Today my wife flew off to Queensland for a 2 week workshop. She is teaching and staying at the venue for the whole time.This happens almost every year and every year I forget how much I miss her untill after she is gone. While I enjoy having the house completely to myself for a little while, and I’m sure she enjoys not having me in her hair, I soon get those pangs. Anyway onto my topic for today…
I have been starting to think about what it is I want to achieve with this album. I heard Taylor Swift say something in an interview today on TV which really nailed it for me…”The only place it is really cool to be like everyone else, is in junior high!”. For me this is completely true. There are many great reasons to learn how to blend in when at primary school. In a lot of ways, this period of our lives is the most brutal. So many people are scarred from their childhood. Many say that they never fitted in, and that they were humiliated by teachers, school kids, or both. The value of being individual doesn’t seem to be unsderstood, nor appreciated untill later in life. A lot of us even continue to try and ‘fit in’ right into adulthood.
I wouldn’t say that I am a social outcast, or a rebel, but I was always a kind of a loner. I was encouraged to express myself creatively, and for some reason this seemed to be a rarity at the schools I attended as a kid. In creative writing and music I was lucky enough to receive enough validation from my family and friends to fuel my interests. And despite the ‘Band Camp’ stereotypes depicted on TV, I seemed somehow exempt, and was never taunted. I pursued all my nerdy music interests even in the face of mouth-breathing bullies at a rough tech high school. I don’t know where I got the confidence from, but I must have broadcasted it, because nobody ever questioned, teased, or put down my musical pass times. I did feel unique…..or atleast a part of a much smaller unique group of individuals, but never an outcast.
There have been a few fleeting occasions when I have been aware of my own uniqueness shining through my music. I know I am beginning to cover old ground in this post when I say this….but…..a lot of the work i do has a way of zapping this side of me. Jingles and backing tracks are often about emulating another artist. I’m afraid I have neglected to flex my own creative muscles in a long time.
Courage comes into this much more than some might think. Emulating other artists is more like providing a service. It’s a security blanket as well as an excuse if the music is not up to scratch. When I write and produce my own music I will have absolutely nothing to hide behind. It will be like standing in Times Square in the nude. The more succesful I am at tapping into my own uniqueness, the more exposed I will be. But it will also be more rewarding, and more honest. If nothing else, I will have put myself out there, and will see if I am made of the right stuff, and if my music work has a home in this world. This point excites and terrifies me most of all.
Well I have dinner to make (for 1) and a bunny to feed. More soon.