Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thus Far

I've been digging deep lately... My first summer as a musician and a musician only has been thrilling for reasons personal, professional and creative.

The personal part is easy: I got married. To my soulmate and perfect partner. Surrounded by family and friends. And the event surpassed even our lofty expectations.

We've also crushed an entire season of triathlon training, with our third of four races at the end of July and one more in August... and they've gone well enough that I'm seriously entertaining signing up and training for the Ironman in Madison next year... as insane as that is.

The professional part is coming along as I juggle a full and Protean teaching schedule with Paper Arrows, Quell Records, The Odyssey, and more.

The creative part? In just a few short weeks Paper Arrows will take over I.V. Lab Studios for three full days to record our third album. We're going to approach this record a little differently than the first two in that we're all going to get in a room together and track as a live band. And then piece together the overdubs with the live tracks as the core.

The first two records were built separately around acoustic recordings I made. Which was great and a testament to Jay as a producer and all of us as musicians. But this new record... has to have a different feel. It needs to be a band in a room playing songs. Jay speaks of these new tunes as glowingly as I've heard him speak of any of our projects... and I can't wait to work face to face with him and Darren and Drew.

It will be intense and a bit of a high wire act, but I'm confident it will be exactly what it needs to be. I'm tentatively calling this record "In the Morning." It's hopeful and intimate. Energetic and tender. Simple but sophisticated.

It's the P to the S of Look Alive and the M of Things We Would Rather Lose (and no, that's not an S&M comment like that, you perv.) It's the Return of the Jedi to the...

You get the idea. I've also managed to write nearly an entire album of songs on the piano, 80% of it in one week, where I was cranking out 2 songs a day, an unheard of pace for me... writing on the piano has been fascinating and amazing... and I know that even if the songs never see the light of day, spending some time and energy creating on the piano has made me a much better writer.

Also, this group of songs is one of my first shots in a while (since the Odyssey?) at writing mostly non-autobiographically... the songs tell someone else's story. Which needs to be told.

So... as I struggle to write the last song of this cycle... I'm not sure what I want to do with all of them. I believe the answer will present itself in due time. It always does, in some form.

It's how I've gotten this far. And this far is pretty damn good and getting better...