Why I Record and Release my Songs
I find songwriting to be the most natural and effortless thing, like breathing, walking or talking. It’s just another form of expression that seems to flow naturally as a part of my being. I have hundreds of song sketches and poems scattered around in notebooks and desktop archives.
On the other hand, recording and sharing my musical musings, is a very different story. It feels the opposite of natural. A deliberate effort. Making a finished product out of a sketch is a process that takes thought, time, effort, patience and money.
Songwriting is not, and will never be, a thing I do for money. Yet to release and share my work, I have to invest effort, time and some of my personal savings. So I often ask myself – who am I doing it for?
Why bother to invest the time, effort and money to produce my musical musings (which is just really my diary) into finished sharable works? If I write songs for myself and my own self-expression, then I don’t need to share it with anyone. I don’t need a good recording to enjoy the experience of songwriting. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been sharing my music for years! I’ve been writing songs since my early teens, and hoarding the musical embryos in files and drawers!
Over the years I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to actually release anything. I’d rather read a book, go to the gym, learn a new language or play classical guitar for my own enjoyment. Why fuss over the microphone to perfect a chord change or a vocal line? I’m not a natural performer, I’m a natural songwriter. An introvert.
I’ve also always been more of an intimate performer. If I perform, it’s usually in front of my mom and dog! I also enjoy singing for the dragon flies and bees on a lazy summer day.
But lately, I’ve been releasing more stuff. Gradually, I get into the habit of going “public” with my secret hobby! And I have to ask the same question again: “Who is it for?”
Again, if songwriting is just for myself, then I don’t need a website, I don’t need an Instagram, YouTube or Facebook feed. I don’t need to record, mix, produce or release anything. I can use that time and funds on something else!
The answer is: It’s no longer just for me. It is now also for YOU. You, my friends and family. You, the kindred spirit and stranger who somehow stumbled upon my website and started to explore my work. It is now mostly for YOU. And what I’d love to share with you, is the inner journey inspired by nature and the soothing vibrations of the nylon strings.
A few weeks ago I caught myself on an “aha” kind of thought. I realised that the random, as well as the deep and meaningful conversations I’ve been having lately, were no longer for me or my own self-exploration and validation. They were for the individual people I was conversing with. Somehow I started gifting something to the people I speak with. My full attention perhaps? Perhaps a sense of solidarity and acceptance? Or maybe just kindness and presence? I don’t know. But whatever it is — my life has become more fulfilling when I started to indulge in the world from the perspective of others. Like Einstein said: “You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle.” I guess I started seeing every person, and the world they carry within, as a miracle.
By validating and elevating the thoughts and worlds of other people, I feel an overall joy. The kind of joy that I could never have felt when I did something for myself.
It seems I’ve entered a new phase of life. A phase where I get more joy and fulfilment from giving something to others. Whether that something is a conversation or a heartfelt piece of music — it’s no longer for me. Every moment of life feels fuller with the thought of YOU in it. It is now for YOU.
For years, songwriting has been my sanctuary and safe-haven from life’s storms. Perhaps in some way, you’ll also find something soothing in the classical nylon strings and the imagery and inner journey that they inspire.
In Light & Love,