The Soloist


     I’ve been working on a solo cd (“Twisted,” due out in November) for about two years now.  Looking back, I had no idea how tedious, detailed, humbling, and ultimately rewarding the road to Soloville would be.  Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • I’m still able to write songs.  Hopefully, that trend will continue.

  • I have a good ear (two, actually) that still work in spite of loud concerts. They picked up on many little mistakes and nagged me mercilessly until I corrected them. 

  • I have a surprisingly good sense of rhythm for someone who can't do the jitterbug.  Who knew I could play drums?  Not me!  Luckily, I didn’t need much eye-hand coordination -- just that sense of rhythm and two fingers, since I played "drums" on a keyboard.

  • I’m an arranger!  And it’s so much easier to be one now that we have computers.

  • I have a greater appreciation for composers like Beethoven, who had to hear all the parts in their heads and then write out the scores by hand,  without the benefit of modern technology, including the good old edit, undo, and delete keys (which I used a lot).

  • Likewise, I have a renewed appreciation for all recording artists, especially those who rent out a few hours of studio time and cut an album in a week.  

  • I really suck at singing a song and playing guitar all the way through on one take.  

  • Forget what they say about diamonds.  A RECORDING is forever.  Hence, multiple takes..  (I am more OCD than I’d realized.)

  • I hear other people’s recordings now with a new set of ears.  I hear all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the making of them.

  • I notice the BASS now.

  • I notice the DRUMS now, especially little touches like cymbals and fills. 

  • I hear when the piano drops out and comes back in, and I think about whether or not that was effective.

  • I pay attention to the names of the band members, not just the name of the band.

  • I'm more aware of my breathing, even when I’m not singing.  This is due to a book called "The Naked Voice" that I discovered on a shelf in a house I rented from an opera singer this summer.

  • I'm SO THANKFUL for all creative artists, including musicians, writers, dancers, actors, painters, and technicians behind the scenes, who have given me so much joy and inspiration.  They’ve added so much meaning and richness to my life.  What would my life be like without the pleasure I get from music, books, art, photography, and movies?  Those people feel like friends, since they’ve been in my home in the form of sound waves and words and pictures representing what’s inside of them.  The good, the bad, the beautiful, the real – whatever they want to express, they have shared with me, and I feel touched.  Thank you, artists everywhere.  Even if your work (like mine) isn’t perfect, I know you’ve tried to communicate truth to me, and I hear and see you.  In that way, we become one.


1 comment

  • Jim Bowen
    Jim Bowen
    Can't wait to hear the cd. It's November already!

    Can't wait to hear the cd. It's November already!

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