During this particular phase of my life, I have been on quite the journey. This journey has so many layers, it is difficult to write about–not emotionally, but due to a lack of language. How do I find words to describe it? But write about it I must–I feel compelled to–and maybe it will make more sense as I do. I hope this doesn’t sound overly dramatic, and perhaps that is why I have been reticent to journal about it. I also need to overcome the internal pressure to write perfect blog posts, as if there was such a thing. So here goes…
This blog is aptly subtitled: “A journal about life interrupted and a new coming of age.” I feel like I have pretty much gotten through the life interrupted part, (although life has a tendency to continue to throw you curves). A new coming of age? Definitely there.
This journey is full of RISK. Launching into a full time music career: RISK. Suppressing the inner voices demanding I chart a course of financial security: RISK. Putting out a new record without any clear sense of who to market it to or how it will sell: RISK.
I am either brave or foolish. Only time will tell. And maybe you need to be a little of both to get anywhere.
I’ll write a little about this upcoming record (album, CD, or whatever your particular generation likes to call it). As soon as I started writing material for it back in August, I have been in an internal conflict. My original vision for this was to continue in the trajectory of my first instrumental record “Draw Me Close”. That project consisted primarily of me on piano and one or the other of my best musical buddies, Scott Burnett and Andy Park, on guitar. Some of the material was premeditated and some was improvisational, but it was all improvisational from a playing standpoint. None of us worked up and practiced what we were going to play in advance. We just went for it. The result was something very relaxing, something you can fall asleep to. Call it soaking music, relaxation music, or whatever.
On this new project, I wanted to continue that approach but do it with a fuller band: piano, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and drums. I wanted it to be nothing more complex than us jamming on some preset chord progressions and keep everything very chill.
Like I said, I set out to write material for it. But pretty quickly I discovered that I was no longer writing this project; it was writing me. I really can’t describe this adequately. Here I was trying to compose a loose collection of song forms that we could do some chill jamming to, and instead these songs emerged. Songs with a direction. Songs with progression, contour, tension, climax, denouement. Like a story.
And if that wasn’t enough. This turned out to be more than a collection of song stories. The whole thing is a story. It has trajectory. The evolution of this project turning into a story has unfolded over the past few months, a story unto itself.
The question is: what story is this telling? I have a few ideas, but I’m not telling. I’m not trying to be mysterious and intriguing, but I believe I am not supposed to tell you the story, even if I had a clear idea what it is, which I don’t. Rather, I am pretty sure this is something waiting for you to put your own story in. We shall see.
So not only is this idea of putting out a record a big RISK, (because it is so hard to make money these days selling music), but eschewing the safe course of creating another collection of relaxation songs by doing something more adventurous is a big RISK.
And you are now part of the story. Let’s see how it unfolds.