The Kersten Stevens Experience

A Blog about the Talent, Music, Life & Times of The Jazz & Gospel Violinist

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The Grey’s Anatomy Music Experience

The 6th season of Grey’s Anatomy premiers tonight on ABC and can I tell you how excited I am!!?  I first saw this show my junior year of college.  I turned on the TV, mid-season, and after 20 minutes or so, realized that every character in a leadership position (Chief of Staff, Head of NeuroSurgery and the head of interns) were being played by black actors!  I was even more elated to find out that the show  was written and produced by a black women – Shonda Rhimes.  WHOA!  More than these awesome tidbits, importantly the show’s sheer excellence nurtured my intrigue every Thursday for the last few years.  Now, five seasons later, I can’t wait for tonight.

Without talking ad nausium about all the cinematic things that make this show fantastic, I can tell you that the best unsung hero of the whole show is – THE MUSIC!! Alexandra Patsavas (the music supervisor) does an awesome job of using independent artists and in using music with lyrics that bring deeper meaning and sentiment to each scene. Without the musical experience, this show would only be good, not great.  For the seasoned Grey’s anatomy watchers – remember when Izzy had to say goodbye to Denny during the first season, as Meredith and the other cast members were in the room, and the music lyrics sang “I can’t express how I feel”…classic! The show inspires me to write music that could be played on Grey’s.  How awesome would this be?  I declare right now that it is so!!

Below is an interview with Grey’s Patsavas:


Below, catch a peak at tonight’s premier below and make sure to notice the “Wade in the Water” being played as soundtrack to the two minutes…

Did you notice Wade in the Water at the end of this KSE Recording (available on my Walks of Faith album @ iTunes.com)  

When you tune in tonight, enjoy the show, but pay attention to the music.

yours,

KSE


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Review of Whitney’s New I Look to You

HEY KSE FANS – I thought you’d all enjoy the following critique on Whitney’s new album, written by my friend, and music lover/expert, Terelle Hairston.  You can view the full critique at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=146982160379

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First things first: Cop this album.

I fully expected to be a non-fan of this album; to listen to it, MOUTH AGAPE, as one of my long-time top 3 singers struggled and FAILed for note after note. I expected Beyonce-ish beats, wacked out hip-hop R&B, and Mariah Carey-ish confusion over appropriate topics and styles. I got some of that, but for the most part, I got a solid album that is easy to hate on but even easier to enjoy.

Let’s be clear, if you were expecting Whitney of 1989 (20 yrs ago, wtf?) then you’re an idiot; if you were expecting Whitney of at least 1998 (11 yrs ago, wtf?) My Love is Your Love type vocals, you’re a reasonable person who might be reasonably disappointed. If u’re a genuine hater who expected absolute crap, you’ll probably listen once or twice and stamp it and throw it away: it’s your loss though. 

“I Look to You” is surprisingly competent if not awe-striking, strong if not superhuman, interesting if not intelligent, and rousing if not energizing. You could very easily sleep on this album and most will since it is more fun to throw a star away rather than to accept it’s new, not-as-bright shine. But if you listen closely, you will be rewarded for your patience
What you’ll miss:

Gone are Whitney’s beat-you-over-the-head notes and full-throttle belting that made her famous; but there are moments when it is there and you appreciate that this is not her last album and that her voice will probably even stronger on the next album. There are also times when you wish she would come harder or taken more time perfecting a song. The production sounds way better on a real stereo and in high-quality but is still fair-to-middlin’; if I were Clive I would’ve stole a little neosoul magic and mandated live instrumentation and some of the levels are a bit off – too loud here, too soft there.

What you’ll get:

Whitney finally trying to sing a song. Whitney has always been effortless and at times it seemed like she didn’t care about what she was singing because all she had to do was…SING….MORE at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=146982160379

My Inspirations – Part 1

One very inspiring moment

One very inspiring moment

KS Fan Q&A: Where do you get your inspiration from? – Part 1 

Actions inspire emotions inspire thought inspire music. Everything I hear, see and do on a daily basis has the potential to inspire me.  The wind may blow, the dog can play dead, a clean kitchen, a strange piece of art, a soft kiss, wearing an awesome dress and looking HOT in it, driving across the GWB on Christmas Eve – all these things can inspire the best music out of me any day.

 Getting more in depth: Seeing pure perseverance and commitment are a daily inspiration to me.  Did anybody see So You Think You Can Dance?  The commitment of the 2nd place winner, Brandon, made me practice my violin harder for a whole two weeks (I’ve got to work on sustaining those moments, I know).  Hearing Tai Murray at Carnegie Hall and watching the actual realization of her commitment to her talent, brought tears of joy and desire in my heart – and then made me want and fear the same achievement of greatness for myself.  Why fear you ask?  I don’t know.  That’s the only reason I can say I don’t practice as much as I ought.  These paradoxes are what have always defined and complicated my Experience.

 Speaking of complications, and in encouraging the inspired individuals reading this blog, we all must recognize that for every AHA-inspired moment, there is an UH-OH (for a pro, a con) and those cons include life headaches, pessimistic attitudes, and limited thinking. (My pastor would call these the dream stealers.)  We must have a huge philosophy on guarding out ear-gates and our eye-gates from uninspiring things, people and attitudes. This philosophy helps me in the least to maintain a mindset that breeds joy and artistry…Trust me, I’m crazy enough as it is, and in trying to keep all of who God needs me to be in check so that all He is planning to use me for can come to pass, I’ve got to make sure that I stay inspired, and not un-hinged. 

All in all, I am thankful at least to call myself inspired and to work at maintaining a level of inspiration to spawn action.  Come back on Thursday when I’ll share how playing the violin and God’s purpose in me, are my larger life’s inspirations.

Thanks for reading & please share your comments! ~Kersten

The Cereal Box

A KS Fan Asked: What are some of your earliest memories? What age did you start playing the violin? In my earliest memory of the violin I remember a doorway, a cereal box, two rulers and intense intrigue. I was three years old.  I remember the box being white with colored writing, though I cannot remember the type of cereal.  The rulers were transparent, brightly colored plastic – one pink and the other purple or blue, I think; the pink one was taped exactly center along the top half of the cereal box.  I held the second ruler tightly in my right hand.  I remember standing very still with the make-shift violin balanced on my left shoulder; I straddled a doorway with one foot on the wood floor of our living room, and the other on the cold tiles of our kitchen floor. The sun was shining brightly through the living room window to my left.

This memory is special to me because even to this day I remember the intensity of my intrigue and fascination towards the apparatus balanced on my shoulder.  It is incredible to me that even as a child, I could feel such an attraction towards the violin.

As to why I stood straddling two rooms, I’ll never know.  The best I can  figure is that my stance was an analogy to what my life in music would be – never exactly in one genre or another, but at all times a living hybrid. 

As to the sun … It has become an important symbol of God’s continual presence and anointing over my life. I’ll share much more about this in my upcoming entries.  

The sun shines on me, as I stand on our front stoop.

Me at 3

 For now, thanks for asking and reading!  Please share your comments. With love – KS

Fan Q and A Starts Tomorrow!

Answers to your Q’s about my life & music start tomorrow! Find them here and @ http://www.kerstenstevens.wordpress.com…&plz keep the Q’s coming!

Hello world!

HI Everyone!! This is Kersten Stevens signing on to WordPress.com!  I am very excited to be sharing my experiences, musical and otherwise, here on my blog!  I hope to share, discuss and learn from everyone who joins me!  For God can do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ask or think according to the power that works within us.  Amen 🙂

Walks of Faith Photo Shoot

Walks of Faith Photo Shoot