lagging behind deadlines

Maybe it's the struggle to get over this cold, but I have had to fight the demons this week. All the doubts and procrastination have reared their ugly heads. OTOH, I have managed to write song #8 for the '14 songs in 28 days' challenge... but I am a little behind, since it's the 18th today... I should be on song #9. I have concepts for 2 or 3 more songs, but nothing is exciting me.

The challenge has been interesting, because I see that, when I create a song, I want to 'live' with it for awhile... enjoy the moment, so to speak... and kinda glory in the fact that I created something and that I like it. But you can't really wallow in your success with a challenge like this, nor can you waste time perfecting what you've written, you have to write it, do some sort of recording of it, and then move on.

I see something else too, which is a total contradiction to what I just said -- I find it difficult to rework and revise and rerecord over and over. Sometimes I get lost, and sometimes I feel like my "fixing" takes something away from the song.

That is the creative process, and also the reality of being a human being - that you have these feelings or inspirations that are total opposites to each other, both at the same time.

I also see that I have a great love of great story-telling and use of language, which is why I love JRR Tolkien and Mary Stewart and Jane Austen and John Grisham and so many other wonferful writers. And good movies too. I love to live in the worlds they have created. I suppose my music is to me a way for me to get into and create worlds of my own.

This week, I've had to fight against the internal editor who has been saying 'this isn't good enough' or 'no one will want to listen to this crap', I've even spoken out loud to myself, saying, "write what comes to you, don't say it needs to be something else, embrace it even if it feels totally out to lunch or non-commerical or even without structure. You must embrace the inspiration... cause if you don't you will never get to the place it could lead you. You will never know that place if you say 'no'."

Thus I have written music that is... I don't what kind of genre... but it expresses something in me and of me... and really that's all any artist can do. I can't be anyone but me, saying what I have to say, in the way I say it.

waaaaaaaah me sick :(

Play the violins.... I was fighting a bit of a cold on Wednesday night and Thursday... but Friday - wham, it hit me like a ton of bricks with an awful sore throat and a fever and everything (sniff)... anyway, I had to cancel work for two days. And, on top of that, I can't record anything cause my voice sounds like... gravel.

On the good, side, I got my new audio system today... minus the correct soundcard (although they had all the instructions), they have to order it in. But I can get myself set-up with my programs and highspeed internet, and take the CPU back in a few days when they get the right soundcard -- which needs a plug-in for my midi keyboard.

So I have to work on transferring data from my existing system (via my external hard drive) and installing all the programs, once I've done all that I'm looking forward to seeing what it feels like to work on a system with enough ram, faster processor, and lots of memory, when recording/producing. Have to run to the store tomorrow to get anti-virus software & a couple of other things.

I got a good deal on a LCD monitor - I originally was going to get a 19", but they had a slightly used 22"-wide screen monitor, which they sold me for just $50 more.

Other than that, I've written 4 complete songs for Fawm, and I have two more lyrics, with music composed, that need production; and I have another piece of soundart I'm saving to work with on the new system next week. Being sick, plus this system being chock full of data, kinda put the stops on posting anything musical for a few days.

That's the news for now! Stay creative out there.

FAWM: 4 down, & 11 to go?

Well, I got off to a good start with the February Album Writing Month... my girlfriend called me from Denmark... which is 9 hours ahead... so it was 8 am for her and 11 pm for me... and we talked for over an hour. So, after we got off the phone, I sat down at the piano and played this 5 note motif I had improvised in someone's lesson that day.... and before I knew it, I was well into creating my first piece. I wrote a complete arrangement for the music, and recorded a short 1.5 minute sample of the work, in the early hours of Feb 1st.

The next morning, I had a cancellation, so I went down to the local coffee shop with some notes I had on 3 or 4 story elements or characters that Tolkien created. I just thought a little... and before I knew it, I had a lyric. In my lunch break I wrote the music - but I had a lot of trouble making a work tape I was happy with, so I ended up just doing an a capella version with vocal harmonies as a sample.

On Friday, I sat at the piano and improvised a little, and then wrote a couple of interweaving music motifs. I managed to actually produce a longer piece. It's posted at:

Yesterday and today I struggled with the 4th piece. I wrote these lyrics yesterday and they are within the theme of my 'album' - inspired by Tolkien - but the song isn't anything I'd put on my album. But I kept telling myself not to block the inspiration, to write whatever comes, and trust it is leading somewhere. Don't think about the end product, allow the flow, accept the flow, no editing. Then I had some computer problems and ended up spending 4 hours - and reworking it twice - before this ol' computer would actually render a work tape for me.

I haven't got my new computer yet -- I found out it would be better to have a second SATA internal hard drive, instead of an external hard drive, for storing the orchestra samples, as the transfer rate through the USB hub might be too slow. That means, if you are using several different instruments, the main drive has to go 'get' the samples while you play your music. The USB hub may not transfer that data fast enough, so you get pops and clicks in your playback -- well I have that on my old computer, and the whole point was to get away from that! I'm glad I found this out, because the internal hard drive addition costs $100 less than the external.

I'm trying to organize my desks and stuff so I'll have a place to put it :) I actually went through some stuff today and filled a garbage bag and two recycle bags. Feels good.

I'm tired now. I decided not to try to write anything else today. Hopefully inspiration will flow again soon :)

Oh, yeah.... this week I also have a short writing project to complete; work on a large graphic design project; keep up with my students and do some paperwork.

"When you know who you truly are, there is an abiding alive sense of peace. You could call it joy because that's what joy is: vibrantly alive peace. It is the joy of knowing yourself as the very life essence before life takes on form. That is the joy of Being -- of being who you truly are." ~ Eckhart Tolle, 'Stillness Speaks'