All Mixed Up at ccMixter

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Someone is going to ask me, "what kind of music do you write," and I'm going to say, "I dunnno. . . .kindofpopfolkadultcontemporaryjazzcountryalternativewhatever."

Much to the dismay of my family, I have been working diligently with the recording unit. I basically have locked myself in the garage/office/studio where we keep the equipment. I yell with exasperation at anybody who opens the door, particularly if I am recording a vocal track. (There are many deleted tracks with a soaring vocal interrupted by the sound of the door opening or the phone ringing or the neighbor's gardener mowing the lawn). I do not have monitors yet so my ears are slightly red and swollen from wearing headphones for hours at a time.

I usually write on acoustic guitar but as I record the songs, they evolve into something altogether different as I negotiate any sonic possibility within my limited instrumental skills. While I can sing, my guitar/keyboard/drum machine skills are very basic. Nevertheless, I am so excited to listen to the rough CDs I have been burning off the unit. My kids can't believe it. "You like listening to yourself," they ask incredulously?

Despite my enthusiasm, I still have a lot to learn. What I really need is a producer. Someone who is comfortable with a middle aged soprano who writes songs that are kindofpopfolkadultcontemporaryjazzcountryalternativewhatever.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm Considering Coming Out of Retirement

After 15 years of not writing or thinking about having my own band, I am seriously considering coming out of retirement. When I became pregnant 15 years ago, I was a struggling artist scraping by to pay for demo recordings and performing in the middle of the week at dive nightclubs in Hollywood to a roaring crowd of three. Once I had my baby, I was so devoted to her that I was disinclined to spend time away from her. I still had to work a day job to earn money; the rest of my time was devoted to her. As my family grew, music as a vocation or even an avocation grew farther and farther away as a possibility.

Not to mention the fact that the demands of my life sapped me of any real inspiration. I no longer had the emotional impetus of infatuation or heartbreak, being happily married and the mother of two beautiful daughters. Once I became a mother, I pretty much stopped being depressed. I also stopped imbibing in inspirational substances. I became pragmatic, exhausted and focused on providing for my family financially and emotionally. That took its toll on me as an artist.

Now my kids are big. I have a job where overtime work is not permitted. I am strong, healthy, energetic. And I have become inspired.

It started when my dear, dear M. sent me some lyrics she wrote and challenged me to put them to music. Instantly, I wrote music, tweaked some lyrics, and turned them into songs that I really, really like. Even my husband, who is extremely discerning musically, like them.

M.'s gesture was a gift. She really helped get me going. Since then, I have been writing regularly. I have enough songs for a set now. I purchased a multitrack digital recording unit and am in the process of learning how to operate it so I can demo the songs. I even started horning in on my daughter's voice lessons. (On days she cannot go for some reason or other, I take her lesson).

. . .to be continued. .