This is my third attempt at writing this post.
I find the idea of communicating to others where my music comes from to be daunting. I could speak all day about the technical details - melody, chords, rhythm, etc. - but when it comes to what they are about, well, that's another story.
There's a reason for that.
I've never perceived any of my music to be "about" things, rather I like to think of each piece as being "inspired" by something.
I began writing and recording my own music about 6 years ago. It started out of nowhere. I had been playing for a long time but I had never made anything original. It was strange to have never really composed music before and then all of a sudden have the ability to do so. I remember having put together about 4 or 5 pieces over the span of a few weeks and I had no idea why this was happening. And even then, I knew that they weren't "about" anything in particular.
It wasn't until a few years later what I was actually doing.
The music I was making was a reaction to the things that were going on around me.
I now like to look at the music as a form of journaling, very abstract, but journaling nonetheless. Each album, EP, or single is an "aural journal", a sonic response to the things that have affected me.
A longing to return to my childhood inspired Let's Go Back.
Anticipating going home after spending two years in Florida inspired Closer Than Ever.
A lousy weekend inspired The Way Things Go.
Someone who meant an awful lot to me inspired I Am Here and so Are You.
Still, not every piece I make immediately has a clear inspiration behind it. I sometimes don't realize what inspired me to create until years later. The four most recent pieces I've made fall into this category. I have a vague idea of what inspired them but I probably won't have a really good grasp of where they came from until later on.
I always reach a point where I feel that I am no longer going to be able to make any more music. I felt that way at the beginning of this year and I currently am feeling this way as I write this, but then something usually happens. I get to go through a new experience, someone I know affects me in a deeply personal way, or I get to travel to some place new. It's then that something musical leaps out from me because I am so appreciative of what I've been given.
Every song is really just a thanks for something I am blessed to experience.
I don't believe that what I am doing is anything special or that anyone else is incapable of creating in such a way. I truly believe that music is something everyone can make.
The world could use a few more aural journalists.
I'm currently away this weekend soaking up the sun in Florida while the rest of my friends are up north dealing with snow.
With little time to write this week, here's the usual sharing of a song from YouTube:
See you next Friday.
EP number 5 is complete and it's here much sooner than I thought it would be.
I don't have a lot to say about these pieces other than that they came together very quickly, much more so than any other collection of music I've put together. The reason for this eludes me.
There's a simplicity contained in each one of these tracks that I thought should be reflected in the artwork. I have never considered myself talented when it comes to drawing or sketching so when I put pencil to paper I drew the simplest thing I could think of.
Four curved lines.
When I put out "Sunflower" last month, I wrote that I wanted it to be the beginning of something new. "Songs of Contentment" is that very thing.
Rather than explain each piece, I'd rather let the music speak for itself. At least for now. The first track is happy, the second is loud, the third is sad, and the fourth is long.
"Songs of Contentment" can be downloaded for free here. Click "Buy Now" and enter "0".
Thanks for listening.
Just a quick mid-week post/word of encouragement/rant.
I've had a few goals in mind for myself since the beginning of the year. The only problem was figuring out how to approach said goals.
I was thinking too big.
In an age of instant gratification, I've become trapped in the mindset that if I want to accomplish something then it needs to be accomplished immediately. Things shouldn't take time, I shouldn't have to put in long hours of work. They should be done as easily and as quickly as possible no matter how big.
This is a dangerous way of thinking and I'm sure I'm not alone.
So I've decided to switch gears. Let's start small. I have four big goals I would like to achieve and I am going to accomplish them slowly, one day at a time.
I've put together a personal daily log to record each small step I take. One step per day is my minimum. This could be anything from setting aside a small amount of money or going out for a job interview. The whole point is never letting a day go by without doing something productive and/or beneficial.
An original idea? Probably not.
Helpful? Most likely.
I haven't set a deadline for any of my goals, the timing of them being accomplished is ultimately not up to me, but I look forward to the completion of each and every one.
P.S. New EP this Friday.
There's been an usual amount of warm weather in New Jersey lately, and normally, this is something I'd complain about.
I've gone on many rants to others about how cold seasons should always be cold and warm seasons should always be warm. A 60 degree day in January doesn't feel quite right and a chilly day in July is never my cup of tea.
However, there's been streak of warm days as of late and the funny thing is, I've enjoyed each and every one of them immensely.
I got the opportunity last week to spend the day outdoors snapping photographs with a friend. It was a near perfect day for such a thing. It was Saturday, the sun was out, and one of my favorite places to go had just reopened after being closed for months.
Needless to say, that afternoon was a much needed breath of fresh air.
There's been an overarching and frustrating season of coldness as of late with my being unemployed. But that day - that one simple day - was a warm one indeed. There weren't any distractions or frustrations, just a day spent in God's creation.
A metaphorical day of warmth in a metaphorical season of cold.
It's been over six months since I've placed any photos here so I'm happy to add these new (if somewhat typical) images to the gallery.
Be it literal or metaphorical, there's something truly special about a warm day in a cold season.
There's no better feeling than having lunch in a diner with a couple of friends at the end of a lousy week. It's always a delight when I'm feeling down and my dog happily and unexpectedly jumps into my lap. Joy is ever present when I get to create music with a group of friends after a long day.
And nothing beats a bright sunny afternoon in the middle of February.