the best times for me to listen to this song is late by the Christmas tree or if I can’t fall asleep and I’m staring at 2:00 a.m. on my phone. (This happens quite often and is not my happy place!)

If there is one night for all of us to find a bit of silence I hope it is Christmas Eve. Not in expectation of material gifts, but in anticipation of an eternal gift. A kind of suspense of what it was like the night before, and what would happen the days after.

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I have one more post in this series and will it will be published on Christmas Eve. Music is a great language to communicate, but, this blog gives me the chance to let you in on the inside of not only the music but the meaning. That is very cool to me. So please email me or comment below and please share this with your friends, family, and others. Blessings and Merry Christmas!

– Rhon

rockin@rhonvanerman.com

What Gift Is This?

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Ah, the Christmas list. A mostly long inventory of things wanted that will make our life so much easier and better, or just plain fun! Things. Stuff. The good stuff. The quality things that will last a lifetime. Some gifts are so well made they will outlast us! And there it is. A gift that will outlast me. A dichotomy of man made vs. Spirit borne. A gift in wrapping paper or wrapped in swaddling clothes. Presented under a beautifully decorated tree or presented in a barn on a bed of hay. As December 25th approaches, how will December 26th feel? And the list, did it fulfill it’s intended purpose?

Ponder. I use that word a lot. It’s good to partake in a bit of it daily. I believe we are so busy that a quite moment of each day is missing on that aforementioned list. And sometimes when we steal that moment, buda-link…., your phone goes off and draws your attention away from where it needs to be. Like now, you’re reading this and it’s making you do it. Ponder, evaluate, take stock. Always good to check your compass on a regular basis.

The featured song in this blog is from the CD Christmas The Reason, and is “What Child Is This” (Don’t forget to click the play button on the video while you read). The instrumental version was recorded to give you some “think” time. One thing that has always struck me is where Jesus was born. Nope, not the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Bethlehem, but a barn, laying in hay. Humbling for me to ponder.

These are the deep things to think on, but I am also very thankful for a wonderful Dad and Mom that have given me great memories of Christmas.

Photo Dec 14, 10 03 00 PM                                                                      Childlike memories, that will always be with me. Like when I started recording this song and having the visions of watching Charlie Brown with Dad and Mom and listening to Schroeder play his jazz versions of Christmas music. Yep, that’s a Jesus moment too. When your parents love you enough to be home and sit through a kids show because it’s just plain good family time!

I hope this blog and the instrumental music of The Reason is impacting our lives not only to “smell the coffee” but to enjoy it one drink at a time. To have balance between the busy and the quiet.

This is post 3 of 5 in this series. Thank you for your comments and please keep them coming. Music is the vessel to connect our thoughts. Merry Christmas!

Rhon –

rockin@rhonvanerman.com