Sunday, May 20, 2007

Forward Motion

I've just finished working up some new material with the band, something I've been dying to do for a wee while. It's funny how, when you don't have to do something, it seems to come quite easily. The songs are a bit more of a return to some of the more energetic and upbeat categories, similar to what we have released in the past. Well, similar, but slightly evolved, I think. I don't know- it's hard to make these judgements about one's own music, and frankly, why bother? Despite the fact that this process of working up new material has been really fun and gratifying and whatnot, the whole experience has actually given me a greater appreciation for our album that comes out on Tuesday.

Honestly, I hope that anybody who's reading this doesn't think that I sit around listening to my own music all day and patting myself on the back, it's just that working up new material has lead me to once again examine the creative process, and in turn come to grips with the notion that whatever you create should always be an accurate reflection of yourself at the time. Forced enthusiasm is usually transparent.

Sometimes you write a song because you think, as you're writing it, "this is going to be really fun to listen to," or "this has great energy," etc... It's nice to get excited about the parts which you feel will resonate with the audience. And then sometimes you write a song because, as ridiculous as it sounds, you kind of have to. It's cathartic. Perhaps the first method is more enjoyable from the standpoint of a listener, but it just kind of provides a different thing. One is something you almost connect to physically and the other is more of a voice or personality trying to work its way off the tape, desperate to be heard, and when you connect with that it brings a different kind of joy, maybe something that can't accurately be described as pleasure. Does that sound stupid? It's a bit like a bran muffin versus a cupcake. Now, I know there's no way THAT sounded stupid. Note, I am not implying that recordings which contain one quality do not contain the other, but sometimes these qualities are manifested in ways that are not immediately obvious.

Anyway, this is getting quite scattered and vague, but I'll close this by saying that I think it's important to keep moving forward, not to let yourself rest as a musician in one particular place for too long. That way, you can return at any time to your previous creations and think, "that was me at one time," and hopefully be able to mark the ways in which you have evolved, both as a player and a person. One fortunate (or unfortunate) aspect of music is that it is very much a record of yourself, a topographical map of your emotional landscape, and sometimes it takes a little bit of time away before you fully discern your own peaks and valleys.


Blogger t.a.m.s.y. said...

Honestly, I hope that anybody who's reading this doesn't think that I sit around listening to my own music all day and patting myself on the back...

Not at all — I appreciate the public introspection. It's interesting how perspective on one's own creative work changes over time (whether with music or writing or whatever). And it's always nice to hear some of those delayed reactions from an artist like yourself.

Good luck with the launch.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous BUNSENBEAKSTER said...

"Forced enthusiasm is usually transparent."



"It's a bit like a bran muffin versus a cupcake."


12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw and met you yesterday performing at Bimbo's 365 - it was fantastic. Thanks for putting out great music, and you should know that we as listeners appreciate the bran muffin kind just as much as the cupcake kind (...or is it the other way around?) In any case, keep writing - both music and prose - because what you have to say always comes out beautiful.

8:05 AM  

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