"If you can't ride two horses at once, you shouldn't be in the circus."- James Maxton.
I initially chose that quote above because of the circus posters I have hanging in my dining area, which you can see in the back of the photo here. But when I copied the text over for the blog post, I realized it made sense with how I'm feeling lately.
Being a musician and trying to have a family/life can be a juggling act. Most of the musicians I know are raising kids, working jobs outside of music, and yet managing to set aside time for their craft. If they're anything like me, I've felt that guilt inside, wondering if I'm being too selfish when I situate myself in the sun room and work on the same 8 bars of music for two hours straight. I know honey, it's annoying!
On the other hand, I now know that when I neglect working on my music, I'm a much more miserable person. And that affects my family life too. It's that balance, the riding of two horses at once, of serving two masters, that you have to strive to perfect. As tiresome as it can be to carry a smartphone everywhere, it has become a crucial tool for me as a songwriter. If I've got melody or a rhythmic idea bouncing around in my head on a walk with the dog, I just get the voice recorder app open and sing it into the phone. Or I open the notes app and jot down ideas for lyrics and song titles.
Part of the trick is to capture an idea before it's gone! I may not be able to work on music every day, but these notes-to-self become the seeds for planting later on. It took time, but I learned to be inspired anywhere, anytime. I used to think that being inspired and getting creative was to be reserved for band practice, or between the hours of 10pm and 1am. Now I know that those hours are reserved for watching Severance.
I have a new album that is finished and waiting to be released. The title is "Dough Nation." I started working on it in 2018! That's how long it took for me to get this working rhythm down. There were many, many frustrating months where I couldn't "get in the zone." I wasn't getting anything across the finish line. I was worried I'd be stuck making demos for the rest of my life. What I learned over that time was that my day-to-day life had changed, but my process for making music hadn't.
I'm really proud of the new album, and I can't wait for everyone to hear it. I think it's the best and truest music I've ever made as a solo artist. I worked my ass off on it and I didn't cut myself any slack. I threw out things that I'd put easily 40 hours into. In order to work completely in a bubble, I had to be the creator and the editor at once. As disappointing as it was to abandon things that I'd put so much effort into, I was pushing myself to be better. I wanted to surprise myself along the way, and sometimes that surprise was 4 or 5 steps away from the first idea.
I'm happy to be here. I'm grateful for my life. I love music and the joy it brings me. Thank you to all my friends and family that have been so supportive for so many years. I love you all!
Peace - Peter, aka All City Affairs