It was 2018 and I had recently moved from Portland, Oregon, to a rural location in Idaho to be near, and help care for, my aging parents. While unpacking, I discovered an old wooden box that I hadn't opened in years. Hidden inside were almost 100 cassette tapes that were crammed full of song ideas that I had recorded between 1984 and 1999. During those years, it was my habit to simply hit the record button on my tape recorder whenever I started exploring new song ideas (usually by singing while playing guitar or keyboard); and, when one tape filled up, I just grabbed another one and kept on going (rarely ever reviewing what I recorded). I remembered all of this while looking at the tapes and trying to discern the mostly faded dates that were handwritten on the tape labels. Naturally, I became increasingly curious to hear a bit of what I had recorded 20-30+ years previously.
With innocent intentions, I found and unboxed my old tape recorder, cleaned the heads and rollers, and hooked it up to my speakers. Then, I put the first tape in. Wow! My first ever attempt at playing guitar with a "band", using an "amplifier" that I made from an old tube-powered record player that I bought from a yard sale sometime while I was in Jr. High School. Amazing... ly atrocious! NEXT!
Soon, I started discovering songs that I genuinely liked. And then... I started remembering just how much I had wanted to make music professionally. Unfortunately, just as for so many other artists, I became overwhelmed and disabled by the financial demands of life; and had increasingly little time, energy, and money available for music making*. Anyway... at some point while listening to my old song ideas, I realized that I had some limited free time available (Innocence slipping!) and so began to plan an intriguing experimental psychic collaboration through time and space with my own younger self as a way to both honor him (a worthy recipient) and reignite my creative fire. (Innocence lost!)
At the time, I had approximately four free hours every day; so my plan was to, each day, quickly choose a song idea (from one of my old tapes) that I genuinely liked and then develop that idea as far as I could in one single day (four hours). At the time, I thought that my far-fetched plan seemed rather ambitious; but, ultimately, it proved to be just within reach. Yes, it was extremely stressful to work with so much pressure; but I was always shocked by just how far I was able to develop each song in just four hours (yes, every minute). In one month, I had about 25 songs that were reasonably well drafted.
At that point, I decided to stop my initial experiment because it had proven overwhelmingly successful AND I realized that I wanted to take the next step: actually finishing the songs to a point where they could be shared with others. I decided to first finish an album of 10 songs that I had started in 2003 (called "Love & Dreams") and then to release the new (old) songs at the rate of one song per month.
This proved to be much more challenging than my initial experiment; but, so far, I have been able to fulfill this ambition too**. As of this writing (July, 2020), it has been one year since I released "Love & Dreams" (an album of 10 songs) and I have released 12 additional new (old) songs as singles.
Spotify listeners can hear my songs via three theme-oriented play lists:
I've got about 10 more songs to go. After that, I plan to start writing brand new (new) songs. With all of my previous songs, I have done my best to psychically channel and honor my younger self's musical intentions; but once this phase is completed, I will be 100% available for new inspiration - which is already making itself known! Don't be shocked if my new (new) songs are wildly different from my previous creations. Then again, even though times have changed, I am still me! Muhahaha!
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*I did eventually manage to buy myself a year of creative time in the early 2000s, during which time I created an album called "The Dying Man" (released in 2002) and drafted an album called "Love & Dreams" (drafted in 2003, finished in 2019); but, ultimately, I couldn't afford to keep making music.
**Some have asked how I have been able to be so productive under such extreme limitations of time, energy, and money and doing everything (literally everything) myself. I will tell you my secret: I had to lower my standards until they matched my reality. This has previously been an extremely difficult thing for me to do; and, to be honest, it still is. The truth is that I am embarrassed by my lack of skills in so many critical areas; but I have conceded and succeeded anyway... at least in terms of "completion".