Recently, I've experienced something of a shift in the way that I've been playing music. In the past few weeks, I started recording some of the songs that I'd learned, mainly Elliott Smith covers, which one particular friend of mine inspired me to record for them.
As I come back to my computer and listen to these recordings, I can almost chart a progression of thoughts and experiences on my part, and it's like watching something grow in a set of stop-motion photos. I can identify these recordings by specific experiences that immediately preceded them.
I should give a bit of background before I proceed any further; I've always had an intense connection with music, and ended up spending a lot of time thinking about music, and how it related to people on an individual basis. I always understood on a conceptual level that an individual's music is largely dictated by the state of their life, and their emotions. This is not to say that a person's music is at the mercy of their experiences, but people's pain, or joy, as the case may be, comes through in their music.
A perfect example is Elliott Smith, who has been one of, if not my single favorite artist for the last year, at least. His music is very powerful, and also very wrought with the pain that he was obviously experiencing when he wrote and recorded these songs. The lyrics of his songs convey this pain of his, but more than that, his voice almost screams of disappointments and setbacks that I think are probably beyond what most of us will ever experience. My point in short; People who are going through shit will convey that through their music, and by the same rule, people who are happy in their lives will convey that in their music as well. This is an inexorable part of personal music making.
Back to my experience; I think back at the events of the last month or so, and for the first time in a long time, I can smile about what I remember. I have fond memories that will stick with me for many years, and I have the prospect of many more like them in the future. This comes through in the recordings that I've made. I was never a singer. Until very recently, I refused to sing even when I was completely alone. That attitude has experienced a complete reversal in the last month.
My singing has gone from nearly nonexistent, and grown into to something that I can be proud of, despite my tendency to be something of a perfectionist when it comes to my music.
I find myself now in a stage in my life that I am comfortable with. I like who I am, and the people that I associate with. In making this step, my music came with me, and I think has moved to another level. Not technically, but in it's quality. I think that in order to really make music on a personal level, one has to have something to make music about. If you have nothing that you feel strongly and passionately about, you have nothing to draw upon in your music.
Before I wrap this up, I've gotta give you guys some references. Here are some of the songs that I found myself motived to record (solo).Oh Well, OkayBottle Up And ExplodeWonderwall
(Cat Power covered this song, and I covered the cover, so what does that make me?...TwilightBetween the Bars
For all of you who have bore with me to this point, thanks for putting up with my philosophical tangent.
Oh, and thank you Lacey. :]