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Just Play
2018-04-15 23:45:33 UTC
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My friend Samuel organized Just Play, a thirty day-long group challenge of recording ourselves playing music every day. I'm very proud to have made it the whole month and only missing a handful of days. You can check out Samuel's website for daily collections of the results.

(READMORE)

Each day, I recorded a cover of a song; I didn't write any of these, but I tried to bring some creativity to them. I regret not adding the titles of each of these songs but I've embedded a playlist at the end of the post with all the songs I've covered.

Most of the songs are on guitar, and most of those are on acoustic. There are a few piano songs, but my piano repertoire is so limited at this point, and not growing (too excited about guitar). There's also a ukulele song from Steven Universe. (Ukulele got me into guitar, but I've recently picked it back up – it's just so much fun!) I'm learning clarinet but I'm only a week in and am not ready to record myself. Music is back, it's good again, and I'm so happy.

I'm really glad I did Just Play. It pushed me. It pushed all of us. I was pushed to dust off songs that I had learned but had forgotten, pushed to learn new songs I'd been putting off, pushed to bring organization to my guitar practice. I created a Trello board for all the songs I'm learning or have learned on guitar. Just Play accelerated my progress – and reinvigorated my enthusiasm – in learning guitar. Thank you, Samuel.

One thing you'll notice if you look at the song list is that over half of the songs were from The Weakerthans, or its frontman John K Samson. Samson is my favourite artist; his music inspired me to learn the guitar in the first place, and my first public performance featured covers of two of his songs. His lyrics are so evocative and weave such intimate stories.

The final three entries make up the trilogy of songs told from the perspective of a cat named Virtute, released over the course of thirteen years. The story it tells is of the cat's frustration and anger with its owner, who struggles with depression. Tired of living with someone so depressed, Virtute runs away from her owner. She reflects on how her owner's absence makes her feel and eventually, the owner gets treatment and feels better, and Virtute comes home. It's a touching story – I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it – and it means a lot to me, so I saved it all for the end.

Day four of #JustPlay. Even got a cat in the background.

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Mar 20, 2018 at 6:04pm PDT

Day five of #JustPlay. I have no strong feelings about Winnipeg.

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Mar 21, 2018 at 5:11pm PDT

Missed a day again but here’s today’s #JustPlay.

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Mar 25, 2018 at 11:16am PDT

Today’s #JustPlay.

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Mar 26, 2018 at 3:54pm PDT

Missed yesterday again so here’s today’s #JustPlay in the morning!

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:18am PDT

A song I’ve been meaning to learn for a while. #JustPlay

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Apr 3, 2018 at 5:41pm PDT

Missed yesterday oops but here is today’s #JustPlay

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Apr 6, 2018 at 3:33pm PDT

Today’s #JustPlay.

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Apr 7, 2018 at 5:05pm PDT

Today’s #JustPlay, now uploaded with sound!!

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Apr 9, 2018 at 5:30pm PDT

Today’s #JustPlay is another John K Samson cover, “Capital”

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Apr 10, 2018 at 5:23am PDT

Today’s #JustPlay.

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Apr 12, 2018 at 6:10pm PDT

My final entry in #JustPlay. This is Virtute the cat’s final word on things.

A post shared by Ash Furrow (@ashfurrow) on Apr 15, 2018 at 3:13pm PDT

<script async defer src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script>

Here's the playlist with all the songs I covered. The songs are ordered chronologically, as they are above, so you can match my cover to the original if you want.

<iframe src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/11136450582/playlist/0wgvEadEqdrHV9Mu8wnGyE" width="100%" height="380" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

Tomorrow, I turn thirty, and I can't think of a better way to wrap up my twenties than to take a snapshot of where I am right now, musically. I'm still learning new songs, but I know there's more out there. Writing. I dunno. It seems huge and intimidating, totally new, but I'm taking small steps. We'll see!