Categories: music lessons, personal projects, reflection

A difficult moment after releasing Messy's Pace

August 31, 2020

I recently got an email with some positive feedback around my third album, Messy’s Pace. It resurfaced a very specific memory around this album and Burning Man, which in an alternate reality would be taking place right now.

Back in 2005, I made 500 CDs of my brand new album (Messy’s Pace) to give out at Burning Man. Late in the week, I gifted it to someone who had an art car with a huge sound system. This was a moment I had fantasized about ever since I decided to make the CDs. I would finally hear one of my tunes at full volume. I was elated.

They started blasting the first track. It starts with a very percussive and abrasive kick. It wasn’t pleasant sounding at high volume. The captain immediately turned the system way down. I felt the impact of this moment in a powerfully negative way.

I felt like I had made a huge mistake when I constructed that song, which then triggered all sorts of insecurities I had about my new album. I had a panic attack that night when I was going to bed. In my tent, lying awake, feeling deep regret, thinking I should have taken more time to finish the album. Wishing I had done things differently. A rough sleepless night, unable to let go.

The impact of that moment stayed with me. The beginning moments of every album have been gentle ever since (albums 4 - 8). I’m still easily able to revisit that deep feeling of shame, but also observe it from my 44 year old self. It’s a reminder of the powerful emotional stories and worlds I create for myself.

Honestly, I feel good about Messy’s Pace now. It holds up, 15 years later. A little bit of it makes me cringe, but it feels so appropriate for where I was at then. I really began to find my voice as general fuzz in that album. It was the first time I collaborated with musician friends. It’s trippy and melodic and different from the kind of music I was hearing in ‘05 - it was the kind of music I wanted to hear. Red Balloon and Sliding Forward are my favorites.

Reflecting back on 2020

December 31, 2020

Working on music has been many things to me over the past two decades, but it’s never been a salvation like it has been this year. As I reflect back on 2020, spending time in my musical worlds was a consistently enjoyable escape from the sameness and anxiety of the day. I’m writing music for myself more than ever.

At this point, I feel like a one-trick pony, however I’m still deriving a lot of pleasure from that trick. Whats the point of having a pony if not to ride it?

Wishing everyone safety, health, and pleasurable escapes in 2021!

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