I’ve got on some Russian Chorale music. About as far from rock n roll as you can get. It doesn’t rev me up and make me want to throw my guitar up in the air and catch it (making sure to back flip off the wall first, of course). But what this chorus of voices does to me is something more like a stream of constant, low current shocks of beauty straight to the solar plexus.
Statistically, I will not become a rock star. At least by objective standards of, say, records sold or venues played or buzz generated.
That is the reality in front of me. Yes, our album is great. The band is great. But I have never craved the spotlight, and I honestly wouldn’t, at this point in my life, spend all of my waking hours trying to get it. I’m not turning down attention by any means, but I have always valued quality interpersonal time, alone time, deep friendships, and having space to provide help to the ones I care about. That all kind of seems incompatible with the celebrity rock star lifestyle, but perhaps that’s only because I don’t know what it’s like.
Back to the Russians. As I feel moved by these voices, I get a fuzzy picture of what I really do want. I look back over the past couple of years and see how my confidence has grown, as has my openness to experiences of all kinds, including all types of music. And what speaks the loudest is my desire to have my own well of insight AND emotion AND movement burst forth [with skillful means] to a listener of 1 or a crowd of 1000. I want to feel myself and the world more fully, whether it’s on stage or off, and have that come through in what I create. It’s a bit abstract and fuzzy, but that is what I want more than record deals or Twitter followers.
I think this is why I’m so attracted to old school soul music as of late, with its vocal power and nuance, often over a rhythm that brings the body in step with the band. The experience of being moved by rhythm has become just as important to me as being moved by words or melodies. And my sound has been going in that direction. I want to bring more and more soul. And by that I mean motion, playfulness, sadness, elation, experience, empathy, risk-taking, and more. And the lyrics I create will continue to be informed by my own particular view of the world, which tends to be of a forward-looking spiritual-humanist nature. That is to say I am optimistic about a future where we are all more self-aware and more moved than ever by the mysteries of the universe.
This feels true. But now I need a few more specific goals to sharpen some of this fuzziness.