I’m making my first solo album.
It’s been bubbling under my skin for years. But I was in a band that used all my creative focus. We made albums together but they weren’t really mine.
I thought I didn’t have the skill to arrange a full album of songs on my own. But opportunity can sometimes disguise itself in strange and heart-breaking ways. (I’ll spare the depressing details and jump to the present.)
I find myself in Canada, surrounded by people who believe in me. I’m taking this window of time and healing to make an album.
I’ve downloaded the 30-day trial version of Ableton live. My brother’s mic and sound-card stand stoically in my bedroom. I didn’t know how to make music with ableton, but after two full days and 16 hours of tutorials, I pushed through the learning-curve and had arranged a beat.
I went to the museum of fine arts yesterday. Smooth portraits of Jesus and crude clay figures with enormous hips stared me from their plexiglass homes. And I thought: artists are funny. Making all these things to look at. Giving glimpses into what they thought was important at that moment. A golden field of corn, a naked woman, a feeling of anger, lust, love. Those moments, those thoughts, those ideas have passed. But they’re somehow frozen in the artwork. To be re-interpreted, misinterpreted, criticized or adored.
Sometimes I get a strong idea. It hits me like a vivid, shiny, ringing bell. I think “I must paint it, I must write it, I must sing it.” Either I work on the idea or ignore it. If I ignore the idea, it slips back into nothingness. I must feed my creative ideas straight away, or they’ll die. Sometimes I think back on an idea I’ve had and notice that the moment has passed and I cannot retrieve it. I cannot think in the same way I did, I cannot create in the same way I would’ve if I had jumped on the idea and followed through.
I think everyone has these moments. Moments of shiny, ringing ideas. But the moments may pass unnoticed, negated or scoffed at by the little evil critic that lives in the corner of every artist’s brain. “It’s been done. It’s stupid. You suck,” the critic whispers.
I am 15 days into Ableton’s trial and I’m addicted. I now have 5 rap songs recorded and I hope to make 5 more.
I need to take advantage of this creative storm before it passes and all is still again.