New Video / Previously Unreleased Track: A Closing Window

Posted by on Nov 11, 2014

I chose to record a previously unreleased track, “A Closing Window” for the Houston Songwriter Series at Dean’s Downtown. I’ve been booking and hosting this series every Sunday night 8-10pm. Thanks to Runaway Sun bassist Matthew Davis Buehrer for a great audio mix and Justin Nava for his video...

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Songlife: My Fragmented Songwriting Process

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014

I believe the art of songwriting is a mixture of control and mystery. Control the things you can, and embrace the mystery of the things you can’t. This is my creative process. Step 1: Capture Fragments Very few of my songs show up in one bolt of inspiration. Most of the time they are fragments. Why do these fragments show up in my mind? I don’t know. That’s the mysterious part of songwriting. The part I can control is capturing them. I record them on my phone in voice notes or SoundCloud, on a Tascam dr40 field recorder, or in a Pro Tools or GarageBand session if I happen to be in the studio or on the way. If I don’t record them, they’re gone forever. It’s like being in one of those machines where dollar bills are flying around and you have to grab them before the wind stops blowing. When lyrics show up, I have to record them. If I stop to write down verse one and I’m holding two verses in my mind, the second verse will vanish. Places Where Fragments Find Me In the van when I am driving alone for long distances (anything over 30 min on an open road). In the morning before 10am anywhere. In the studio when I have been there all day and have forgotten about everything else. In a quiet place when I’m reading fiction. When another writer says something I’ve heard a million times in a new way, it makes me want to think of new ways to say other familiar things. Step 2: Forget Fragments I keep recording fragments and transferring them from the phone to the computer every month. They live in a folder called MUSIC. No, I am not worried about my computer crashing. Step 3: Review Fragments Good ideas a month ago are often crappy ideas a month later. If they survive the first month, then there might be a song in them. I pick one or two favorites and the rest remain in the MUSIC folder. Sometimes I capture a fragment, and it continues to show up after I’ve forgotten about it. Those fragments move to the front of the line. Step 4: Which came first, the lyrics, the beat, or the melody? A fragment can be any of these. My favorite fragment is a strong lyric with a melody. I like having a strong message...

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The Art and Importance of Asking for Help

Posted by on May 30, 2014

I have a hard time asking for help. Yesterday, I launched an IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign asking for $8000 to create the AndyRoo and the AndyRooniverse Color Your World Album and Activity Book for kids. Please watch the video to learn more, it was fun to make: Today there is a lot on my mind, specifically the idea of asking for help. It’s something I think about often, and I highly recommend Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk about it (thank you, Grace, for showing it to me), because it really sheds light on how imperative asking for help is to an artist’s (and really, everyone’s) survival. I have a hard time asking for help, but not for egotistical reasons. It’s more like I have neglected to spend enough time developing that art form, as Amanda says. I have avoided the awkwardness of learning how to ask for help, of being okay with not being able to do everything myself. Okay, that sounds like an ego thing after all! I come from a wonderful family with two incredibly strong parents. One of my big takeaways while growing up was that no one owes me anything, and that the world is a tough place. I was also taught to remember and celebrate generosity. When a person helps me without wanting anything in return, I am amazed. I love that moment. I love it because it flies in the harsh face of the world and creates a smile. It’s a flower growing through the concrete. It’s unlikely, and I never expect it, but there it is, and it’s beautiful. When my father was terminally ill, friends and mere acquaintances brought us meals to the hospital. My family needed help, and we got it in a big way. We got it without asking, and we got it even more when we did ask for it. In the midst of tremendous suffering, my belief in humanity reached an all-time high, and it has stayed there. I am asking for your help to create something special for kids. Please support the AndyRooniverse. The more people involved, the more this project will connect with our world. Behind every show booked, there is someone saying, “Yes, we’ll invite you to present your work here” and there is an audience willing to take a chance. Behind every song written for these kids, there is a happy memory that my parents shaped in...

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House Concert in the Heights!

Posted by on May 2, 2014

I am performing a house concert in the Heights this month. Here is all the show info and ticket information:  Kolanowski Studio Presents – Andrew Karnavas Saturday May 17th. Doors Open at 7:00, 8:00 showtime. Tickets are $20 This is a private party. Attendance is by invitation only. RSVPs with payment are required due to limited seating and will be on a “first come/first served” basis. Please arrive between 7:00 and 7:45 pm and join us for drinks and food prior to the concert. Music will begin at 8:00 pm. See attached invitation and reservation information below. RESERVATIONS Please complete the attached form and return with payment to Kim and Greg Kolanowski 420 Harvard St. Houston, Tx 77007 or use the Paypal information below. The cost is $20 per person. You may pay by check or Paypal. o If by check, make the check payable to Kim Kolanowski. o If by Paypal, use greg@kolanowskistudio.com as the email address for payment. Also, please include a $1.00 processing fee (as well as necessary information about your reservation). We will happily return your payment if you cancel in time for us to accommodate someone on our waiting list. FOR PAYMENT BY CHECK PLEASE COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING AND RETURN IT TO US: Our address is 420 Harvard Street, Houston, Texas 77007. Name: ______________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________ Email_______________________________________ Number of reservations ______ @ $20.00 each = $ _______ for Andrew Karnavas, May 17, 2014 Performances are presented at the house of Greg and Kim Kolanowski, located in the Houston Heights. CDs are available for sale at the concert. If you have any questions, email us or call. • Our telephone number is (713) 802-0232 • Our email addresses are kim@kolanowskistudio.com or...

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