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I am not a studio musician and have never played in a band. I am not even a professional musician, although it is true that I play guitar and write my own music. It's a one-man operation of course. My coming up with the melodies, chord progressions and lyrics. My laying out the drums using my drum interfaces which have to be programmed one beat at a time.
I released my album, Pink Flamingoes, back in 2016 just for kicks and grins. And while I have written and recorded other songs not included on the album following it, the truth is that almost all of the songs that appeared on Pink Flamingoes were songs that were already 10-15 years old.
Old to me, but new to you, right?
I have a few other songs both written around the same time as the others and after Pink Flamingoes release—an album with the word Flamingoes purposely misspelled. Call it creative usage? Who knows why I chose to do it?
None of them are masterpieces. None of them are necessarily radio worthy. They are simply pieces and reflections of me and were originally done just because writing and recording music was just something I enjoyed doing.
I still do.
The problem comes from the lack of time. And frankly, the lack of privacy. The lack of my ability to hunker down and focus in on the process. It takes time to get it all down and get it all done.
Hours and hours most of the time from start to finish. And sometimes days. But it is also a process that requires time devotion, and the ability to walk away from pretty much anything and everything else.
For a spell. You can't live your whole life this way of course. But when it comes to creating something and staying in the mood and feeling the moment, you can't have breaks.
Sure. Sometimes walking away is good if you are stuck. But even then, when walking away, you are still generally in the mode, so to speak. Still in the process.
The thing is because I am not a professional musician and I have a life, a job, and a marriage, it is not possible for me to just go "that" place for a week or a month to just do my thing.
I know if I could do that there would be a new song in me. It might require several false starts—the usual trial and error that goes along with creating things. Out of 50 song ideas and tries you might come up with one that sees its way from start to finish.
It is still something I want to do. It frustrates me sometimes that I can't. Even if I know that while my music does earn me some money, it is far from my living. The time I would spend away doing just that, hunkering down and focusing in would be good for me. But not for my wife. And not for much else.
I married in 2007 and met my wife in 2005, and like I said, most of the songs I have written and recorded were before that time. Life was different. Time was different. My ability to focus in was different.
I had more time. More freedom. More creative flow. And more opportunity to stay in the flow of things.
I am not saying it was a better time. I am happy with my life and the other pursuits that take up less time.
But I still want my music. I still want my time to do it. I want my time to create and emote and fill that need within me to do it.
Again, what I do and what I ultimately create are not masterpieces. They are not things that will make anyone anywhere in the world of music take note and want to hand me a contract—but it is a part of me as much as anything else is a part of me. And doing it gives me great satisfaction.
When a song is completed, even if it not necessarily good, it just feels good. It just feels right. And it's a feeling I have not had for a while and so I tend to long for it now.
I am not sure how I get it done, honestly. I can't "work" when the dishwasher is going and the vacuum cleaner is running through the house. I can't create when the wife is in the other room as I try melodies and work to get them right. I can't have the TV going in the background that even rooms away gets picked up by my mics.
I can't have the distraction of things needing to be done nor the guilt of taking the time for myself to do my thing.
Just a bit more time is what I need. To get back to that thing that makes me feel good and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Not that life doesn't. Not that work doesn't. Not that marriage doesn't.
But there's a piece missing. And that piece is my music. Without it, regardless of any of the other stuff...