I realized today that I haven't done a blog in a too long a time so here it is. I promise I will try and keep up as I have a lot to tell people about.
We woke up yesterday to apocalyptic skies that looked like something out of the Bladerunner reboot. The foul mood I started the day with included a low-grade headache that wouldn't abate and a scratchy throat due to the smoke from the California fires. In spite of all that, I took my weekly voice lesson which helped clear out the pipes and lifted my spirits. I hugged my boy and had an extra cup of coffee and the ominous, rust-colored day got a little brighter.
Such is the world we are living in these days. I try to take comfort from the small victories and appreciate all I have, including a family at home I love, good health, beautiful instruments, good friends, a good dog, a house I am comfortable in and food in the cupboards. Do we really need anything else at the end of the day?
I miss playing out like crazy and have moments of frustration feeling powerless over what is going on in the world. What I do have control over is whether I let circumstances dictate my creativity. So I have been using this time to be productive writing lots of music, recording a soon-to-be released solo CD, teaching and pre-production on a few new Homespun Music Instruction videos.
I am very excited about my progress for the new CD called Legacy. It is my most personal collection of songs to date which started as simple demos that didn't quite fit with the project my band Wolf Run is recording. The songs are a little quieter than the band's CD and after listening to the tracks all together I realized they tell the story of where I come from, where I am and where I am going as a person and an artist. Yesterday I got the master back for my upcoming single Legacy and it came out better than I could have imagined being the newbie engineer that I am.
This project has been an important exploration into developing my skills as a sound engineer and editor. It has inspired me to do more producing of other artists and learn more about sonic production. While I have only dipped a toe in the production pond, I find myself transformed in the way I listen and play music. The different frequencies that pull emotional strings has bled over into my playing, singing and writing.
If I may borrow an idea from the great fingerstyle guitarist Alex De Grassi, I am thinking about music in 3D. Tempering the brassy tones from the guitar bridge for maximum impact with the smooth, rounded quality north of the sound hole near the fretboard that gives comfort and resolve. I started playing with old Nashville tricks like weaving paper in the strings of my tele to give a "brushes on a snare drum" feel low in a mix or taking an empty plastic easter egg and "tuning" it will salt and rice. As I am closing in on the final stages of the Legacy album which features my father, Happy Traum, good picking buddies and bandmates Josh Yenne, Jack Hines and David Thom, I have to recon with the idea that art will never be perfect but is a snapshot in time of what we do and who we are as artists.
As of this writing I have roughly fifteen days until the end of my Indiegogo campaign to raise money for production costs. I am a little over halfway to my funding goal and I'm sure you will be hearing about it if you follow me on social media. If you want to know more about the project please visit my campaign link above.
That's all I have for this blog, but I will be putting more up soon. I will be talking about my project with Wolf Run soon and may even have a track or two to share. Thanks for supporting working musicians wherever you can. Take care of yourselves and try to be kind to your fellow humans!