Mandatory Initial TMI Rant
First, a fair warning. Abandon hope all ye who brave Le rant. My writing/blogging follows absolutely no structure or order. The long winded, rambling thoughts that follow are very reflective of the multi-themed chaos in my mind. In that it's a mess. Focus is a tangible challenge for my ADD riddled binary-bin (my word, u can't use it). Diverting on a whim to follow the vaguest of tangents, with a pretty decided aversion to sticking with points to their conclusions. I know this. Now, so do you. BUT..all being a means to an end. That end is trying to convey the cloudy cocktail that channels my imperfectly charming music & how I found my love of it. I like to call my music 'pretentiously amateur'. Kind of a self aware of limitations monicker. But I love writing nonetheless. But, blog.. So, yeah.. another hurdle being cleared. Or shambled over rather. Point is, the blog page is getting an intro or lead-in to semi-regular, random rants/sporadic project updates/ever so deeply profound observations/brief windows into the jumbled mess that is my mind & it's creative expulsions.....take your pick. Or stretches of silence as I briefly obsess over a new game du jur. Strathe.com. Quitely hunched in a still corner of the interwebs. The blog page in particular has been blank. Reflecting, quite accurately in metaphor I might add, my inwardly facing & socialy awkward leanings. Like seriously. To the Nth. Anti-social. Introvert. Intense aversion to social interactivity on soooo many levels. Watching the world pass by the window an arms reach away from where I write & make my music. Music that makes me feel immeasurably more free than my hobbled set of social skills allows me in the world outside that very same window. To quote Trent, "your world that is". When moving around in it, accompanied by the haze of controlled (only just) anxiety (honed from years of willing it at bay), I feel like an alien. I feel like a foreigner completely removed from my element. Excised from my comfort zone. I can't tell you how out of place I feel. Always have, stretching to as far back as I can remember. It made for a lovely childhood.. Oh the stories. Which is really odd considering I come from quite the line of social butterflies. This super intense introversion culminated in a really dark time for me. I call it the pit. A 10 year period during which I developed this particularly hellacious case of agoraphobia (which I guess has always been bubbling just below the surface anyway). Short of the odd job, I was locked inside 24/7. I drank like a fish (weird phrase), I chain-smoked, I ate myself into a 300lb revolting man-thing. Filling my time with gaming. Lots. A virtual retreat. Escapism from my isolation & growing self-loathing. During that time I also discovered a piece of software called MTV music generator. It was just a copy/paste sound bank, but I caught a glimpse of writing through it. & it also exposed me to late 90s/early 00 electronica for the first time. I was hooked. Obsessed. After that, I cut my teeth on Propellerhead Reason (Torrent at first, then I felt guilty at how much it was opening my eyes & I bought it all proper & legit like). All of this while my health(mental & physical) was tanking. TANKING. Getting sick super often as well, as my immunity was shit. There was even a 2 year period when I inexplicably came down with constant ear infections. Hadn't suffered from them in eons but had them constantly as a child. Between the sum of these chronic ear issues, I am now in possession of a set of ears that enjoy some frequency loss. Great time to discover a love for creating music. Irony, yet again....whore. More on that later. Because evidently I'm writing a novel.. So then in late 2011, it happened. An awakening. An epiphany. Out of the blue in one moment, my blood pressure bottomed out & I passed out. Briefly. Fast forward, I'm in the ER having the biggest panic attack I've ever experienced, only at that time, I didn't know it was a panic attack, having never had one & clearly thought I was dying. Complete with two aggravated looking nurses threatening to sedate me unless I stopped hyperventilating. Oh, & a third asking me if I pee after sex. I'm sure there were other questions, but that one sticks out. The relevancy eludes me. "I'm clearly having a heart attack, not a UTI" I explained to the stone faced nurse. Scared & ashamed. What a lovely cocktail of emotions for the big white manatee on the gurney. I at some point thereafter was seen by the doc on hand. "No, not a heart attack. You gross, bulbous, pasty horror. Not a heart attack, but a panic attack. Now calm the fuck down and breathe." I'm paraphrasing of course. The message could not have been more clearly received if it were tied to an arrow lodged in my forehead. The following 12 mos I turned my life around. I quit drinking, quit smoking, quit eating garbage (mostly), started at the purple gym & learned to cope with this new psychological growth, anxiety. I've been progressing at a semi-steady clip, stumbling on the rare occasion, ever since then. Moved from purple gym to home gym & lots of cycling. I juice semi-regularly, TRY to eat smart most of the time (to err is human). Am down 100lb(from 300), but still fighting to get to where I want to be. Oh, btw..fun fact..I've never really had too much of a sweet tooth. Greasy fast food was my thing. All of a sudden, as I clean up my act, I found that I have this voracious sweet tooth.. Irony...you bitch. Whiiiiich segues quite nicely into my bike.....I am in fucking love with my Trek Crossrip. Serious. When I fall (as you do when bolted to your conveyance), I try to take the brunt myself & immediately right the bike & inspect BEFORE I check my own scrapes/rash/cuts because, you know, Priorities. I ride as often as I can. I simply love it. It is my therapy, my mobile shark cage into the world on the other side of that window. I'm already lusting after the Top Fuel 9.8. I'm ready to segue to the trails! Why do I inject all of this 'tmi' baggage into this 1st entry, on an unsuspecting set of eyes that may be yours? I have no clue. I had honestly just planned to write a few sentences so as to start with the updates on my new pieces as they eke out. These thoughts are being transcribed in realtime. On the fly. Well, on the fly, sporadically over the space of several months between my last writing/recording of the day & my 1st Z. In bed. Bathed in the dimmed iPad glow. Wait, I do have a clue. I think it's cathartic. Pouring a reality, my reality on the page that I rarely stop to regard, let alone process. That & I think I'd just like to qualify my jumbled brand of sound with the backstory that is the mind that channels it. Hot mess that it is. All of this time, I (no exaggeration) have written hundreds of pieces of unreleased music. To varying degrees of quality & completion. Seriously. I found that I could pluck melodies & harmonies from the air virtually effortlessly. There was no end to them. Maaaaany come from dreams oddly enough. I began to hear/notice tons of music in my dreams after the 'manatee event'. I have my iPhone right beside me in bed with voice memo hot-keyed at the ready for when I wake up in the middle of the night with a melody/harmony/chord progression/rhythm. The huuuuugely tough part for me isn't the inception, but rather working on the execution and forcing the always gimped 'ADD- by-default' attention span & compromised frequency detection to stay with a 5 to 12 minute peice for the dozens of hours to try and get the mixing right, ergo finishing said songs was never my strong suit, But yeah, writing music might be the one thing I'm genuinely best at. & I found it almost halfway through the grand journey. Irony.....gtfo, seriously. I pivoted from Reason to Logic (there has GOT to be a joke there) as my go-to DAW. & have been slowly growing as a songsmith(I hate the term 'producer' & I don't think I'm worthy of the term 'artist'. Yet). Besides, labels suck. The frequency perception issue for me has been a huge challenge. A LOT of times, I just have to rely on meters & other ears to try to get a decent mix. I mix & master myself. In addition to using LandR as well.
I've even found a gig putting this semi-skill into use for others, so I must not be too terrible. I've decided to just release singles as opposed to EP or LPs. For now anyway. You see, I get really lost in the minutiae & over analyze my pieces to a fault.. & before long, my childhood ADD kicks in & I get burnout on that song & just phone it in after a point. When there is no more heart in the process, my writing/mixing is total shit. Joyless. It's much easier for me to just tackle all of my songs one by one & release them into the wild to sink or swim. Easier for me to focus on my pieces individually thereby putting more thought & heart into them to coax a better end result. Weird random fact.. Early on in my writing, soooo many melodies/variations/supporting-harmonies would come into my head over the course of writing a single song, coupled with the fact that I had not yet developed any sense of discipline in my writing, that most of my songs were over 10 min long. Some 20 min+. More like down-tempo mega-mix medleys. With shit percussion. Percussion to this day is still kinda my Achilles heel. Getting better tho. Which brings us full circle to the grand riddle.. How does a severely introverted, borderline agoraphobe songwriter sell his music? How to generate a tiny measure of awareness? Will my tunes even appeal to anybody, or am I chasing my shadow in a delusion? I really love my melodies, even if my mixing is touch & go with the screwy frequency loss thing. Live performance is a terrifying fever dream. The sheer thought is beyond nerve wracking. I honestly lock-up if even a family member is watching me play & record. So yeah.. BUT despite the whining excuses, I am grateful for what I see as a beautiful gift. I am thankful every day for my ability to write music that at the very least, I like, and the creating of it makes me immeasurably happy. I am truly blessed if I benefit no further than this from my music. Having said that, I do find myself wanting more & more to try and market my work. To grab a (look, it really was worth it all!) ring for my precious other half, who personifies the cliché of completing me, To partially funding a grand ambition to take an extended road trip to forcibly effect a sort of healing from this fucking pseudo-crippling fear of the world I've developed. And equally to see if the music effort could sustain itself. Soooo many upgrades to my sound I lust after. Upgrades I desperately dream that my music can pay for. Sustaining its own growth..Or something not so pretentious sounding anyway. So the aforementioned riddle... While scoring an ancient 1907 archival Austrian film called 'The Golem' just for kicks, I realized that there's tons of public domain footage floating around. Footage I could cobble together in interesting ways to accompany some of my pieces. Uploads of which I could link to my domain & display my audio wares as it were. Fast forward to now, as I'm about to release the first few finished vids into the wild. I really hope that a few peeps out there like my stuff enough to throw me a few dimes, but even more, I just really, REALLY hope that there are some people out there that enjoy my songs and unconventional sound. A really cool (I kinda think so anyway) anecdote about these first few vids going up, all of them were composed while watching the finished edited vids rather than taking something from my really big catalog of finished'esque pieces. My plan was to edit together a few short, interesting clips and then couple them with a few of my finished pieces from my library. But damn if I didn't just have a blast writing from scratch while watching the 'films' play out. So the blog.. Again. Stay with me 😓 I had always imagined that I would want/need to communicate someday, the 'Tempest of white noise' that my sound regularly claws its way out of. Through the thick haze of my introversion, I could still ironically feel this urge to share my sound with other human beings. To the one or three people out there that may dig said sound, or somebody just turning down the wrong alley whilst looking for some other binary avenue and accidentally happening upon my humble digital presence, I hope you experience half as much enjoyment listening to my simple music as I had making it. I have soooo many songs for you to hear world. Meet me half way & they'll roll out, bigger & better till I shuffle loose this mortal coil. Strathe PS... You, who is reading this right now. Still. You're awesome & You officially know more about me than just about anyone else in my small sphere. Ambitions-TMI & plenty in between. I'm sorry. 😁