I feel like I should explain the time it is taking to finish ‘The Forest, Pt.1’. I started working on it in earnest in late 2014, when I wrote most of what is now ‘The Larch, #1 & #3’. Originally the plan was for that to be 1/2 of the album along with some other material. I was trying to focus and just get an album out as quickly as I felt comfortable with. Work proceeded nicely and I’m thrilled with the song that ‘Larch’ has become. But in late Jan 2015 I was fooling around with sounds whilst watching TV and came up with a riff that evolved into the 26 minute suite that is now ‘The Mighty Redwood’. And that piece came together pretty quickly. Now I had two 25+ minute pieces and I felt that was not the album I wanted to make, hence the decision to split the album in two. By the time I had made real progress with ‘Redwood’ it was time to start getting ready for a relatively busy summer of shows. I worked very hard at getting ‘Redwood’ ready for live work but ultimately wasn’t happy with where it was and my ability to perform it to my satisfaction. I had already been performing ‘The Larch’ live and that in itself was a new and fun way for me to perform, the introductory piece being a 98% completely live looping performance. The only playback on it was the arpeggiated bass line and simple noise/drum pattern. The rest of the performance is more live than it appears and where there is playback a lot of it is being triggered by me. I have developed a way of using Logic that is similar to Ableton Live and it was been working really well for me. Back to ‘The Forest’, around April I had to stop working on the album and focus on the upcoming gigs and rehearsing the show. So summer came, I played a couple of out of town gigs, enjoyed my summer and didn’t touch ‘The Forest’ for about 5 months. In October I played my last gig of the year and went back to work on ‘The Forest’. As can happen life sometimes get in the way of creativity and there have been some unforeseen roadblocks.
I’ve been showing remarkable discipline to not keep writing new material. I could do that all day, every day given the opportunity.
Things are moving forward, I am really happy with how things are sounding and getting closer to being finished with the music. I am eager to get the album out and maybe squeeze in some new material. The goal is to have the music finished by the end of February. I’m going on vacation and really want to not think about finishing the album while I’m away. I don’t know if I’m going to meet that goal, but at least I have a goal. I don’t expect to release it at that point, I will still need to figure out the artwork and try to have a album release gig, which means I have to learn how to play some of the songs. That is a lot of work, prepping a song to play it live. That pushes things back in to March and realistically, early April. I don’t expect it taking until May, which is good because summer is less productive time for me as I want to be outside playing. I love my tools and toys, but I spend 6 months of the year waiting for the other 6 months and I mean to enjoy as much of the warm weather as I can.
While what I really want to do is put together a quick album of Berlin School music what I plan on doing is putting more energy into trying to get some film work. I’d love to do soundtracks and think I would be good at it.
I’m still going to attempt two albums this year. I’ve certainly got enough material already and whatever I might start writing. I expect to get to work on ‘Forest Pt2’ next fall with the goal on a winter release. We’ll see.
I’m having a ton of fun working on music and am as excited about it as I have ever been, which given the 30+ years I have been working on making music is a wonder position to be in. I think I am getting better all of the time and so want to share what I’m doing with people.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.