Andrew Karnavas + Freneticore Dance at the Wortham Center!

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015

In this era of binge watching, where television shows are better than ever, we are spending more time caught in a world between art and reality. And I love it. I plowed through the first season of Daredevil recently and it felt great, like listening to a new album cover to cover. Albums are largely going away in music, but they’re alive in television. On August 1, I am collaborating with Freneticore Dance to present Film Noir at the Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater. The music for this show includes three reworked versions of songs from my 2010 solo album – Film Noir, Fireflies, and I Didn’t Mind – and two brand new songs that are entirely electronic and co-arranged and co-produced by my Runaway Sun band mate Matthew Davis Buehrer. Throughout Film Noir, an avid film fan is absorbed into the action and turned into a silver screen femme fatale. She journeys through a world between art and reality, a world of murder, doubt, and mystery, with the hope of leaving a dark past behind and being able to love again. Listen to this new song, Danger: It is a major thrill to be working with such a talented dance company and to watch them add a new dimension to the music through movement. In addition I get to collaborate with my girlfriend, the super creative Grace Rodriguez. She is pursuing her fascination with interactive art projections and creating a series of visualizations that the dancers will manipulate in real time with their movement onstage that will be projected on a giant screen behind them. To top it off, I am also collaborating with Director of Photography Raul Casares, the man behind the camera for Runaway Sun’s Bad Bad Man music video, to shoot black and white video footage of Houston as part of the show’s setting. Mix it all together and you get a wonderful blend of site and sound across many art forms. And that’s just the opening act! That night Freneticore will also perform Rite of Summer, their modern take on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, with a musical score that has been “chopped and screwed” by Houston composer Chris Becker. Please join us August 1 at the Wortham Center for an unforgettable experience. CLICK TO GET TICKETS...

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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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