My year in music
2019 is the year I got back into music. I have had to learn several coping techniques to live with depression and avoid drugs. Music is one of my many tools that I turn to. One the biggest problems I have is expressing myself. I am often very internal, holding long ongoing conversations in my head. So forms of expression help me get things external and out into the world. This year I started two ventures.
I got into digital music production toward the end of 2018. It was mostly a learning activity. Teaching myself through trial and error with a splash of youtube tutorials. Once I got the hang of it, I committed to trying to produce a full length album of lofi chill music. Something that would work both as background tracks and something to listen too. All while trying to convey some inner dialog about pain, suffering, love, and existence. My first album was titled The Fractured Needle of Antiquity, because it was all about experiencing brokenness through the voices of old sampled recording. With the exception of a sampling from Jordan Peterson pulled from university lecture titled Malevolent Heart, which is one of my favorites because of how much his book and online lectures have helped me personally.
After I completed my first album, it sparked something in me. I not only enjoyed the process, but found myself enjoying the music I created. It reminded me of my youth when I would perform in live shows with a band. Making music at a computer is a great expressive process, but there is something about being able to interact with other musicians and a live audience. So I decided the best way to get back there was to start pushing my ability to play live. My options were to plant myself down on a street corner somewhere and be that guy or turn on a camera and use that as an audience to give myself motivation to learn and practice songs. At first I recorded myself and didn’t share it, but I still have a deep desire to put things out into the world. To leave some sort of sign that I exist. So I decided to make a fool of myself and start posting my lunch time music break on YouTube. If I hear a song that I feel I connected with and helps me with self expression, I look up the lyrics and music and figure out how to cover it on either piano or classical guitar.
I have also started composing my own songs again. There are some that I haven’t fully recorded on video but have shared on soundcloud. I have a few works in progress that may never finish, but creating music, even the process without the final production, is great therapy. My next goal in music is to create a full album of fully finished original songs written by me. It’s a big undertaking and will take a while. But thanks to dealing with my depression and taking charge of my physical health, time is something I have a lot of. Honestly, I never would have thought that 2019 was going to be a great year. The past few years have been a rollercoaster of difficulties. But going through it all has lead me to a place where I have grown spiritually and emotionally. Music has been a big part of that. I have learned to take the dark and painful parts of my life and let them fuel creative processes and I use that self expression to heal and grow.
Apart from posting music online, I also volunteer with a local church to occasionally fill in for the worship team. That has forced me to learn a whole lot very fast and pushes me to pick up music I would probably not even know about. Forcing myself to learn a variety of music is helping my creation process for new music and expanding my ability on a variety of instruments. I look forward to 2020 for many reasons, but when it comes to music I want to keep pushing myself. My goal is to find some like minded folk to make music with. To keep working towards my bucket list goal of playing live shows again.