It’s my last day in the studio. Ian and I are mixing the last few tracks of Portal, the rock record I wrote. It’s an emotionally heavy time in my world for all kinds of reasons, and to be finishing my first record — a lifelong dream — in the midst of all kinds of other drama is pretty surreal. It’s overwhelming enough to make me want to blog about it again, at any rate.
There’s a sentiment I want to add to my public comments about making records, just in case anyone is listening.
I am beyond privileged to be able to do this. To have the time, help, and money I needed to make this record is a blessing of life-scrambling proportions. I’ve put almost everything I’ve got into this, and I’m so grateful that I could.
But I want to share something I learned from this process. If your dream is to make a record, you can do it. This is the best time to be a musician in all of human history. If you can hear it in your head, you can get it out into the world. You. All of us. And if you want to, you should.
I worked pretty hard for a few years to save up for... something. I didn’t actually know what. I just knew I should save up because the thing I wanted to do someday wouldn’t pay. Not at first. Not like tech blogging did, anyway.
Then I found my calling as a portalkeeper, and I began to disentangle myself from the ad-driven media matrix. All I knew was that I needed to make something lasting and meaningful instead of fleeting and trivial. I built one portal, and then another — with the invaluable help of many dear friend-collaborators — and I was proud of what I built. But every time I clicked ‘publish’ on one of those projects, I knew I wasn’t done building.
All the while, I was writing these songs, and then I booked some studio time, and then I had a deadline, and then it was time to record. Those two weeks we spent making these tracks changed something. I was working harder than ever, and I couldn’t stop. This was It: making records. Making a record, at least.
This can’t be the last, though. I’ve got the bug now.
But I will release Portal. That p-word will have “(2014)” next to it for the rest of my life. It will be a record of that time, and time will move on from it. And the next record will be of a different time, after I’ve grown more.
I can’t help it. It just pours out. I’m spilling sound. (Yes, these are lyrics from my record.) Do you feel me?
Since my ““career”” began, I’ve been trying to find a way to tune my skills toward helping people, to find something I can do with my whole heart in it. I’m starting to hope that I’ve found it. I already know music helps people, because it helps everyone I know. I don’t know if I can make music that helps anyone else, but my music helps me. Making it helped me more than anything I’ve ever done.
If I can help you feel like I do right now, I will do anything I can.
You can make your record. I promise. It seems expensive, it seems “time-consuming” (whatever that means), it seems impossible. I know. I thought it was, too. But it isn’t impossible. If it’s in you, we need you to get it out. You’ll feel better. We’ll know you better. You’ll inspire us. This is how music helps.
You’ll probably need help, though. If you can make a record all by yourself, you must be some kind of superhero. If you’re like me, you’ll need the help of your friends, and I want to help. I want to be your music friend. If you want assistance or advice on making a record, just ask. It would be an honor.