6 hours to go...my message to you all...
12 MONTHS AGO
Wow - in a way it seems like only yesterday that this campaign started - I was so nervous going into it - so much so that I stalled the start of it which made it all perilously close to CD release time.
I won't even begin to talk about the whole process of 'asking for money' - I'm sure we have all navigated the waters of what money means to us and our relationship to it. I'm sure it has been an internal conversation on all of our radars though I have to say, given the demographic of my friends and peers, it has been a common theme through my life observing my arts friends find their way with balancing the need to make art and make money (or not lose it).
So from the outset, I was aware of this possible conflict. This Boosted experience though, has been far from the dreaded one I thought.
One huge reason for this is that this process, along with everything else around the writing and recording of these songs has been about the songs and the process leading up to them.
More so than ever in my life my ego has really stepped aside. I don't mean ego necessarily in a derogatory way. Ego has it's place, but the whole process of the last year and a half has been about the long process of emptying out for me. All that I held dear, all that I thought I was (both the good and the not so) were just stripped down to an odd and often disconcerting place called emptiness.
All understanding of who I was in the world, of what I thought my life meant kind of evaporated beginning with the process of grief which is an astounding character that sits on your shoulder stirring at the most inopportune times. it creates a very visceral discomfort that feels so at odds with the world around where everyone is going about their daily business.
I could have tried to distract myself but for some reason this time I didn't. This type of loss and stalling of momentum in my life has happened too many times and I needed something else from it.
And so began my journaling, collaging, and visiting with Tracey my homeopath intensively. She eventually offered the suggestion that playing music for myself may help. I balked. 'What on earth are you talking about? I thought you were a good therapist! (this was by now 2 years into our relationship so I did know better).
I played guitar when in difficulty and songs began to make their way. I played them to Tracey. She prescribed. I listened to the images and put pictures of significance on my wall.
I went to the nth degree to listen to every nuance of instinct, question mark or exclamation mark - taking notice of the things on my radar that spoke to me, that synched up with other images and happenings. I wrote more songs.
I have never written so fluidly in my life. Nore have I allowed similar themes to follow through songs. Nor have I experenced new freedoms in my guitar playing as I wrote.
Nor have I ever applied for a Creative New Zealand grant. Not in 30 years of making music. I applied for a bank loan paying interest before I would put myself through the rigors of an application form (projecting budgets, asking people with busy lives for support letters, getting quotes from people, outlining the purpose of the project, the hows whens and whys).
Nor have I made an intensive recording and maintained connection to the people around me. This time I visited people, I went to a fabulous wedding, and 2 heartbreaking funerals.
Nor have I asked people to donate to a project.
These songs gave my images and ponderings back to me in the form of understanding, and eventually integration. The part of me that is used to saying "here I am, musician, look at what I've done" was nowhere to be seen. The part of me that wanted to do something clever and creative that would make people sit up and that would validate me continuing on this path of 'the creative' was nowhere to be seen.
This time it was just the songs and the story - and all these other steps along the way have been made with them in the front - not me.
And to my surprise, without me even trying - even though the work has been consistent and unrelenting for at least the 6 months of recording - things have flowed and fallen into place.
And so it was here. The ego unchecked can go to extremes and say 'you are too good for this' or 'you are no good at all'.
My ego, in this instance, had been replaced with - you are human and your wounds have now been recognised so now take your place alongside all of the other humans on the planet.
I am no longer as attached to how I am perceived - I am a deep-feeling, deep thinker who is occasionally hilarious - and this collection is not a rock album that will blow your speakers...nor is it an avant garde experiment in pushing my own and your boundaries.
It contains songs that brought me through a time and I hope now more than ever that it will accompany others.
I am excited to launch the album on Saturday and that will mark a huge signpost in this whole process. But it really is just the beginning of finding a way to talk about a process, to maybe give others inklings of ways in which they can cultivate the listening in their own lives. We need our own language to speak back to us for the true integrations to take place. Tracey knew that and she learned my language. The pictures that ended up on my wall and the songs that came from my hands and my mouth knew that too.
Thank you all so very much for your wonderful messages of belief and encouragement. You have no idea what it has felt like as an accompaniment to me in the last month.
I believe these songs will be a balm to others as they have been to me.
There is something to be said for the flow that comes when one has stepped aside a little. I have had so many synchronicities on the journey of this album. My year 2017 began with a relationshp ending that I didn't chooset.
Last week I sent the album artwork and album master off for duplication on the afternoon of the 5th of July. The Boosted campaign reached it's target on the evening of the 5th of July. That date would have been an anniversary date for the relationship.
When I sent off the Master CD I was tracking it as I was eager for it to get to the duplication people on time. When I applied for tracking details I received one of those freaky type-the-characters-to-prove-you're-not-a-robot codes.
Check out the last 2 letters in the picture below.
So now - I get ready for the concert - it is going to be a blast - I am so excited to be playing along all of the musicians and singers that I am. If you are in the area - get thee to it as it will be a gathering of fabulosity!!
Thank you to the Boosted team who worked tirelessly behind the scenes and who gave fantastic support through this process. How amazing to have a crowd-funding site that supports the arts.
A big thank you to Tommy Morum-Kelly who made such a beautiful video to support the music and kaupapa of the album.
Again thank you all so much - it is tempting to forget when you are on the interwebs that there are real people taking time from their lives to engage - and that is what you all did. I will bring my all to helping these songs find their way to you.