Rewinding

Two very close friends of mine are getting married in a few weeks, and they very generously asked me to sing at their wedding. I suggested a few songs, but they eventually settled on Bridge Over Troubled Water, by Simon and Garfunkel. As a result, I’ve been listening to and falling in love with their music all over again after years of not really having paid attention. Their music is really special to me–my best friend and I used to sing all the harmonies in the halls at school and in classes constantly. We sang for years together. Our parents introduced us to Simon and Garfunkel. My mother loves these songs as much as I do.

Their music brings me back to a time that I have a very nostalgic picture of. I want to idealize it and say people back then could appreciate real instruments, strong vocals, and really great songwriting in a way that may no longer exist. Don’t get me wrong, there are some dubstep songs I like, and I definitely like dancing to my share of pop. And I guess we’ve got singers like Adele in our generation. But back then, that was the norm. I wonder what causes shifts in music? Are there studies on why a particular generation likes what it likes listening to?

Reboot

I got some news that made me feel very optimistic today. It’s amazing how much a little bit of hope can do in terms of changing the lens you view everything with. I had a fantastic day.

Just got back after meeting up with some friends at a club. One of them was DJing a set there, and we had a fun night out dancing. The DJ friend wants to take my vocals from Porcelain Doll and use it on one of his house tracks. I’m really curious to see what the end result would be. Pretty neat stuff.

The Sloth

I am descending into one of the worst versions of me. I can’t really pinpoint anything constructive I’ve done today, except for a long overseas call to my mother. I just tore myself away from looking up clips of really bad romantic comedy movies on Youtube. And only because I couldn’t find the next part of the clip, and realized I was doing something I absolutely hated–watching other people’s fake lives on a screen just to give my mind something easy to feed on. Did I ever admit that I used to be addicted to television? I had fifty free cable channels at one point, but still ended up watching Sharon Osbourne or Jerry Springer over lunch. Not good.

Luckily, tomorrow should be packed with activity and I’ll be out and about all day. I hate waiting for things to happen. My brain is compulsive, and starts getting into silly patterns when’s it feels like it’s not being productive. I need to start meeting more friends, and I need to start writing music even if I get nothing else done during the day just so I feel like I’m accomplishing something constructive.

Alright, time to spend the last few hours of the day getting things done. Maybe I can still salvage this.

Instruments of procrastination?

I’m still trying to dig myself out of my current life situation, and it’s a great spur for creativity. Or is my sudden flare of inspiration really an instrument of procrastination? Anyway, I’m going to ride it while it lasts.

I’m bummed over having to wait for a few things to resolve themselves as I keep trying to churn out some sort of an output. Nothing feels more useless than when effort results in no positive outcome.

I also wish I had a little more faith left in people, and didn’t feel like my trust issues are getting worse as I get older. I’m really lucky, I met some of my closest friends when I could still trust people, and I have some close family members I really trust to be constructive forces in my life. I’ve recently been let down by a few key people in my life that I believed in pretty strongly, but I’m optimistic that I’ll regain my faith in people with time.

I guess things aren’t so bad, after all. 🙂

A Fresh Start

My luck may be turning with the weather. Today is a glorious summer day, with bright sunshine and a clear blue sky. No matter what happens tomorrow, I’ve had a fantastic day today and nothing will change that. I finished writing a song last night, and got an idea for a new song for the next album I want to put together.

I only have two songs left to finish writing for my first EP. I’m getting there, slowly but surely…

Cards

So, the world’s dealt a few more cards and I wonder how these will affect the turn of events over the next few months and years. Sometimes I wonder how much scope there is for free will in life, and whether we even have a choice or any influence over what happens in our lives.

A lot of biologists stop believing in free will after they start working in the life sciences, as choices could merely be interpreted as your genetic make up interacting with your environment, and the rest is up to stochasticity. A few religions, such as Hinduism, eliminate the concept of choice as well by invoking ideas like Fate, or God. Is choice merely an illusory concept that we humans came up with in order to prevent ourselves from having a collective nervous breakdown?

Or does choice really exist, and if it does, what is its basis? How do we choose what we choose? How do you settle on the best decision, or is that simply something we look back on after a series of resulting events have passed and rationalize? What is regret?

With modern lives that throw opportunities and changes our way constantly, the concept of straightforward and obvious choices may have been eliminated completely. What is the most important thing for a person? Does it vary from person to person? Or do we have one common priority in life as a species?

If I had to pick my strongest drivers, I think I would settle on the following three in no particular order: happiness, music, and the people that I love. And I think I can narrow it down further–with music and the people that I love around me, I think I could be happy. Is happiness a choice that we make in our heads?

Horticulture

There’s a grubby little plant sitting prominently in front of the main window in my living room. It introduced insects into my house, shed dirt everywhere as I unwrapped it, and caused the largest number of changes to my morning routine as it requires being watered daily and a lot of sunshine. It’s a needy, high maintenance attention whore, unlike my mellow and gorgeous orchids. I can never run out of the house and ignore my living room anymore. But I still find it endearing. And it forces me to raise my blinds and bring in sunshine into my place every day.

I spoke to a good friend of mine who knows a lot about plants a couple of months ago, and she said even the orchids need sun. I almost felt a little guilty, as I’d been taking my generous plants for granted. So maybe the new plant is doing my beloved orchids some good as well.

A few days ago, I noticed some new shoots on all three of my plants. The orchids are going to bloom for sure. The strange new plant may die despite my efforts, but for now I’m hoping the sprouting growth on it will eventually become beautiful flowers someday.

Curtain

I just finished structuring a new song and I’m done writing about half of it. There’s a lot of sadness and love behind it, and I hope it makes people who listen to it tear up a little someday. I’m working out the chords right now, and as I was noting the chords above the words I was overcome by a feeling of tenderness, almost like those chords were little children that I love and want to nurture.

A good friend of mine recently told me that if I continue to deny expressing myself through art and refuse to focus on it, I’m going to end up embittered and feeling stifled for the rest of my life. It’s a really frightening thought, but artists typically have to fight a lot of constraints, even if they’re really gifted. I have a few rather glaring constraints to fight against, and to risk a tremendous leap that could result in complete and utter failure that leaves you permanently stranded is not an easy choice. So, what are my options?

999 Page Views on Youtube!

Nowhere close to viral, but the video has now hit almost a thousand views and I think I just pushed it over the edge to 1000 when I checked to see the number. My little baby has reached its fledgling 1000 page views.

Marketing yourself isn’t easy. A friend of mine suggested that I tweet the link to my video to various celebrities and I’ve religiously been doing that over the past couple of days, but I wish I had more control over the process. I love meeting people, and I’d love to meet more musicians and artists and share work and create a fun, productive environment. Maybe I should focus on that.

I’m really happy that I have this one great video. Even if I’m never able to afford the time, money and energy required to make another one of these, at least I made one. And I get to keep it forever.