in last week's post, i toted the value of process over product. in theatre, i feel, it's important to ask "What Can We Do?" and then offer up solutions, pushing personal, political and aesthetic boundaries to offer up something new. i was surprised that many readers, while they agreed with my ideals, brushed that manifesto off as too lofty.
i've observed much of the same regard for process over the past year and a half when it has come to making music. for me, the entire series of events - from creating music to writing melodies and lyrics to getting behind a microphone and arranging a song - is completely new. yes, i've been making up songs my whole life, but to record, collaborate, and share that music takes a great deal of confidence and a surprising amount of coordinated effort. it's kind of terrifying, really.
in the following video, i may not be innovating the art of music, but i am quite literally asking "Can I do this?". chris sousa, genius handsomepants + partner in crime, has given me the music, i have written the lyrics, and now i have video'd myself singing the melody before we go into the studio, a sort of temp vocal track for the engineering-impaired. i have to ask myself: does this work? are the words i've written terrible + cliche? am i even a singer at all? why do i keep looking up at the ceiling?!
i thankfully was not overwhelmed with self-doubt on this track, and we later went into our friend Wil's closet-vocal-booth to record vocals and EastWest studio 2 to track and mix what ended up sounding like this: Houdini. we'd like to do a remix of the track before we properly release it on our album, but i wanted to share a little bit of the process of things now, while i was on the topic.
i feel pretty shy about sharing both versions, because they are both works in progress and because working on them pushed my personal boundaries quite a bit. i'd love to have a completely finished version of the song which i am 100% in love with, but just like that first reading of a new play, or a rough edit of a film, these steps along the way to completion are valuable and worthy of sharing. and while i know in my own harshly-critical way that not all works-in-progress should be universally heralded as valiant efforts to create Art, this one is. it lives up to my ideals. it forced me to grow, scare myself a bit, and learn. achieving that was not too lofty, now, was it?