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Cyra Morgan Modern Folk

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The unusually cool temperature, with minimal humidity, made the 7 block jaunt along 5th Avenue to Bryant Park seem more like a leisurely stroll on the latter half of this mid-week July afternoon.  I hummed along with the tinkling melody of the park’s infamous roundabout and took notice of the young woman sitting on a bench just across the pathway, with her eyes fixed like a curious child, watching the elderly statesmen engage in a passionate game of Chinese Chess.  She is Cyra Morgan, a resident of this Metropolis, and when she’s not at the beach,  often she finds herself here, people watching, or just taking in nature – it’s her way of connecting and finding inspiration for another verse to add to her growing repertoire of intimate acoustic folk songs. 

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When she was 5 her father would invite his musician friends over for jam sessions and Cyra was often asked to get on the microphone to sing.  The delight of those moments led to her penning her first lyrics and performing them to a sold out imaginary audience in her bedroom.  In 8th grade, she wrote a song for her teacher and taught it to her classmates, who performed it as their end-of-year swan-song.   Only a few years ago, her father taught her to play the guitar, it’s the only instrument she plays, and it has unshackled her from needy dependence upon another musician to help her get the songs out of her head.

This would be only our second meeting, yet she recognized my face as I approached, and waved me over to take a seat.  A self-proclaimed Instagram addict, she said she’d captured several moments of the day and proceeded to show me her latest exhibits on her iPhone.  I asked if I could scroll through her music playlists and was delightfully surprised to see an eclectic mix of artist – Regina Spektor,  Damien RiceRay LaMontangeMumford and SonsThe Black KeysThe Artic Monkeys, and The Beastie Boys.  

“Regina Spektor is such a huge inspiration and influence for me.  I tend to be a person that feels deeply, and life sometimes guides me to places where my emotions are too big to contain. I feel like if I can capture it, whatever it is I’m feeling, as authentically, as truthfully as possible in my writing, it helps to bear the burden of the vulnerability, the fears, the love, the heartache, the hope.” 

15 months ago, Cyra was one of the top 10 finalist in the Guitar Center’s Singer – Songwriter Competition, and this past March she was one of the featured artist on the SoundCloud stage at SXSW, both she professes have been highlights in her budding career. 

“I owe so much of my success thus far to SoundCloud, so it was kind of a huge honor for me to play on their stage. But generally, meeting other SoundClouders or fans is always really meaningful for me. Maybe it’s because I share so much of my soul in my songs, it means the world to me that people want to listen.”

 She’s definitely a dream seeker with professional aspirations of a world tour, performing on all of the late night talk shows, and Saturday Night Live

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” I’ve always had this little dream of playing little pubs in England, Scotland and Ireland…. kind of random but I’d love to do that.”

 The potrait of Cyra’s future will also be accented with highlights of what she believes will be the richness of life’s adventure.

 “Personally, my goals are to be an amazing mother and partner, to shower my children and family with love. To appreciate, to be grateful for every beautiful moment that I am given.”

Discover the acoustic folk intonations of Cyra Morgan now on SoundCloud and an intimate stage setting soon.

Milk Duds, Pepsi, Popcorn Matinee

Chitty Chitty Bang BangDo you remember your first movie experience in a theater?  I do!  It was a special matinée showing of the Disney feature ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ at the grand opening of the ‘Cinema’ in my small southern hometown.  No multiplex, just one gigantic screen that was actually hidden behind a glamorous red curtain.  Okay, so it seemed enormous to my 8-year-old eyes, but the red curtain was definitely glamorous.  There was balcony seating but my mom and I sat in the lower level, on the eighth row in the very center.  I had a small box of popcorn, bennettsville_cinemaMilk Duds, and a small Pepsi.  I remember it like yesterday!  When it was all over, I remember applauding and applauding and applauding!  And telling my mom right then and there that’s what I wanted to do.  And she asked me, “What is it you want to do, exactly?  Drive a flying car?”  I chuckled, took her by the hand, looked her square in the eyes and exclaimed,

  “I WANNA MAKE MOVIES!”

And here I am, years later, with 4 screenplays under my belt, outlines drawn for 3 documentaries, and still filled with the spirit of seeing my dream into fruition.  It’s going to happen…all in perfect timing.  In the meantime, I am still a huge fan of the matinée!  I’ve replaced the Pepsi with bottled water, the popcorn is a medium bag now, and the Milk DudsMilk Duds are a thing of the past.  I still sit on the eighth row from the back, and in the very center seat – which requires an early arrival to assure that it’s available.  Oh, and I don’t mind going solo, even though a companion or two always makes the experience more fun, especially when the film is not quite as good as the preview made it seem.

For me, the foundation of a great movie is the script.  If you have a great story, team it with a solid cast and director, and I am hooked.  Here are a few examples of great stories I’ve seen told thus far this year:

‘Run and Jump’ 
‘Love and Air Sex’ 
‘Girl On A Bicycle’ 
‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
‘Belle’

The Grand Budapest Hotel Movie Poster Pink

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 And here are a few I’m looking forward to seeing:

‘Wish I Was Here’ 
‘Lucy’ 
‘Get On Up’ 
‘What If’ 

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Yes, I do see the Hollywood Blockbusters,  We’ll talk about a few of those next time.  In the meantime, for the latest movie news and show times be sure to visit Fandango or AMC Theaters, and I’ll see your at the movies!

Vinyl Spinner.

Back then we played music recorded on vinyl that would spin at either 45 or 33 RPM (revolutions per minute) on a turntable with a tone arm that housed a delicate stylus.Unwind Vinyl ResurgenceWe sat alone in a sound proof studio with a microphone, headphones, and a rotary dial telephone displaying four lines whose ring was silently announced by a flashing light.

I was in the final year of my teens, a hungry college sophomore working a 5 hour evening shift barely making minimum wage, and completely mesmerized by the privilege of providing a soundtrack for the storied lives of tuned in listeners who often suggested the mood with a direct call. Many were to me as I was to them, a friendly voice allowing the imagination to create an image of one’s physical appearance, however often upon meeting in person many were surprised by my…height.

Architects of the airwaves building bridges of sound from a blueprint designed by passionately engaged lovers of music.  What young punks we were, with music at the center of it all, as we lost our innocence while forging lifelong friendships and memories. U2The tapestry of my life is highlighted by broad strokes of various genres of music vividly intertwined exhibiting a work worthy of display and critique. One of the premiere colors that continues to permeate the sentience of my life’s vast canvas is the blend of the hallowed, yet humbled, sound of U2. Their distinct composite of alluring melodies and enamored verses have withstood the test of time and continue to chronicle the essence of the space we share. 

 Turntables are a rare find in most broadcast studios now, as well as are scrappy youth at the commencement of their career.  The vastness of the Internet has presented opportunities for us to seek connections as never before and articulate feelings that are comprehended through the common language of music…regardless of its origin.

What Would You Do?

Road 2807 x 1958Been down this road before, seeking an opportunity to join a team that is the right fit for me, my shoes are worn, yet I push on.  So many companies claim to be the best, but are they really?  Because if they were the best, I’d certainly be on their team.

It’s not pride or ego.  It is modest arrogance.  My time is valuable.  I have more years behind me than I have in front of me, so investing my time properly by working with a team that’s dedicated to successful accomplishments via excellent time management is essential.  Working beyond 8 hours a day for someone will be because I have acquired employment doing something I love.  8 hours of work, 8 hours of rest, and 8 hours of “play” – family and friends…THAT is the life I deserve and the life I will live.  That’s modest arrogance and I’m quite comfortable with it.

We’ve been told to “think outside the box”. Outside the Box Inside Low Res But who’s box are we to think outside of?  The one they assume we’re constrained by as individuals?  The one that has locked us into thinking in one particular fashion?  So, once we’re “thinking outside the box”, are we then confined by the limitations of the box they have us in by the direction of which we’re instructed to think?

Emily playing guitarI enjoy meeting people who are doing what they love and loving what they do.  Joy exudes from every pore of their body, as they share what it means to “be your own boss” doing a job that doesn’t seem like work because it’s an extension of who they are.

What would you do if someone paid you to do whatever you wanted to do for the rest of your life?  As you think about that answer, let me add, isn’t that what you should be doing right now.

Focus forward.