The Music, Man

I’ve decided I’m going to post more of my music on my blog. I mean, let’s be honest: I loves me the music. It’s in my veins, man. It flows deep within me. I had my blood surgically replaced with music some years back and I’ve generally been excellent health-wise since then. My heart pumps tunes through me, supplying my muscle fiber with musical nutrients. Music is the cream cheese on my bagel, the nicotine in the cigarettes I don’t smoke, and a three-run homer down by two in the 9th in a crucial late-season game with wild card implications.

Plus, I had to pay WordPress a premium so I could upload music files when I did Oh Greg. So I might as well take full advantage of all that space I purchased on the internet. By the way, Greg, you’re getting the bill for that one. Expect it shortly.

I’ve been in a drought, though, musically speaking. My creativity comes and goes, as I imagine it does for most mortals, but it has waxed and waned so reliably that I no longer have freakouts when the muses aren’t there. During dry spells I used to wonder, sometimes openly and dramatically, if the burning passion would ever return or if I was doomed to walk the remainder of my days inspiration-free.

But when I decided to compose and record the music for our first dance at our wedding, I got excited again. I had an actual project, rather than the vague self-imposed pressures of aimless creativity. The timing wasn’t all that great; Jessica and I are in the latter stages of a move in which we cleared out of our old place, stored everything in my parents’ garage for a few weeks, and have now moved (nearly) everything into our new place – and this new place, though fantastic, is not going to be the best place to record music for a little while.

No matter, though. For one, I’m excited to set up my new space, and for two, I’m not in a rush. I’m going to ease into it, like I’d ease into a new pair of pants, which by the way I now have. Two pairs, actually. Nice pants. Levis. And some shirts. A combination of Loehmann’s, H&M, and Target. Jessica says I look pretty good. But she always says that. That’s part of the reason I’m marrying her.

I have things I sometimes do to try and jump-start the creative process. If there’s one thing I can do reliably, it’s compose little instrumental tunes – I call them “ditties,” though it occurred to me that calling them that might belittle them a bit – that are invariably sentimental, flowy, perhaps a little sappy, heavy on the fingerpickin’ and the banjoin’, and usually the same tempo. For example (click to play):

♫ Harpy go lurky ♫

*[You like those little musical notes? I just learned how to do those. On a PC, it’s alt-14. Alt-13 gives you a single note like ♪.]

I feel like music of this type might find itself a nice home somewhere in our wedding; it may not be quite right for the first dance, since it’s a little quick, but perhaps something like it could work. I don’t think we have any recessional music yet, either, and so something of that ilk might fit there too.

This next one, for example, sounds like it could be ripe for a recessional – though don’t tell anyone that I originally wrote this for a commercial my film company made for a Berkeley-based, eco-friendly dishwasher & laundry detergent company. It’s pretty  jaunty, and I can envision nicely-dressed people scurrying off lightly towards the reception room with this playing:

♫ Handlebars ♫

I’ve got a lot of these. There was a time when I’d sit down in my “studio,” open up a naked Pro Tools file, grab my guitar, and swear to myself up and down that I was going to compose something new this time. Something different. Something un-Bret. Something dark, or poppy, or weird, or unusual. And then a few hours later, I’d sit back, hit Play, and realize I’d done it again: another sappy, flowy, sentimental ditty. And I’d be like: “Well, shit.”

But, I’m OK with that. It’s still my goal to try to create something new, and I know I can get there. I’ve even done it, to some degree, though those experiments remain hidden within the recesses on my hard drive. But I’ve found a lot of uses for these pieces, in videos, for events, and the like. And now maybe for my wedding.

The other thing I do when I need to get back into the fickle grooves of Mistress Creativity is to cover a favorite song – and thus I will leave you with this rendition of a classic Beatles tune that I did on my day off yesterday. Be gentle.

♫ Norwegian Wood ♫


5 responses to “The Music, Man

  1. I don’t think we can be friends anymore. My husband just may leave me for you and your music. We even muted the TV for you…. yea. That doesn’t happen here often.

    Nicely done, good sir. Looking forward to hearing that first dance song for you and Jessiepooo!

  2. Even with the poor little speakers that papa’s computers provide as we sit in the last motel room of our trip (Redding, California), your music is super, and, may I add, your voice is now a real voice, one that has evolved, could evolve more, maybe, what do I know about voices?, though I like it as is. It’s unique, the way Cat Stevens’ voice is unique, if you know what I mean. A nostalgic note: where did the melody go to, the one I so love that you wrote all by yourself once upon a time? It could be part of a new song, methinks. Bisous – Maman

  3. Yeah! That was a nice study break! I like your music. Very listenable and enjoyable. Norwegian Wood was super–had more heart than the Beatles version.

  4. Holy shit B! Norwegian Wood was freaking amazing. I agree with Maman, your voice has truly become a beautiful and amazing thing. Thank you SOOO much for sharing… send me those damn pictures! 😛

  5. LOVE. It. All.

    And I know you are occasionally itching to write something un-Bret, but why do that when Bret is pretty damn good? Your original songs were amazing (and are making me wish I had a songwriting partner like you). Both would be perfect in your wedding ceremony. 🙂

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