Since my last entry things have taken some shape. I am almost done with my record. Through vast distances with at times, little to no inspiration, no $$$$, self doubt, and feelings of futility, through  brief blasts of writing, recording, and rejoicing, I have been guided  S-L-O-W-E-Y through the dark swamp of my mind to an oasis within, I could only hope at the beginning, was going to be there. I have a group of songs that I feel enough love for, to give to the world (some time in the late fall).

Making a record “Independently” is, as I have made clear in previous entries, NO SMALL FEAT!  There is much more tied up in the process than I was aware. Maybe not for all, but for me it’s been learning how to play as I go along, picking out on piano what I hear in my head. I don’t read music. I play incorrectly, not really knowing proper chord, song structure, or the rules of engagement.  I have been learning to find my voice both literally and figuratively as I go along.

I hear other “Songwriters” and don’t relate all that much to the majority of what I hear or see. I’m not great at following recipes, reading maps, or following rules. I am a bit hard to impress. Don’t get me wrong I love structure to a point, but the perfect voice, the verse that completely makes sense, the chorus you can’t get out of your head doesn’t always ….“move me”.  Total PRO-NUNC-E-A-TION is often for me, an annoyance. I would rather hear one quiet note, one jumbled phrase, one jagged little edge if I can feel their guts wrapped up in the delivery. I have a hard time with vocal, or instrumental masturbation. Call it a pet-pieve.

It’s one of those things that had known what I was commiting to, becoming  a musician and record maker, I would have prayed for the passion to be a mail delivery clerk, or a baker. Some how (a really supportive husband and an insatiable desire to live inside a song) I am making my way. Through feelings of fury and failure, fear and flight, at the end of the day I know I have been blessed with the gift of music in all it’s mystery, as a way of keeping me sane and connected to the experience of being human.

A teacher of Buddhism here in Marin county;  Jack Kornfield wrote this:

“We awaken most easily to the mystery of life through our weakest side.”

Yup, it’s true, and I have chosen to share my weakest side with you.  (It’s my entire right side by the way) and to record my experience of it on cd, now, for no other reason than the songs won’t leave me alone.

I have made it this far through the litany of  those self defeating voices that have lied and lied and lied to keep me from my dreams.  The one’s that have told me:

“It’s no use Aim, you are too old.”, or
“You don’t even know how to write a proper verse, your nose is too big, your forehead, and gums are too high. WOW, that song is boring, and self indulgent”

But I have learned that those voices were trying in their own fucked up way to protect me. I now invite them when they begin to squak to go somewhere else and play poker, or to kindly go fuck themselves now, thanks very much. Slowly, but surely new voices have been allowed to get a foot hold, (the voices! God!  the voices!) walking with me through fear, through phantoms to mirages, to a brighter, simpler, more authentic place that is more true, than any form the fear may come in.

I have come to find out that I don’t care who one has worked with. I don’t care if one’s chorus made millions, if you’ve cracked the code to worldly success. And I don’t care if I do either. Once one begins to dribble on about what they are “doing” (including myself) and with “Whom” they are doing it with, I begin to hear the voice used for the adults in “The Peanuts”:
Or the chorus of meowing cat’s from the “Meow Mix” cat food commercial that I loved so much growing up:

To quote “The Verve”
“ I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah”
If any one wants to respond I would like to hear about the songs you turn to when you need them the most, the songs you turn to when you just want to know that your pain, or joy is understood. The songs that make you feel “Apart of “ instead of “Separate from”.

As of late I’ve been spending a lot of time at home with my songs, Peter Gabriels’ “US” album,  David Darlings’ “The Tao of Cello”, and Ben Harpers’ “The Will to Live”. Ben is who I most want to go on tour with if ever given the opportunity. We would make an interesting show, if any one knows him tell him to contact me.

Whether we are the giver, or the recipient of song, we are able to jump into, from either end for a moment, alive and connected for THAT moment. I don’t believe that I need to go to a cave in Thailand, or a guru in India to find my soul, or God, or whatever you want to call it. I have caught glimpses of it alone in my living room at my piano birthing a new song, with Radiohead at The Greek Theater in 07’ when they played “Pyramid Song”, at Harford Civic center in 87’ when U2 closed the show with “40”.  Just to name  a few moments when I felt  “Apart of” not “Separate from”.  This is why I am a listener and maker of music. This is why I walked through this past 2 years of writing and producing my first record. In this moment I am grateful.

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