It's 10:50pm on the night of February 26th. I am in the midst of an incredible amount of growth, challenge, breakthrough, and learning. God is near to me, His presence the air I breathe and His grace my strength for my days more so than ever before. I feel like life is climbing a path that spirals around a mountain, where we pass the same view over and over again, and in our minds we feel like no progress is being made. But in reality, we are just that much close to our destination. Growth is never linear, but a slight incline that teaches us perseverance, faith, and ultimately how to be content in how slowly we actually improve. There are no shortcuts.
Recently, I have been having some really pointed moments in the quiet place of my life. In the deep of my soul, the part that no one could ever see. But something about the exchanges I am experiencing in that depth... is unprecedented. And though I've known God for almost 10 years, and though I've known myself my whole life. I feel like I'm meeting both of these people again. I thought that tonight, as I am preparing for bed and listening to some of my favorite music, I would unpack a little of my month. I like to document through my Canon AE1 35mm camera, so I'll share some pictures that tell the story of my February. There are other photographs from the studios taken by Savannah Shaw and Evan Reece. There are going to be stories, encouragements, thanks, anecdotes and little nuggets of wisdom, which I will highlight, because people don't like to read long things anymore! So if anything, take the nuggets :)
Chapter 1: MY RECORD and creative success
The record is underway. I am in week two of official production, but has been a little over two months since the conception of the idea. Last week, we were able to knock out drums, bass and guitars for three of the six or seven songs to be on the first half of "From My Window To Yours." I am approaching this record with a little bit of recklessness. I am trying not to sweat details or minute decisions, but am chipping away at it to discover the essence of what it is I'm trying to do and who I am as an artist. It's like when you begin a marble sculpture, cause most of you I assume will do one in your lifetime, you don't start with the tiny details. You probably knock that block down to the general shape and form so you can help visualize the details. Often we wait to feel like somethings is all figure out before we even take steps to flesh them out, and that's exactly the moment where we get stuck in fear and give up on trying. The key to creative success, to me, it fearlessness and a willingness to go places even if you will fail. Creative success is defined in the process of discovery, not the presentation of an outcome. Process is the reward.
I had the pleasure of working with Harold Brown (@TheHaroldBrown) please follow. I love this man. He was such a gift to the record but also to my life! There is such a tangible difference when working with people under the covering of humility and genuine love for music. HB is one of the most incredible studio musicians I have ever worked with and is, more importantly, intuitive, genuine and has a true passion for his craft. He has been such an encouragement to me along the way, helping me to believe in myself. Literally because of him, everything is already sounding so much better than I could have ever anticipated. You are the man Harold if you are reading this!
Chapter 2: other records and creating a space of others to come alive.
In producer world, I am working on a few projects at the moment. One being Carly King who goes by The Little Strong. Please follow @the_little_strong. It is her first record and she is doing an incredible job. Her songs are honest, pure and authentic. When you hear it you will know exactly what I mean. There is a depth in how she sings them and how she wrote them that you can tell cost her something. That's the kind of things that will move us deeply. I am beginning to walk with more vision in my role as a producer. I think the best part of it is watching someone like Carly set out to pursue a very vulnerable dream only to find victory on the other side of her faith. I LOVE sending artists their first mixes and them being amazed at what they created. It is truly one of the best jobs ever, I get to have a front row seat of destinies being unfolded in front of people.
On Saturday, I had the amazing privilege of working with one of my biggest inspirations and influences, Family and Friends. This band is incredible and has shaped me as a musicians over the years. I remember first hearing their record in college and it blew my mind. Their arrangements and their expression is refreshing, and also comes from a place of passion and relentless pursuit. They came to the studio to record some music for some live video releases they will be doing to promote their next record. I don't know what the record sounds like, but the songs are amazing. As a producer, it was definitely the most technically challenging session I have ever recorded and might be for a long time, but I felt like all the previous sessions lessons informed the approach just enough and everything when smoothly. I am really happy at how it sounded as well and truthfully had an incredible time working with them. They are wonderful hangs, and I am thankful for the opportunity. I am talking with Mike now about going forward into more tracking and possibly some mixing
On Thursday, I will be flying to Tulsa Oklahoma to celebrate the release of an album I produced in January. Val (Artist MD) was kind enough to offer to fly me out for the album release party. Honestly, I'm a little in shock. I have always hoped that music might allow me to see different parts of the world I wouldn't normally get to experience, and here I am getting on a flight to Oklahoma on Friday! Might not seem like too big of a deal, but it is a first for me. I can't wait to watch Val as he shares his dream with his community and just be around this dude again. Love him.
Chapter 3: Today is Good and Tomorrow will be better, have hope
Here are just some shots of life.Sometimes I look at what God has surrounded me with and begin to smile for no reason. Something is softening so deep in me that when I just put on a song I really like or I smell the spring air through my window or a I see the clouds in a particular pattern, I well up with emotion. I don't know if it's just joy, thankfulness, or disbelief or what, but I feel like I am being led back into my youth, the aw of a child. Here are some photographs of just things and people I love and thank God for.
Love you all. Thanks for taking the time to read. Tomorrow is a massive day for me, I probably won't be able to sleep. But the reasons are for me to know :) Til next time.