It's March. I don't have an album done. FAIL
I have been grappling (ok maybe that's overstating a tad) with whether or not to analyze this failure here. One the one hand, the reasons for not finishing are just a litany of boring excuses but on the other hand maybe there's something that I (or you) might be able to learn from.
My excuses fit into several broad categories:
Time. This February, there was a whole bunch of things that all conspired to "steal" time. An awesome visit from my best friend (good times, not too much drink, a bunch of awesome rockin and some glow-in the-dark eggs benedict), an opera with my mom (Nixon in China, super awesome and mind blowing), sports with my son, my own skate training and so on.
Music lessons. In my guitar lessons, we are working less on technical playing stuff and more on compositional things. My teacher (I'm thinking to start calling him my (composing) guru rather than guitar teacher) is encouraging me to explore form and composing a little more deliberately. This is really good but a lot slower than I have tended to work. It will take time to develop a process or processes that work for me. For now, it's a kind of practice.
Equipment. My looper is still not back. It seems stupid but it has become part of my headspace and learning to work without it has been a distraction. A good and necessary one.
Desire and expectations. Desire to complete, if I'm to be honest was low. Desire to make something good was high. With some experience, my expectations have gone up. The irony is that the RPM Challenge is entirely about breaking out of patterns of self censorship. I now realize that I didn't really have a self censor and the "sudden" appearance of one might just be a natural development in an artists travels. Nevertheless, I am starting to resist the temptation to immediately publish my work. This comes from a positive but time consuming experience in which I spent a day working on a track. At the end of that time I didn't think much of the result. But taking the advice I've read and given countless times I walked away and returned later and made a bunch of changes. The result is a massive improvement. There is room for more but it got me excited about making better work slower. And it was here that I realized that if I took several days per track that the clock would run out on this years RPM effort.
These are just excuses, I know but since failure is a much better teacher than success, I'm just trying to be a better student and own up.
Bloodline at JT’s Jazz Implosion
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