I made a joke to my producer the other day, "I am going to start a blog: How to stay alive whilst trying to make a record." And then I thought, "OK, why the hell not?" Maybe the subtitle is How 2014 tried to kill me. It's been a tough year. There has been illness, death, injury, financial challenges, but still I feel fortunate. I have a fully recorded, mixed, mastered, ready to go piece of art that I am proud of. It's my first solo record. It's an accomplishment. Now the challenge is to find my audience. To share the music.
I have been making music most of my life. Things have changed so much but especially in the last decade. People don't buy music anymore. And so many people are making music. That is great! But musicians have to be very creative in order to get their music heard. And with the freedom we have without being reliant on corporate labels comes a lot of work we didn't used to have to think about. And new technology offers vehicles for distribution, but the learning curve is big for me. Most musicians I know work a full time job, and then stay up late listening to Charlie Parker and write a blog at 2am after releasing their first newsletter that they had to teach themselves how to make through reading articles, watching YouTube videos, trial and error, on a day they ordered promo CDs from a manufacturing plant after trouble shooting the graphics, and learned about DDL codes and ISRC codes and filed all the music on ASCAP. There is so much to do and so much to learn. The artist has much freedom now. I just learned this week how to make this website. I am learning every day. But that time is not spent playing music. So it's a balance I continue to search for. It is sometimes very overwhelming.
I bought a travel guitar. It's been a hard decision because part of me doesn't want to bring a guitar to Europe next month due to extra fees with airlines, and wanting to travel light, but the other (and louder) part of me can't imagine not having one with me at all times. After much research and playing various travel-size guitars I decided on the 2lb. electric with an acoustic pickup called the Traveler Ultra Light. So far so good. Since I wrote most of the songs on piano, I am re-learning the songs on guitar (a piano will not be available to me). This entails re-harmonizing them, figuring out how to play the songs with open chords and a capo. It's a math puzzle, and a lesson to the muscles to accurately play the songs on a different instrument. The new timbres are creating new arrangement ideas.
The first single will be "Kaleidoscope Eyes." I am trying to find the best way/right time to introduce y'all to the new song cycle, "Element 115 (Uup)." I am so thankful to so many friends' support; and Jesi Hill, my rockin intern who is keeping me on task. There's much to do. Fin Records is on hold so I am busting a move to try to keep my momentum high. I'm planning a pizza party first week of August to stuff the promo CD sleeves for the fundraiser on August 10th, and the mailing out of CDs to European radio. (I could have ordered the promos to be delivered already in a sleeve, but that was more expensive). CDs are on their way out apparently, but radio still uses that format I am told. This upcoming trip to Europe is my sew the seeds, learn a lot, learn what not to do, meet some great people pre-tour tour. AND I am seeing Kate Bush perform in London. Now it's close to 3am. There are probably typos. That's forgivable in blog posts right? Good night.