It is 11:06 pm and, for those of you who don’t know me, that is pretty late for me to be up. Could be that huge cup of coffee (you could substitute energy and courage for the word coffee) I had before going into the studio tonight. I’m not so sure it worked in my favor. Singing is a really physical thing and I am realizing how much work I need to do before I ever step foot in front of a microphone. I cannot summon the spirit in a cup of joe or overcome my anxiousness with caffeine. Perhaps a little yoga would help me feel centered and relaxed. Basically, I need something that is going to get me out of my own head.
I found myself heading into tonight’s session with a lot of consternation and a headache. My headaches of late, I believe, have been exascorbated if not brought on by bad habits. I have only begun to work out again and my diet has been heavily laden with caffeine and sugar. What does this have to do with singing you might ask? Well….
I cannot sing with out giving my whole body over to it. I have to be able to be in my space comfortably and free of physical stress in order to connect to the song. With out connection, especially when recording and devoid of the audience, it all comes out flat. Sometimes figuratively and sometimes literally. Tonight’s material was all about letting go and trusting that you have all that I need and I went into it feeling insecure and a little depressed. I let myself get bogged down in what I didn’t have and the gave into the voice that speaks of what I think are my weaknesses. I think I rallied a little but it will be really interesting to listen back in a few days when I get the mp3s of tonight’s work. For now I sit and wait and work on being patient…again.
The take away for me tonight is two fold. Number one….I have to get healthy. I need to move away from temporary fixes and recommitting my whole self, body and soul to this project. Secondly I have to remember that a major factor in my moving forward with this project was to let go of my fears of inadequacy. I am taking the steps and proving to myself that I can do this! I have to validate my own voice before anyone else ever will. I am trusting in what I have been given and not handing this over to anyone else to fix or complete. I am learning and that ultimately good for everyone.
Isn’t it so true that there is always two sides to the coin, or perhaps the grass is always greener on the other side and the tried and true, nothing’s perfect. The CD recording process has been stalled now for some weeks, hopefully to pick up again sometime around the 15th. My life and the life of the guy I’m working with are certainly not in sync and at the moment it seems impossible to make it a priority. We both have bills to pay and kids. We both have other lives that require so much attention. Even with the best of intentions it is quite dysfunctional. I am hoping we will get back into some sort of groove but none of those other factors are going to change in the near future so I am left feeling a little hopeless.
So, “what is the other side of the coin saying?” You might be thinking or “where is this green grass of which you speak?” Let me start here……some time ago I decided that I didn’t really want the limelight of the music business. I didn’t want a record company that would require a lot of travel and gigs to promote myself and their interests. It didn’t fit in with the family side of my life. I didn’t want someone breathing down my neck and making decisions for me. I certainly did not want anyone telling me what they wanted from me creatively. I wanted my autonomy and my creative control. I really was happy with the idea of writing for other people, maybe some film and TV placement and to gig when ever I felt like it. I was really clear about what I wanted. Then this little project started burning a hole in my brain. I wanted to record these songs. For two years or so I stayed stuck in the “I don’t have the money” mode. Certainly a record label would have come in handy there! Of course that would have come with all the perverbial strings attached. So along came Kickstarter and helped me solve that problem. Now I am stuck in the “I have to do this by myself” mode. It’s all on me and my time is so taken up with trying to organize my life in such a way as to get this done without inconveniencing anyone else. Yet another problem that would, at least seemingly, be fixed by having a record company behind me. Booking studio time would be on their end. Everyone on the project would be “on the project” what I might lose in that game is the freedom to call the shots, to record what and how and when I want or even can in some cases. I would risk losing the ability to work with gracious generous people who still see music as a spiritual expression as well as being able to delicately traipse around the “business” side of things. Ugh!
So what do I do now? I guess patience and I will have to learn how to keep company. Perhaps another cup of coffee and a deep breath are in order. I will continue to focus on booking gigs so that at the very least you all will be able to keep me and my music company while we wait. It’s more fun to wait with friends around who help you keep your chin up and carry on. Thanks for that!
Well, here I am again. I’ve been away for a bit but there has been so much going on and finally I feel like I have some really great stuff to share. Not having a record label backing me up financially, and a ton of fear about doing this on my own, kept me stuck for some time but I’m here to tell you that the wheels are now spinning and there is no turning back. I am learning to ignore that pesky voice in my head that wants to tell me I can’t. It’s still there mind you but I have developed a new voice that can argue with it. It makes for some really interesting conversations in my head.
The good news is…..we are two songs in. Guitar and vocals done. We are proceeding on in the same way with the rest of the songs. These demos are great because it gives me something to work with while doing harmonies and vocal arrangements and getting them just where I want them. It also gives me something to hand to the cast of characters who will be playing on the CD. Where not having a working band used to stop me in my tracks, now I see it as a way to find just the right people for each song. Creatively, it’s a real challenge but ultimately, I think, it will provide for a really interesting mix in the end.
The really good news is that we have decided to shoot some video as we move through this process. It’s a great way to document and take you all along for the ride. So excited…..even though my new voice will have to get to work on some good arguments for the voice that is going to say all sorts of things about being on camera. By the end of this process, my new voice and I will be ready to take on any debate team………at least at the junior high level.
So…..the train is leaving the station so please hop on board! Subscribe if you can so you will get all the updates as they come in. I would be bummed if you missed it. It’s going to be a great ride. (I almost wrote “I think” it’s going to be a great ride….new voice wins again!)