NOTES ON BEING YOURSELF
This last few days I’ve been digging into GarageBand to get some songs down. The positive part of me wanted to get three songs into at least a workable state but you know how it is... you get started, overthink it more than you need to, battle some inner demons and come out the other side wondering why you’re not better at the things you love to do, but that’s pretty normal around here.
Then again, the one song I did lay down is one song more than I had on Friday morning before I started so that gets filed under ‘a step in the right direction’. Also in the win column is now that I’ve messed with a million settings, I shouldn’t have to mess with them any more and can just plug in and get more of them down.
I did wonder for a while if anything worthwhile would come from such a DIY endeavour. The world is set up to make you think anything is possible if you throw enough tech at it and maybe it is, but I’m also a writer who endorses the fountain pen, a fistful of Blackwing pencils and to many notebooks. If you take a look around the web, there’s always somebody who’s been able to piece something solid together with tech but not so many people wielding acoustic guitars that I actually liked, or so I thought...
I came across an album by a guy called Dan Tedesco. He recorded his last album using 'not very much at all' on his iPad. You can read about his big plan here (if you can handle the nineties design of the news site it's on) and the link to his album on iTunes is here.
Inspired by this, I see no reason I can’t play that game. I’ll more than likely use even less than Dan simply because I don’t understand half of what’s going on. Right now, my job is to get skeletons down and I’ll dress them in nice clothes later.
Dan also made a movie about what it's like to do everything yourself out there and he makes it look easy. It's called Chasing The Lightning. I could post it here but Dan would probably appreciate it more if you watched it on his site so here's the link.
Meanwhile, I also came across a guy called Otis Gibbs. He runs his Own Damn Show and lives life on his own terms - or at least that's the message that comes across. He also makes fine records and has started a new video project called Old Weird America. You can find everything you need somewhere on his site, but here's his latest instalment of the OWA series... I adore this and wish the world was still like this way:
The days of wandering into a bookstore and finding a homemade pamphlet of Beautiful Words are long gone. I guess it got replaced by the internet but it's not the same because to make your own pamphlet requires Effort and Commitment rather than spewing up some words because somebody thought it would be nice if we all had keyboards on our phones.
We need more people like Dan and Otis in the world. With the possibilities becoming ever more endless - and perhaps, meaningless - as human beings there’s way too much to consume out there. It’s almost impossible to absorb yourself into something in the way we used to. What’s going to count in the future is people going out on their own limb to create material that belongs to them and them alone. We’re awash with cookie cutter ideas and algorithms that tell you what you want to see next.
If you have any desire at all to be an individual in a world that’s trying to make us all the same (for no other reason than to take your money from you), you’re going to have to do pretty much the same as these guys and have a little faith in that thing called Yourself.
You need to be the person that people in the future will talk about... or at least try.