Tuesday, November 1, 2016

LA LA LA



My new children's album, "LA LA LA", is now available on iTunes and Amazon -- as well as on my new and improved online store!

If you buy the physical CD (available from my store), there is a lyric coloring book inside!  All artwork is done by my super amazingly talented friend Polkaros!

On the first page of the coloring booklet, I've written a kind of "mission statement" of what I intended for this album that I'd like to share with you:

I've always wanted to make an album for children because kids are some of my favorite human beings on earth.  After hearing how so many kids of friends as well as strangers were drawn to my debut EP and album, especially to my song "Dream", I hoped that one day I could make an album that didn't pander to kids, but rather could invite them in on a more soulful level.  I truly believe that "kids' music" doesn't have to "talk down" to them in order to be understood.  Over the years, I'd been accumulating songs for this project, and in the end I decided to select the songs that had the best energy, the most positive messages, and touched on introspective emotions that I know, from first hand experience, many children feel in some way or another.  This album is not trying to be fancy or clever.  It's simply intended to be an album for kids to hop and bop along with, fall asleep to, and if I'm really lucky, inspire them to ponder and dream.  


























And here are super sweet reviews by the amazing mom blogs, Momma's Bacon, and The Simple Moms!

I hope you all get a chance to hear the album!  It's for kids and adults alike.  

love,
p.a.





Wednesday, October 5, 2016

LA LA LA + 2 Shows !

Hello friends!
 
It's been too long.  A lot has happened.  I had a baby.  I'm a crazy, disheveled mom now, with a new album I'd love to share with you.   And this one is super special because.... it's a children's album!  But not your typical "wheels on the bus" children's album.  These are songs I wrote, in my normal, trying-to-be-adult-like, "Priscilla Ahn" style, but with the intention of singing these messages to children.  It's still very much meant for grown ups, but also (hopefully) appeals to kids and babies! I recorded these songs in my used-to-be studio, which is now my son's nursery. (my office has exploded into a new room that needs major organizing!).  I recorded these songs while I was pregnant.  Some songs induced more baby kicking than others.  When writing and recording the album, I pictured my tiny, soon-to-be son, I pictured children around the world, and I pictured you.

  
 
This has truly been a labor of love, and a dream come true to make.  I didn't have the heart (or wherewithal) to try and raise money to make this album.  I just hope that people will buy it for themselves, and if they like it, tell their friends to buy it.  Plus!  If you're feeling super retro and decide to purchase the actual disc, there's an adorable mini lyric coloring book inside!!! 
 
The release date is October 28th!  

You can pre-order HERE


- - - TOUR DATES - - -

San Francisco | 10/19 | Swedish American Music Hall 
You can buy tickets HERE 
Los Angeles | 10/21 | Largo
You can buy tickets HERE 
 
Love,
p.a.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Little Human / New Year / New Album

NEW LITTLE HUMAN




I've been a bit quiet lately, and it's mostly been because I was so focused on my pregnancy and soon-to-be-arriving baby.  All I wanted to talk about was baby stuff!!  But I wasn't sure when to reveal my pregnancy to the internet.  It's hard to keep anything safe and private anymore, so I guess I wanted to keep this little (big) secret to myself for as long as I could.  That being said, I feel so blessed to have had a healthy pregnancy and birth to a little boy just before Thanksgiving!!  

I've learned so much about myself through this special time... and also so much about babies and baby gear!  So many of my Mom-friends helped me so much with amazing advice and suggestions that there's a part of me that wants to return the favor and do the same.  So I'm contemplating starting another mini blog on all things Mom-hood and baby!  I have no idea who will follow it, so there's a good chance I'll be posting blogs to an empty room... but if you or anyone you know might be interested in this, do let me know!  

NEW YEAR

Happy 2016!!!  I love hearing other people's new year resolutions.  I find them super inspiring.  Have any you'd like to share?  Mine are pretty simple this year (as well as challenging):

Be Strong
Be Compassionate
Be Humble

NEW ALBUM

 a glimpse inside my work notebook


At the beginning of 2015, I was working full force on a children's album.  It's something I've wanted to do for years!  But then I realized the deadlines I was putting on myself were too hard to achieve, and were making my passion project no longer fun!  So I took a little break.  THEN, I found out I was preggers, and of course was re-inspired to finish the album with a few new songs and new ideas.  I made more realistic deadlines, keeping my pregnancy and changing body in mind.  As a result, I was able to finish the album full of joy and love.  I recorded this album mostly in a room in my home (which has now become the Nursery).  As I sang certain songs, I could feel my son kicking inside of me.  There is nothing but good vibes and genuine emotion on this album.  It's for children, and yet, it's also really just for all of us.  We're in the final stretch of mastering and artwork (which I'm really excited about!).  Since my son has been born, I've played him a few of the lullabies.  I'm not sure if they're familiar to him because he heard them from inside my tummy, but like clockwork, as soon as they begin, his eyes close and he konks out!  BEST COMPLIMENT EVER!!!  I hope it might work on other little kiddos too.  Or even for adults.  We're hoping to have it out in the world and in your hands this Spring -- so *fingers crossed* you'll hear it soon!

I wish you ALL so much love and peace in 2016!  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Red Brick - 赤レンガ + Thoughts in Hiroshima



I just logged on here and realized it's been months since my last post!  A lot has been happening this Summer.  Big surprises to reveal, the completion of a new album -- but more on these later -- I promise!

I've just read through all of your beautiful comments on my After The Rain post about the smells that remind you of home, or memories.  They were all so touching.  Reading each one brought me peace and calm.  If you missed the post, or would like to read the other comments, you can find them here:  After The Rain.

The NHK movie "Red Brick" is premiering in the Chugoku region of Japan today, September 11th!
Watch the Trailer

I spent most of June in Hiroshima shooting a made-for-TV movie for NHK, entitled "赤レンガ" [Red Brick].  I played the role of a Japanese-American singer-songwriter who travels to Japan for the first time to search for her Grandfather's 1st true love, only to learn the truth about their complicated love and the devastation caused by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.  Being an actress was really never something I ever considered seriously pursuing.  But the Director and Writer, Mamoru Ohashi, has been a friend and supporter of mine for the past few years, and after hearing the message of the story, it was hard for me to say "no", despite all of my anxieties of being an actress!

Besides my fear of acting, as a Korean-American, who's Grandparents were actually affected by WWII in a nation that was once colonized by Japan, I did have some other real reservations in playing this part.  After explaining the story to my Mother (who is Korean), she gave me her blessing by assuring me this film had a good message in the end.  And she is right.  No matter what the complicated history is, the most important thing is how we can spread peace and shed positive light on today, for a better tomorrow.

I will be honest... it wasn't easy in the beginning.  Every morning I would get a Japanese newspaper in English delivered to my hotel room.  I mostly carried the paper around with me to work on the crossword puzzles in my downtime, but it was hard to ignore some of the front page articles dealing with the ongoing ill feelings between Japan and South Korea.  It actually hurt my heart to read about the endless back and forth between the two countries... which really, for all their differences, have just as many similarities.  I know this to be true, because I have friends in both countries who are open minded, kind, and compassionate people, and don't think in terms of black and white, as these newspapers were sometimes conveying.  (I also know that the Korean newspapers publish very similar feelings and points of view, similar to the Japanese papers)

I was having a hard time digesting all these feelings as I walked around the city.  I'm used to staying in bigger cities, like Tokyo and Osaka, where a tourist on the street is no big deal.  But Hiroshima is a bit different.  Most of the tourists who are there, are there to visit historical sites that have been left standing as a reminder of the atomic bomb.  People are there to pay their respects, or to learn more about a dark part of our history as mankind, or just out of curiosity... but it all revolves around one thing pretty much.  So as a Korean and an American... it was a strange feeling for me.

Hiroshima Castle



One night, the Director took some of us to his favorite okonomiyaki restaurant.  Okonomiyaki is a specialty in Hiroshima.  Usually it's made with meat or seafood.  The chef at this place knew I was vegetarian, so he generously prepared a very special meal just for us.  The first thing I saw when we entered the restaurant was that all the seats were ready for us around the teppan, and at each seat, there were little dishes of Korean kimchee!  I was so moved by this gesture.  This chef had just bridged a painful gap in my heart, simply by setting out kimchee for us.  And this wasn't any ol' kimchee.  This tasted like real, authentic kimchee!  At the end of the meal, he made us rice porridge (something my Mom always made for me when my tummy wasn't feeling well), with radish kimchee and umeboshi (pickled plum - another Japanese food favorite of mine).  After the first bite, I actually almost cried.  I had to fight to keep the tears and overwhelming emotion in.  It was the ultimate comfort food to heal my heart and settle the complicated feelings I'd been working out in my stomach.  I will never forget this meal, or this Japanese man's kindness on this night.  From that meal on, I was able to feel more at ease at just being myself, knowing that whatever the history has been between South Korea and Japan, or Japan and the U.S., when we get down to it...we're not a world made up of countries.  We're a world made up of people.  Human beings with hearts and individual stories.




Goichi-san ~ the Chef, and I, after my life-changing meal!

But making this film wasn't all complicated feelings!  It was a great experience in which I made a lot of new friends and worked with amazing people, and actually had fun acting!  I was surprised at this last part.  Even though I was nervous every day, I actually enjoyed playing a "character".  I can't say if I was any good at it, but I had fun doing it!

Akira Takarada plays my Grandfather.
He starred in the original "Godzilla"! 

Shinobu-san is always making sure I stay out of the sun and stay hydrated. :)

My adorable translator, Mirei Yamagata, enjoying soondooboo jigae with me.

Inside the Red Brick building.

Tomoko Naraoka plays my Grandfather's 1st love.
She has such a strong spirit.  She was very patient with me, and taught me a lot!

This was the hardest scene for me!
I had to lead the cast in a march as we each said meaningful things in Japanese, at a certain pace of walking.
I kept messing up!!!  Too much pressure!

Yuichi Fujisawa, amazing hammer dulcimer player who is featured in one of the songs I wrote for the movie, and my co-star.
Here we are enjoying some after-work veggie okonomiyaki and ice cold beverages.

On our day off, some of us visited the gorgeous and healing island of Miyajima.
I hope to return here again one day.




My favorite, karaimen from Karabu!
I got up to #18 on the spice chart!

My Director, Mamoru Ohashi, enjoying a delicious green tea ice cream cone on one of the very few breaks he had.

From bottom left:  Reika-san, my hair and makeup artist; Mirei-san, my translator; Sayaka-san, wardrobe artist; myself.
Day off bowling!  

The most wonderful and amazing
and hard working crew!!!
I still miss them all!

Anyway, this post has become so long.  Maybe that's why I've been avoiding writing it.  But I wanted to share this with you all.  I know our world is filled with painful history, and cultural and religious differences.  But I also know that our world is filled with individual people, all made up of the same blood, bones, joys, heartbreak, fears and dreams.  No matter what is going on politically, or what has happened in the past.... I believe in each and every one of us.  We make up the energy of this world, of this life.  I promise you that I will teach my children to love and respect your children no matter where we come from.  And one of the best ways I know how to do this is by setting that example.  Thank you to everyone around the world who has shown me such kindness and acceptance, whether it was by helping me find my way in a new city, supporting my music, or setting out a small bowl of kimchee to make me feel more at home.  Thank you for inspiring me, and reminding me of how we are all in this together.

Love,
p. a.




Friday, May 15, 2015

After The Rain

Last night we had about 10 minutes of a steady, thick, downpour of rain.  We even had some flashes of lightening and loud cracks of rolling thunder.  Southern California is in such a dire drought right now, it's pretty unnerving.  So last night's shower was a little blessing for us.  Whenever it rains here, it's as if we get a new slate.  The sky is cleansed, and the air smells sweet and fresh.  The hills change from dry brown to lush green.  The plants and animals are happy.  I walked outside today and smelled wet earth for the first time in a while.  Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I always loved this smell, but of course took it for granted at the time.  Smelling dampened soil today took me back to playing in the woods in PA, to camping trips in the Summer, to sitting under the stars around a campfire with my family.  I think I prefer the smell of the earth and woods more than any flower, more than any ocean.  LA gets a bad rap for 'not having seasons', but today we have Spring.

What smells do you love?  Bring back memories?  Remind you of home?

love,
p.a.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Loopy

I've had lots of people ask me what kind of loop machine I use to loop my voice when I perform live.  Over the years, I've tried a couple different ones, but this one is my favorite, by far!
Electro Harmonix 45000

It's super easy to use, versatile, clear sounding, and you can even record up to 99 loops if you don't want to forget a genius idea you came up with.  That happens to me never.  But it's nice to know it's there.

I made a demo for Electro Harmonix, showcasing how I use the pedal live.  I thought it'd be fun to perform a new song that I wrote with the amazing Dan Wilson, called "Waiting".  This isn't a music video!  It's just a home video of me showing what buttons I click and how I loop melodic lines.




And if I'm not convincing enough about how great this pedal is... check out this video by Reggie Watts that he made for EHX.





He's kind of a genius!

Anyway, for anyone interested, I hope this post is helpful for you in your musical endeavors!

love,
p.a.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Exploring the Timeless Worlds of Hayao Miyazaki



I recently wrote an article for the very cool Hit City U.S.A. about why I love Hayao Miyazaki's films so much.  You can read the whole piece here.  For all Miyazaki super fans out there, I hope I did an ok job relaying the beauty of, and of course my personal fascination for his work.  And for all Miyazaki Virgins out there, I hope I was successful in perking your curiosity a little bit.

Last Sunday, I performed a mini live event set up by Hit City at the uber-hipster Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A.  Thank you to everyone who showed up and supported.  It was a beautiful evening!

Other than that, I've been very bad at keeping you up to date with all that's happening with me these days.  A lot of transitions slowly setting in motion, and projects I will probably announce very soon I hope!  Until then... I have the Spring Wave music festival to prepare for in Taiwan at the end of the week, so I better get some shuteye.  G'nite...

Love,
p. a.