State I'm In
Recently I decided that it was time for me to transition from being a closet (or living room) musician to one that shared my music with others. In other words, I am ready to let myself be heard.
I know that this process will be difficult--and it will naturally bring up shame and fear. I will expose myself to more criticism, more opportunities that will make me want to talk myself out of being a musician in the first place. I know I will feel vulnerable, raw, uncertain. I know there will be a lot of people out there who do not necessarily "get" or like my songs, our sound, or my voice. I know also, that people mostly will not care or pay attention anyway. Who cares if yet another person out there puts their music out there? This idea is both comforting and disheartening. After all, as Bob Dylan said, "The world don’t need any more songs… As a matter of fact, if nobody wrote any songs from this day on, the world ain’t gonna suffer for it. Nobody cares. There’s enough songs for people to listen to, if they want to listen to songs. For every man, woman and child on earth, they could be sent, probably, each of them, a hundred songs, and never be repeated. There’s enough songs." And maybe he's right, maybe the world doesn't need any more songs. Maybe. But I do. I need more songs. Not only do I need to write them, but I need to hear them. Songs for me are like moments of emotional contact with the universal human experience. We have infinite experiences in a lifetime, and we need an infinite amount of songs to capture the ineffable. Even though Bob Dylan is one of my heroes, I have to disagree with him here. The world does need songs because I need them, and I am of this world. But then Bob Dylan goes on to say (this quote is taken from the book of interviews called Songwriters on Songwriting) "...Unless someone’s gonna come along with a pure heart and has something to say. That’s a different story".
I am now going to share with you some of the best advice I have received about the process of making music. These words return to me over and over and use them to get me through the inevitable vulnerability that comes from being an artist of any kind, but a performer in particular.
1) Always sing from your heart, if you sing from your heart, you will always sound good. - Lynn Wedekind, composer, singer, sound healer
2) The process of creating music is channeling. It's not up to you to choose your songs, it comes through you. It's not up to you to judge whether or not it is good. It is up to you to just get it down and then out. - I am not sure where this advice came from. Perhaps from my higher self, or perhaps out of conversations I have had with my friend, collaborator & colleague Holly Mae Haddock.
3) Don't focus on the material, or the audience, just focus on the music and the performance of the music. -- Lucas, my husband.
That being said, I thought I'd share a practice recording that Lucas and I made a few months ago. It's a song that has remained unfinished, for a reason. It's raw, and a lot of is improvised, but I think it captures something about our sound and my mission with music, which is to share an honest expression of the complexity of who I am, and to have a fucking good time while I do it. In a lot of my songs, and other artwork, I try to capture opposites--holding a space in the middle of both negative and positive emotions. There's something about rock-n-roll, especially because I'm a woman and didn't have a lot of female mentors in this arena, that helps me connect with androgyny. The overlapping of the feminine and masculine. I believe this is the secret to all the best rock-n-roll.