I have moved temporarily next door and it’s trippy. Having only lived in 1 apartment in NYC, and a studio at that, I am now in a 1 bedroom, while they renovate my apartment. At first, I was not happy and could not imagine taking ALL my things out of my trusted and beloved home and setting up life in a new space… then I said, “Darn it, I will embrace it!” So I did and I am OK with it all now. To quote a lyric in a new song I wrote a few months back, “Change is a freedom, that’s a proven fact.” Onward & upward!
Tag Archives: denise marsa
My Building in the News Today…New York Times
Here is part (my part) of the story from the #newyorktimes today. It is an important story. I have been sharing images and videos about this for the past month or so…over the years I have shared images from my windows. I have always felt so lucky to have my view. These days the deconstruction of 14 Gay is all too apparent, and unsavory, both visually and sonically. The sound of a saw cutting into brick, is not my favorite sound, in fact, quite horrible & relentless. I have seen and heard both sides and I know these buildings have been in disarray for years. I have done what I could to keep up my own building – luckily it is in the best shape of all of them. #CelesteMartin did her own renovation years ago, uncovering the brick and replacing the sheetrock inside. Her plans were to fix the others, but sadly, she never got around to it. And it too will be modernized and renovated soon. I will keep you posted.
I am glad to be a part of this story. It is my home and it is where, for the most part, I have written my songs, all these years. Where I began my career.
PIVOTAL is releasing next year, and it is a reflection of my times in my studio, prior to, during COVID, and afterward. I believe it is my best work yet. More to follow…
New music video
In my long career in the music business, I have only been physically involved in 3 “official” music videos for a single. The first one was for “Lucky Stars,” the duet I sang with Dean Friedman. We went to the CBS / Columbia Studios in New York to record the “live” video. I sat on a stool and Dean sat on a piano bench and played the song. We lip-synced. I enjoyed it, the link to watch the video is here.
The second was for my debut single “The Land Had a Dream,” from my debut solo album “SELF.” We went into my uncle’s movie studio in Los Angeles, he was a successful filmmaker and lent me his studio for a day. We spent a full day making the video. It was great fun and everyone worked very hard on the project. Editing was so much work! The link is here.
The third is about to be released, my new video for the track “FLOAT.” The video is an animated adventure that came to me, as I was mixing the first demo of the song. I worked with a wonderfully talented video graphics designer Karolina Tyszkowska and it was so much fun to work on. I am very proud of this video. I will share the link when we go live.
Mom, New Song & Millions of Dollars
Yesterday I had a chat with my “publisher” (my contact) at BMG. They as of this day administer my Marsa Music catalog. We spoke about the CBS Sunday Morning News piece a few weeks ago about Primary Wave the trends in music publishing and she gave me some insider insight about the president of that company. She also asked me what I thought of the piece. I told her what I told her several times before, as these huge wars for older artists’ catalogs and bodies of work become the obsession of these music publishers that are now being funding in part by hedge funds. I cannot imagine how they will ever get their ROI.
How will they make their money back, especially on the older artists, (ha) that may only tour for a few more years yet alone keep up their artistry, writing new songs as important or popular as their earlier ones? Or maybe that does not matter? We hear about artists making no money on streaming royalties and consumers (music lovers) not buying music any longer due to streaming, though the recent rise on mechanical royalties has just gone up from 9 cents to a bit over 12 cents.
Another question is, what does it say to new artists reading about all these deals, it’s like the music business isn’t tough enough with gold rings beyond most people’s reach, now new artists hear about a classic catalog being sold for 500 million dollars. Talk about the competition. Just so one big company can say to another big company, he stays or comes with us. They negotiate numbers that are hard to believe. It seems to me to be the quintessential definition of CORPORATION EGO. That’s the long and short of it for me. Unless I am missing something?
I have never been a big fan of the music business, (love making music) with its sexism and ageism blatantly displayed for decades. And the money that was once spent on production budgets, especially back in the 80s. These years very wealthy people are investing in catalogs and even artists through music publishers. I saw today, again on CBS Sunday Morning News, that a very wealthy man gave Bob Dylan millions for his archives, his memorabilia, his lyrics typed out and coffee-stained, and they have built him a museum where he lives, in Tulsa, so they can bring in tourism. Not where he was born, where he lives now. Dylan must be tripping about what one might call, his eternal fame. He started off with his acoustic guitar in the West Village, not wanting to be put in a box, singing from his heart & soul about what was going on in this world. Will there be a new era of young artists spreading their thoughts through songs, or is there no money left for labels to promote them to express themselves about today’s wars and injustices?
What would Beethoven or Chopin say, (whose compositions are now public domain and who were the popular musicians of their times) about all this money for music? And what about the public domain? How many years until you won’t have to get permission or pay an estate for a Springsteen song? Well, the key is buying up all the Master recordings of these artists, that is where I imagine they believe the golden dragon lies.
Today I am working on a new song, in honor of my mom. I woke up thinking about an idea to write a song inspired by her as it is Mother’s Day 2022. “Don’t Count Yourself Out Yet.” Ahhh, show biz!
Lots of 2’s today!
4 those that follow this blog: new song new animated video coming soon…
What times these are! Having always enjoyed solo time, there are more and more moments now just becoming one long chunk of time. Days– weeks–months? Just time.
It’s been a creative time for me. How about you? I see now there are 72 followers for this blog! Wow, I’m most grateful. Thank you. Hope you enjoy my posts! Please let me hear from you, how are you, what are you working on?
Stay well and be happy. xo dm
ROADIE & a yellow t-shirt
I was in Austin, Texas back in the early 80’s. My uncle was part of the production team for a movie called ROADIE starring Meatloaf and Debbie Harry. Alan Rudolph was directing. My uncle wanted me to see up close the making of a rock n roll movie and it only made me frustrated. So close…and that’s who I was, I wanted to be where I wasn’t, from day one.
During a break in the shoot, I was talking with Meatloaf and I told him about my work and I gave him a cassette to listen to and he went into his trailer and blasted it. Then came out after the first song, Too Proud to Love, and told me I was a really great songwriter and singer with my own sound and that I just had to keep on my track and one day one person would hear my work at a label and get me. He said you just need the one. He was very cool, he took the time to listen to my work and inspired me to move onward.
A year or so later, my friends were managing me, one was gaining momentum in the business, he had been the tour manager of the Lucky Stars tour in the UK and the other was my drummer. There was a call for an audition for a new singer to go on tour with Meatloaf and my managers were pushing me to audition. I did not want to. They said they/we needed to earn money and that it would be great for my career. I told them I wanted to focus on my own songwriting, and this would be a deterrent, I was upset and then decided to learn the material. Reputation for being difficult?
The day of the audition the one manager, the non-drummer, had a call after the audition was set up – from Meatloaf’s manager and he told my manager that Meatloaf saw my name on the list and remembered me and said he did not think I was the right type for the part. I later found out there was lots of groping, grabbing, sweating, sexual innuendos, and physical actions during the show, and I was relieved beyond words, that he had his manager call and stop the audition. It would have been most embarrassing and distasteful for me and I probably would have walked out. I knew it was a bad idea and yet I was willing to back then and I emphasize back then to consider and even go through with an audition that I knew in my heart was not a good thing for me. You have to follow your gut even when you are young with all kinds of people telling you to do this and you want to do that! I never thanked Meatloaf.
I made the cut in the film, you can see me on stage playing a roadie in a few shots during concert scenes. I was also Debbie Harry’s stand-in a few times. I wish I still had that Roadie yellow t-shirt.
Celeste Martin: Holiday Generosity at its Best
In The Pass Musical, I speak about my guardian angel, Celeste Martin. She owned the carriage house building in the West Village from 1810 that I live in. She passed on December 13, 2018. I have a vignette in my show, about the apartment, aptly titled # 5 My West Village Apartment, and the first time I stepped into this very charming space and started my life in NYC as an artist.
Today I remembered how every holiday Ms. Martin would leave bags of treats for every tenant. She had 36 apartments and 3 commercial spaces at one time all filled, and everyone got gifts! Every year she went to Macy’s and filled up bags and dropped them off at the door of every tenant with a personalized card. And there was always champagne and it was always Veuve Clicquot. I still have a 1999 bottle unopened, because of the date!
Memories can be very special if they are good ones. I like to focus on good ones and when the not-so-good ones come into my head, I whisked them away. No need as these days, are challenging enough. However recalling the holidays with Celeste Martin and the joy she brought to me and all her tenants, well that may keep me warm for days!
How lucky am I to have a memory such as this?
Here’s a story I penned, and West View News shared. A Requiem for Celeste
My Time Spent is My Life Spent
Had a music/song rehearsal with Tracy Stark yesterday. 2.5 hours of singing, finding tempos, trying new things, adding her voice to a few spots, and it was so good to dive back in. I love singing. Though I have had highs & lows in my career, as many artists do, working on The Pass Musical is empowering me to accept all things, past, present & future.
Wake me up, am I dreaming? No, I am living my dream.
I am grateful, I am learning, and I am so freaking excited for 11/18 at 9PM, NYC, 42nd Street, United Solo Festival. —My Time Spent is My Life Spent–For Janet.
Denise Marsa’s The Pass Musical Official Selection 2021 United Solo Festival November 18, 9PM
Press Announcement/KeyMedia Public Relations/Music Industry
Contact: Jordani Sarreal, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Story about Songwriting and the Human Spirit
(New York, New York, Tuesday, October 12, 2021) – In September 2018 The Pass premiered in London at The Playground Theatre. Journalists who attended the two performances expressed their strong support for the piece. London Theatre 1 Chris Omaweng wrote, “A nuanced and fascinating show. It all fits like a glove.” Encouraged by the glowing reviews the author of the show, singer-songwriter Denise Marsa was invigorated and gained the momentum she needed to stay on track with the project. She explained “I set out to tell my story about an artist who never quite gets to where she wants to be, although she comes close. She applies focus, tenacity, and determination. Though her talent was continuously praised, she still never really hits it big. There are many shows about artists and bands that have reached the pinnacle of success, this is a story about not getting to the top. About doing what you love, no matter what the consequences, and staying relevant in a constantly changing industry. This show is more about me coming to terms with my long, winding, and often frustrating career path and exposing my vulnerability.”
The Pass was initially developed in 2017 with theater legend Gretchen Cryer mentoring Denise every step of the way. The show is a compelling series of autobiographical vignettes incorporating songs and stories penned and performed by award-winning singer-songwriter Denise Marsa, featuring renowned New York musician Tracy Stark on keys. Denise recounts her career spanning the decades – beginning at the end of the 70s, pushing through the highly volatile and emotional 80’s, continuing through the start of the tech-driven 90s, and on into the 21st century. The show is a testament to the human spirit, a raw biographical performance, comprised of life-defining moments, humor, heartbreak, and self-discovery, accompanied by beautiful music. Tickets are on sale now: https://unitedsolo.org/shows/the-pass-musical/. For more information about Denise Marsa please visit: DeniseMarsaMusic.com.
Team The Pass Musical:
- Written & performed by Denise Marsa
- Featuring Tracy Stark, keyboard & additional vocals: https://tracystark.com
- Gretchen Cryer: Development: http://gretchencryer.com
- Lauren Helpern: Executive Producer/Set Design: (LORTEL AWARD & OBIE for set-design) http://www.laurenhelpern.com/
- Karen Carpenter: Script Consultant/Director https://www.kcdirector.com/
- Stuart J. Allyn: Sound Design https://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Stuart-J-Allyn/
- Brendan Warner: Lighting Design http://www.brendanwarner.com/
- Social Media & Public Relations: Meggie Dimitrova, KeyMedia Public Relations: https://keymedia-group.com/
About Denise Marsa: Denise is best known internationally for the UK #3 hit, “Lucky Stars,” a duet she performed with Dean Friedman. She went on to become the lead voice on The Flirts international Billboard charting dance record, “Helpless” (You Took My Love). Marsa has been under contract as a songwriter with Warner Bros. London and Warner/Chappell in Los Angeles. Marsa has released two solo albums, Self and Live Forever on her own label, KeyMedia Music Group. Her song “Steady,” from her second release, won Best Song and Production in the Adult Contemporary category at the 2013 New Mexico Music Awards. Her Marsa Music catalog is currently being administered by BMG Rights Management. They are co-producing her new solo show The Pass Musical.
About USTF: The United Solo Theatre Festival is the world’s largest solo theatre festival held at Theatre Row on 42nd Street in New York City. Omar Sangare is both the founder and artistic director. The festival features many categories of solo shows, including storytelling, puppetry, dance, multimedia, improvisations, stand-up, magic, drama, and comedy. Since its inaugural edition, the festival proceeds have been used to raise money for The Actors Fund.