Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014

Happy New Year! I'm partial to even numbers, so the year 2014 seems agreeable to me. The whole of 2013 went by in a haze almost as if nothing significant happened. I was often unaware of what day of the week it was because the usual routine of work and parenting can put you on an autopilot mode. Every day seemed almost exactly the same. I usually distinguished the days by what after-school class I had to take my son to. 

My wife often says I live on my own planet, which is both fair and unfair. Although I live largely in my head - being socially inept and all - I also pulled my weight with the parenting. My boy and I really bonded with our stories and songs, although I couldn't tell you exactly what stories or what songs because there were too many of them. He is already writing his own nonsensical songs, even if it is just in his head, like I used to do as a kid. 

On the music front, I spent a lot of late nights "shedding", which most of you musicians will know is a term that is used for people who sequester themselves up in a shed and practice repetitively. Shedding can often lead to shredding, but I'm more interested in unique phrasing and good note choice rather than playing too many notes fast these days. Playing fast is easy as long as you have patience and a metronome. I don't have either.

I also accumulated more than 20 songs, of varying qualities and genres. I will listen back to them soon and figure out which ones are worth letting you guys listen to. It could be all or it could be none. I am forever trying new things so the stuff I recorded a year ago might not interest me that much when I have to mix it and make it listenable. 

What I have realised is that I love Gypsy Jazz and Django Reinhardt. Old blues guys like John Lee Hooker, Son House, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson also made me delve into old blues a little bit. The blues I grew up with was Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn. That doesn't even scratch the surface. 

I also went back to Hendrix and Led Zeppelin for influence. Frank Zappa, Steely Dan and Rush were on my playlist too. I found inspiration in looking back rather than listening to current music. To be honest, I wouldn't be able to tell you what's good right now. In fact, I don't want to know. 

One thing I would like to do for  myself in 2014 is to improvise and record music without too much planning. The mark of a good musician is being able to adapt and play anything in a short space of time. Don't know if I'm there yet. We'll see how it goes. Right now I have to go read Peter Pan with my boy.  

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