Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spring 2012 - Ups and downs. Oh, and updates.


Been getting asked how I am a lot these days, I apologize for not posting lately.   I'm sorry if I worried you.
I know I should write everyone back personally, but it seems a bit overwhelming of a task at the moment, and there is a lot to say, so please accept this cop-out blog ^^;;


I'm very sorry about how long it is taking me to get some new music uploaded :(

I have both my mics and equipment set up in a painstakingly specific formation for recording a harp part and I don't dare move anything until the part is fully recorded.   Once it is done I can do some spontaneous recording again.

For the record, this new harp that I have gotten has been extremely difficult to record and work with. It behaves nothing like my original harp - it's louder and the sound carries a lot more, and I guess it is more like a concert harp than the little harp I used to play.  Just getting the mics set up to record it without it sounding very boomy and unpleasant took a whole month.  That's right, an entire month devoted to nothing but knob turning and mic placement, and I'm still making little adjustments.

I read up extensively on recording harps, learning a few new things but none of them really applicable because, sadly, concert harps - or harps with that level of resonance, like mine -  need to be recorded in acoustically luscious rooms in order to bring out their sound, with mics spaced several meters away from the instrument.   Just like recording a pianist on a grand piano, the room itself is as important as the instrument - the sound bouncing off the walls creates the 'sound', the desirable one we like to hear.     I have a closet for a studio, and while that works SO WELL for things like vocals, flutes, guitars, it does not work with this big resonant harp.  Put the harp inside that dead room, and the parts of the harp's sound that would normally dissipate don't have anywhere to go and become much louder and overpowering than they should, especially the midrange.  My mics cannot be spaced more than a meter away from the harp, actually less necause of the small space, so they're getting the full brunt.   It's hard to explain.

To make the situation work, I ended up stuffing the entire inside of the harp with foam to muffle the resonance, and then I had to experiment with mic positioning to get a desirable sound - not boomy or overwhelming, but clear - and also minimize white noise  (these mics pick up the air conditioning systems of all the other apartments around mine, so I can all too easily get heavy white noise even though my own AC is turned off)  There's little need to say how utterly frustrating its been to have spent so much precious recording time on this simple-but-not-at-all-simple issue.  I will also need to re-create the set-up every time I need to use the harp, which is going to be pretty often as it is my go-to instrument for the most part.

I took the time though because I've made a name for myself by creating music with a high degree of production quality, and I'm not about to let that slip now, no matter how much time it takes.   All I have to do is picture you guys listening to the final track and I know that I owe you guys my very best.

END OF HARP COMMENTARY.  (commendations if you read this far)


I've been working only on album songs again.  I have a serious drive to work on them, and am trying to take advantage of it.  Hopefully I'll have another CD ready by the end of this year.  It's definitely possible, I just need to will it through.   At the moment I'm recording my original, 'The Dragon's Lullaby', which is what this current harp part is for.   It's actually one of my oldest compositions, but I can't say I've ever come up with a better melody.  I have the same sort of special fondness for it as one would have towards an eldest son or daughter.     It'll definitely be the album song I pick to upload in full to youtube. (as with "No One But You")  and I have really fun ideas for the music video.     Will let you all know lots more about the album songs in the coming months, I'm very excited about this collection.


For those of you who have been asking about my trip to record in Japan and whether I've gone yet, the answer is that, unfortunately, I never heard anything else after that first (extremely wonderful and exciting) bit of communication.  Spring has, of course, come and gone.  It's possible I have been overlooked or passed by (the composer doesn't always have his first choice of vocalist, especially if the company is pushing for someone with more visibility), or perhaps the entire project is extremely delayed, or a number of vocalists were being contacted just in case - I just don't know, and it really wouldn't be polite to ask.  And who knows, I may still be called out.  I'm just letting those know who are curious about the whole thing that I haven't heard anything further on the matter, and that nothing was really set in stone to begin with.

That email felt about the same as a it would to have a phoenix touch down in front of me while I'm out shopping for mundane things like toothpaste and toilet paper.  I can't say I particularly deserved it, nor why it happened, and I'd be silly to expect it to happen a second time.  But it was wonderful.  And I will always have it to turn over and over in my memory late at night when I can't sleep.    At least I went ahead and got my passport - so I'll be ready if I do ever need to travel overseas.


The other big opportunity I thought I'd received with a major game company here in the USA (I told a few of you about it I think) sadly turned out to be nothing more than a badly timed practical joke.   It served more to simply disappoint me than depress me, as it was a game I would have been over the moon to provide a song for and I'm well used to trolls at this point.   Coupled with the slight humiliation of having written to the actual composer's email address and asking about it, (he probably thought 'who's this crazy chick?') the whole thing was very upsetting and embarrassing.  I've done my best to stop thinking about it, although the disappointment and embarrassment of it still nags.   Still hoping for some sort of break in the near future.  Some big game to swoop me up and offer me one song to sing.   Do I deserve it?   Hell, I don't know.  But it would sure help.


In other news, my mother has been very ill.  I see her struggle in great pain every day with the smallest tasks like putting on shoes or watering her plants.  And still she works so hard - has worked so hard all her life.   It makes me feel angry with myself that I chose an unstable career like this, instead of trudging my way through something like medical school.  If things had been different, if  I  had been different, I would be able to make her more comfortable now by forcing her to retire and being able to shovel out the money for any and all health care/procedures would make her comfortable and able to move without pain.  I'd be able to fund any crazy idea she thought up and wanted to pursue.   While some months (especially last year) my CD brought in enough for me to truly feel I'd contributed, other months, (especially this year) made it very difficult on my conscience.

-just getting this off my chest and then we need not speak any more about it- 

Orders for my album abruptly came to a halt a few months back, and for a while I was only able to sell one or two precious CDs a month.  I was upset by this but waited it out to see if things would pick up again after a while.  They didn't.  I was very humiliated to not be able to have contributed much of anything during those months financially, and I'd have more than my conscience to worry about if my mother wasn't the understanding parent that she is.  I couldn't talk to anyone about it without feeling - knowing - that there would be little sympathy for the financial issues of an able-bodied adult who doesn't have a 'real job'!    After a spell where I didn't sell a single album for a whole month, I decided to take the dreaded 'tour of google' and see if my album was uploaded anywhere for free download.   Unfortunately it was.  I found it up in three places.   Last year I would have turned a blind eye on these uploads, as I was selling enough then to feel it was okay if there was a little of this going on.   But when orders stopped entirely, and the ratio of monthly downloaded albums to sold ones bordered on 100/0 I really didn't have a choice.  I tried to write these places and get these uploads removed.    I couldn't get them removed from two of the places as they were (and are) less than savory and wouldn't reply to my emails unless I had a lawyer (fat chance in hell of being able to afford one of those)  but I was able to remove it from 4shared.  The 4shared team was very nice and seemed genuinely concerned with protecting small artists like me.   After that, I started receiving some regular orders again, blessedly, and as always, am extremely thankful for them and thankful to those that ordered them.  Even though there are places where they can still get it free.  I can't stress this enough!  I am thankful to you.

I know the majority of anyone reading this blog would never think of downloading an album of mine illegally, or already own the CD, and that this is being presented to the wrong set of people entirely.  I would post this somewhere more appropriate, but unfortunately I don't know where an appropriate place for a message like this could be put.  I've tried talking about it on facebook a few times, here and there, on different occasions, and while most reply posts were very kind, a few hurt my feelings terribly, or left me very confused, guilty and conflicted with myself and my choice of life, and a few definitely inadvertently kicked up debates that I was not in any way intellectually equipped to hold my own in.   I felt soiled and guilty for ever bringing up my need to survive on my CD sales and the way something seemingly simple like an illegal upload hurts me.   Even with my direct personal experience with this stuff , defending my points proved impossible...I buckled under the scrutiny of extremely smart people and their cool logic.  heh.  Maybe my choice of career in itself isn't very logical in the long run.  But I will do it - try to do it - try to make it -  until it becomes absolutely irresponsible for me to do so.   Just a little farther...

I guess I just want to present this message - to the one single person that this might apply to that is reading - Even if you are having financial problems and can't afford the album - but want it still -  please, please, come talk to me, we can work something out.  I don't bite, I'm nice!   If you like my music, then I love you!    Just be sure to get my album from me, the artist, and not a third party.  They don't deserve your time, but I on the other hand, would love to talk to one of my listeners.


I hope all of you reading this will forgive me for writing this long blog.  I kept a whole lot of little random things bottled up not feeling any of this was even bad enough or big enough in the grand scheme of things to post up publicly or lay on anyone else, and really ashamed of how much it was bothering me.  (Especially since just about everyone I know has a harder and more stressful life than I do; deals with tougher subjects and situations daily.)  Still, I've heard it's unhealthy to keep too quiet about things, and while it was difficult to find the courage to talk to a few of you, I've found it's far easier to talk to all of you.

Anyways, thank you for reading, as always!  I'm going to go finish up in the kitchen (been making panna cotta lately to lift everyone's spirits, I think I'm addicted.  Tonight is Honey-Vanilla with a Chocolate-Rum-Cinnamon layer on top)

Much love,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


....thanks to a few incredible people from OverClockedRemix that on their own went out of their way to get my channel restored.

I don't know how they did it, but I owe them the world for saving...well, my livelihood basically, my career, my connection to my listeners, and the hard work I've put in for 5 years.

I was fully prepared to start my new account this afternoon and begin the long process of contacting around 40,000 people through email, however I logged onto facebook to find all these messages that said 'It's back Kate!' I wasn't prepared for that... Larry Oji (Liontamer) at OCR told me he'd try to get the account back...but I never expected him to actually be able to do it! Thanks to him, and the lovely Susie Sahim (PaperDemon) and an awesome dude on Twitter, Trey McGowan, I have my channel again. You guys are obviously wizards...or something.

Please give them your love on OCRemix if you happen to stop by there to listen to the awesome remixes @.@ Dunno how
I am going to repay this kindness, but damn if I'm not going to be their personal musical slave from here on out ha ha!

The twitter is still at large and hacked, but it seems a small hurdle now compared to this ^w^;

Going to try and get some rest sleep all last night.
Thanks to everyone who was so supportive during the time the channel was deleted...I already knew there were some sweet people out there, but it's awesome to be reminded again.

Humbly yours,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hacked Youtube and Twitter Accounts!

Hi everyone,

If you follow me and my music on youtube, please read:

Tonight my youtube account was hacked, and deleted along with 5 years of covers, comments, messages, not to mention the way I made my living. My twitter was also hacked and is currently spitting out spam links in Russian. Needless to say, please don't click on those links, they are probably viruses.

I'm going to try and get both accounts back, but if I can't I will be starting new accounts. If you don't follow me on facebook, just keep watching here or on my official Erutan website ( for updates about all this.

Thank you so much, and please don't forget about me...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011!!!

Wow...not a single blog written for a complete year!!! That is just sad, ha ha! I guess when it comes right down to it, I have trouble actually executing the action of writing... ^^; But the allure of blogging is undeniable and one of my big resolutions for 2012 is to write as many as I can!

2011 has been a big rollercoaster of a year.

The shipping part of my CD's release has definitely made me a more patient person, not to mention it's helped me grow an impressive writing callous! I've learned the ins and outs of running a small online store. I've grown very fond of the people working at my local post office and know them all by name. My handwriting changed from chicken scratch to something actually presentable. I learned more geography this year than I ever learned in the entirety of my school years...Carmen Sandiego would have a hard time hiding from me now.

However other than practical knowledge, the release - and its relative success - finally cemented the fact that this is truly what I'm meant to do, what is needed of me in this life, and that I need to invest more time, more effort, and more of myself than ever before if I want it to be a true working self-produced career. I wrote more songs this year than I did in the last 5 put together. Some are going to be on the next CD, and I'm so excited to set them loose in the world.

My family has had quite a few rough spots this year, which has made it almost impossible for me to work as much as I would have liked on my recordings, and I had to postpone many of the online projects I was doing for fun in order to fit in my new responsibilities and things I needed to do to keep us afloat financially. This has not been fun or easy for Stella Voci and Winged Muse Studios members, who have been left with few if any projects to work on. Unfortunately we have lost a few of our ranks due to personal reasons and/or out of complete disgust for my long waits between projects >w< I know you miss me.

I did a few paid music jobs to try and make a little of which was a commission to write an original song for the video game "Dragon Nest SEA" which finally fulfilled my dream of composing a song for a real game. Once the Shanda Games company finally decides to put "Song of the Goddess - The Eternal Path" back in the game, I will eat the other half of my happy-cake.

In other news, I got engaged, to my lovely boyfriend of 4 years, Kevin. The prospect of a wedding scares us to death, and the COST of a wedding even more so. We plan to elope sometime next year. If we have a musical child in the next 10 years, I will be thrilled. Although I will probably be blessed with a sports prodigy.

Many of my fans have become close friends this year, and some close friends have become, well, VERY close friends. I have rescued and I have been rescued. I have laughed and squeed and huggled. I have cried and cringed and just plain lost it. I have mended some wounds and severed some ties. Found my long suppressed temper and honed it well. I'd say it's been an educational year in the social arena....the internet is a long and dramatic textbook of human psychology....with both sweetened and poisoned pages. Totally worth every lick though!

I'll end things with a quick list, and a few resolutions:


1) I am a Hello Kitty fan

2) An African Grey parrot can shoot crap about 5 feet.

3) A good Sharpie will last an entire year.

4) A good Sharpie is worth its weight in gold.

5) Former Morning Musume member Ai Takahashi makes my heart flutter.

6) Have a great idea that will make Youtube better? Uh Oh. Youtube has already disabled it.

7) I cannot eat at two houses on Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas. Engaged life sucks. Sincerely, YOUR STOMACH.

8) One word. Netflix.

9) Learned (and accepted) that the artists of this world are made up of differing and individual ratios of talent, willpower, and hard work....

10) ...and that every year I grow more humble as I watch the brilliant talents of others bloom and blossom before me.


1) I have spent a good portion of my life suppressing my love for the color, pink. No longer.

2) Release Album #2

3) Elope.

4) Do my best...the best I the right time.

5) Learn a new instrument

6) Fly (I'm not specifying how)

7) Improve my confidence...kill my stage fright

8) Hit a B5

9) Write the 'Ballad' .... the one I'll never top.

10) Survive the 2012 apocolypse...providing there is one :)

Love you all and hope your new year is filled with all sorts of new adventures, loves, and successes. Thank you for continuing to listen to my music even through dry spells and rough months. Never can quite relate how much it means to me that there is a group of awesome supportive people out there that want me to continue doing what I love most. What I wouldn't give to sit down with everyone and share some Pocky~ @.@

~Kate / Erutan / katethegreat19 <3

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Aftermath..... *dust settles*

I didn't know quite what to expect when I pressed "upload" on the video titled "Erutan - Raindancer ~ CD now available". All the little things that went through my head....Would people like the previews? Would they laugh at my choice of a stage name? Would I get enough of a return to make up for what I spent making this CD? Repair and replace my broken equipment?

Over the last few weeks there has been both negative and positive in relatively equal balance, and it definitely has been a learning experience.

One of the things I appreciated most was that no one blinked twice at my stage name, Erutan, and that was what I was worried about the most!

I've loved all the messages I've recieved this week about first impressions of the CD. It's a little strange though... I got so used to them being "mine alone" that it's almost bittersweet to think that they're out in the world now....going places I will never travel, within the minds (and iPods!) of others. Out of my reach. Bittersweet or not, I adore receiving messages about people's thoughts on the songs! Especially in depth ones!

One of the biggest downfalls to this last year is that I was working so hard on recording...that I didn't get in the simple maintenance practice of my instruments and voice. Recording isn't practice, and if you're doing only that, your skills begin to slip. That is certainly the case with me at the moment. Everything feels rusty, especially my violin playing. Plus I haven't had time in two years to just sit down and compose. I haven' t written anything new in a long time because I haven't had the time to do so. Now, with the CD being done, everyone seems to be calling in favors...but I just want to take a break from the hubbub, practice, get my skills back up to par, do a lot of reading, and write some new songs.

I've actually already written most of the songs for the next album. Most of them are more than 5 years old just like Raindancer's songs. I also want to write and add in some completely new ones as well. One of the songs I'm most wanting to share is the song I wrote when the Twin Towers were hit in 2001. It's one of my favorites, but it was too dark to put on Raindancer.

I also have many covers planned for next year, plus another few Stella Voci projects, but these things will have to be worked around the practicing and recording for the next album. Let's hope I can get a nice number of covers up even so!

Ahhh....I'm sure I'll have a lot more interesting things to say closer to New Years! ^w^;
So Happy Holidays everyone!!! Thanks again to everyone who got my album, take care of my babies, and forgive me for any shipping issues that resulted from my n00bish-ness.

Luv you <3


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taste testing Sakuma Drops!

So, I recently ordered some of Japan's fabled Sakma Drop candies to try! There weren't a whole lot of "reviews" on these candies online so I thought I'd do a little taste test blog :D For those who dont know Sakuma Drops have been made in Japan for over 100 years, starting with fruit flavors (as seen on Grave of the Fireflies) and branching out to many different sweet and savory flavors. They are supposed to accurately replicate the flavor of various foods from different regions of Japan.

I ordered four flavors: Moe Sweet Milk (from Akihabara), Yaki Curry (from Mojiko), Choco Banana Crepe (Harajuku), and Takoyaki (Osaka).

I'll start with the Moe Sweet Milk:
Starts off very sweet with a slight coconut flavor, starts to really taste like sweet milk after a few minutes. Definitely a strict candy though!

Next the Yaki-Curry:

Starts off sweet like a candy with salty soy sauce hints. Deepens into a delicious sweet/salty taste with smoky overtones. I never really taste anything resembling curry, but it's a nice taste.

Next the Takoyaki:

Tastes only slightly sweet at first, then immediately gets smoky flavored. I taste kombu (japanese seaweed) after a minute and the drop gets sweeter. Another minute brings salt into it. A very understated taste, pleasant but not something I'll get again ^w^;

Next the Choco Banana Crepe:

Tastes immediately of bananas and chocolate, very accurate! After a few minutes starts to taste slightly like salted nuts. Quite delicious!

Overall the candies are smooth, subtle, and tasty, and I can tell the ingredients are good ^^ I'll be ordering new flavors at some point in the near future!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Stella Voci Members, Copyright Success, etc

Hi guys!! It's been a while!!
Sorry for not updating in forever, I do appreciate those of you who read my blog! *hugs u*

Well, the Stella Voci auditions are over with, and as I kinda was afraid of, there were quite a few feelings hurt from the results....I wish I knew how I could have done this differently so that no one would have gotten hurt because of it...>_> I wish I could have impressed on them that this wasn't really a singing competition per se...more of a search for certain voice types. With no way to explain what I was looking for, I couldn't specify this in the audition in advance...I probably will never judge anything again as I'm too involved with my large circle on youtube to risk the precious friendships I've worked so hard to build.
The one really good thing that came out of it was knowledge of many amazing singers I'd never even known about. Many of which are of record-deal talent! Some of the best singers were not accepted into Stella Voci because of their star quality, their voices beautifully demanding the listeners attention instead of blending with others. Only time will tell if I've made the right choices, but I think the sound of the next project will be beautiful, balanced, and ethereal...even more so than Stella's first song (if that's possible xD) Which is great since we're going to be singing something from the Lord of the Rings!

In other news, my tough talking boyfriend has coerced the copyright office into giving us info on all my songs! We should be getting the paperwork and registrations starting in January! This means album release is a DEFINITE for late spring! A YEAR later than I wanted, but there wasn't much I could do about it was there? >w< Oh well, at least things are finally moving for me!

Thankyou all for patiently staying with me during all this, I know it was getting annoying hearing about the numerous delays and excuses for them...and believe me no one was more annoyed than I was! Anyways DIGITAL CUPCAKES FOR ALL! Drink something alcoholic in celebration okies? I know I will!! >w<

~Kate <3