I just returned from a 16 day trip to our family cabin in Roscommon, Michigan. Several years ago somebody asked me for a recording and since that initial request I've yet to find a sound I am comfortable with. Part of this year away from teaching was to be spent focused entirely on music. The big plus to focusing on music is that one can't really break any bones while playing a banjo or blowing into a horn.
One of my favorite things to do as a multi-instrumentalist is to multitrack record music where I cover all of the instruments. So I packed my tiny car full of instruments, stuffed my essentials into my bass drum mic hole and headed north. North is a nice direction.
Through dozens of weekends, a spring break and two visits to the cabin I now have over 70 minutes of recorded music that I am beginning to feel comfortable with. Would you like to hear it? Absolutely not. I'm barely considering sending it to the patron. Maybe someday.
Here are just a few things I thought about throughout that time up north:
(maybe you can relate to some of these thoughts- as an artist, or a human, or a wildebeest)
-I will never find a sound I am comfortable with. That's part of the fun.
-Self doubt will presumably exist forever (also part of the fun). There comes a point when we learn to sludge through the doubt and create. We're all packed to the brim with ideas, but doubt often eats away at my initiative and leaves me idle. NO MORE! You can avoid this by avoiding it.
-I am a rest stop and gas station celebrity because of the Alaska plates. Folks usually say "boy, you're sure far from home!" and then I run into the woods. I would also estimate that 75% of passerbys on the interstate look into my car to see what an Alaskan looks like. I don't disappoint.
-My grandma was my age in 1952.
-Wild turkeys love cabins, and wild turkeys smell really weird. I dig it.
-Chickadees are friendly birds that will eat out of your hand if you are patient.
-I believe there are strong connections between musicianship and personality.
-The 27th year is very tricky. If you don't believe me, ask a 27 year old.
-The first Remy to come to the United States was a French indentured servant. He lived in the same county as George Washington and was also a surveyor.
There's a lot more but it's time to practice mowing the lawn.