I guess I could be accused of being nostalgic or even romantic, but its not exactly the way I feel.
I am sensitive to different eras and time. I think when I studied so many great photographers and musicians – of all genres, their art would evoke feelings that sometimes were clear and present, sometimes that felt dreamy or psychedelic or when things line up just right, a combination of all of these things.
40 years is a long time to wait to really dig in and reconsider photography or music that I created so long ago. But in some sense I was there just recording how I felt, I saw what I saw and heard what I heard. My photography in the 80’s was pure, its whatever I stumbled on as I walked around or hung out with friends.
My music was very derivative though. I was trying way to hard to be some cross between R.E.M. and XTC, and who knows who else. My output was tiny and I got writers block and Mic fright – honestly, my attempt at writing songs in the 80’s was a bust. I gave up – completely.
Photography never felt like work, but music sure did.
For the last 3 or so years, my music now is pouring out like my photography always has. It feels great. I have no predefined influences and can care a less about trying to be like anyone.
I’m doing with my music what I did with my photography. Its been just long enough to go back over my re-entry into music 2 – 3 years ago and reassess what I did. I have run about a 20% “hit rate” where I think 1 in 5 songs would be good enough to bring into a band and have musicians more experienced than I – whip them into shape.
I’m weaving the old in with the new, and I’m having fun doing so. Its self regulating, self correcting and self calibrating. Since my photography and music will never go anywhere beyond this blog, I can feel safe that I’m never doing anything wrong but that some are better than others.
The best song writing advice ever is just keep trying. Write like crazy and see what sticks. That is how my best photography happened – I just was like this Energizer Bunny and practice did make near perfect. I didn’t even stop to revise I just kept peddling forward.
Art and Music is the most wonderful inner adventure. It is meditative and healing like no other thing besides love. Its a great form of positive energy – a life force.