I've often felt like an imposter. Especially when I was in the depths of my social phobia days, it always felt like everyone else knew what they were doing and I was the only one hanging on by my fingernails, trying to get it right but feeling like I never would. When I first started teaching singing I wondered what the heck I knew and worried I wasn't good enough. Over the years I've come to a place where I recognize that who I am is exactly is what is of value. The difference between me and any other voice teacher, aside from technique, is just that I am me, I walked my path, and I share my story with my students. Ergo, the difference between me and any other composer isn't just gear and skill set and genres. I hear sounds the way I hear sounds, and create musical collages with that sound, even if it's within the framework of a genre or subgenre, it's unique to me. It's me.

 I learned this very well in a writing group I belonged to for a time. We'd all be given a theme (genre) and given five things we needed to incorporate into our story, and then we'd write for 5 minutes. Even with all those ingredients, every story was so markedly different from everyone else's it helped me to realize that my muse is unique to me.

I often tell my students, a singer sings. A writer writes. A painter paints. A composer composes. We do the art for arts sake, because it lights us up inside and therefore is meaningful. If someone buys what we produce, that's cool. We need to eat. But that's not why we do it. Added to that is the willingness to listen and learn from others on the path, and a humble knowledge that our skill set now is better than it was six months ago, whether or not it is yet recognized by the 'experts' or our 'success' in 'selling' our 'product' is spotty at best.

That's not being an imposter, it's being an artist on the path to being a better artist ~

Colouring outside the 'lines'

Sometimes when I think about composing music for the production music industry... I wonder if I’ll ever find a way to fit in.

Don’t get me wrong, I have placements in various tv shows, but is my manner of creating music getting in my way? And if it is, can I actually change it and continue to enjoy what I’m doing. Good question.

I have no real issue these days with mixing. Even though I still feel in the dark when I read articles in places like Recording Magazine... I understand like, one tenth of what most of them are talking about when it comes to composition and production... I still manage to make deals with some of the tracks I write. It’s just that most of my cues are developed through experimentation. Like a good chef, I start with the bare ingredients and then follow my instincts and my delight in choosing and placing sounds. I hear melodies in percussive elements, in how they work together and how they answer each other. I’ve learned others don’t hear these ‘beat melodies’ like I do.

Recently, when I was participating in FAWM (February is Album Writing Month), I told myself to just let go and play. I had great fun and I really like some of the tracks I created. I know the B section is too different from the A section on this one... or that that one is ‘too far outside the lines’... but I was like a kid with finger paints and had a great time. Making music has to have some element of play! As for melodies? I just have to make them more... visible ~