Friday, November 14, 2014

a moment's candor

I suppose it could be argued that each time I blog or write a project update is a moment’s candor on my part. But this feels somehow different, so I’m going to just go with it.

I recorded my next to last lead vocal this week, and it was probably the most profound of the experiences I’ve had singing for this record so far. The beauty of it was that it was completely unexpected.

This thing artists and writers do, when I stop and think about it for a moment, seems part magic and part madness. To create something out of thin air is one thing, but to allow something to emerge through you is another. It requires complete surrender, getting out of the way, dropping the baggage.

What we do is about emotion laid bare. Let me tell you about my deepest heartache, greatest joy, biggest fear, wildest dreams. Let me be exposed and vulnerable, showing you my weakness, while at the same time exhibiting an extraordinary amount of strength and bravery by doing so.

When left to our own devices and highest calling, this is what my fellow singer/songwriters and I do. We share the human experience and give it meaning in the way that only each one of us can. And it is a privilege to get to do so. Sometimes we forget that.

So I got to the studio on Monday, thinking I would be singing “No End to Love” just like I had been doing since I wrote it with my Nashville co-writer, Fred a number of years ago – straight forward and big.

This is the song on the record that’s been in existence the longest, the one I never recorded myself, one that had been on hold for at least half a dozen artists, including Faith Hill, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. (None of whom cut it, by the way – which is why I’m sure a lot of writers take up drinking, but not me. I prefer to bury my disappointments in sarcasm, peppered with a dash of irony. Also, ice cream. Ice cream works well for me.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, so as we were listening down to the track, I was singing along softly to it. Tanya (my producer, for those of you just joining these festivities now) realized that something special was happening. She ran and moved the mic and everything else over to where I was sitting, and I recorded the vocal right then and there. Quietly. Intimately. In the moment. As the private conversation you will all be privy to when the record is done and out. 

Lyrics take on different meaning at different moments in our lives. If we’re lucky, that meaning deepens with the passage of time, like it did for me in this instance.

And I suppose that, just as surrender is necessary to allow for something bigger to emerge through us, surrender is also necessary to allow for it to travel where it is intended to go.

As this project continues on its path toward conclusion, I am in constant gratitude for the experience, for the chance to share that experience in all its different facets with you as it progresses, and for the immense joy it is to do what I love doing most.

Thanks for stopping by and for hanging in there with me. Please tell your friends. 

Peace & Blessings (and hugs and kisses),


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