We drove and drove and drove. Through misty forests, over snowy mountains and along coastal cliffs. Two nights in a Yurt, one night in a motel in Monterey after a traumatic “merging lanes” experience that we shall not speak of, and no interest in navigating Big Sur in the dark to find our campground. The scariest was the two hours along highway 101/1 into LA. It was dark and we are inexperienced drivers (though less so now!).
Sigh of relief. We are here. My friend Rena, Grendel and I are in Los Angeles at our adorable Echo Park apartment. As I write this I am in the heart of hipsterdom: Intellegentsia Coffee in Silverlake. Everyone around me is amazing. I feel like I’m in a cartoon.
Just to recap, Rena and I have come to Los Angeles to write and record an album in the month of February. We’re doing the RPM challenge: 10 songs/35 minutes. We have almost 3 songs written so far and they’re pretty good.
It’ll be interesting to revisit songwriting in such an intense way this month. Growing up and into my early twenties, I was very serious about music. I had a band and did the singer songwriter thing for years, recorded my music in my basement, went to songwriting workshops, and so on. It was such a huge part of my identity. My “thing”—or so I thought.
When I lost interest in music in my early twenties, I felt ashamed and afraid. I didn’t pick up my guitar or violin for years after that, both due to a lack of interest and a sense of resentment and anxiety about the whole ordeal.
Of course, I didn’t know that I was a multipotentialite at the time. If I had, none of this would have been a problem. But back then I thought I was “giving up on myself.” I wasn’t.
I now see that by putting music aside for a while, I was making room for filmmaking to come into my life, and then when film lost its luster, in came law and entrepreneurship. Many of my musical skills have proven to be useful in other ways too.
As I write music this month, open up and compose lyrics about my life, I’m going to revisit a lot of old emotional/identity issues. I know it. But I am excited about that, and ready to face the thing I ran from so long ago. Bring on the personal growth. It’s time to make art.
Here’s a video that Rena and I made the other day. It’s part of the first song we wrote, played in our tree house. Excuse (or enjoy) when the camera topples over and we erupt in laughter.
Stay tuned for more tree house jam sessions, “leaked tracks” and other goodies.
Have you ever revisited an old passion that used to be a bigger part of your identity? What have you learned?