Hey gang! Apologies for the lack of blog entries lately, as I’ve been a bit busy. As of 11 January at 7:04pm PT, I have officially started writing MU4! I’m focusing as much creative energy as I can on it for the time being which means that the blogs and the 750Words entries have gone by the wayside for a little bit.
Which is fine! The important thing is that I am writing a novel again.
The aim here is for me to ensure that I give myself enough time and space to work on this without putting more stress on it than necessary. As much as I love writing these blogs and working on the 750Words exercises, right now I think I’d be wearing myself a little thin by partitioning too much. Once I feel I can handle the extra work, then I will be back. I’ll still post here and at Welcome to Bridgetown now and again…I just won’t make it a priority until then.
Technically, this next volume of Songs from the Eden Cycle would be volume nine, given that I’d started to make volume eight a few years ago but only got as far as nine tracks before abandoning it. But I digress.
As I start the actual writing of this new version of MU4, I’m thinking about what music I’d like to listen to this time out. As I’d mentioned previously, I’m trying to break out of the habit of hyperfocusing on new releases, so pretty much anything that catches my ear and/or gets me in the mood for the story is fair game. As you may have guessed, I’m currently writing this entry while listening to Wire’s 154, their third album from 1979 and my favorite of their Mark I era. “On Returning” is the first song to officially be added to the SftEC v8 mix.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve purposely done a deep dive into my music library to search for writing session music to this degree, so I’m sure two things will happen: one, I’ll default to some mainstays from the Belfry years (Blue Wonder Power Milk, Sea Change, And You Think You Know What Life’s About, and the usual 1997-2004 albums, soundtracks and compilations) when I can’t think of anything else to listen to…and two, I’ll rediscover some absolute bangers I’d completely forgotten about over the years. Add this to the new release which I promise I won’t obsess over, and I think that soon enough I’ll have myself another official soundtrack list. And maybe I’ll even post a few of them here as they surface…?
I don’t necessarily hate it, but it’s annoying: the customer that comes up to the register with their earbuds on and completely ignores me when I say hi or ask if they need bags. It’s kind of rude, to be honest. [And yes, I will admit I was that same person back in my college years.] On the other hand, I am a bit curious as to what they’re listening to. I want to say it’s most likely a podcast or an audiobook, as those tend to be the most popular non-music thing people listen to with headphones. Still…at least pop one of those buds out so you can hear me, yeah?
Anyway…I’m trying to think of the last time I listened to music with headphones, and I’m pretty sure it was our flight to and from New England last year. We haven’t gone to the gym in months (although we have that on our 2023 resolution lists…), and I’m not counting the brief sessions in which I wanted to hear a new release in uninterrupted detail like the Revolver reissue. It’s been quite some time, really.
I mean, I could do what I used to do back in my high school days and listen to my mp3 player on the way to and from work (all of ten minutes) and during breaks, but again…kind of rude to anyone else that comes through the break room and I’m not up for that kind of short-session listening just yet. Maybe at a later time.
Still…I’ve been thinking about how to adjust my listening habits lately, and it’s a lot more to think about than I realize. Not just about headphones, but what I’m listening to (I mean, other than KEXP in the morning when I have a midshift). I’ve talked about missing out on listening deep-dives and connecting with music in general lately and wanting to fix that. And there is of course the fact that I’m about to embark on a Huge Writing Project that will demand a soundtrack mixtape or five.
I’m curious as to what will change in the coming months, if anything. Or if I’ll return to old habits that work. We shall see…
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been playing much guitar or bass these last couple of months partly because I’ve been busy taking care of two extremely precocious young cats and focusing on other creative avenues. But…and I really hate to admit this…I just haven’t been inspired to play lately, which is bothersome.
I’d say over the last year or so, when I do pick up one of my guitars, I end up playing the same four or five songs or riffs over and over again, and that’s boring. I’m out of practice with writing new songs.
So I’ve decided that one of the projects I’d like to start this year is to go through the… *counts the mp3s* …roughly sixty demo riffs I’ve recorded on my phone over the last five years and make something out of them. They range anywhere from thirty seconds to a few minutes in length. I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to find a cheap multi-track software (and one that doesn’t take up much memory as I don’t have all that much space on my PC, unless I put it on my laptop instead) and lay these down just to see what I can do with them. I’ll start small, just going with instrumentals for now until I feel the need to add lyrics. I’ve even assigned myself Saturdays as Music Day on my whiteboard schedule.
The aim here isn’t actually to release or even make any money off them (though if they’re good enough quality I might put them up on Bandcamp for funsies), but to see if I can revive that inspiration. Otherwise these instruments of mine are just gathering dust. And I’d rather not keep doing that, thank you.