an artist diary
Electro pop artist Beca recently released her full-length album “Ecliptic” — co-produced by Morgan Wiley of Midnight Magic. According to a Flaunt Magazine review, she “steadily bewitches you, addicting you, begging you to come back for more.” So! When this Juilliard grad isn’t writing and performing her own material, side projects include composing classical arrangements for string quartets, and session singing gigs. Beca also enjoys cooking, travel, dancing, trips to the beach… she currently resides in Los Angeles. Here, the musical wizard and Bunnyhawk friend has chronicled a random week’s diary, of which we dig her realness and introspection. Life ain’t perfect, but it can certainly stay inspiring if you let it. And hey, embracing ourselves as human-beings, rather than ‘aspirational’ human-doings, is a-OK. Thank you, sweet (and accomplished!) Beca, for the reminder.
I find that I usually have good or bad days. This one I’m trying desperately to turn around in my favor, but nothing’s working. I need to do laundry, and the laundry card machine is down — luckily I’m able to borrow one from a friendly neighbor. Yay for friendly neighbors! Then I go to the local farmer’s market and shop for groceries — my Sunday ritual. That’s a nice mood lifter.
I go home, water my plants, take a walk around the pretty gardens in my neighborhood. I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Thankfully, I’ve scheduled a jade stone massage for later on — it’s a great excuse for much needed self-care.
Last week my folks were in town, and I’m feeling sad to say goodbye this morning. It was great to have them here — my sister and I took them to Venice, Malibu, the Lake Shrine, the Hollyhock house, and other fun spots around town. My parents fly back to New York, and I think about the other people I miss there… when will I go back to visit? My hair is feeling too short — I wish it would just grow back already. I wanna complain.
Negative vibes don’t really work in LA, especially when it’s always gorgeous out. So how about a walk? I walk around and talk to a friend, letting myself cry. I listen to Cascades by the High Highs, a great Aussie band I know from New York. Their music is soft and soothing.
I go get my hot stone massage. Good call. At home afterwards, I have a bath with Epsom salts. Oh my god — this self-care thing really works!
I have a busy and exciting week coming up, so I want to get myself to a good place. Hoping to start the week on a positive note — both literally and figuratively. So yea… I definitely feel sad today, but I’m OK with it. My tears are seeds wetting the earth for something new to grow. And tomorrow is a new day.
Having a hard time getting started today.
After lunch, I throw myself into returning emails, scheduling meetings for the week, jumping on a few conference calls.
The highlight of my day is having sushi with a friend, then going to a GOTH MARGARITA party in Hollywood — it’s at a Tiki-style bar with skeleton paintings, freaky dancing puppet dolls ala Its-A-Small-World, and piñatas everywhere…
I’m brought back to my year-long “goth” phase in high school — I went through many different phases while I was finding myself as an angst teenager — although at the time I decided to call it “mod.” At the party, everyone is talking about their perspective goth phases. I get some compliments on my hair, so my hair confidence is slightly up a few points, before I inevitably get bored of it again tomorrow.
I talk to some NY’ers about LA vs NY, and how they get tired of being in either place for too long. I haven’t grown tired of this place yet, but have fleeting moments of missing NY. The host of the party tells me I look “on-brand” and that I should dress like this all the time. Hmmmmm… not the worst idea… I’m now imagining what it might be like to change my entire lifestyle to progressive dark wave. Hey, why not? Could be fun…
I wish every night could be goth night.
Getting back into the swing of things. Get up, meditate, journal, sun salutations, reply to emails during breakfast. I swear my whole life is scheduling and attending meetings. I need a personal assistant (obviously). I’m talking to my manager about booking new live dates… Chatting with my PRO (the guys who collect my royalties) about switching associations, and learn it’s more complicated than I thought. And working on arranging some music for string quartets today. It’s been a while since I used a music notation program, so I’m getting my sea legs back. Definitely good for stretching my orchestration muscles again. Comparing a few deals with my lawyer — there is some exciting stuff on the horizon. My song “Enabler” from my last album is included on a new mixtape going out today — nice. I work out and walk around outside… got so much excess energy I’m trying to blow off!
At nite I stumble across YouTube videos from Giorgio Moroder’s last album. How the hell did I miss this? Clearly, I have some catching up to do.
Oh — all the lights in my apartment have been flickering today. Now well after midnight, I can’t tell if it’s my heavy eyelids, my consciousness or subconsciousness, or if I’m actually living in the twilight zone…
I go for a stroll during magic hour… smell a rose and it transports me into a dream. It’s bathed in sunlight seemingly from all angles and its petals delicately shimmer. Time disappears and I stand there for awhile basking in it’s presence.
Been talking to friends today about soul-mates and relationships and what it all means. I’m definitely on a journey of sorts with someone who is far away, who’s been through a lot with me… who also lives a very different life. But that’s another story for another day.
My writing session today gets postponed so I have more time for the string quartet project. Working away on a fun pizzicato section…
Tonight I meet up with a dear friend, Fataah, who’s visiting from NY. My sister once said this person has rainbows coming out of his eyes, and that’s pretty much the best way to describe him. We catch up and then catch a concert at the Teragram Ballroom to see two great bands — Luxxury and Escort. (I’m collaborating on some music with Blake from Luxxury). It’s an amazing show. Everyone is dancing… people are crowd surfing. I meet a new dance partner, and we have a ball. Adeline, the lead singer from Escort is Parisian, plays bass, and has the best voguing moves in the house with her backup singers perfectly in sync. Major new girl crush.
The cool thing about the nightlife here is nine out of ten times I run into people I know, either from NY or LA. It’s like my world is suddenly so much smaller, even though I’m living 3,000 miles from home.
Yep, tonight is a good night.
I’m in a dance class this morning to keep the party going. It’s a bit of free form and sensual movement — the focus is on doing whatever feels good. I drop into my body and then I start bawling on the floor… thankfully the music is loud enough, so no one hears me. Fascinating how our bodies know exactly what we need once we start listening. I move through all of it, feeling a huge release. Yes yes yesssss. A weight is lifted.
I go meet a producer who I met back in NYC years ago. We just ran into each other again this past new years in Los Angeles. LA, it’s funny how my worlds keep colliding with you. I get to his studio but he’s having WiFi problems when trying to upload his edit files for a legendary band that’s been together for thirty five years. He’s on a deadline, so we reschedule our meeting for another time. These things happen.
As creators, we’re constantly troubleshooting. In fact, that’s half the job. So I grab dinner with a friend instead and we end up talking about staying positive versus complaining and keeping it real. Like, do our problems go away if we don’t focus on them? Or does that push the problem down further until it explodes? These are the questions I ponder while staring into my ramen noodles.
On my walk, there’s a really cute pug who just wants to play! Whenever I try to walk away, he follows me and pushes his head into me. It reminds me of how much I want my own dog. They are amazing creatures of unconditional love, something we all need.
Yet another one of my meetings is postponed today due to sudden travel plans. (Seriously?!) This makes the week a complete wash in terms of any exciting professional plans going through.
I’m not gonna pretend I’m not bummed, but I’ve learned to go with the flow and redirect my attention elsewhere. Some weeks are like that, especially in this city. There’s always next week.
While making some tracks on my string quartet, my manager tells me I’m booked at one of my fave venues — Dirty Laundry! Ok — at least there’s something to be excited about today.
The flowers on my balcony are blooming. Hummingbirds are everywhere. The neighborhood is becoming more alive in the sunshine with spring around the corner. I feel fierce. Starting to write a song after a dry spell…
It’s laundry day again. Does anyone else feel like time stands still on laundry day?
Been listening to Boh Doran today and I’m obsessed with her voice. Met her at a show we both performed at a few weeks ago at Resident DTLA through a mutual collaborator, Steven Wilkin of Adult Bodies. Her song “Karma” is my new theme song of the week. Go listen to it right now, it’s super uplifting.
In the evening I go to an inspiring talk at the historic cultural monument, the Shrine Auditorium — featuring Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra. I’m there with Bunnyhawk founder and dear friend, Becky. She’s been a soulful companion on this life’s adventure — we’ve been friends ever since being flatmates in Nolita, NYC over a decade ago — she is a constant ray of sunlight.
Seems appropriate we find ourselves here tonight. The two visionaries are talking about what it means to be “awake”. At one point, Deepak asks Eckhart if world peace is achievable — Eckhart answers that if a great enough mass of people transcend their consciousness, that this will help save the world. As opposed to demonstrating even mild-grade outrage, which only adds to the collective rage. Dear Becky weeps. I feel the silence reverberate through the room. The two men also speak about how the ego is an ignorance about who we are. “When the ego weeps, the spirit rejoices,” Eckhart notes.
There are many beautiful moments of clarity during the evening. What sticks out the most is Deepak’s story about seeing the entire universe in a single rose, as Ananda, Buddha’s favorite disciple saw. This immediately brings me back to the moment I had with the rose on my walk earlier this week. I’m struck with the synchronicity, feeling the interconnectedness of everything and everyone, some call it Oneness. Mind blown.
I’m practicing being in the present moment. Since that’s all we ever really have.
Meanwhile, my attention is being transported across the country to the man I love and miss. He’s calling me right now.
“Love is the ultimate truth of the universe.” — Deepak Chopra.
I’m hiking in Griffith Park with my sister, and am reminded of the spaciousness of the universe. We are so small.
Later, we watch the Oscars on my brand new couch with her roommate, and order delicious Thai food. I’m feeling like more of an adult since, this is my first real couch! Back in my Chelsea NY studio, it was always a futon.
I meet up with some friends at a music venue in Hollywood for a private little show. Some amazing performers are there, including David Saw and Natasha Bedingfield… wow can she WAIL! She sings an acoustic version of “Pocket Full of Sunshine” and Nat King Cole’s “Smile,” which makes me cry. There’s a guy singing a funny song about being single, which somehow makes me feel less alone. Zara Sky sings a few songs, and her voice… is like… honey… It’s apparent that music is everything to everyone in this room. I’m in the right place.
I talk to a sweet Swedish couple who tell me stories of the druggy club scene in the seventies, of walking in the snow in high heels, and of how they met. After their clubbing days were behind them, they saw each other at church after she had sent out a prayer about meeting her future husband on that certain Sunday and there he was — the only person in the entire church. It’s now fifteen years later, and they’re still together. I’m truly moved.
Words she tells me tonight: “pure heart, clear mind.” Thank you. I’ll remember that.
Thinking more about the talk last night and being present with what is — whether it feels positive or negative. What’s true for me, is having enough awareness where I can be my authentic self and be honest about where I’m at. As we allow ourselves to explore our darkness, we expand further into the light. One can’t exist without the other. And that’s totally OK.