Greetings! I've returned to my blog after taking some time away to focus on other projects, specifically my new instrumental EP Sequence. After my first experience at Afropunk 2016 in Brooklyn, I came back outrageously inspired to complete something. I usually spend a lot of time studying skills, dabbling and practicing here and there, but I needed to complete something from start to finish, title it and release it. I believe for some of us who deem ourselves infinite students of everything, it may be hard to get out there and officially execute something. I've wanted to just stay hidden and perfecting things until the time became right. But I began to realize that I wasn't practicing the art of release. There is an art to sharing your mind, skills and creations with others. It's similar to being a musician who lives in the practice room but doesn't practice performing. So I began on a journey that would only end once I released my project out into the world.
SEQUENCING YOUR STEPS
In order to get from where you are now to where you want to be, like with any journey, you must envision your path step by step. Thinking about traveling from New York to California for the first time or any time without any planning, maps or directions would take a considerable amount of time and may seem impossible during most of the trip. Your resources wouldn't be utilized correctly and neither would your energy and stamina to travel. If you had all the time and resources you needed to explore everything in that manner then this wouldn't be much of an issue. But if you are determined to get to your destination, and have some limitations, whether it be money, time or skill, then you will need a strong foundation to lead you through to the end and guide you back to the main path if you get lost. A foundation is necessary for increasing the chance of success. It actually makes it less about chance, and more about precision and calculation.
Whatever it is you want to accomplish, whether it be graduating from medical school, writing a book, traveling to Ghana, or composing a song, it can be accomplished step by step. It is the act of stitching together a series of small individual steps that will allow you to experience movement forwards. Momentum will be the result of constant motion. The key is to break larger steps into smaller ones. You continue to break down steps into smaller pieces until they are the perfect size for you to handle. That size will depend on your resources (time, money, and skill).
For example, my next goal is to start doing violin performances again (It's been quite some time since I lived the performance life). Instead of jumping instantly to envisioning myself performing on stage, I first will envision myself creating my routine, then practicing that routine, then recording myself on camera for personal review, then performing it in front of only my husband a few times to get used to the difference in pressure and concentration. After that, I would perform the routine in front of my husband and dad and a couple other friends and family members. Next, I'd go outdoors, across the street to the park/field and play openly outside. After that, I'd most likely go to an artsy area/street and sit on some steps to play for people passing by. This is a real example of working your way up, so that you can grow internally with the process as well. We have to condition ourselves psychologically as well as tuning our skill sets.
THE LESSONS LIST
I comprised a list of things I learned from the experience of producing my first EP completely on my own, lessons that I will be carrying over to my next project to make my process easier and more efficient. Here is a summary of those notes.
- Not every creative session will be productive or inspired.
- Restriction of resources forces you to rely more on creative survival, thus birthing perspectives and opportunities that may otherwise not exist.
- Deadlines are as useful as they are hindering, depending on what state of mind you are in at the time.
- Make use of negative moods/energy as they can create a passionate and driven work environment.
- Get help with aspects of the production that aren't within your skill specialty if it hinders the progress of the project.
- Think less, feel more.
- Take scheduled breaks during long stretches of creating to stay fresh and avoid arcing downward in energy and inspiration.
- Simplification and minimalism can save challenging aspects of a project, providing space for clarity.
- Throw yourself out there; be brave.
- Don't over absorb your work as you run the risk of conjuring up unnecessary issues with it. Do as much as needed and move on.
I kept diligent notes, spreading my mind out through various notebooks during the creation, recreation and refining of this EP. Writing through my process served as a guide, a lantern through the dark wilderness within my mind. It kept me from getting too lost. I was also beautifully guided through parts of my journey by my good friend and Master Sonic Adviser (as I've titled him, mentor would be another acceptable term). It's a blessing to be able to discuss the sonic realm with someone so fluent in frequencies. He helped tune my perspective on seeing and understanding how sound works in the digital realm, as well as a bit of the analog realm, where his focus deeply lies. I must give a grand and eternal thanks to Ben Ferrari.
SEQUENCE IS THE JOURNEY
The Sequence EP was most certainly a journey. From beginning to end, lessons were learned, problems were solved, frequencies were explored, mistakes were made. There were painful breakdowns and triumphant breakthroughs. Deep moments of doubt and depression. Feelings of fear and solitude. Confusion. Learning curves. Pure and utter determination. There was a lot of time spent cutting through thickets of unknown digital and sonic lands. A way had to be made. A path had to be blazed in order to get through to the other side. Although Sequence is imperfect, it was through the imperfections that peace was found within the project. When you've done the best you could possibly do, at your current stage, with your current resources, the next step is to accept your creation for what it is...the highlights and the shadows. Fall in love with what you've done because it is you who have done it.