that day changed my life, i discovered a flat iron! { the hubby + i being our ridiculous selves. there is always laughter round these parts! }

that day changed my life, i discovered a flat iron! { the hubby + i being our ridiculous selves. there is always laughter round these parts! }

Hey, you! Christy here. I am just SO very glad you stopped by! There are at least a bazillion photos, adventures and projects for you to DIY - so grab a cupppa whatever your vice is, and stay a spell!

Day 14/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Jon Troast

Day 14/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Jon Troast

... Is there not one person out there whom I can convince to name their first born after me?

{sigh}I'm a tad disappointed in you all...

... who wouldn't jump at the opportunity

to rename their 30 sumthin year old son with my name...

{sniff}

alright!  i'm over it.

....despite no single artistic souls out there gifting their child with my name

it brings me hope to know there may be animals....

....jewelery collections and the like bestowed with the lovely name of chrysti

my mom would appreciate it if i reverted back to how she spells it ...

....{christy} in case you didn't know

these ramblings don't at all tie in to today's giveaway...

... so ya know, feel free to just tune them out

i'm used to it....

.... there are men in my life afterall

and we all know what good listeners they make....

.... okay, that's unfair

some men are incredible listeners...

...and some are simply incredible to listen to

AHA! Oooooo! A tie in! {applause}

Okay ladies (and probably under a handful of male readers out there) ... have you met the amazing Jon Troast? If you haven't, pull yourself out from under that rock you are hiding beneath and get with it! Ok, that was just my not-so-nice way of stating - read on!

Last August, I had the remarkably good fortune of instructing at the first ever ZNE convenZioNE .. an amazing celebration of creativity that I am ever so grateful I was a part of. Throughout the event - we were blessed to have a talented, and very brave musician in residence - Mr. Jon Troast. Why so brave you ask? Well, consider this for a moment: an event dominated with women... and a lone male singer. You be the judge!

Photo by Chrysti

Jon Troast at the ZNE Convenzione : Photo by Chrysti

At any rate - Jon was among the people that kinda got to me while thouroughly impressing me. Have you ever met one of those folks that are obviously comfortable in their own skin, and have that all-around-aura-of-authentic-positivity? It's contagious. It's inspiring. You are left wanting.. well, more. Love that. He was not only performing but jumping in whenever we needed a helping hand, laughing, and he was - what I think was the absolute perfect companion to the event.

Photo by Chrysti

Jon Troast at Bella Galleria in Pleasanton, California : Photo by Chrysti

Music & art simply go hand in hand. I believe creativity flows freely from one to the other in this glorious, endless circle ... one constantly feeding the other. Have you ever sat back and just allowed yourself to create to different types of music? Given yourself permission to play - to let the music guide you?  I have theseoh-so-powerful-step-back-and-gasp-in-utter-delight-moments when I see how classical music changes my paint strokes subconsciously, or how the really hard, angsty music I was once so drawn to pours this personally haunting darkness into a piece - and when it's music with lyrics that speak to my soul - I create pieces that show 'me' at my rawest, most vulnerable form. Give it a try, Mix it up. See what happens within your own creations.

Photo by Chrysti

Jon Troast at the Convenzione : Photo by Chrysti

Describing music has never been my strong-suit. If I like it, i like it. If I don't, I don't. I'm not one to really classify anything.. which might be why I'm so drawn to Jon's music. It's a blend of styles - that somehow, become unique to him. It's evident his own, true voice and experiences lie within his work. All I know, is since I had the privilege of listening to him up close & personal .... he has made his way to each of my playlists - especially, when I'm creating. A couple of his songs, one in particular, would make the short list if I ever create the soundtrack to my life. Powerful isn't it?

I asked Jon to take part in my 29 days of giving project, not even really expecting an answer ... so imagine just HOW friggin'  thrilled I was when he signed on - not only for a giveaway, but an interview as well! Lucky, lucky us! After reading his interview, I'm now torn on what it is I enjoy most about him - his music, or his attitude! Bravo Jon.... come see for yourself.

Jon Troast at Bella Galleria: Photo by Chrysti

(ya know the drill by now dontcha? questions are mine, the answers are jon's)

Now that I have posted your photos, I better just get this out of the way.. my readers are largely female and it's just inevitable I'll be asked: Are you single?

Yes, I am single.

I have to just jump right in with your $100 house tours. I was fascinated by this when we met, and I think my readers will be too. Can you tell us a bit about them?

 Sure. Basically, for $100, I play a one hour concert in your living room.

You can invite friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Just as long as they're willing to listen. I came up with the idea because I want to play for people who are listening. What better way to get them to listen than to play in their living room!? Many times, I stay with the host, but housing is not a required part of the deal. I've played close to 150 house concerts in the last year or so, from Maine to California to Canada. It's been a blast, and a great way to do some sight seeing!!

I bet you have seen some amazing parts of the country as a result of this tour.. any personal favorites so far? Anywhere you have yet to go, that you'd like to?

I've actually recently written a song about not picking favorites because I like each one for different reasons. I did just get back from a West Coast tour, and it was beautiful, so it may be moving up in the rankings, but I haven't decided on any favorites.

I haven't been to Alaska or Hawaii yet. Those are two places in the US I'd still like to go. I think I'll have to work out a deal that if they pay to get me there, I'll play for free!

You can sing, you play an amazing guitar - but what I am drawn to most are your lyrics. I feel some sort of connection to them, and often recognize glimpses of myself, and emotions within them. Songwriting is no easy task, can you tell us a bit about your creative process, and how you overcome 'blocks' of your own?

I don't think I'm going to unlock any magic secrets here, but for me, the creative process in songwriting works best when I have times of meaningful interaction mixed with time and space to write. The inspiration comes from...well, life, I guess. But in order to process it, and write creatively I need a little isolation and time to think. I usually talk about empathy with songwriting, because I think it's a huge part of writing songs that people can relate to. If you're aware of what they're going through, you can write in ways that emphasize that shared experience/emotion.

As far as "blocks", as long as I give myself time and space to write, I haven't had trouble with that. Sure, sometimes I'm not very productive, but there's really no quota for how many songs I need to write.

Wedding Ring is among my favorite songs that you have put out, perhaps because I am adopted. Where did the inspiration for this song come from and is it a true story?

"Well love makes money seem so poor
Wasn’t any way they could afford
To give that girl a single thing
So my mother sold her wedding ring
You sparkle more than any diamond
I wouldn’t trade you for the world
What are your dreams now go and find them
My daughter..my daughter..my wedding ring"
- Jon Troast, Wedding Ring lyrics

True story. I have 4 adopted siblings. The song is about one of my sisters who was adopted from Bangladesh. In order to pay for the adoption, my mom sold her diamond ring. Awesome!

This is where I'd ask you to serenade me if this was an in person interview. Let's just have a moment of silence while I remember how amazing you were live; actually i'll insert another you tube video.

Lyrics to that tune can be seen here.

Random questions just thrill me; so here's one for you: How many licks to the center of a tootsie pop?

Well, I held a contest on my email list asking "What number am I thinking of between 1 and 100?", and the most common answer I got was 33. It was not correct for that contest, so maybe it'll work here. I'm saying 33.

It's so cliché to ask this, but I'm doing it anyway ... What are some of the bands/tunes on your own playlist currently?

I try to listen to as much variety as possible. Here are a few of the more recent selections: Coldplay, Ingrid Michaelson, the soundtrack from "The Mission", and an old gospel music cd a friend gave me.

Music and helping artists move furniture around on retreats aside, what are some of your favorite things/activities to indulge in?

That about sums it up! Hmmm...a few more- exercising(recently, swimming), reading, socializing, cooking...maybe)

There has GOT to be at least one good embarrassing moment on your house tours, or funny story you can share with us! Let's have it.

Well, I've forgotten the words to a song a couple of times. My phone rang in the middle of a concert. I sang a song I wrote called "Living Room Tour", which has a line that says "I fell in love with your daughter". I wasn't really thinking about the fact that the folks I was playing for had a daughter. She was 12. Her dad threatened me. She was probably more embarrassed than me though.

One other thing that really struck me when we met, is this radiant glow you seem to have. It's one I typically recognize in people who have lived long lives, an internal peace.. that acceptance and happiness so few seem to find. What's your secret to a happy life?

For me, it's knowing I'm in the hands of a loving God. Getting to know Him more every day. Knowing there's nothing I can do that will make Him love me any less. It takes a lot of the pressure off!

It's tradition here, for the guest to ask my readers a question to be answered to be eligible for a prize. What would you like my readers to answer today? It can be as serious or as whacky as you'd like.

I'm assuming the question doesn't have to be about me. If it does, how about something like "What color shoes does Jon wear?"

If it can be anything, how about "Which raisins taste better, Sunmaid or Dole?" The answer would be "Dole".

jontroast_aperson_150
jontroast_withtofrom_150
jontroast_second_150

Isn't he ab-so-friggin-lutly delightful folks? It's one of those traits that makes his already good music - even better. Amazing how that works.

.... Darn it! Why didn't I ask him if I could design his next CD cover... maybe next time...{sigh}.

So yeah, back to the giveaway! Jon didn't just donate one CD today - he donated 3! Count 'em .. 1.. 2.. 3! Initially I was going to give them as a set - however I am feeling particularly generous today myself and will draw names so that 3 of you shall be gifted with an incredible CD of his!

Even you have his CD's enter - You can gift it to someone else, through here or in person. Just let me know whom you want it to go to!

ALL of you have the opportunity to download one of his CD's - free of charge. Click here, and if you choose to sign up for his mailing list - you may download his CD Second Story - at no charge! I love when everyone can be gifted.

To tune into today's giveaway and have your chance at one of the 3 Cd's ..

  • On this post in the comments answer one of Jon's questions: "What color shoes does Jon wear?" and/or "Which raisins taste better, Sunmaid or Dole?"  - Extra Credit if you plead with Jon for me to have a shot at designing one of his CD covers someday.
  • Orrrr... You could also let us know how music affects/influences  your creativity and work.
  • Do this by: Sunday, December 21th, 2008
  • PLEASE keep Spreading  the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works! I’m amazed daily at the impact this project is having on people. I want it to be contagious, plus it fuels me to make it bigger & better! 
  • Visit Jon's site where his blog, store and other goodies are!
Day 16/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Michele Beschen

Day 16/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Michele Beschen

Day 12/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Pam Carriker

Day 12/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Pam Carriker