It has been a long and diverse road one has been on and i can say hand on heart, i never expected things to work out. Im not a pessimist, maybe an ardent realistic with a hint of what if and im guilty of trying to cover all my bases, but it has been a ride and im not ready to jump off just yet.
Writing music for a sector of the industry is no mean feat. Its even tougher making some returns to pay for the investment you make in terms of time and effort.
Your time is after all worth a lot more than you realise.
Having survived professionally for these past few years has taught me what feels like a lifetime of lessons. About people, the market place, the value of relationships and the need to forge ahead with new ones and expanding the network.
But its not a professional lifetime, it was some 20+ years of “hobbyist” at best and im the first to pay respects to that fact and what that period also delivered back to me.
When their is no pressure on you to come up with something, you spend all this time taking really wild and indulgent risks. My childhood mentor used to say to me with frequency, i was massively guilty of indulgent flights of fancy and writing and producing work that seemed to go in all directions but never walked a straight road.
But that was a good thing as it saturated the bank of tricks and broadened my colour pallet to such an extent, you have this enormous flood wealth of ideas and ways to interpret the same thing in a 1000 different ways.
Being the lifelong hobbyist has most certainly been the luggage i brought with me to delve into, not sling along as a weighty back pack of bad habits.
About 4 weeks ago from this blog date, we moved into our first house. Having lived in a cramped apartment, all 3 of us for 15 years, it was a test for sure! and it has enabled me to feel a 100 times more grateful for this new space and indeed location.
In previous blogs of old, and not just from me, you will no doubt read the importance of work breaks and getting away from the slog. I cannot stress enough how very true that is now. Probably more so than ever as we have a location we had dreamed of for so many years.But the time spent away from working enables you to be so much more productive when you return.
Its a weird time paradox, but investing in family, and even any form of reflection away from the grind, gives you double the hours back in return. Those work hours are enriched and overflowing with ideas and stamina. When you go away for breaks and walks, even a good nights sleep ,the amount of processing your brain is doing is just off the chart.
The problem solving, tweaking and hunting your busy mind does is just like setting a full staffed room off to work in your absence.
I have come back to work and found instead of the empty screen, within a couple of hours, twice or triple the work i can do comes flooding out and at great speed.
During the madness of waiting for this very house to come about, i realised an ambition of mine and i think a chunk of that kept me sane and willing and got me through what was a marathon like mission to be rehomed.
I decided id write that synth album i wanted to do since i was 15. Instead of the long drawn out mega opus ala tangerine dream i had planned way back then, or some colourful Jean Michel Jarre rip off fest id have blurted out in those years, i had this mix of 80’s pop songs and tv title show ideas. More like a blender at full speed with all the ingredients and sounds poured in, and hopefully what came out was the right portions of nostalgia and reference for a decade of my life i adore.
I honestly believe it was the perfect mix of sheer pressure on us all, the worry and panic that allowed me to tap into, with full access that undertaking. The end result was something i am for once, actually happy with. And writing anything with the “artist” side of your persona isn’t something that came easy to me.
I had put it off for 20 years afraid that anyone who heard it, might hear a piece of me and therefore judge you accordingly. Crazy isnt it? the way we perceive our own work.
But the catalyst for it was this new freedom. Not just the home big enough to house all our collective crap, or the wonderful location, it might be a nice chunk of middle aged crisis creeping in, but feeling free and less worried about life.
Having exhausted all my worries fighting to get homed, i dont think their is too much worry and panic left in the tank. Thankfully it seems one can out worry the reserves and leave you with either one of two choices.
A:Breakdown. Like a jallopy car that has had all its best miles and asked to run a race circuit for a year flat out, and just say i cant.
B: Smile at the lunacy with your best Arkham inmate expression and say, well ive had my time bitching about it, whats next?
I elected choice B.
At one point, i can declare it could have gone either way. Maybe a lifetime of our usual ups and downs has thickened enough outer skin i guess.
I feel like this is a new beginning and opportunity to prove to myself and others, that i have so much more to say. I feel ambitious about my career again. I feel full of reasons to succeed over reasons why it could fail.
Its a lot “what ifs” and as i said at the top, i was never a pessimist. But too may whats ifs can have the same energy depleting effect.
Not everyone can just up sticks and move house. Not everyone can say, yeah ok today we reinvent ourselves and change a lifetime of habits, but thats the crutch, thats the thing.
Never try and change the entire world you live in or replace things so you lose yourself.
But adapt and fix some stuff. Invest in some time away from the work.
Its NOTHING like procrastinating in front of a screen in avoidance. It bears no relation to it at all. Actually remove yourself from the responsibility and escape.
I found old life ambitions in the middle of that process and realised how much more you can get done and how much more you can be by accepting time away from things.
If its the workstation, town, typical crowd your always with, break from it and replace it with a new way to escape.
Those work hours you do put to use will be twice the impact, twice the creative realm in which to harvest. What we spend elsewhere, comes back to us.
Yeah ok, easy to say huh….Typing it doesn’t make it so, and preaching less so.
But i honestly think most people fight more with themselves than the time table they convince wont budge. The new film their scoring has no compromise, reels need to be delivered, i need parts edited for this show, and final masters run off for that one.
Im writing comedy on one gig and hiphop cues for another, on it goes.
Now that i walk away from it, almost with a “your not the boss of me glance over my shoulder”, i return more powerful and willing.
Just try it once. For kicks. You have enough work ahead to sink a ship and you are faced with whats seems an immovable mountain. Say screw it for a few hours and escape, see what happens when you fire it all back on when you return.