Joanna's 100 Most Recent Forum Posts

iComper's Covering iComper's Thread 5 years ago
Does it count if I was part of the cover of my own song?

The original of "These Tears":
http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=37916

And the very different production by JD and Jayman (with me just doing vocals):
http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=40006
My First Computer Was... 6 years ago
At work I used a Wang word processor. With a $1200 tax rebate I bought an IBM clone. It had no hard drive, just two floppy drives. I used Multi Mate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MultiMate) for word processing because it was the closest to the Wang.

After a couple of years, I switched positions at work and had to learn the Mac. I fell instantly in love (and used my home computer less and less). As soon as I could afford one, I bought a Mac LC. It came with a 20 meg HD, but I upgraded to the amazingly huge 40 megs. Yeah, I was styling. I bought Macs from then on with the exception of the time I bought a Mac clone. Never made that mistake again. Macs just used to be soo expensive.
Of your music, which song is your favorite? 6 years ago
As a solo, maybe this one: http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=32778

As a collab where I was one of writers, it's between

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=61428

and


http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=26638
What were your first jobs? 6 years ago
Other than babysitting, my first job was a fun one. I worked in a movie theatre. I did almost everything there -- sold tickets, ushered, even did janitorial.

My weirdest job was at a canning company. I was a pea washer and a corn cutter. Those sure are impressive on a resumé!

-- Joanna
Loops 6 years ago
By your criteria, if a person laid down a few loops, created a melody, wrote lyrics, recorded a vocal singing that melody and those lyrics and then did the engineering, nothing in that process is original because a couple of loops were used to get it all started.

Don't get me wrong --I love a talented musician. I love working with some of iComp's wonderful pianists, guitar players, saxophonists, etc. And it's generally accepted that if an iComper records a track that establishes the key, my work of creating melody, lyrics and vocals is original work. So why would it not be original if I started with a loop instead of a piano track by an iComper? Or why would a song be original if I played a chord on my ukulele but not original if I spent several hours choosing and manipulating loops, playing several instruments, and singing melody and lyrics?

It's nonsense. Originality is far more complex than a simple yes/no checklist of possible loop use.

-- Joanna
A powerful seat belt video/ad 6 years ago
Wow, that's utterly amazing. Whoever came up with that concept is brilliant.
Introducing Comment References 6 years ago
Thanks for this new perk. It's a great idea.

I'd love to have it on song descriptions, too, so one can reference a collaborator (i.e. PM on drums, etc.). I know they're in the credits but people can forget that.
Official Song Plugging Thread 6 years ago
If you haven't heard my work, I've made a sampler of some my songs to introduce you to my stuff.

Joanna Sampler

If you hear a snippet you like, there are links to the full song on the page.

-- Joanna
The Business of Songwriting 7 years ago
Thanks, Bec! I'll give it my best.
The Business of Songwriting 7 years ago
Interesting article, Bec. Thanks for the link. I just got an offer this morning to collaborate with a working songwriter, so it helps not to be completely in the dark about the business. I've done some research, but need to do more.

-- Joanna
Discussion about Backing Track Information 7 years ago
Here's a site where you can check whether or not any song is in the public domain:

http://www.pdinfo.com/list.php

If it is, you're okay. If not, it's probably a violation of copyright.
Discussion about Backing Track Information 7 years ago
Wow, artneuro, that's about as clear an explanation as I've seen. Hopefully that'll answer some of the questions that have been flying around this thread.
Discussion about Backing Track Information 7 years ago
Vixen wrote:
it was not designed to put you in your place, simply to express my own opinion...why should I fear expressing it if it differs from yours? As I said while I admire your ideas I have no wish to emulate...sorry if that offends


I never said you should fear anything, nor that I was offended. You called my ideas simplistic, so I tried to explain them further, thinking I'd obviously done a poor job the first time. Honestly, I don't know you, have never heard you, have no idea what kind of music you do and therefore would never, ever, try to impose my will on you. Even if I did know you, I wouldn't do that. I was just trying to explain myself because I wasn't certain that you understood what I meant. Now I know that this wasn't the case, so I'll not post about it again, promise.

-- Joanna
Discussion about Backing Track Information 7 years ago
Vixen wrote:
and Joanna, while I admire your simplistic ideas for backing, if I wanted to hum I would do so in the shower smiley


Well, I guess that put me in my place! smiley

Why did you assume I was speaking of something simplistic? Here's what I had in mind:

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=32695

The entire song is done with voice, both the melody and the "backing" (the latter of which are 'hums', meant to sound like the melancholy wind of a hurricane). I'm not claiming it's an original, never tried before idea, but it was a brand new approach for me and I therefore had to figure out every aspect of how to go about it to make it all sound cohesive. I'm not a musician, just an amateur singer and songwriter, so what's simple for some can still be tough for me.

In truth, every one of the simplistic ideas for backing that I wrote above are things that I've used to create my songs. I've got quite a lot of songs posted here. I'm not one of the big stars who make the charts all the time, but some people listen and I've had some very interesting opportunities come my way simply because I have my music posted online.

I'm not trying to talk you into anything. It sounds like your mind is made up and that's fine. I wrote my note for those people who are open to trying something new to create their musical beds. You don't have to be a musician to make beautiful music.

-- Joanna
Discussion about Backing Track Information 7 years ago
I'm a singer and I've never used a backing track, though I always thought it would be fun to do so. Instead I either use loops, try to create something myself (at varying times I've used a keyboard, a ukulele, an acoustic guitar, an imitation of a trumpet/trombone I do with my voice, a bamboo flute I bought on ebay for a penny, and multi-track close vocal harmony, among other things), or collaborate.

If you're a singer, try close harmony 'hums' for an interesting backing track. Or just grab a loop of a bass and a drum and let your voice soar. Then post that and ask for others to add to it (although it's best if you seek out the sound you want. If you want a jazz sax, ask one of the resident jazz sax players rather than hope they find you). That way you're not posting a dry vocal track, if that freaks you out.

There must be 50 ways to leave your backing tracks (I shouldn't type when Paul Simon is playing on my iTunes).

- Joanna
Official Song Plugging Thread 7 years ago
Just posted a lean jazz song. I'm open for a collab on this one if you can play jazz.


http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=142524
Official Song Plugging Thread 7 years ago
A song for Memorial Day:

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=141826
Does EVERYONE on here play keyboards? 7 years ago
I'm just a singer. I use loops if I'm working on my own (or ukulele, since I'm trying to learn it), but I've had the great good fortune to collab with some extremely talented musicians. I'm pretty darn lucky to have done so. Not one thing about them was Maytaggish. These people were excellent! So play your heart out and if you want others to join in, just ask. There are plenty of people who would love some live jive in their work.

-- Joanna
Garage band loops 7 years ago
I've used loops in many of my songs because I'm a singer and I love to write lyrics. I like the variety of sounds I can get from loops. I can have a small quartet or a symphony orchestra. Sure, you can tell me to learn to play the violin, viola, cello, bass, timpani, trombone, trumpet, clarinet, flute, etc.. Truth is, I don't have the time, inclination, resources or desire to learn every possible instrument on the planet. I just want to sing. So I string together loops, write some lyrics and then I sing.

Can I play any instrument? I used to play the sax and the guitar (guitar was recently stolen from me, so that road is closed). Right now I'm learning the ukulele. I was never great at any instrument, but I've had positive feedback on my singing. That makes me happy. It's why I've often used loops.

-- Joanna
My Voice Doesn't Work! 7 years ago
Have you changed anything in your diet or are you taking any new medications? I lost my voice for almost an entire year. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong. I had CTs, MRIs, even endoscopic surgery, but there no was no help. My throat tissue was so swollen it was sitting on my vocal chords, but they couldn't figure out why. Finally, I figured out that I was allergic to my blood pressure medicine. Once I went off that, my voice started to improve. It got to a certain point then stopped getting better until I discovered that vicodin somehow jump-started the healing again. I took vicodin for about 20 days, which helped a lot, and the rest just took time. About 3 years later my singing voice was recovered enough that I could sing again (though I'd lost most of the upper register).

Anyway, make sure you aren't allergic to anything you're putting in your mouth. You don't want to do the kind of damage I did.

-- Joanna
Singing robot! 8 years ago
Thanks guys! The owner is now working on getting those little ear things to turn.
Singing robot! 8 years ago
I'm going to help the robot sell Girl Scout cookies by recording some voice-over tracks for the owner. He gave me some more background and apparently there are a few hundred robots like his out there in the world but his is one of only 5 that can move. The rest just stand in the corner and blink lights.

He also said he's so sick of hearing "Danger, Will Robinson" that he's tempted to delete the sound file.

-- Joanna
Singing robot! 8 years ago
According to his note, "It made a nice change from 'Danger, Will Robinson'."
Singing robot! 8 years ago
This is so cool! Someone put one of my songs into a robot!

Singing robot

-- Joanna
Ewww (Proposition 8) 8 years ago
There are a bunch of them, but it's not the pictures so much as what Proposition "Hate" stands for. The people behind it (who do not live in California) want to build discrimination into our state's constitution. The banner ads have pictures of the candidates or little graphics of families or sample ballots, etc. Innocuous on the surface, evil inside.

-- Joanna
Ewww (Proposition 8) 8 years ago
Thanks, MMI, the CDM post explains a lot. I've since heard of other places that use Google ads having this same problem. None of the sites, of course, should have this ad since it has nothing to do with content.

Right now, that disgusting ad is spread across the top of the page, dwarfing the iCompositions logo. It makes the site look like it's the prop 8 headquarters. I know this will all end today, but I can't help getting the heebie-jeebies at seeing it and I don't have to be gay to feel that way.

And yes, I know about the ad-free thing but at this time that's not an option for me.

-- Joanna
Ewww (Proposition 8) 8 years ago
These ads are not marked as Google ads and they appear to have every ad slot on the page -- every page. I've never seen this before (usually there are a variety of things advertised, not just one source endlessly repeated in every size and placement). That's why I spoke up -- it didn't follow the pattern I'd seen before and therefore made me think prop 8 did a buy-out.

I guess I'll stay far away from iComp until the election is over because this is grossing me out in a huge way.

-- Joanna
Ewww (Proposition 8) 8 years ago
I don't know if others an see them or it's just those in California, but the ads on iComp have become exclusively about bigotry. Why on earth is iComp supporting an amendment that wants to take away human rights in California's state constitution?

This is horrifying to see on a site dedicated to music and friendship. I can't believe you would do this. Proposition 8 is one of the slimiest things ever put on the ballot and you're supporting it! I don't care how much they're paying you. It's wrong.

-- Joanna
Do you Sit or Stand? 8 years ago
I sit when I sing and always use a mic stand. Sitting works fine for me. Haven't heard any complaints.

-- Joanna
iComp 'Top 10' RIP? 8 years ago
I like it. I don't land there very often (I don't think I've ever been there as a solo, only as a collab and I never get to post my collabs, my partners always do), but when a song does make it, it's a lot of fun because there are so many hits.

I've heard songs on the list that I don't like but I've also discovered songs that I wouldn't have heard otherwise. Keep it. It's not like it hurts anyone.

-- Joanna
Overlooking Criminals 9 years ago
Mac the Knife, a song about a serial killer. Heck, I actually wrote a song called Serial Killer. I never posted it on this site, though. It sort of made people uncomfortable. Didn't want to freak anyone out.

I'm one of those people who knows nothing about rap and hiphop. I'm a massive fan of old jazz and blues standards from Ella, Billie and too many to name here. Hearing those women sing just fills me up. I imagine that's how others feel who love rock or metal or country or rap -- any genre. We all have opinions and there are simply some genres that speak to us and others that don't.

I don't expect everyone to love my stuff. I'm old-fashioned and at times a wee bit weird (although I am one of the female singers on the site and therefore, according to this thread, guaranteed to get attention. The fact that I can go weeks or months without any comments shouldn't curtail the myth that we are magical talismans of popularity! I rather like that idea).

And now, back to my jazzy iTunes.

-- Joanna
Fundraiser 9 years ago
I like PM's thought about not taking away from free users, but rather adding for the paid users. I can't afford to subscribe to iComp. If there were severe upload limits, etc. I'd probably give up and be satisfied with Macjams and MacIdol (both are excellent sites and neither charges for the service). I'm hoping PM doesn't go too crazy and lets the have-nots like me stick around.

-- Joanna
Who Do you sound Like or who sounds like YOU 9 years ago
At times I've been told I sound like Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Julie London, or Ella Fitzgerald. I suspect it's less that I sound like them than I sing the same kind of songs as they did.

-- Joanna
Official Song Plugging Thread 9 years ago
A bit of improv:

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=85838
Do you listen to your own music? 9 years ago
Yes, I do. Well, they scroll off so fast that someone has to do it.

-- Joanna
Welcome Back 9 years ago
What's the ETA of the music?
Lyrics versus Music 9 years ago
I was reading a book on the business of songwriting earlier and there was a list of the 10 things music publishers most want to see in a songwriter. This was based on a large group of respondants. The number one thing they looked for, above melody, contacts, musical ability, etc. -- was the ability to write good lyrics.

I thought that was very encouraging news for the wordsmiths out there. I know that if I had my professional druthers, I'd prefer to be a lyricist and would happily let someone else worry about the music.

-- Joanna
Lyrics versus Music 9 years ago
For me, it's the lyrics. I love writing lyrics; my favorite part of the process. But I'm coming at this from another place due to my being a professional writer in my "real" life. Words are always where my heart is.

-- Joanna
Inappropriate Artist Collabs 9 years ago
Barr said, "Joanna doing some Reggaeton would be great!"

I guess no one wanted to see anything that innapropriate. The world is safe, at least for awhile longer.

Been having fun listening to some to some tracks.

-- Joanna
Did you join iComp hoping to be picked up by a record label? 9 years ago
Please ignore what I said above. Apparently one can get amazing opportunities out of the blue from posting on a music site. I had no idea.

-- Joanna
Did you join iComp hoping to be picked up by a record label? 9 years ago
I have no illusions about being "discovered". I just like to sing.
Who are the sexiest vocalists on IC? 9 years ago
I think Wal4u has a sexy voice. Love the deep gravel. I'll leave the choices of female to the males here.

-- Joanna
Songs with Long Titles 9 years ago
"I'm a Cranky Old Yank in my Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokahama with my Honolulu Mama, Singing Those Neato, Beato, Flat on my Feeto Blues"

"I’d Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me Than a Frontal Lobotomy"
are we all "too much friendly ??" 9 years ago
There are wet and dry mixes?
Inappropriate Artist Collabs 9 years ago
Mystified singing Heavy Metal.

-- Joanna
Contribute to a Halloween Holiday Podcast 9 years ago
I have two that might work.

The first is Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven", a spoken word piece with an original score:

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=32878

The second is more light-hearted. It's called "When Monsters Want to Dance", a children's song:

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=49562

-- Joanna
Can I make my vocals sound like an instrument? 9 years ago
I have the same problem, Mary. Lots of music in my head and not so much ability to play instruments. The closest I come to what you're talking about is imitating brass instruments, but I do that with my voice, not with GB. I guess you could record something with your voice and then go back and pencil it into midi note for note. Once you have a midi file you can do what you want with it. Time-consuming but might be an interesting experiment.

-- Joanna
how do you create songs? 9 years ago
I throw some loops up, whatever fits my mood and then I begin to sing, improvising a melody and lyrics. If I like it, I write the lyrics (usually doesn't take very long because it's my favorite part of the process) and then I go back and tweak the melody and the lyrics until they fit.

I often make up songs while cooking and sometimes I come up with interesting things during that process. Usually it's a lyrical hook that I like.

If I'm collaborating (i.e. there's already a musical bed) I'll think about a theme or a hook to build my lyrics around. Then I do the improv stuff with melody lyrics as above.

I've even posted some of my raw improvisations -- songs where I threw some loops up without listening to them, turned on the mic and just started singing. Whatever came into my head at that moment became the song.

Sometimes I just put up drums and bass and do the improv thing. Then I go back later and add some other instrument. I may use loops or I may try to play something myself. I might even add fake brass (which is really just me impersonating or a trumpet or trombone with my voice). Depends on the song.

I tend not to spend all that much time on songs since I'm usually stealing the time from my work. That's why I haven't done anything in a couple of months. Been too busy. When I finish my current project, I'm going to sing. Can't wait.

-- Joanna
What instrument(s) do you play? 10 years ago
I sing and can supplement by singing like a trumpet or trombone. As for actual instruments, I don't play any well. I used to play sax but sold it. However, various instruments I've played on my tracks include keyboard, acoustic guitar, ukulele, bamboo flute, and kazoo.

-- Joanna
Wanted: brass, woodwinds for a Big Band sound 10 years ago
right. Then PM me and I'll tell what to do after that.
Wanted: brass, woodwinds for a Big Band sound 10 years ago
G# at 110 bpm

I have no idea why I chose that key. I think I was in my "let's try them all!" phase. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you could do with the tenor sax. I'm trying to get the brass and woodwinds before I think in terms of piano or guitar.

When the bass drops out, that's the drummer's solo. I promised him he could have that real estate to himself. Everything else is fair game.

Thanks!

-- Joanna
Wanted: brass, woodwinds for a Big Band sound 10 years ago
A long time ago I had this crazy idea that it would be fun to write a song in the Big Band style. The problem is that I don't play the instruments necessary to do so. What I did was write a song to a simple bass line. I got some very talented people to contribute, including a bunch of guys to shout (think Pennsylvania 6500) and an amazing drummer who did a Buddy Rich drum solo. Happily, there's room for another solo, too. So if you play the trumpet or trombone, sax or clarinet, I'd love to see if I can get this song off the ground.

I don't have written music for you -- you'll have to figure out your part and any harmonies you want to add (when can one trumpet sound like a bunch of them? When you record a bunch of tracks, of course). This is a true collaboration, with everyone adding their talent to the whole. It would sound so cool if we can get our virtual Big Band together on this!

If it works, I'll redo the vocals and spiffy them up.

You can find the song here: Nellie G.

PM me if you want to have a go at it!

-- Joanna[/url]
Female Needed for spoken word 10 years ago
Surak, I'll help you out, no problem.
Lullaby competition? 10 years ago
Well, the competition may be long over, but just in case you need it, here's a Lullaby for Grown-ups
Artist Interviews? 10 years ago
I'm in! I was just interviewed for Korean television last week so I'm already in the mode.

-- Joanna
Thank you 10 years ago
Today is my one year anniversary on iComp. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you wonderful people for welcoming me so warmly, listening to my music, and giving such valuable, supportive feedback. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to be here and to participate with such a wonderful community.

-- Joanna
Invisible Dyad Contest Results 10 years ago
Great fun and thanks to all participants and voters!

-- Joanna
Invisible Dyads Contest Discussion 10 years ago
I'm excited! I can't wait to see who did what.
Thoughts on loops 10 years ago
I use a lot of loops because I'm not a musician. I can't play all those instruments. But I do love to sing, and in order to do so without making every song a capella, I lay down a bed of loops. I then use my voice to create an original melody line and I write lyrics. Lyrics are often overlooked in the music community, but to me they can be the stars of the show. A song with great lyrics is a true joy. Add a talented singer and I'm in heaven.

What this really says is that everyone's tastes are different. What's important to one is not to another. I rarely notice drums. They're way below my radar. But to others on this thread they're as important to them as lyrics are to me.

Specific to this site, it's primarily for amateurs. I'm certainly an amateur. I make music for fun. It relaxes me. Makes me feel good. I don't expect to get 'discovered' on iComp and get a career from it. And as an amateur, I happily use the tools provided -- loops. I'm grateful they exist or I wouldn't be here.

-- Joanna
Invisible Dyads Contest Discussion 10 years ago
I had a great experience with my partner and I'm pleased with the song we created. We both brought something to the mix and had a lot of fun.

-- Joanna
Invisible Dyad Contest Sign Up 10 years ago
I'm in.
Post your '5-minute-song!' 10 years ago
I hate to admit how many songs of mine would fit, but I'll cop to one here, Banana Man. It's a bluesy jazz song where I just threw some loops onto the window and imrpovised. No lyrics, no melody but I did toss in as many banana puns as humanly possible.

-- Joanna
Vocals 10 years ago
Have the guts to sound like what you sound like. Don't bury your vocals in effects. The human voice is so compelling. Let it be real.

-- Joanna
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
Wonderful job again, JD. Highlighting surf music was a great idea because it always seems to have the power to put a person in a good mood. And on the opposite end, the songs about New Orleans were very powerful. I thank you for incluidng my Lament in there.

-- Joanna
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
Thank you for another great shout-out, Julian. I always find them fascinating.

-- Joanna
Have you heard ... so and so? 10 years ago
I agree, OA, Stun Nutz is an inventive, original guy. I did a collab with him and I love what he did to my very simple track.

-- Joanna
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
Another great column, Julian! It's nice to see the loopers spotlighted. One thing Garageband gave so many people is a chance to make music without the skill to play an instrument. Making music isn't just about guitars and singing and pianos. At its heart, it's stringing sounds together, in whatever form or fashion you can. We don't have to like it all, but we should respect it.

Now I have to go listen to some of the gems you pointed out. Thank you again for doing all this work.

-- Joanna
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
Another fascinating report, Julian. I love the history lessons you include. And since the blues is one of my favorite genres, this week's essay and featured artists are especially interesting to me. You've spotlighted old favorites like Ziti as well as some artists I haven't heard. What a smörgasbord of delight awaits us all!

On a personal note, I thank you for pointing out my collaboration with Bronco. He's a talented guy and a joy to work with.

-- Joanna
Recommend Horn Sounds 10 years ago
I have found that imitating horns with one's voice works great for trumpet and trombone. Just practice getting that nice, brassy sound and you're on your way. After all, it's said that the trumpet was first created to simulate the human voice, so turn-about is fair play.

-- Joanna
Official Song Plugging Thread 10 years ago
Because Halloween is nigh, I thought I'd lead those of you who are fans of Edgar Allen Poe to a recording I made last year for Halloween. It's a reading of "The Raven" set to original music.

The Raven

I hope you enjoy it.

-- Joanna
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
Fascinating, Julian. I appreciate the history lesson as much as the shouts. Thank you for all the work you put into these!

-- Joanna
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
Well worth the week's wait as always, Julian! Bravo!
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
I agree with the Doc. They're not wordy or too long. One can skim for genres/artists or read the whole thing. It's nice that it's all there for the readers among us. Great job!

-- Joanna
The Criminally Overlooked 10 years ago
Fantastic, Julian! You're like a tourguide of this place, pointing out the interesting sounds and leading us to pages we may never discover otherwise. Thank you so much!

-- Joanna
Homage to jdwyer05 -- it's due 10 years ago
Julian is an incredible guy who is a joyous proponent of music in all its forms. I've been lucky enough to collaborate with him as well as receive his incredible feedback on my work. He is a composer, a critic, a music-lover, and a darn good human being. I salute you, Julian, and hope to enjoy your friendship for a long time.

-- Joanna
Have you heard ... so and so? 10 years ago
I want to second JD's pick of Tyler. Tyler is a major talent and if you want to be blown away on a regular basis, you'll listen to him pick his guitar. Oh, man, but does he know how to caress an acoustic!

-- Joanna
Pyrofly Radio Needs Folk 11 years ago
I have a couple of folk songs you're free to use:

The Captain

Breath

I Can't Play the Ukulele

The last one is very silly, so listen at your own risk.

-- Joanna
iCompositions Slogan Contest 11 years ago
iComp, iCollab, iListen, iLoveIt!
Female composers needed for Pyro Fly 11 years ago
Pyro, just found this thread and was intrigued. However, I'm also a feminist, so no sense volunteering.

I will, however, wish you good luck with your non-feminist all-female songwriter show. Lots of talented women on this site.

-- Joanna
How do you do it? 11 years ago
I feel as though I have no past in music, and yet I do. I took piano lessons as a kid for a few months – enough to guarantee I can't play the piano. I played the sax in the school band, but my sax is gone now. I wrote songs with a friend, using the few chords we knew on the piano, when I was in the 8th grade. I taught myself some guitar chords when I was in college and played poorly, but knew enough to write songs to my bad playing.

About 15 years ago, I put away my guitar and stopped writing songs. I sang around the house, and to friends, but didn't think much about it. I felt my voice was nothing special. (A man I was once very close to hated my singing voice, so I was paranoid about it. That's why I put away my guitar.)

Then, a few years ago, I lost my voice. Total silence. I couldn't talk, let alone sing. I had nothing but a very soft whisper. This lasted for almost a year. It was a horrible year. I've spent my life as a communicator, I even majored in communication arts in college, and suddenly, I was unable to speak. I was a voice actress with no voice. Even my writing suffered, as my inner voice grew just as silent as the real one. Doctors tried everything they could think of, even surgery. All they figured out was that my throat tissue was so swollen, it was sitting on my vocal chords. That explained the lost voice, my constant dry cough, and why I had difficulty breathing, but no one could tell me WHY this had happened.

Then one day, I was looking over the information the pharmacy gave me for my blood pressure pills and saw all of my symptoms listed in the "Warning" section. It turned out that I was allergic to the pills.

I switched pills, and some of my symptoms eased, but getting my voice back took a long time. My speaking voice normalized in about two years. I got my singing voice back in about three.

In the summer of '94, my computer crashed and died. I panicked, as I make my living on my computer. I ran out and got the cheapest Mac I could find, an eMac. On the menu bar was a little picture of a guitar. Curious, I clicked on it.

I didn't figure it out immediately, and had little interest at first. But one night I decided to explore the program a bit more. I found the loops, quickly searched the web to see if one could record vocals on the program, and to my delight, learned about the pinhole mic. That night, I wrote and sang a song. Just a bit of improvisation, but oh, it was so fun! And for someone who had only gotten her singing voice back a month or so ago, it was miraculous.

In three nights, I wrote three songs. I wanted to share them with friends and was tired of emailing, so I googled and found a place to 'store' them: MacIdol. Later, I found Macjams, and recently, I joined iCompositions (it's a long story as to why that took so long).

Now, I write songs to relax. I sing because I love to sing. I have tons of songs no one has heard, made simply to amuse myself. Sometimes, I play computer games and listen to my own music because I can sing along. Everything's in my key!

Music has become my primary tool for relaxation. I don't put any pressure on music. It doesn't have to make me rich. It doesn't have to make me famous. It doesn't have to "lead somewhere." It doesn't have to thrill everyone who listens to it. It doesn't have to make me popular. It doesn't have to be anything other than fun. That's what music is to this once silent voice. Music is communication, self-expression, and most of all, joy.
Your Personal Websites! 11 years ago
I've only recently joined the ranks of website makers. I felt I needed a web presence because I have several books on the market. I have no idea if anyone has ever looked me up, though.

Here is: Joanna's website

It's a mixture of work and play, and I had a lot of fun making it.

-- Joanna
ENGLISH LYRICS WANTED 11 years ago
If you can provide the translation, so that I can tell what you want to sing about, I could give it a try. Let me know.

-- Joanna
Official Song Plugging Thread 11 years ago
Hello. I'm new to iComp and am still getting my feet wet here. I'm a female vocalist who likes to sing jazz, with occasional forays into other genres. I'm trying not to overwhelm the new songs list, so I promise not to upload more than one song a day. If you're interested, check out my songs here:

http://www.icompositions.com/artists/Joanna/

I thank you in advance,

-- Joanna
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