Sunday, September 5, 2010

From the heart of a Musician

You know one thing that’s nice about sitting on a plane for four hours, is that it forces you to sit down, not do anything and think. Well, here I am on my window seat 26A, perousing through my iTunes library, and I decide to do this one thing. I listen to the Fred Hammond and Israel Houghton records that I first got into when I first started playing worship music. When you listen beyond the AMAZING chops that musicians have on those records, you will find soulful songs that bleed honesty, and I find that to be courageous writing.

After listening through those tracks, I moved on to the first New Life Record that I had the honor of playing on (Counting on God). I realized how those black gospel records had a heavy influence on me, and how that soulful artistry came through in my playing. I moved on to other records that I played on, and I realized something, that artistry had slowly been suffocating!

This week, I flew to Colorado Springs to record a record that Jared Anderson was producing, and to be quite honest, I really didn’t get the chance to be in the right mindset to record. Honestly, I came to the table with stale, overused ideas that I have always felt comfortable with that had worked in the past. When you lean on the same ideas and habits musically, your comfort increases, but your creativity dies, and when your creativity dies, your souls stops receiving oxygen, so you become a comfortable cadaver. Over the week, I didn’t play horrible, but at the same time, I couldn’t really offer anything that blew me away personally because my soul wasn’t breathing into these ideas.

Our engineer, Mike Rossback said something to me during the week that crushed me, “if we’re here recording and doing music, why not make it the most amazing thing we’ve ever made”. be honest, I responded to that statement with a little bitterness, because it meant I had to get out of the comfort zone, and create a bit of a new identity. What’s funny is that wasn’t Mike’s intent at all, but it was exactly what I needed to hear! Over the course of the week, it felt like musical bootcamp for me.

So, as this experience comes to a close, I’m sitting on this plane not looking back on the past week, but reevaluating what the heck happened to my oxygen starved soul! That’s why I’m digging through my iTunes library, and listening back to the music that inspired me to become a better musician. I’ve got to say, it’s been extremely healthy to look back on the past!

Is there some sort of lesson in this? Not really, I’m just putting my thoughts out there just because it makes me feel better, and if you read this and get to know me better, than yes, posting this was worth it for me!