48 posts categorized "Music"

October 10, 2017

Ukulele Party :: November 5th


Have you wanted to learn the basics of how to play the ukulele? Well, I'm still a beginner myself but what I know I'm happy to teach. So grab your ukulele (smallest soprano size ... not the concert or tenor or baritone sizes) and join me on November 5th at 2PM. I'll show you how to tune the ukulele, how to play a handful of basic chords and with those basic chords, how to play and sing a song or two. I'll also show you how I painted my ukulele and provide paint and brushes and everything else for you to use to also paint your uke if you want to.

To participate, please:

  • RSVP via email at jenny@crescendoh.com
  • Bring with you a screenshot receipt of a $50+ donation to a helping organization providing aid to victims of recent disasters
  • Bring with you a canned food item (to be collected and donated to a local food bank)

PS: If you don't have a ukulele but want to participate, email me and I'll send you a link to one you could order via Amazon.

November 23, 2015

72 Block Party

72 Block Party
72 Block Party

6 x 8 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas

Click here to Bid

I enjoyed the challenge of creating the illusion of an alleyway between the left and right house and also creating the idea of a fruit tree on the left. I also like rotating this painting 90 degrees clockwise one time for a completely different orientation that is other-worldly (below).

72 Block Party2

February 05, 2015

Chopin and Liszt: The whole endless shebang

Whenever I get to practice my cello, I like to look at small notations that are written in the margins of some of my sheets of music. Mostly the notations are by my former teachers reminding me to play the music a certain way ... "with attitude" ... "with melancholy" ... "with playfulness." One of my teachers also had a way of encouraging me to add slides and ornamental additions to infuse a unique attitude and interpretation with the music that was before me ... composed in black and white.


Recently, I listened to a program on the radio about a well-known argument that happened between composers Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt back in the 19th century. After Liszt performed one of Chopin's pieces by adding embellishments that had not be part of the original composition, Chopin expressed annoyance and is said to have said something like "he should play the music as written or not play it at all."

I think Chopin had it wrong. I don't say that with glibness or disrespect because there are certain instances when a person's interpretation of a work might just feel ... I don't know ... not right. And I know that original art ... whether music or writing or sculpture reflects an important essence and intent of the creator. But at the heart of it, if a performer is given music and decides to add embellishments or play something in a mood that is completely opposite of the mood that it was intended, that is the performer's prerogative. And it is the audience's prerogative to embrace or reject the performance and/or composition.

The application of this thought to visual arts is more troubling, I suppose. Because if anyone came into my studio and up to an original painting and painted something over it, I would probably be highly annoyed. But if a person did that after having bought the painting from me, I'm not sure if I'd feel the right to express annoyance. Especially if the altered painting brought the owner great joy. Perhaps how a painting is framed ... in a distressed wooden frame or a leopard print plastic number could also be a point of contention between artist and consumer but ultimately how the art is framed is a choice that the consumer gets to make, to the pleasure or annoyance of the artist.

The application of the thought that I strenuously disagree with is when humans try to police the ways in which reproductions of originals are handled. Like art magazines. Like those who say magazines that contain photos of art ought not be altered because then we are defacing and disrespecting the artist.

Photos inspire paintings. Paintings inspire sculptures. Art magazines get cut up and painted and altered to become collages and other things. These collages and other things inspire photos. These photos inspire paintings. And these paintings inspire sculptures ... and music, and food, and dance, and poetry, and relationships. The whole endless shebang.

As far as I'm concerned, I can throw the magazines I buy (or original works of artists that I buy) in the mud and run them over with my car if I want to. (Haven't wanted to yet, btw.)

It's ultimately about letting it go. Deep down, I don't think Chopin or any composer would want the world to be policed in a way where performers are bullied into playing compositions only if they will do it the way it was written.

Because then there might be a chance that it is never played at all.



December 10, 2013

Falling Slowly

Falling Slowly
by Kris Allen

I don't know you but I want you all the more for that
Words fall through me and always fool me and I can't react
And games that never amount to more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now

Falling slowly eyes that know me and I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me and I'm painted black
You have suffered enough and warred with yourself
It's time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had the choice
You've made it now

Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along



July 26, 2013

Everyday People

Monica and I had a blast meeting Joan Jett last night. I was super surprised to find out how petite she is! I mean, with all of her amazing contributions to rock n roll, I have visualized her as this tall, larger-than-life person towering over the world of rock ... she's still very larger than life but physically, she's teeny tiny. In an adorable sort of way. And the best part ... she's a normal person ... just like her song Everyday People says ... "I am everyday people."

Jenny Doh and Joan Jett and Monica MouetShe and her band put on an incredible show. They performed many new tracks from their upcoming album but also rocked the house with all of their classic hits.

Joan JettI LOVE this shot of Joan ... check out her killer arms ... and her drummer rockin out. Love it.

Joan JettThe final encore song they did was in fact Everyday People. So apropros for where my mind and heart have been as of late ... all about the concept of honoring self-determination ... to truly live and pursue happiness while letting others live and pursue happiness ... 

The concept isn't rocket science, but it's easier said than done. Cause acceptance and tolerance and love means not only accepting each other regardless of the color of our skin, but other things that sometimes seem like small things but end up becoming big things when our judgements about such matters are allowed to fester ... like how we dress, who we love, what shows we watch, who we follow on IG, the music we listen to, who we're friends with, where we worship, if we worship, what we read, what we drive, where we live, what we eat, and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby ...

One thing's for sure. No matter what, differences will always be present amongst people. Accepting that I think is the key to knowing that you, me, her, him ... we are ALL everyday people.

So do what makes you happy and pursue YOUR happiness ... if you want to. :)

Jenny Doh and Monica Mouet

Everyday People
by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Sometimes I'm right then I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my songs
A butcher, a banker, a drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I'm in
I am everyday people

Then it's the blue ones who can't accept
The green ones for living with
The black ones tryin' to be a skinny one
Different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby

Ooh sha sha
We gotta live together ...

June 30, 2013

Peace. Love. Art.

Day Two with Katie Kendrick.
Faces: Though I've sketched and doodled many faces, this is actually the very first one that I've ever painted from start to finish. Some things I wanna remember about the process ...

Jenny Doh

1 It was really hard. I was uncomfortable. I felt awkward and many times, I really hated what I was painting. But I stayed with it ...

2 Mainly because I was hanging onto the words of M.C. Richards from The Crossing Point that Katie had read to us in the morning ... about how none of us are well-oiled, perfect machines. We are all riddled with imperfections. We are all very different. And you know the concepts of "peace and love" ... they don't come easy and they don't come all packaged neat and tidy.

They come when we allow the pain embedded in differences and conflicts and tragedy to penetrate us and affect us and change us and ultimately cause us to look courageously at all of it. That's when peace and love come.

 3 At a certain point, sweet Jen Lake had me turn on Carla Bruni for the entire room to listen to, whose sensual and magical songs penetrated me ... filled me with deep sorrow, a longing, regret, and ultimately acceptance and peace and love as she sang ...

Quelqu’un m’a dit
They tell me that destiny mocks us
It gives us nothing and promises everything
It seems that happiness is within reach
So we reach out …and find madness
But someone told me ...

That you still love me
Someone told me that he is someone who loves me still.
Could that be possible?

But who is it who told me that you love me?
I do remember it was late at night
I still hear the voice, but I do not see the face
"He loves you, it is secret, do not tell him what I’ve said
You see, someone told me ...

That you still loved me, they truly said ...

Jenny Doh

4 The thing that bothers and intrigues me most are the eyes. I'm bothered that they feel bigger than I think they should be. They intrigue me because I want to paint another face where the eyes are even bigger, and other features more exaggerated and contorted. I want to do this.


December 04, 2012

Inspired by Asaf Avidan

Have you heard of Asaf Avidan? He's an Isaraeli singer/songwriter with an amazing voice and leader of a rock band in Jerusalem. His voice ... ah man ... his voice ... it's so unique. So moving.

Asaf Avidan
This particular video is of a song titled Her Lies. It's an incredible acoustic studio version where he is joined by his rockin' cellist friend. (And you know how I feel about rockin' cellists.) I hope you take a listen. When you start playing it, fast forward it up to 1:31 because the first minute and half is an interview. Enjoy!

November 28, 2012

Inspired by Mika Ben-Yami

Have you heard of the artist Mika Ben-Yami?
I recently learned about her and am so inspired.
I especially love the lyrics and melody to this sweet song: Nothing is Wrong.
Hope you'll take a listen.

Mika Ben-Yami
don't you cry
dont be shy
stand up straight
here it comes
say goodbye
don't you cry
hold yourself
don't forget
you are strong
move along
nothing's wrong feeling alone

October 17, 2012

Inspired by Regina Spektor

I'm so inspired by Regina Spektor.
You may remember my post about her and my deep connection to her song, How, in this post.

Regina Spektor
She just released a new video of the song, which I'm in love with. I love it because she doesn't rely on flashy shortcuts to wow an audience. She uses true artistry and depth, and ideas that are thoughtfully planned out and thoroughly executed to illustrate the brilliance that is already built into the song and lyrics.


September 09, 2012

Unfair Goodbyes

It usually takes me 15 seconds or less to know if I like a piece of art or music. I was explaining this to someone recently who was asking me about how to make a pitch to an editor ...

Folks have often asked me if more projects or lengthier pages to their queries might be the ticket to getting noticed. The fact is, editors know right away. At least that's been my experience. It might not even take 15 seconds. It's pretty immediate. If 100 projects or pages don't do the trick, most likely neither will the 101st project nor the 101st page.

Art either connects with me or it doesn't.

So my daughter Monica met up with her buddies recently, as they showered her with some belated birthday gifts. She has great friends. One of her friends, Louise, got her the new Regina Spektor CD, which made Monica really happy. So thanks to Louise and Monica, I started listening to it.

Regina Spektor
I liked the entire CD but there is one song in particular that I connected with very strongly and immediately ... probably in fewer than 15 seconds of hearing it. The song is How. I couldn't understand fully why I was connecting with it. It's a song that actually makes me very sad ... and as I listen to it, the melancholy of the song is so very deep that I can hardly bear it.

So I did some research on the song and learned that Regina wrote it in honor of the late Daniel Cho. Daniel was the cellist who was touring with Regina in 2010 when he tragically drowned in Lake Geneva. He was 33 years old. He was Korean American. He was a cellist.

I remember coming to America when I was 7. Lots of American kids thought it was odd that I didn't know how to swim. But the thing is, neither did most of my relatives and friends from Korea. I'm not completely sure about Koreans today but for my parents' generation and mine ... we came from a culture where we never really had the opportunity to learn. For those who did learn, it wasn't through Mommy & Me swimming lessons. It was accidentally and sometimes dangerously. This is also true of people from many other third-world nations.

I'm not sure if Daniel Cho didn't know how to swim or whether he was a good swimmer who just experienced a bad accident. But I do know that he drowned. At 33. So sad. I remember almost drowning. Scary as a child. And horrific as an adult I'm sure.

When his wife Julia learned of Daniel's death, she started this blog ... to cope, grieve, and to create memories for their daughter, Audrey. My heart goes out to them.

Learning about Daniel Cho triggered memories of Nejat Ezal, my sweet friend from high school with whom I had a deep connection. He was one year my junior and we kept in touch through letters when I went to UCI and he finished his senior year at West High. With perfect grades and a perfect score on his SATs, he had many options for college and he chose Harvey Mudd. We continued to correspond while he was at Harvey Mudd. And funny thing ... we ended up in the same room at Cal State Bakersfield as we were both taking the GREs for graduate school. He ended up at UC Santa Barbara to study Marine Biology. He loved the ocean and he loved to dive. He was one of the most brilliant, pure-hearted people I have ever known and loved. Everyone he met loved him. 

In 1994, Nejat passed away during a diving accident in his beloved ocean. He was 25. When I think of his untimely death, my heart goes out to his family and I remain in disbelief about it all ... and I miss him greatly.

So this song that gripped me in the first 15 seconds of hearing it ... is one that was written by the talented Regina Spektor to honor her friend Daniel who she misses so much. When I ponder this back story of this deeply melancholic song, I understand why I connected so much with it ... because there are so many layers that sensically and non-sensically connect with me ... including my longstanding difficulty with unfair goodbyes.


by Regina Spektor

How can I forget your love?

How can I never see you again?
There’s a time and place
For one more sweet embrace
And is time, ooh
when it all, ooh
Went wrong
I guess you know by now
That we will meet again somehow

Oh baby
How can I begin again?
How can I try to love someone new?
Someone who isn’t you
How can our love be true?
When I’m not, ooh
I’m not over you

I guess you know by now
That we will meet again somehow

Time can come and take away the pain
But I just want my memories to remain
To hear your voice
To see your face
There’s not one moment I’d erase
You are a guest here now

So baby
How can I forget your love?
How can I never see you again?
How can I ever know why some stay and others go?
When I don’t, ooh
I don’t want you to go

I guess I know by now
That we will meet again somehow

Time can come and wash away the pain
But I just want my mind to stay the same
To hear your voice
To see your face
There’s not one moment I’d erase
You are a guest here now

So baby
How can I forget your love?
How can I never see you again?
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