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):
*[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:
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.