Living in a Body
Living in a Body
This Week in Music

This Week in Music

Ep. 54 -- Winging it on Friday Afternoon

Hi. Welcome to Living in a Body. Today’s episode is mostly original music. I encourage you to listen to the PODCAST version by clicking the PLAY button above. It’s a 13 minute listen. Enjoy!


This Week in Music

Hi, I'm Hal. Welcome.

This is the Living in a Body podcast. I think today is episode 54. It's 4:39 on Friday afternoon and I haven't written an episode yet. So for the first time ever, I'm gonna wing it. We’ll see what comes out of my mouth here.

I just hate the idea of a Saturday coming at 8:08 am and not putting anything out into the world. Living with chronic illness, this is a big part of what defines me — this showing up every Saturday and connecting with you guys, the “Living in a Body” community. So anyway, welcome.

I haven't done any writing for Substack this week, but I have been writing my fourth step in my 12 step program. You know, the fourth step is a searching and fearless moral inventory. As someone who spent a big part of my life having had no moral compass, I've got a whole life of things to write about. But I'm not going to tell you about them here. Maybe some other time. But just know that I've been busy writing my fourth step. It’s all part of the process of healing and recovery I guess. I'm glad to be involved in that process.

But I showed up to this episode with no notes. And I don't think of myself as someone who's very good on my toes with words. I do much better on the page where I get to wordsmith all day long. So we're gonna just see how this goes, alright (laughs out loud) You may hear alot of nervous laughter. (Nervous laughter) We'll see…

The Handpan

The title of this episode is “This Week in Music.” And even though I haven't done very much creative writing, I've been doing some very creative work on Tiktok and Instagram that I'm really happy with and I'd like to share it with you today . I got out the guitar this week! I broke out the guitar after months and months. And I put my soft little fingers up against those metal strings. And it hurt but I made some beautiful music.

This one is the acoustic guitar with the RAV drum, which is a metal drum. I also got out the chromatic harmonica, which I am in love with. So listen, we're gonna call this… it's Untitled, but it's “Guitar Rav Harmonica.” We'll come up with a better title in a minute, here listen to this…

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That one's in the key of A major. It's fun playing a chromatic harmonica in the key of A major. Every key of the chromatic has a different shape to it. And I wasn't very familiar with playing in the key of A major so it was quite satisfying to learn that key and learn the shapes of that key.

So yeah, it's been a challenging week. My symptoms have been fairly severe. Mornings have been particularly difficult living in this body. But then usually in the mid afternoon, I get a little bit of relief. And I've been using that time to make music and I'm really grateful. I love the creative process. You may know that about me already. But in many ways the creative process is saving me. You know, it gets me out of myself. It gets me out of my head and thinking about all my all my struggles. When I have the wellness and the strength to create… you know, when I'm in the flow of creating music or anything, it makes a big difference. I'm so grateful to have that. I was talking with a friend who said he is not sure how to use his free time. And that is not one of my problems. Of all my problems, the way to use my free time is not one of them and I'm very grateful.

This next piece is another little jam on the hand pan, which is another type of metal drum. And this is with the khaen playing a cool melody in octaves. This is called “Pan Khaen Jam.” I think I need some better titles for this. Maybe I'll work on that later. Here we go. Listen to this…

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All right.

It's a shame these pieces don't go any further than just Instagram and Tiktok. I should make finished products. I'm really good at 30 second or 40 second little clips. I'm not as good at putting out the whole album. Someday after my book is written, the whole album will be written.

You know, I've been a diatonic harmonica player my whole life. It wasn't till I met Al Smith about 10 years ago that I started playing chromatic. But this next piece is the diatonic, you'll hear this bluesy sort of melody on top of the RAV drum. This one is called “Rav Harmonica.” Damn, I need better names! Here we go “RAV Harmonica.”

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Hey, guess what? I'm planning a trip to New York City.

Yep, I got myself a driver. Cameron is going to drive me and I'm turning the whole back of my car into a bed. We’re stopping halfway in State College, Pennsylvania for a motel, a Motel Six. I'm going to carry a wheelchair and a suitcase and a cooler on the back of my car. I'll show you a little picture right here. It's gonna be awesome.

I’ll add more Bungee cords

And then we're getting an Airbnb in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where I will be just a couple blocks away from my daughter Hallie and spending probably most of the time in bed. I think my sister Johanna may be joining us. And we're there to see the show that Hallie’s producing “54 Below Sings Tik Tok.” If you're in New York City, or even if you're not in New York City, it’s time to take a trip. I'll meet you there. It's Monday night, March the 27th.

So, this is the last one I'm going to share with you. I just made this this morning. I'm super happy with it. It's the “Pan Jam.” Ha. I promise by this time next year, I’ll have better titles for you. This is a Pan Jam. And it's got some more chromatic harmonica. And this one was really satisfying to make. Its handpan and two chromatics. Here, listen to this.

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All right, that was cool. Hey, everyone, thank you so much for being here. Thanks for listening. I'm so glad that I have this platform to put this music out in the world. And who knows, maybe someday there will be a finished product where you can listen to the album.

But for now, easy does it. Easy does it, Hal. I'm living with moderately severe chronic illness. And this creative process can either save me or it can destroy me. So with “easy does it,” taking it easy, a little bit every day, we can do this creativity without destroying ourselves. (Laughs out loud)

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Oh, I had so many more interesting, deep thoughts. Actually, I don't have deep thoughts! I rarely have deep thoughts. Sometimes. I wish I had deep thoughts more often. But my deepest thoughts come in the float tank when I'm floating. And that's where I'm gonna head now before dinner.

It's 5:18. That was a whole episode in less than an hour. And I'm gonna go head into the float tank. Thanks for being here. Thanks so much for joining me. It's Living in a Body.

Spread the word. Hopefully, I'll be back next week. And I'll look for you in New York City, by the way. All right? I love you. For some reason, I'm in a good mood tonight. You know, I'm feeling good. I'm not always like this. I spend a lot of my time crying in bed. I don't want this to end. I want it to keep going on and tell you more.

I'll just tell you the highlight of my week. The highlight of my week is getting together with a few friends on Wednesday evenings we do something called “presencing.” And maybe I'll tell you what presencing is next week. Maybe that'll be a whole episode on presencing. But it's my favorite. It's my favorite activity. Of all the activities in the world, I think presencing is one of my favorite. And I can't wait to tell you about it. So maybe look forward to that next week. In the meantime, thank you.

Enjoy living in that body yours today. Happy Saturday. Happy week to you. All right.

Bye bye.

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RAV Drum

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Living in a Body
Living in a Body
Hal Walker, Ohio musician and writer living with severe ME/CFS, weaves music, stories and community from his bed.
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