I think I’ve said this before, but this is a lot of work!
I have everything planned out in phases so that I’m not overwhelmed, but when I start thinking too far ahead it’s easy to feel like I’m drowning. This week, I’m focusing on cleaning up this website, practicing guitar, vocal exercises every day, and hanging my last sound-absorbing panels. My big concern at the moment is trying to figure out how to power off my ventilation system. It’s noisy.
Last week my focus was to complete my ‘story’ video. There’s no budget for me to hire a professional video guy, so I had to shoot and edit a video, which is something I never do. There is a good sample of some basic mixes of songs from the album in there if you’d like to check it out: youtube.com/watch?v=f9gZDASb4mw
A huge thanks goes out to all the people who shared my video or donated over the past few days! It’s amazing that I know so many gracious and generous people. And so many friends that I didn’t expect came out of the woodwork! Lots of old high school friends who I haven’t talked to in a decade were very supportive. I was wow’d and humbled. Thank you all so much.
We have our first recording session with most of the string players scheduled for the last Saturday in February. Between now and then, I have to lay down some guitar and piano tracks, and get all the rehearsal markers lined up in the ProTools sessions for an efficient recording session. I’m so so so excited about finally hearing the strings on the parts I wrote. It’s one thing to imagine hearing the parts in my head. It’s another to hear them on accordion (I recorded each string part on accordion for the musicians to hear their parts in context). But it will be awesome to hear it the way it’s supposed to sound.
I was briefly trying to get back in shape with my brass instruments last week, but maintenance on that, guitar, and voice is just too much to do at once. I’ll start focusing on brass the week after next, so then I can start adding those parts in after our big string session.
I gotta learn some more banjo things too… *focus, Devin, do banjo later in March*
The last thing I’m wrestling with is the whole social media & audience engagement piece. (I did get some hugely helpful advice from a friend that specializes in this, and that really seemed to help get my video noticed on Facebook this past week. Shoutouts to Gaby Canchola!). Part of my concern is my limited time. Do I really have time to make a short video every week to engage fans? I’m also wondering if I would have enough to talk about. I could get plenty of material from talking about my album, but I also don’t want to spoil all the surprises, or color anyone’s interpretations of what the music may mean to them before they hear it. The other part of it is that I don’t really like the feeling of being in the spotlight, striving to get a higher viewer count, or promoting myself. My music is much more than an ad campaign, so although I need to raise money to finish the album, it feels disingenuous to make the promotion of my music the centrality of my focus. When I start getting concerned about what other people are thinking about my music, posts, videos, etc, that’s when I start losing my own peace and can’t maintain my creativity. Hmmm… *daydreams a moment. I really just want to be done and go on a bike trip on the Katy Trail again…*
^view from the Katy Trail near Marthasville, MO
Anyway, I’m guessing there’s a balance to be struck there. Some of my favorite artists only post things occasionally. I’m thinking I may just try to do a blog update once a week. That sounds like a good place to start. Videos occasionally.
Thanks for reading!