awakening big picture growth musings spirit success Wealth

What is the most destructive question that everyone asks themselves?

“What’s in it for me?”

This is the underlying question almost everyone has running in the back of their minds.  Someone makes you an offer and you automatically ask it.
“What’s in it for me?”
Parents ask a variation, “What’s in it for my child, my family?”


It’s perfectly normal and most everyone does it.


So why is it a problem?

Because this question reveals a mindset of lack.
“Gimme, gimme, gimme.”
“Take, take, take.”
It’s the voice of the ego based on fear, insecurity, and a lack of abundance.


It’s victim thinking, not a hero.

Poverty Thinking

I experienced this growing up.


It was like life was an all you can eat buffet.
But “You better get your money’s worth.”
It’s why cruise ship guests put on their “buffet pants.”
Or the advice of some who say, “don’t fill your plate with the cheap stuff, grab the good stuff.”


Now, what if we could shift this to the opposite?

What if we could change the question?
“What’s in it for me?”
But rather

“How can I help?”

Abundance Thinking

By asking this new question, there is an assumption of abundance.  This question assumes you have the power, capacity, and ability to help.  It’s a powerful question. You are tapping into your true gifts. It comes from a deeply spiritual place, not your ego.  There is more than enough to share.


We’ve all had ups and downs in our lives.  I personally experienced many magical miracles. And then flipped to complete despair.


What I’ve noticed is the presence of the first question and not the latter.  Mindset is the key.

So what is mindset?

A mentor of mine recently gave me an amazingly simple definition:


“Mindset is the voice(s) in your head.”


That’s so true.  I hear my parents, teachers, and even people I don’t care for speaking in my head.


Who put these voices in our heads?

They get installed automatically throughout life.  Parents. Teachers. Relatives. Caregivers. Friends.  Facebook. The media…


The thing is, unless you are aware, you are being programmed all the time.  If you let it wash over you daily without consciousness, you are installing these voices.  The prevailing mindset of lack, poverty, and despair.


The good news is, you can reinstall new voices.  It’s like upgrading your internal operating system to the latest, greatest version.  You choose your own voice.
Tomorrow, my son turns sixteen.  Sixteen! We’re about to start visiting colleges.  Think about focus of study. Plan out a course for life.
What I want most for him is to flip the questions.  Ask more empowering ones.
“How can I help?”
“What can I offer the world?  
What was I born to do?  
What are my gifts?

What makes me the only one?”

A Lifetime of Questions

Of course, questioning goes on for a lifetime.
We never completely know.  We are always discovering.


The journey of life and success IS the journey of discovering the answers to this question.  Life is self-discovery. And this question can change your life.

How can I help?

I hope this awakens something inside of you.  New voices = new life. This goes beyond parenting, music, education, business, whatever.  This is for you. And through you, you will light up the world.
“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and place it under a basket, but place it on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.   Let your light so shine, so that they may see your good works…” – Matthew 5:14. the Bible


drawing Fiction and Poetry Hundred Heroes process Writing

One Hundred Heroes – A Daily Creative Practice

Last Friday, friend Tonya came up with an idea to reinvigorate our creative processes.  We’re both creative souls and require daily nurturing, input and output.  The idea was to work on 3 small areas of creativity because, as we discovered together, that the creative flow that comes about from actually doing the work is totally transferrable.  In other words, if you are stuck as a musician, then perhaps work on a painting.  Or if you’re having trouble finishing your Great American Novel, then perhaps it’s a daily doodle or restoring an old chair.

So I chose as my 3 small daily practices drawing, writing and reading fiction (which I never used to give myself permission to do!)

Writing Everyday

For my writing, I’ve been working on short stories – at least 250 words.  I’ve also started coming up with a list of 10 daily ideas for my stories thanks to the inspiration of this article by James Altucher.

Reading Fiction

I read fiction by Dean Koontz, Edward Bloor, Ernest Hemingway, and Daniel Defoe.

Drawing A Hundred Heroes

This past week I did a daily drawing of one of my “hundred heroes.”  I’ve had so many wonderful role models, mentors and teachers over the years, some who I personally knew and others who I’ve only touched from afar.

Here’s who I drew:

Robin Williams Day 1 – Robin Wiliams

The world is still in mourning for his loss.  I’ll never forget how hard and loud I laughed when watching Mork and Mindy as a teenager.  My neighbors must have wondered about the wild cackling coming out of the house.




IMG_2381Day 2 – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It was as if the world was in black and white before I read One Hundred Years Of Solitude.  Since then I’ve read almost all his books and was led into a world of magic realism and writing of others like Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Salman Rushdie and Isabel Allende among others.  It also helps that my late mother-in-law gave me this book and said, “Now that you are dating my daughter, you need to read this.  He is the national treasure of Colombia.”

And what a first line for a novel: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”



Good eeevening...
Good eeevening…

Day 3 – Alfred Hitchcock

I never went to film school, but watching Hitch’s films makes me feel like I should sign up today.  So wonderfully artful and chilling!  I also love the music scores by his many wonderful collaborators like Bernard Hermann and Alex North.  Did you know that Saul Bass (another hero) actually conceived, storyboarded and directed the Psycho shower scenes?





Steve Jobs, one if my hundred heroes
Steve Jobs, one if my hundred heroes

Day 4 – Steve Jobs

Without Steve, where would I be?  Where would we all be?  I’ve been using a Mac since 1985 and went to one of the first MacWorld conventions.  I’m an Apple fanboy if there ever was one.  Thank you Steve for all you have done and continue to from somewhere…

I had some trouble with the eyes.  I also realized that I made Steve look a bit like Freddie Mercury (another hero!)





Being peace
Being peace

Day 5 – Thich Nhat Hanh

I was trying to sign up for an acting class in the early 1990’s with a famous teacher in NYC.  She had every prospective student come in and meet with her first and then gave us a required reading list.  I thought, “how weird and presumptuous!”  On this list were many books about self-growth, identity, new age stuff and The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh.  This book changed my life and continues to blossom within me.  Years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to go on a silent retreat with “Thay” (which is what we call him – it means teacher.)

By the way, I never took the acting class and can’t even remember her name.  I thank you wherever you are!


I’m a self taught artist so I know there are some technical issues in these drawings such as proportion and balance.  Anyway, it’s a daily practice and I think I’m getting better!

What practices do you do to keep your creative edge honed?  I’d love to know.  Share them in the comments below.

Fiction and Poetry

The Louder The Lower

by Tyler,
by Tyler,

“The louder the people, the lower the intelligence.” Frank said it flatly. “If you look around the ghetto, what do you hear?”
We stopped and took in the scene around us. Sirens howling in the distance, rap music blaring out of car windows, children screaming in the park across the street. The sound of the Mister Softee jingle was playing somewhere a few blocks away. There were several young men standing outside the bodega on the corner. There were all talking loudly at once.
“You see what I mean?” Frank nodded in the direction of the bodega.
“They can’t even hear each other and yet their spouting off their inane opinions on absolutely everything and nothing at the same time.”
I shifted uncomfortably.

“Frank, you can’t just make a blanket generalization like that.”
“Why not? Especially when it’s true? I am not saying that everyone in the ghetto is unintelligent. What I’m saying is that the ones who are jabbering away all the time, that’s like a marker.”
“Whatever.” I said biting my tongue.

“C’mon. Let’s take a ride.”
We got into the cruiser. The radio squawked about some robbery uptown, but it was too far from us. We pulled out, Frank at the wheel. He loved to pontificate and drive and I resigned myself to another of my senior partner’s unofficial sermons.

“Listen Wayne. I know you’re one of those feel-good liberals who think that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that the world is a safe place and that everyone is basically good. Am I right?”

He turned to look at me. I kept staring straight ahead and said nothing.
“Well let me tell you, you better wake up and wake up fast. I’ve been on these streets 19 years and it ain’t what you think it is. The world is evil, or rather, there is evil in the world. And everyone is not innocent until proven guilty. We, my partner, are the eyes and ears of the good people and we KNOW who they are, where they are, what they are doing and usually how they’re doing it. The why varies. But it all boils down to this. They’re weak. You here me Wayne? Weak. They’re weak and afraid and out of that fear, they avoid facing the big questions in their lives.”

excerpt from a short story by Andrew Ingkavet

©2014 Andrew Ingkavet.


Testing WordPress 3.9’s new native audio embedding capabilities

Adding test audio via new WordPress core.

Hm.  Just uploaded through the normal Add Media button and had the option to embed an audio player which is HTML5!  Nice one WordPress dudes!

Very elegant!  Much better than fussing with all those plugins.


This is an old track I created as a short opening number for a television commercial.  It eventually was used for some website intros and animations.

Estoy Aqui – by Andrew Ingkavet.

music process

Woman Parts and Composing a Fugue

The play that I wrote music for, actually variations on a theme in the public domain, opens this weekend.  It’s part of a night of two one acts by women, Sex & God by Linda McClean and Lamentations of the Pelvis by Sibyl O’Malley.  The production is by the award-winning and always interesting Son of Semele Ensemble in Los Angeles. Get tickets here.


Woman Parts Poster In working on the music which were all variations on the Coulters Candy theme, also known as Ally Bally Bee, the director Barbara Kallir was describing to me a need for some thicker more complex textures and perhaps an interweaving of melodies.

“Do you mean like a fugue?” I asked.


Definition of Fugue from onMusic dictionary.

form of composition popular in, but not restricted to, the Baroque era, in which a theme or subject is introduced by one voice, and is imitated by other voices in succession. Usually only the first few notes of the subject are imitated exactly, then each voice deviates slightly until the next time it enters again with the subject. Generally the voices overlap and weave in and out of each other forming a continuous, tapestry-like texture.


Whoa, I’ve never written a fugue I thought to myself.   Isn’t Bach only allowed to write that intricate stuff?



“Sure, a fugue.  I’ll get right on it Barbara.” I said half-jokingly.

Since the melody was already written and was a very simple jingle, perhaps I could do something like this.  It’s funny because I spent a few years composing jingles and music for advertising and now I was creating a musical score based on a jingle! The original song was to sell candy, but because it was so hummable and infectious, the melody has lasted for generations to the point that all Scottish elders know the tune.

So, I thought about it a little bit, doodled on the piano and guitar and then went to sleep.  I find that my best work comes from connecting to the source, the muse, the great GoogaMooga in the sky, a.k.a. God while I’m sleeping.

At 5 am on a Saturday I awoke, went to the computer and started writing out this fugue in Sibelius.  Now I don’t claim to come close to being Bach, but I thought it came out pretty good for a first fugue.

My composition teacher at Juilliard would probably have some things to say… Screenshot 2014-04-24 12.59.39


Download PDF Ally Bally Bee fugue sheet music






Here’s the final result.  I didn’t have time to record acoustically so these are actually generated right out of Sibelius 7.5 – a pretty nice upgrade from my previous version of 6.0.

growth joyful living

Using Power Poses To Transform Your Life

So most people living in the year 2014 know by now that there is a mind-body connection, usually in that direction. How you think and feel is manifested in your body and the material world. For example, you are feeling depressed and therefore you gain weight, feel sluggish, sleepy and your immune system breaks down and you catch a cold.

Research has now proved that there is a body-mind connection. Meaning, you can change how you feel by changing the way you move and hold your body. Tony Robbins has been saying his for years but recently Amy Cuddy, a social scientist and professor at Harvard Business School conducted an experiment. She wanted to test whether there were measurable changes in people depending on how they moved and held their posture.

Power poses are universal expressions of confidence and power and look like this:

Power Poses - High Energy Poses That Will Change Your Life

Low energy poses are also universal and look like this.

Low power poses diminish you from the outside in
Dr. Cuddy discovered that in nature and in humans, the dominant leader usually has a high testosterone level and a low cortisol level. Testosterone is usually associated with masculinity, aggressiveness, and power whereas cortisol is related to stress levels.

The subjects came in, they measured their hormone levels from their saliva, they held either a power pose or a low energy pose and then they ran a risk behavior test with a gambling experiment and then took another saliva sample.

The results were astounding. Just holding a power pose for 2 minutes can dramatically change the hormone levels either way. This can dramatically change someone’s life!

But will the results last? Will “Faking It Until You Make It?” truly transform one for good?

As someone who grew up very shy and awkward, I can attest to this, though I didn’t know that was what I was doing. I had found some “charisma” exercises in a book  and found them quite empowering. One of them was just standing looking at yourself in a mirror for 2 minutes with total love and acceptance. This was surprisingly difficult at first. We are programmed not to love ourselves and to nitpick and find all our faults. By doing this for a few minutes everyday, I can tell you I was a different person. Within a few months I was actually going on acting auditions and taking classes as an actor! This was unbelievable to my former self! Within 2 years I was a television host with millions of viewers every day.

So this can have huge effects on our children.  Just this morning was the first of 3 days of standardized testing for my son’s middle school.   So, what did we do besides a good breakfast and a sound night’s sleep…power poses!

My next student’s recital will definitely include some power posing before performance.

You should definitely watch the TED Talk. It’s one of the 50 most viewed!


Sex and God, now that’s a title!

I’m about to start working on a new theater production of a play titled “Sex & God” with the wonderful cutting edge Son of Semele Ensemble in Los Angeles.  This will be my third collaboration with these folks and I am as always, honored and grateful to join.

The Scottish play is by Linda McLean and features intercut monologues of 4 women spread over time.   The accents are wonderful!  I feel a brogue coming over me!

The playwright has written into the work an old Scottish tune that has become like a folk song, though it was originally written as a commercial jingle.  It’s called Coulter’s Candy and apparently old folks from the Highlands all know it as well as Americans know “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”

So my job is less as a composer and more as an arranger/producer and sound designer of this piece.  Still haven’t figured out what I will do, but it will be some kind of underscore in different tempos and feelings as well as a few featured jingle-anthems.

Here’s what the song sounds like as found on YouTube.

Update – April 3, 2014.

Here’s my work in progress on the score.


Remixing Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro

Mozart Remixed
Imagine Mozart’s opera The Marriage Of Figaro was reborn in a dark Brazilian jazz bar in the streets of Brooklyn and you get a little idea of what this track was inspired by.

I created this track as part of the soundtrack for the new production of the theatrical play (as in no singing – this is the play that Mozart was inspired by from a French writer named Beaumarchais) opening on November 9, 2011 at Fordham University’s Mainstage at Pope Auditorium, Lincoln Center, NYC.

music music for film


Okay, after almost 17 years of having complicated websites, here’s something simple for now.  More to come.

music process

The Creator and the Editor

Creation and Process.

When creating anything of merit, there is a phase of wild creativity where all ideas are golden, thrashed about and recorded somewhere. After that time, comes the Editor’s time. This age-old process is proven to be the model. Rushing into the Editor role before having properly gathered all the fresh crops of creativity is guaranteed to give stale, clichéd and very un-inspired ideas- no matter the art or medium. It’s like a sculptor trying to perfect the rock’s details before she even knows what she’s creating.

With graphic design, you often end up with far more visual information than is necessary or desired to communicate the idea. Putting on the Editor’s hat allows you to whittle it back to the most efficient manner of telling the story. Music for film is the same way. How best to communicate the emotions of the storyline with the least amount of effort?

Seth says that over the last 27 years, every film that won for Best Picture also won for Best Editing.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.
music music for film

Making a film in 16 days with complete strangers

Well, I took part in my second RIPFEST where we create something from nothing extremely rapidly with people you’ve just met. It’s an exhilirating experience and highly recommended. Check out the RAW IMPRESSIONS

website for more info.

After they’ve gathered 5 teams worth of film crews including directors, producers, actors, dps, editors and composers, we’re given some rules, locations, permits and a structure to focus on just creating a new short film in 16 days with a screening at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City at the end.

Our theme? Second Chances.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.
music music for film

Anti Mind Pollution Media Cloud

I was interviewed in a recent issue of the Toledo Blade regarding my role as Executive Music Producer on a new 24 minute Christian film, Transgression.

“What I liked about this script was that it didn’t offer an easy, pre-digested answer. There is room for expansion and discussion,” Mr. Ingkavet told The Blade.

Transgression had “a thoughtful script with a powerful message of mindfulness. Being a spiritual person, I am naturally attracted to projects that are not just adding to the mind-pollution media cloud,” he said.

See full article

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.

Abandon at LaMama – dreaming with ears wide open

We just finished our first weekend of Abandon at LaMama and wow…it’s like dreaming lucidly and vividly and intensely for 70 minutes. Yes I did write the music, and still, sitting through a performance is like something else. I am so proud and grateful to all involved.

As I explained to my father last night, you can approach this like an abstract painting. There is a storyline, though everyone will experience it differently.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.
music music for film

Filmmakers Festival – Edit Ves presentation slides

I’ve posted the slides to my presentation here:

I talk about the uses of music to picture, what it can achieve (and not) and how to communicate between Visual and Aural creatives while using examples from my work in feature films, commercials, animations and shorts. The clips can be found elsewhere on the site.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.

Tidelands and Germany

It has been a very full life lately. Just came back from a week in Germany 4 days in Frankfurt and 3 in Berlin. A great trip and got to meet some lovely folks including Terry Gilliam who was honored at the filmmaker’s festival where I too was presenting. We got to see Terry’s latest, “Tidelands” which, as a parent, I found very hard to watch. Jeff Bridges is pretty great as a junky father. The little girl, Jodelle Ferland as Jeliza-Rose is great. It really is like Alice in Wonderland meets Psycho.

Working hard on the score to “Abandon” which is opening on October 19 at LaMama ETC downtown New York City- (lower east side) The show must go on.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.
music music for film

How we perceive film: Hear/See

A friend asked me to comment on a proposed curriculum for film school students regarding Post-Production audio. This made me refer to some old Walter Murch articles which still astonish me as to how accurately he describes the film sound experience. (Murch is the original holder of the title sound designer and has won several Academy Awards for sound editing, film editing and sound design.)

“This reassociation of image and sound is the fundamental pillar upon which the creative use of sound rests, and without which it would collapse…

film seems to be “all there” (it isn’t, but it seems to be), and thus the responsibility of filmmakers is to find ways within that completeness to refrain from achieving it. To that end, the metaphoric use of sound is one of the most fruitful, flexible and inexpensive means: by choosing carefully what to eliminate, and then adding back sounds that seem at first hearing to be somewhat at odds with the accompanying image, the filmmaker can open up a perceptual vacuum into which the mind of the audience must inevitably rush…

The rumbling and piercing metallic scream just before Michael Corleone kills Solozzo and McCluskey in a restaurant in “The Godfather” is not linked directly to anything seen on screen, and so the audience is made to wonder at least momentarily, if perhaps only subconsciously, “What is this?” The screech is from an elevated train rounding a sharp turn, so it is presumably coming from somewhere in the neighborhood (the scene takes place in the Bronx).

But precisely because it is so detached from the image, the metallic scream works as a clue to the state of Michael’s mind at the moment — the critical moment before he commits his first murder and his life turns an irrevocable corner. It is all the more effective because Michael’s face appears so calm and the sound is played so abnormally loud. This broadening tension between what we see and what we hear is brought to an abrupt end with the pistol shots that kill Solozzo and McCluskey: the distance between what we see and what we hear is suddenly collapsed at the moment that Michael’s destiny is fixed.”

This “sound-stretching” is the same thing composers do when working on a film. By stretching the distance between what is portrayed on screen and what is heard… the mind of the viewer perceives a vacuum into which they pour their own associations and emotion. The music is the sub-text to the screen action.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.

Being There

A wonderful painting is the result of the feeling in your fingers. If you have the feeling of the thickness of the ink in your brush, the painting is already there before you paint. When you dip your brush into the ink you already know the result of your drawing, or else you cannot paint. So before you do something, “being” is there, the result is there. Even though you look as if you were sitting quietly, all your activity, past and present, is included, and the result of your sitting is also already there. – D.T. Suzuki

These words are as true for music as any art.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.
music music for film

Who Needs A Composer Anymore – I’ll Just Cinescore it.

Filmmakers today have unprecedented control over what goes into the their films. With HD cameras now costing less than $1000 (Sanyo’s HD1) and MacBooks with FinalCutPro or even iMovie – you can create films with a total kit costing less than $3000!!

With the hands-on, DIY ethic that has emerged, everything that used to be complicated and difficult about filmmaking is now enormously easier. This has also happened with music with Apple’s GarageBand, Sony’s ACID and a ton of music making software that enables the slightly talented to sound genius, or almost.

So what about scoring your film? As an indie filmmaker, you probably were your own Rebel without a Crew staffing the DP, Art Director, Gaffer, Director, Casting and Editor positions of your film. Maybe even Caterer and Location Scout and Morale Support. Why not just write your own music too using these easy to use cheap tools?

And, with the emergence of new software like Sony’s Cinescore, who needs a Composer nowadays anyway? Aren’t they just like last century’s Coopers? Who needs a barrel-maker anymore?

Well, yes, you as a filmmaker can do everything yourself.
Robert Rodriguez actually tries to do it all himself even with big budget Hollywood and the unions…for which I think his films suffer. The beauty of film is a team effort and the exponential magic that happens when great minds contribute to a whole. But that’s for another post.

Now of course, you’re thinking, cut the crap, I’ve got $5 to make this picture – who needs a Composer?

And here’s my argument. Music is a direct line to the heart. It is the “feel” of the movie. People slink down in their seats when the horrific music signals to them that they should. If you have the abilities to create that in addition to creating your film, then go ahead. It is doable. But to do it well is another thing. Try Cinescoring a soundtrack as indelible, evocative and as proprietarily mnemonic as John WIlliams’ Jaws.

And why suffer when for 5 to 10% of your production budget, you can have a dedicated, raving, film-loving music-making pro actually doing this with you?

Now the only hard part is communicating exactly what it is you want/need/desire. We’ll tackle this in a later post. And if you don’t know what you want (not unusual), no one in the world does. (please never say “I’ll know it when I hear it.”)

Here’s an interesting perspective on Sony Cinescore from Mark Northam, founder of Film Music Institute.

Andrew Ingkavet is a composer with over 2 decades experience creating music for film, theater, advertising and new media.