Whenever I hit a prolonged creative stride, I find myself living in a state of both frenzy and pensiveness. It’s a strange dynamic, seemingly incongruent, but one I have embodied more than ever this year. The last six months have been all go, go, in my creative life. Once my littlest one turned 18-months, I felt like I could breathe again and begin to explore new musical realms with a new album, music video and begin booking a concert tour. Back to work! Alongside my pal Georgia, and inspired by all those mom bloggers we met at the Disney Social Media Moms event last March, Georgia and I flew into production for this blog and our two albums, and pushing each other along, voila, we have them done!
It has been thrilling, exhausting, inspiring, and all together, wonderfully fulfilling. I often say to students in my classes, when they ask for advice, that if they pursue work that speaks to them on a personal level, then not only will their work have an authenticity to it, but it will also find and connect with a real audience – after all, we all share in the human experience – what is true for you is bound to be true for many. More than ever before, I took my own advice and Georgia and I have created some music which does indeed speak of our journeys and points of view – and so we hope these two albums will find those of you out there who can relate!
Though balancing the production of these projects with our home lives, motherhood and paying the bills has made for a busy six months, I have also found that in moments of quiet there is a whole flip-side to this creative process. I was driving in my car a month ago, listening to some rough tracks, making notes in my head to tell the engineer, and something strange hit me… A few days earlier I had learned of the death of one of my high school music teachers. Though my memories of this person hold both positive and negative aspects, there is no denying that I pursued music in large part to his influence and genius. What I hadn’t realized was that, though I hadn’t seen or spoken to this person in well over a decade (maybe two!), in the back of my mind I must have always believed he was listening to work I put out there, and he would hear this new recording. I’m 41, and his musical opinion still matters to me. The idea that he would not hear the new CD – one in which I actually wrote some of the material – left a hole inside me. Why? How did I not know before that moment that I was still so influenced by his musical opinions – that I was still somehow 16 looking for approval?
But that’s just it; I’m 41. I’m about halfway through (if all goes according to plan), and so I’m going to have more and more “holes” as those of influence, those I love, those for whom I sing … travel on. The new CD is dedicated to my mother, who passed away two-and-a-half years ago – the week I learned I was pregnant with my second daughter. So much of what I write, talk and sing about is motherhood, so naturally she was on my mind through the entire process. She is on my mind every minute I’m with my kids. On many levels, she is in fact still here with me as I look at my children. I suppose my teacher is, too, in the work he has inspired his many students to pursue.
I’m halfway through, and if I am to embrace the entire process of life, I must embrace saying goodbye. The flip-side? I also get to say hello. Hello to the babies, to the students I hope and pray I can now influence, to new music, to new friends, to new adventures. So new?
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