Sunday, March 14, 2010


I've lost it.

No, not my mind. Though certainly that, too... But rather my old logo for Project::in•fin•i•ty - my old experimental/concept art-ish music.

See I started the project back in 1995 or so. (God, 15 years!) Naturally, it's been evolving. Or changing. I'm not sure the "progress" implications of "evolve" are being met currently... But more on *that* later.

Anywho, the logo I developed was a dorky little thing that's most appropriate for today - a π/0 enclosed in a circle. Why? Well for one "pi" just happens to be an abbreviation for "Project::in•fin•i•ty". Divided by zero? 'Cuz it results in something undefinable.

But why a circle and not an ∞? I'm not entirely sure. If I had a reasoning, I've forgotten. I think perhaps that the ∞ just seems so obligatory. A circle is often used to refer to something unending and cyclical. Plus it's just a kinda visually cool way to (contradictorily) bind up the symbolism.

There's a sad irony to this. A couple days ago I started compiling a list of all the stuff I've started producing/writing/developing in the past few months. Now I spent the better part of 2007-2009 virtually devoid of any creative products. I wrote maybe one song during that time - one for my most recent ex. (And it's a craptacular tune if you ask me...) So for me to look back and acknowledge a sudden blossoming of creative energy was REALLY revitalizing.

Of course that came to something of a screeching halt today. I just... Well, a friend had sent me a link to an iPhone orchestra. And when I finally pulled up the article this evening?

I really started questioning the quality of this creative streak I've been on.

Okay, I fully acknowledge that "quality" is a rather ambiguous subject and a rather useless yardstick when it comes to art. But... well, see music is a selfish thing. For me at least. When I create, when I play, the important person to please is *ME*.

Bottom line: if I walk away unhappy, I failed.

That doesn't mean the audience has no say in the process, of course. Indeed I'm glad when others can appreciate what I can't. It does help sometimes. And sometimes the point of a performance is not so much the piece or song as it *is* the audience's reaction - pulling that string there, pushing that button there, evoking that thought/emotion/experience here...

But if I walk away unhappy then... what have I done? For me? Nothing. And as someone who pushes himself to create the best he can? I've created and given something *I* consider sub-par to others. Again: NotGood™.

See I'm not entirely convinced the mindset of "let it be what it will be" is always appropriate. If I'm just playing for others, then what am I doing other than vomiting a mass of musical ideas at people?

"Here. Would you like some 'tasty phrases'? *RALPH* Or perhaps some 'bittersweet melody'? *HURL* Well maybe what you think I think you think you want is some 'sexy beats'. *UPCHUCK*"

Yeah. Not something *I* would appreciate.

Back to the point, though...

These videos just remind me that I'm in a constant state of dichotomy. Experimental vs pop, difficult to chew vs. easily disposable. I... I don't know. I don't have any focus.

Ultimately, while I'm rather happy with some of the stuff I have created ("Cold" and "Jesus Year" being two where I feel I pretty much nailed what I wanted to say and _how_), I don't feel like much of any of it is really propelling me in the directions I want to go. In fact, in many ways, they're the complete opposite - that cute little knick-knack store you just *have* to go back and check out even though you're DREADFULLY late for an important meeting...

Oh, I know that life is very much more about the experiences along the way as compared to the actual goal. (And, believe me, I have had some AMAZING experiences along the way) But... too often I find myself in this situation - where I realize I'm backtracking farther than I want - and that, in these times, I'm really desperately angry with myself.

See I'm frustrated that I have no direction or no focus. I'm doing too many things and yet getting nothing done. I do have a vision, things I want to do, things I horribly miss. But how to get to them? I don't know. I keep getting sidetracked.

I keep running. And running. And getting nowhere.

And all I feel like I'm really doing is running in circles.

Friday, March 5, 2010

And introducing Mr. McHappy Tunes!

I've been pretty heavily at work on some tunes for another Trannywood Productions film. I'm having mixed success - mostly in that my computer keeps deciding to crash at the least-convenient times. Or just generally starts fucking up - it's all about the same, really.

And then sometimes I start working on something, get in a groove, love it, and only later realize it's not really... appropriate. That's happened a couple times now.

Ah well. I have much coming soon!

The fun part today was getting a call from June. She needed to get together with someone and jam. I know that feeling. So I obliged and had her come over.

We had the usual sort of, "well, what should we do?" sorta ... collapse in. LOL. (I've really been so mono-focused on the TwP stuff!) I played her some of the stuff in progress and putzed around a bit.

Eventually I came up with a riff and, after a moment, we went with it. It's nothing horribly fancy - Bm, F#m, A, E. Etc. But, as I can often do, within the span of roughly 15 minutes I had the outline for a song.

Well, all except the lyrics of course. LOL.

Over the course of the couple hours we shaped it up. After the verse, the chorus came pretty quickly. I dithered about for a while on a "bridge" section before finally deciding on a ... well, I guess "chunky" quarter-note heavy 4/4 or half-time-ish pump thing.

You've heard the idea before. I know you have.

After that comes the typical drop down to soft before the build to the last chorus... Yes, it's formulaic. And YES, I LOVE IT.

When we got done she asked me to put together a demo of it. So after she took me out for dinner I decided to whip up something quick-ish.

It's not often I write something kinda upbeat. (And yes, I was the primary songwriter this time.) I think having her here to sound a lot of ideas off of helped. There's something about having that energy to play with puts you in such a different head space.

In the hour or so I threw it together I'm actually fairly happy. It's probably a little more radio-friendly than a majority of my stuff. And again it's a bit derivative.

Still, I'm having fun!

But yeah, I'm trying to figure out where this one is going, too. The phrase, "hot mess" is stuck in my head. And, believe it or not, I kinda think it's gonna be a little bit of a feel-good-ish tune.

I just kinda wanna celebrate all the "freaks", "crazies", and eccentrics - the people who can go outside many social conventions, wearing their catsuits and costumes to Walmart, etc - who make this world a lot more interesting of a place. Those who can throw judgment out the window and walk the street unafraid. Those who can remind us (if we let them) that we need to get over ourselves and *be* ourselves.

Yeah, I know it's been done before. So what? I'm writing a non-morose tune! Why it's even a little ... dare I say it? DANCEABLE! *GASP*