A little fairy visitor in my music studio… and a little reflection about transformation

´Cause I cannot stay within
This motionless netherworld
Within my chrysalis cold

Will I emerge like butterfly into the vibrant daylight?

Those are words from my song “At the Dreams Door” that was featured in my second album The Underliving.

As you may have already noticed I love fairy tales and fantasy. Not only my music and art nourish from it, I have a collection of illustrated fairy tales. I simply love all those XIX and early XX illustrations with fairies and princesses in my magic attire… :). Reading fantastic stories with a hot mug of tea, one of my favourite thing to do on moody rainy days.

So I was away hiking  recently with some friends that were visiting when @hedac made a phone call and told me he had found a little butterfly in the  music studio. It had been born from a chrysalis that came along with a purchased plant. The little creature had perched confidently on Héctor and and refused to leave on that chilly and rainy day. So the butterfly got all cozy and was our “fairy” companion for the day, cleaning its antennae with its fore legs, perching on our hands… we were mesmerized and for a few hours we forgot all about our daily tasks to take pictures and film it.  So small, and yet so magical… I’m always amazed by the patterns in the wings. As an illustrator I find it so inspiring so I made a few doodles on my sketchbook. I confess I like  moths over vivid colored butterflies and I feel more inclined to the muted colors of moths.  Maybe because I am myself kind of mousy. But this little butterfly also had these brown earth moth colors… I wonder what kind of butterfly it is, if any knows  let me know to edit it and include the species. 🙂

I find metamorphosis such an outstanding and inspiring metaphor of TRANSFORMATION

So why sharing this personal moment here, because I wanted to speak about change…

we fear change…

Sometimes we feel the need but we refuse to change… we get stuck in our old habits thinking that “changing” would be betraying some rigid and frozen convictions we have built about ourselves, about who we are. We smother ourselves keeping our thoughts inside a pre-made grid because it is what it feels safe… This is the way we usually do things so it’s “comfortable” to keep on doing the same. We even feel guilty when the need of change becomes blatantly obvious.
I always say… “Thoughts are boundless” We should not have to feel fear of what comes next… if we “open our eyes” we can peek what lies ahead… It is not like moving forward blindly, but still there comes a moment where you have to take risks and nothing ever changes unless we give a first step… I know, it´s difficult for most of us, for me too, thus I write these motivational posts, they are also self-reminders. I can be bold and brave sometimes, but I also have moments where I’m beset by doubts and fear… fear to change!

And why do we fear to change? I guess we know that sometimes this transformation is a time where we feel like stalling, slow, trapped… The process is not immediate, it takes time, effort, energy.
Hatching from a cocoon is a hard and very delicate time until we can unfold our wings and get ready to fly…
If not… ask this little fellow! 🙂

We can change for the better and that is not betraying ourselves…! We decide who we are, we decide who we will be.

And maybe there comes a time where we need to transform into something better, or more correctly something different to fulfill a purpose… and that doesn’t mean we are betraying ourselves or our work… we evolve, we grow, we transform and on our journey and sometimes we become something different than what we were when we started… still being OURSELVES. And the same with our goals and dreams… they shift too along with us.

We must acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them, but we must do it without self-punishing ourselves for having committed them but being proud of have been able to overcome them. Every struggle we have had to undergo has already changed us… They have made us stronger, and more aware.

What lies ahead is always UNCERTAIN, it has to be that way… but still we must fly away

Mood: Becoming…!

Above: me with our visitor… I even filmed some scenes for a forthcoming music video, for a little while she was our “starlet” and model. I say “she” cos it´s a fairy princess in disguise… Then it vanished into thin air… we kept opening the door the following days so we hope it found its way out. Grateful for the magical moment you provided and the thoughts you evoked 🙂

Pd: In my head I’ll imagine my little friend like this… hope it made it somewhere safe. This other photo is another butterfly enjoying the lovely outdoors on a warm Spring day…

Who is longing and yearning for Spring? and butterflies?

But wait! almost time… all around me is changing and transforming too… all awaiting to grow!

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Oh no! I can´t sing! My home remedy for sore throat and hoarse voice

First some tips for singers, performers or anyone feeling soreness of throat and strained voice…

So it happened, I woke up yesterday with sore throat and I cannot barely swallow… of course the first advice I would give myself as a singer is DO NOT overuse now that you are aware you are experiencing loss of voice (whichever the cause, allergies, cold, vocal misuse…). The symptoms of dysphonia vary from a fatigued, raspy voice, struggling to reach the high notes, or having its phonation altered so you squeak like a teenager or lose control of the pitch, or worse even… you’re absolutely voiceless. Time to STOP… Let it repair and rest, and check with a doctor if the problem persists too long as it could be masking further and more serious problems like nodes or thyroid gland malfunction.

But let’s say you got a respiratory infection, a nasty cold, you sang your lungs out, or you simply partied too much in a noisy environment and you woke up feeling your throat is on fire and having lost control of your voice… What can we do?

Hydration is the key

Number 1 advice is vocal rest but if you do have to perform and it’s absolutely unavoidable, drink a lot of warm (not cold) water, keeping your cords hydrated will help you to get rid of the phlegm that sticks to the back of your throat. Sipping warm water throughout the day works wonders against most ailments including this one. Avoid copious food as acid reflux is a vocal cords killer and may cause permanent laryngitis. Bad digestions equals to unhealthy voice. If you feel the need to cough try to repress it. Do not whisper, if you can´t talk, then don´t. Also remember warm up before any speech or performance to relieve further stress. If it gets worse, you were warned! REST! I will do an in depth article (or maybe video about more vocal tips if you are interested, but as I have had to deal with this discomfort myself these last few days I wanted to share here my “miracle home remedy” that helps me to clear my voice when this happens

So I’m voiceless I need a quick fix… Time for a GINGER TEA VOCAL RESCUE

What ingredients do you need?

  • Ginger root (fresh, sliced or grated)
  • Honey
  • Water
  • Lemon Juice
  • Herbs (optional): Thyme, Peppermint, Sage
  • Spices (cardamom, clove, cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne pepper)

Just add the ingredients and heat until it simmers, let it rest until it’s warm.

Water of course is the basic ingredient, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article “hydration is the key”. So keep in mind to prepare enough to refill your cup when you need.
Herbs and spices are optional but these extra ingredients allow you to make different combinations and vary the taste of your tea and each one has their particular benefits. The honey helps to coat your throat to achieve a smoother voice. You can also use propolis instead which has enhanced antibacterial properties but some people dislike the taste and smell of it. Lemon is acid and promotes the production of saliva, helping to get rid of phlegm and mucus. These herbs can boost your “witchy potion”. Peppermint is good to clear the phlegm, thyme is a natural antibiotic and will help to keep mild respiratory infections at bay. Some people add also Licorice Root. The spices also helps in keeping oral health and assist in your digestion… but let’s talk of course about the main ingredient ginger root.


The rhizoma of Zingiber Officinale looks like a plump fairy or a mandrake root from a witch’s apotechary :). Ginger has a lot of medicinal properties, many of which have been proved scientifically… The benefits of ginger tea are proved and lots of singers and voice professionals will tell you this: It simply works!!! It is caffeine free but works as a booster, increasing your body temperature and metabolism, it aids your immune system and also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties- It also helps with nausea… too good to be true? It is also delicious in an exotic way but beware, it’s rather spicy too, so if you like it mild use slices instead of grated root.
If you don’t like the taste of the tea at all you can also gargle it… though, oh my, what a waste! 😉

Also if you are in a hurry you can grate ginger and keep it in a glass flask preserved in honey, so when you need the “rescue” you only have to put a spoonful in hot water with lemon and ready to go!

By the way this tea is delicious and you don’t have to be sick to drink, it´s also good for self-care and prevention to keep your singing voice in good shape.
I want to state that I’m not a vocal coach, and if you do experience a permanent loss of voice, both a doctor to check and a vocal coach to teach you a proper vocal technique (to sing and/or speak) are highly recommended to avoid further damage. But if you are experiencing just a temporary loss of your voice I hope you find this article useful. I just wanted to share this “quick fix” as it works amazingly well for me.

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Untrodden paths, finding our own way…

Sharing some pictures of me, taken last weekend. As you may know already, besides music and illustration I love to hike in Nature and create Fantasy inspired photography as a way to tell short stories (sometimes motivational).

It is chilly outside… It may snow again tonight! We are all summoning Spring but Winter is still sitting on the throne…
But every season has its own magic, I love the way snow can transform everything overnight. I somehow welcome and need that “change” too… It is like when you wake up and everything has been covered by clean and pure white snow so you can walk on a new untrodden path. You can set your course, chose your way… Every possibility lies before you. And I am sure many of you will understand what I mean. ;). Maybe even the footprints that you leave will help others to follow.
Dare to venture… our souls are wild…!

Is there snow where you live?

Photos of me taken by Héctor Corcín  February 2018. My fantasy photography is usually in collaboration with him (sometimes other fellow photographers as well). We often film on these locations and we use these footage on our own music videos too, so it´s all part of the same project in that way 🙂

Cloak by myself, antlers by Costurero Real

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You can touch the Moon… a little motivational story for artists

I wanted to share these series of photos of me  along with a little motivational story for all artists out there.  As a singer-songwriter and illustrator I have faced discouragement so many times, but I have always stood up and kept on fighting. It doesn’t matter if you are emerging or if you have already decades of experience. Sometimes we move forward, sometimes we stall. In my case there have been sweet moments, there have been struggling ones, but I’ve never stopped perceiving myself as an artist. This has been my journey half of my life already.

So you have a dream… and it´s like touching the Moon…!

So very often you will stumble upon people who will tell you straightforward “it is useless”, “it is impossible”, “You cannot touch the Moon, it is out of your reach and that is an actual scientific fact!”. And sometimes you are overwhelmed by the logic of it all, and suddenly what you aim for feels like “just another silly dream”, a source of frustration and wasted time…  But it is not. Keep the Moon at sight!

But they don’t understand that you are already “touching the moon in your own way” because that is precisely the magic of “ART” that it is a for to express our spirits and share a piece of our souls. True Art is not ruled by the “actual facts” but by “feelings”. And when I say “True Art” I make no mention if it´s good or bad (that depends on everyone´s taste and is another matter entirely) I mean if it´s something born from the heart.

Even an illusion or a metaphor it is able to carry and convey the MEANING and purpose of an artist creation. All is real in your mind eye and that thrill is enough to keep a dream alive. The spark of imagination creates your own and unique way to do it. Howl, dance, sing believe! Create!  Do not become obsessed to measure your worth in numbers,. Just worship and appreciate how you evolve and improve…  that´s the biggest success of all.  And this is also a reminder to myself, in those moments I forget.

You have a dream, and you can touch the Moon!

Thoughts are boundless.

PD: All photos were taken by my partner Héctor Corcín during a Super Moon in Navarre, 2015

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Windband Incantations: What are bull roarers and Wind-Bands? A simple yet haunting music instrument

Hello again, I’m sharing  this improvised “Wind incantation” I recorded in Samhain, 1st October 2015. Wind has always been an inspiration and a personal “obsession”. I even wrote a song called “The Wind song” in one of my albums.  As I mentioned in my introduction post, I love to collect and play rare and folk instruments to layer the sounds in my work, so here is a “Capella” improvisation just with a “wind-band”.

What are wind-bands and bull roarers?

Wind bands are in fact instruments inspired in the “bull roarers”, an ancient music instrument  consisting in a piece of wood attached to a cord that you just spin to make it buzz. There are archaeological evidence of their existence since the Paleolithic period in several continents. From Scandinavia, to Ancient Greece to Australia, it  is found in many cultures with different names. It was used to communicate over distance (the low frequency can travel and be heard several miles away) and also in rituals to keep “evil spirits” at bay and summon good forces.

Wind bands are a modern type of “bull roarers” and  belong too to the same category of music instruments called “aerophones” as the sounds depend on the vibration caused by air against the surface of the instrument.  They are very easy to build  and the sound it produces is somehow a mix of  the didgeridoo and the classic bull roarer. They are usually constructed of wood with a rubber band resonator. It doesn’t require any special technique except twirling it with the handle, depending on the speed it can create a variety of sounds and is tune-able to different pitches.

When you spin it it produces a drone sound,  kind of eerie and ghostly, the pitch can be changed adjusting the distance of the “dividing piece”, if you place such piece in an angle it can create harmonics too.  Some stores sell “double wind bands” to mix two tones. As you can see the building plan is rather simple.  I love to bring it with me when I hike and  I just  improvise along with the drone.  I love rare instruments, fantasy, myths, legends and music.


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