Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Music and Friends

It's stuff like this that makes me sad that I will only be at Purchase for two more days.

A little song that Miss Laurie Anne Creus and I collaborated on. Laurie wrote the melody and tagalog words and I added harmonies and the English translation.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rediscovering Love

The joy of performing was reawakened in me this weekend.
For so long I have felt forced. I have been so focused on healing and finishing my work that I had forgotten how much I love what I do. How much I love music. I love hearing it, feeling it and giving it to people. The most amazing thing about any art form is that it has the ability to reach so many people at once, and it means something different to each individual. No two people hear a song, or see a painting or dance in the same way, and in a performance, when I'm up there I get the chance to speak to every audience member uniquely. I can carry countless messages, messages that I don't even know I'm sending out. I become a vessel for something bigger than myself. 
I am so lucky to be able to create music every day, to live an inspired life. 

Downtown Cabaret was last night. It made me remember why art is so important. It connects strangers, shoots straight to the heart and lifts us from reality for a little while.

Here's a clip of one of the songs that shoots straight to my heart. My Mama used to sing this to me as a lullaby when I was little.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Downtown Cabaret Update!!

My performance has been moved to 9:15 on Saturday, April 30th.
Check out this page to see the full performance schedule for both nights: http://www.facebook.com/pages/DownTown-Cabaret-2011/206712756015749

Performances take place between 5PM and Midnight on Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th at Gallery 151.

Come check out the great talent from Purchase college!

Here is a video of a few acts from Purchase. (Sean McVerry, Me and Joe Endozo and Kelsey Byrne.) Joe, Kelsey and I will all be performing this weekend.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Downtown Cabaret

This weekend is Purchase College's Annual Downtown Cabaret. I am very excited to be a part of it this year.
The Cabaret is a two night festival that takes place at Gallery 151, a funky art gallery in Manhattan's lower east side. Music starts at 7:00 PM and continues until Midnight on both April 29th and 30th. The lineup is an eclectic mix of singer/songwriters, bands, choirs (gospel and acapella), jazz bands and sound design. Student artwork will be featured in the gallery and there will be two collaborative dance performances. One of the dances is going to be set to my song "Alice Unraveled". I will be singing live while Breegan Kearney dances a solo. I am very excited to see what she has choreographed, we are supposed to meet this Wednesday and rehearse.
I am also performing a set on Saturday night at 10:30 PM. Joe Endozo will be accompanying me on guitar. He always plays the right licks, he has a great ear for counter melodies. It's so fun performing with him.
Here's a sneak peak of one of the songs I will possibly be performing this Friday!
Hope everyone had a Happy Easter weekend!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Camomile Honey Poached Salmon

Camomile Honey Poached Salmon with a side salad

Microwave Gourmet!

I've been getting pretty creative with my meals lately. Trying to infuse new flavors into my food so I don't get bored. This was definitely one of my favorite microwave creations to date. The camomile and honey lightly sweeten the salmon complementing it's naturally buttery lightness for a healthy and quick dinner!

Here's the recipe:

Camomile Honey Poached Salmon
-one 6 oz Salmon Fillet (mine was frozen but I let it defrost fully before seasoning it)
-about 1/4 c strongly brewed camomile tea
-Spices: cinnamon, ginger, sea salt

Directions: Season your salmon with sea salt, cinnamon and ginger. Place the salmon in a microwavable container with a lid. (I used a long, shallow tupperware) Pour the camomile tea over the fish so that the tea covers the bottom of the container and the salmon rests in the shallow liquid. (Do not drown your fish!) Drizzle some honey over the salmon (I probably used 1/2 T), cover the fish with the lid (leaving a small space for air to escape) and pop it in the microwave for 4-6 minutes or until the fish is cooked (depending on the thickness of your salmon).
Simple, nutritious and tasty!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Album art!!

The deadline for my new album is coming up quick, so last night I sketched up an idea for the cover art.

Check it out:

It's not a finished product but you can get the idea. 

The Album will be titled "Bad Shark" and will feature nine (if I counted correctly) original songs.
We go into the studio again today. I'm so excited to start putting the finishing touches on the tracks.
Yesterday James and I wrote a really pretty violin line for tumbleweed and today my guitarist Joe and I will be finishing up the guitar parts.

I'll update on our progress soon!
Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather! I love spring! :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Back to work

Well, spring break is over, I'm back at school and hopefully ready to get some work done. I had a nice break. I love being home and I tried to give myself as much of a rest as I could. I still am exhausted though. I have a massive energy deficit that is probably going to take most of this summer to fix, but that is what summer is for I guess. Now, however I have to get some projects finished.

I've got my album with James of course, which needs to be done by early May. That doesn't give us much time at all. We still have so much to do, recording instruments, I have to do more vocal takes and parts need to be written. Yikes. I can not believe how quickly the year is moving.

I also need to get more work done on the "Alice Unraveled" project. It's just so much transcribing, and I am miserably slow. I'll just have to chip away at it.
Mike's been hard at work on the arrangements. He sent me a demo of the song "Rose Petals" a few days ago and it is absolutely haunting. I'm really liking the direction the music is taking. Mike and I make an interesting team, we have very different styles and ways of approaching music but I think they are meshing into a really unique sound. His beautiful, dark arrangements give me momentum and keep me excited about the project.

All this plus my regular classwork seem to be endlessly piling up around me, and I've got my health to worry about.
I am happy to say though that my new paleo diet has been going excellently. I've had about six pain free days in a row which is pretty incredible. I have been slowly gaining strength and energy and I am really enjoying red meat! This diet has opened up a whole new palate of flavors to play with.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kelly the Cavewoman?

I'm going paleo!

Lately it's been a struggle to gain weight, I keep getting sick and the foods that I am tolerating are naturally low in calories. So in my effort to put on a few pounds and get healthy I have decided to embrace the paleolithic diet!

It's actually going great so far. The diet is naturally low in lectins and cuts out many of the foods that I can not tolerate (grains, legumes, and dairy). The diet does allow eggs and nightshades (other than white potatoes) but I still can not eat those foods right now. I am hoping that once I heal I will be able to have eggs and nightshades again and will be able to cook any paleo recipe that I come across.
Paleo recipes focus on lean protein, healthy fat, and lots of vegetables and fruits. It also stresses healthy lifestyle and exercise to build muscle.
The food is simple, organic and tasty.

Here are some really helpful links about the paleo diet if you're interested:

I've very optimistic about this diet change.  But I do feel a little like these old ladies:

Where's the beef!?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Almost There

Only a few more days until spring break. I am beyond ready to go home. It has been a very trying few weeks. I've been up and down, sick and healthy, inspired and exhausted but I know I can push through a couple more classes and midterms.
I've got a busy weekend lined up so hopefully It will move quickly.
I am recording vocals with James Perrella on Saturday and Sunday so I'm excited for that. Getting into the studio always cheers me up and gives me a boost of energy. It'll be good to have a couple more tracks recorded before I go home.
I also have a meeting with the production team for "Alice Unraveled". The project is starting to pick up speed. I think I've put together a great group of talented artists who can help me make this show happen!
So at least I will have lots to distract me before break begins. I can't wait to see my family. It's going to be a much needed rest. I also am going to see a doctor which I know is necessary. I just can't manage this on my own right now. I hope someone can give me some insight or direction. I'm worried that they will not know anything.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cocoa Oh No!

This is kind of unfair. So I'm going to complain a tiny bit. I promise not to rant too long.
I think i have developed an intolerance to chocolate, or maybe just caffeine in general is bothering me. I have been noticed lately whenever I put chocolate in my smoothies I get this constant pressure headache between my eyes, my stomach gets unsettled and I become dizzy and disoriented.
I've been pretty good at dealing with all these new intolerances, but chocolate? Seriously? This one is not fair. So I need your help, here is a list of foods I am currently avoiding:
 -Gluten and all grains
-Soy and all legumes (peanuts, beans, carob...)
-Nightshades (potato, tomato, peppers, eggplant...)

Basically I'm left with Fruit, most veggies, sweet potatoes (which are not nightshades, they are part of the morning glory family), nuts and seeds and meat (but I don't like red meat). 

Any ideas for a satisfying dessert/ meal? I'm running low on creativity.

I'm not positive, in fact I'm really hoping that some of these foods can be reintroduced if I give my stomach some time to heal. I would really like to have eggs, nightshades and chocolate back. Beans would be nice too. I'm pretty sure soy, gluten and dairy are out forever but I'm ok with that. They cause way too much pain to challenge it.

I appreciate any suggestions! :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Recording Session and Scallops in my dorm room?

My recording session last week went very well! This project is going to be so cool and different. I finally feel like it is taking a direction and becoming more cohesive. Now we just have to follow our instincts and interpret the music as best we can.
It's amazing how songs come to life in the studio. Arrangement ideas kept popping up while we were recording, and I left feeling energized and inspired. I want to really experiment texturally with this album, using layering of timbres instrumentally and vocally. I think it could really end up having a neat sound. (Yes neat seemed like the most appropriate adjective.)

Now for the scallops.

I made this delicious delicious lunch in my microwave! (Pardon the crappy cell phone image, this poor college kid doesn't have a camera.)

Scallops with Plantains, onions, spinach, broccoli and Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos

Here's the Recipe: (very simple)

-1 serving of frozen bay sea scallops (however many you want depending on your hunger)
- 1 medium plantain sliced into rounds
- Some frozen/fresh broccoli florets (I think I ate about a cup)
- A few slices of white onion
- A bunch of spinach
- 1 T Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos (A coconut based sauce that can substitute for soy sauce. I personally like the flavor even better than soy sauce.)
- Olive oil to drizzle

1. Add your frozen scallops and plantain to a microwavable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and steam for 2-3 minutes.
2. Now add in the broccoli and steam another minute.
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix so the veggies, plantains and scallops are covered in the Coconut Aminos and oil.
4. Cover the bowl once more and steam for 1:30.
5. Enjoy!

Voila! A tasty, healthy meal in less than 15 minutes. That's what I call convenience food at it's best.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I'm recording tomorrow! Hooray!

My good friend (who happens to be an awesome producer as well), James Perrella will be engineering the session. I can not wait. It has been way too long since I've gotten into the studio.
We're planning on recording guitar and vocal takes for two or three songs. Then we will listen back to them and write specific arrangements to record later. I have already started thinking about using a string quartet on at least one of the tracks, to enhance the haunting quality that the song already posses.
It's going to be a cool experience to really go in and fully arrange some of my work. Usually my band and I just kind of jam on a song until it feels right, this will be a bit more polished and give me a chance to craft the accompaniment parts which is a good skill to have.
These first three tracks are going to be part of a much larger c.d. that will be released in early May!

To hear some of my newer tracks check out: http://kellyizzo.bandcamp.com/

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Family Time

This weekend my family came up to visit me at school. I am so glad that they did. I needed some cheering up. It's been a long, long year and having them around was comforting. I miss them already.
We had a great time though. We rented a hotel room with a small kitchen and had home cooked allergy free meals. The room ended up smelling like fish, but that's ok. I like fish. :) It was delicious.
Yesterday we went into White plains and did some shopping. My sister got some awesome new vibram five fingers! Then we had a nice, relaxing lunch at the Iron Tomato (I packed myself some leftover salmon and a salad). We walked around the city and enjoyed the beautiful, sunny day.

I love that we are so tightly knit. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have such a supportive family. They have really helped me through all this.
I am still having trouble with many foods, I had a few reactions over the weekend and even today, but I am fighting through it. I have to. I'm not going to let myself give up on my music and school work because I'm sick.
I'm still hard at work on "Alice Unraveled". I met with a girl today who gave me a lot of much needed help, and focus toward putting the performance on here at Purchase. It made me so excited! I feel like this is going to be great, many people seem to be interested in being a part of the production. There's so much to be done but I just can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dear Chocolate, I have missed you.

Last week I ordered myself some organic nectars raw cacao raspberry bars as a belated Valentine's Day present and today they finally got here!!
You have no idea how excited I was!
I haven't had a candy bar in almost a year. It's hard to find one without dairy or gluten or soy, but Organic Nectar's Raw Cacao Bars are completely safe. 
There's only six ingredients in the Cacao Raspberry Bars: 64% organic raw cacao, Organic Nectars Palmsweet (granulated coconut sugar), organic raspberry powder, non GMO sunflower lecithin, citric acid
The bars are raw vegan, kosher, free of refined sugars, dairy, soy and gluten and they are so so so delicious. My taste buds were singing! The chocolate is creamy and smooth and decedent just the way a good chocolate bar should be. I'm so glad I ordered three of them!!
Check out Organic Nectar's website. They make six different chocolate bars as well as agave dessert syrup, and cashew based gelato!

Hmmm, what tempting flavor should I buy next?:)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Good, The Bad, (and The Bloated.)

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, it's been sort of a stressful year. Don't get me wrong there have been lots of great things happening, but my health has been questionable lately and it's hard to juggle classes and homework along with taking care of my food issues. Anyway, here's a little update on what's been going on in my life over the past few months, I'm sure I will elaborate on it all in the future.

The Good:
I really have been having a good year despite all the ups and downs. I love my classes, especially my master class. I always leave totally inspired and in a good mood. I love my friends, I have a great roommate and I feel like I'm learning a lot.

I've been working with a great friend of mine, Mike Hart, who has been helping me arrange the music for my original musical "Alice Unraveled". Mike is a super talented composer who usually works writing film scores and epic metal pieces. (You should check out his blog!) He brings a really cool point of view to the project, as he comes from a completely different musical background than I do, but his ideas are great and add so much life and color to my songs. Our collaboration is causing both of us to stretch creatively, and I can't wait to see how the show will unfold.
I'm planning on putting "Alice Unraveled" on next year as my senior project. I have so much to organize for it and am still searching for a director, actors, designer, etc. I know it will all come together eventually though, one thing at a time.

In addition to all that I have been working with James Perella (another great friend and excellent producer) on my Junior CD. We're planning on recording ten-ish songs this semester with full arrangements and the whole shebang. It's going to be nice to have a new cd out. I haven't done a full album since "Under the Lens" which I recorded my senior year of high school. It'll be great getting into the studio again.

The Bad (and the Bloated):
As you know if you've read my other posts I struggle with multiple food intolerances. I discovered my intolerances to gluten, casein and soy this summer before my junior year of college. Unfortunately, the intolerances just keep piling on. It seems that if I eat too much of a particular food I develop an intolerance to it. I am now having trouble with eggs, corn, all grains, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, etc) and possibly legumes and almonds along with my preexisting intolerances. Needless to say it's been very difficult to deal with. I have to cook all my meals in my dorm (with just a microwave) and have increasingly limited options. So that has been worrying me a bit.
Recently as I was searching celiac forums for advice I stumbled upon something called Lectin intolerance. I still don't know too much about it and there is not a lot of information about it online but it does seem to fit my symptoms. A lot of people have discussed it on celiac forums and it seems to be more common than doctors think. Unfortunately the only advice I am finding is to eliminate the foods that trouble you and possibly try to reintroduce them in the future. Right now I'm living on vegetables, fruit, coconut, fish, turkey, turnips and sweet potatoes basically. But I'm pushing through it and hoping that this limited diet will help me. Honestly I just want my energy back. I can deal with a limited diet as long as I can be healthy and happy again.

If you're interested in reading about lectin intolerance here are a few links:

Well that's all my ranting for now! I'll be posting again real soon :)