For the past few months I have been seriously distracted from making music. I've been reading a lot. In addition to reading old fashioned books, I've only now just begun to get into audiobooks! And wow! I'm hooked. I find myself reading at least two traditional books, and listening to one audio book at a time. I have also stayed consistent with my independent French lessons (need to take everything up a notch). I've also been working really hard on my fitness and nutrition. And just...living my life! I've found a good rhythm with my new isolation routine.
All this has left little room for recording and working on songs for my new EP.
I've made the switch over to Apple products for recording, and I am using Garage Band for the first time. Still trying to get used to it. My full set up should be up and running by the end of the week (hopefully). The last two weeks I've been laying down the foundation for more than half of the tracks on the new record. I am still pinching myself a little that I am going to be collaborating with one of my favorite musicians/producers: my brother.
I started out my music career by just writing poems. Then, when I felt inspired, I would come up with vocal melodies for them. At that time, I didn't play any instruments or have any knowledge of composing a song, or recording it. But, my brother did that stuff. He made music around two top lines that I wrote. And it was magic. I started to get the bug, but at the same time, his passion for music began to cool off. He encouraged me to learn an instrument and create my own music. So, I gave that a go. But, here we are, returning almost full circle to my brother taking the wheel (mostly). But this time, it will be a full collaboration. I will exhaust my creativity with each song, and invite him in to refine what I've done.
This will hopefully give me the confidence and experience that I can use to embark on fully producing my own songs...someday.
Every day I feel inspired to add something to a track. If I'm not adding anything, I listen back and I play with ideas. I'm having fun and enjoying the process. This next record is going to be about so much more than the music. I'm also exploring and brainstorming about the art that will surround and support the music. The art, the design, all the visuals, the message, etc. will be part of a carefully curated artist collective.
Currently Reading: Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov, and Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue Book 1
Currently Listening to: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, UPSAHL, Ellie Goulding, Ane Brun
Currently Learning: French and GarageBand
Currently Watching: Blown Away (series)
And feeling so grateful for this life, grateful for my family, and grateful for my passions and my ability to pursue them.
In the mind of Madness
This year has been pretty frustrating, and let's be honest, an absolute shit show. And I don't really know anyone who thinks any differently. Even still, I remain positive. Why? What is the alternative? Shrivel up and die? Nah. I'm good. My drive to write, play, and record music is still here. That may surprise some of you since I go "silent" for months at a time. I apologize for not updating on social media as much as other artists do. I am still doing a lot of things, quietly, behind the scenes.
I've been working on a new single since July. It's not a "new" song, but it's one that deserves to be re-imagined. I brought in the co-producer from my album, "Seasons" to work his magick on this track as well. Bryan Gonzalez is not only a friend, but also someone with a vision that I share and understand. The last few bits are being added and the track will be mixed and mastered in the next couple of weeks. I'm planning for an end of September release.
And concurrently, production on "Lovesick" is beginning now! Again, I need to state that I'm going to take my time with this record. I can't say when it will be done, but it WILL be done at some point. I'm trying my best to plan out content to release in the meantime. I found an incredibly talented Art Director / Photographer for this project and new promo photos and album art will be borne of this collaboration. We're scouting locations and acquiring costumes at the moment. I am also hoping to create lots of visual art to accompany my music.
(I have abandoned plans to finish and release the "Peter Pan" music video. It will be archived, indefinitely, because life is sometimes complicated.)
I'm also continuing to write new music! I have found myself working on two records simultaneously. I've never done this before. I find myself pulled to work on many songs. I am also working up the courage to (mostly) produce my 6th studio album. So, it makes sense that I should start that now, to give myself lots of time to give it the attention and care it needs.
I remain focused on creating the best music (and visual art) that I possibly can, and not worrying about the rest. I do this because I am compelled to do it. And I will share what I've created in the best ways that I know how (that don't cause me enormous amounts of stress) and that is all I can do. I only hope that I will make a connection with just ONE person (I would prefer more than that). That would satisfy me.
Currently Reading: The Huntress by Kate Quinn
Currently Listening to: FKA Twigs, Caroline Polachek, and ALL music genres of the 90's.
Currently Learning: More music theory, some sound engineering, and still learning French! (I'm at Intermediate level and it's getting tough!)
Currently Watching: Re-watching "Offspring" on Netflix and also re-watching The Matrix...
And always full of hope, full of love, full of excitement and curiosity about what will happen next in this mysterious human existence! I am sending love and wishing everyone who reads this (and even those who don't) much needed peace during these uncertain times.
It's that time again where I begin the planning phase of my next record. I was going to keep the title a secret. Build some mystery. Fuck mystery. It's called, "Lovesick". I am hoping it will be 8 songs. These are my favorite songs of mine (so far). I feel that they are some of my best. I used to think they were my best. I have since written a whole lot of (lyrics) songs that definitely compete as my best in the last 6 months. But back to "Lovesick"...
I am listening to a lot of music that has a dark, creepy, haunting, and ethereal sound. I want to go there. I'm aiming for lots of gut-wrenching layered vocal harmonies with a touch of electronica here and there. Mild, subtle effects. The main thing will be me singing my fucking heart out. Crooning like I've never crooned before. The vocal performance means more than anything.
After I settle on a musical direction, I will settle on who gets to co-produce / produce. Then I might do some demos and then just start recording. In the meantime, I need to raise funds to pay for all this high quality production. That involves me trying to sell what I have around my house. I'm not sure how far I can go with this method of fundraising. I am still hoping that there are folks out there who want to be a part of this process with me and support my art (through Patreon). Creating music is the best form of therapy I have right now. Grieving my mother's passing (last May) has put me in the darkest place I've ever been. Music is the hand that pulls me out. Sometimes I see it as her hand. My mother's support and belief in me has carried me through the years. I not only continue on with music because it's part of who I am, but I continue on to honor her. Which brings me to...
"Modern Romance". This has always been a powerful song for me. It was one of my mom's favorites. She gets a mention in it. I want to show everyone how I took the pain of being in an abusive relationship, and turned it into something beautiful. This was my way of coping, at the time. I wrote it in the midst of the realization that the relationship was toxic and I decided to stay because I wanted to - not because I had to. I was trying to reclaim my power the best way I knew how.
It is my hope to have it finished and released on Valentine's Day 2020. I consider it a "reject" from the "Lovesick" EP. It could fit there, but I think it deserves to be singled out and to stand on its own. I have one other song that I feel could go with the EP, but I don't want it there. So I may do that as a standalone single in the Spring.
Expect "Lovesick" later in the year. I don't want to rush this one. I will try to release new music and live videos, including covers in the upcoming weeks.
Oh, and the "Peter Pan" music video. We're not quite finished filming, but the footage we have so far is quite magical, indeed!
I am not in the right headspace to think about what to do with my music once it's finished. I am going to focus on making the best music as I possibly can and getting it recorded. I will share on social media and whenever I see an opportunity to share. I have become so bitter over the current music industry climate and how nothing is about art anymore. Creating and sharing in the most simple way is the only thing my weary soul can manage at the moment.
Currently reading: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Currently listening to: Agnes Obel, Milo Greene, Billie Eilish, Camelia Jordana, 50 Shades of Grey Franchise Soundtrack (go ahead, make fun of me)
Currently learning: French
Currently watching: The Great British Baking Show
And slowly pulling myself out of a deeeeep depression. I saw the slivers of light through my tightly closed eyes. Now I'm fiercely tearing at the darkness to let more light through. My story isn't finished yet.
Being a "creative" sometimes feels more like a curse than a blessing.
Gone are the days where I could shut out the world when the Muse came to visit me.
Now I find myself telling her, "Ack! I can't! My kid needs me! Just wait right there, in the corner of my mind, while I do mom stuff..."
Pssshhtt! She waits for NO ONE.
I used to have a problem with tapping into that creative, inspired wavelength. I couldn't figure out how to see it, and how to recognize it. I suffered from "writer's block" (which I realize some people don't even believe in). Now, I know how to access it. I figured it out!! But, I still have this whole other life that is sadly counter-intuitive to my deepest desires.
I'm no longer a disgruntled youth on an aimless path. I KNOW what I want and how to get it. I conquered one of the hardest feats. I just simply do not have the time to do what is needed to be done. I don't have children who just do their own thing (I think there are some kids who do that, though I would call them Unicorns). My kids need my attention 24/7 and I do not work a 9 to 5 anymore. My husband does that, and I try hard to keep my little monsters alive, every damn day.
Lately I've been feeling MEGA inspired. Inspired to try my hand at self producing my music again. Inspired to write lyrics that will reach a broader audience (and not just appeal to sad bastards like myself). Inspired to even branch outside of music to begin achieving my goals of comedic acting and screenwriting for film and T.V.
As a hardcore INFP, I find myself suffocating emotionally. Precious alone time to be creative, or to be nothing and do nothing, and to re-charge myself is not as often as I need it to be. It's a wonder that I have time to write this blog entry. But, as I said earlier in the year - my word this year is: PERSEVERE.
And that is what I shall do.