Where I am now (thoughts on music and recording)
November 14, 2011
Lately, I have been completely enthralled with the songs of The Tallest Man on Earth. His music is so overwhelmingly inspiring to me–the guitar styles, inventive, quick, intricate; the lyrics, intelligent, poetic, heart-wrenching, and folky–words and phrases that stir the sands of history; and his voice, the emotion, the controlled impurities, the raw power. These are all things that I can feel lurking behind the force my own musical calling, waiting for me to grow to a point where I will be able to release them. So when I listen to The Tallest Man on Earth, I am overcome with the desire to make music; but I am not quite ready. I am frustrated and fumbly. I mess up chords and lyrics frequently. My barring is imperfect, choky. My fingers are weak and tire easily.
I finished recording my album, but I am dissatisfied. I’m going to start anew tomorrow, keeping my old recordings as a memento, but pursuing a cleaner approach, so I will hopefully have something that I can be proud of.
But I am intimidated. I am intimidated by the sheer power of musicians like Kristian Matsson (The Tallest Man on Earth), who exceed my capacity in both my strengths and my weaknesses. Of course, I will grow; I have time. But, worse than this, I am intimidated by my own songs, and my inability to play them to my own expectations.
This, though, can be solved by practice. Relentless, unyielding practice and persistence (the only talent, as I am told) and the faith that I will grow over time. In a way, it is good that my own songs are challenging me, because that means I still have something to gain from them. Still, the process is grinding away at my willpower, but I suppose that is the greatest challenge of all. And, in a way, even though I don’t plan on publishing my newly-finished recordings, they are something of a symbol of willpower for me. These recordings were forged in a fire fueled by hundreds of takes, by anger and despair and emotions beyond both of those–the clearing past rage and frustration, when the suffering somehow vanishes, when the pressure has burned away and the music can be light and free, even comical.
These recordings are the reason I believe I can actually create this album in the way that I envision it.