This academic year has been one for the record books. The stress level reached an all time high during the Spring semester, and finally ended after hearing juries during finals week. All of the students played very well, and many even surprised me with their level of improvement since their last lesson the week prior. The level of talent at Oklahoma City University continually surprises me - from our guitar majors to beginning students enrolling in Applied Guitar to learn to play - each level dedicated themselves entirely to the guitar and for that I am grateful.
The year started out with a recording session at Castle Row Studios with my good friends Raul Reyes (b) and Jemar Poteat (d). This project was my first as a leader in the studio, and I can honestly say that I learned a lot about organizing and time management. We tracked three original compositions and seven standards in around four hours. It was an experience! If given the same time constraints, I would manage my time differently, but overall I am happy with how things went. You can hear one of the tracks here: soundcloud.com/brianbelanus
The remaining tracks will slowly be uploaded to the internet. I'll keep everyone updated here. Also, be on the look out for a video courtesy of the amazing photographer Tori Beechum. She's taken a ton of pictures of me over the years! I appreciate her skill and wisdom behind the lens.
I started a new Instagram fad called Chord of the Day, where I will play through a standard chord melody style. It's been an interesting challenge to remember these tunes and play well enough to feel like posting every day. It's been a great challenge, and I am happy to say I completed 30 days of videos so far. If you're a fan of Instagram, check out my page: www.instagram.com/brianbelanus/
I am looking forward to starting a new academic year, and challenging myself in new ways to continue to grow as a musician. Transcribing has become a focal point over the past number of years, but I am finding myself lacking in other areas as a result. I am trying to find balance in a number of areas in my life, and practice has been a key factor.
I appreciate everyone who has checked out my recordings, followed my Instagram, and read through these posts. I will be debuting a new group this year, and I am excited to bring forth a ton of new music in a format that is entirely new to me. I have been writing a lot of music since the recording session in January, and I look forward to sharing that with everyone this year. This year will be one to remember for many reasons, but I can say that I have learned a lot more heading into thirty than I have in previous years.
Thank you for being a part of the journey!