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Phil in India 2012

On Reinventing Yourself

Full Circle

So…if you have been following my path at all with the latest project- IC2, you know that it is coming to a close. Its now June 2013…so many things have happened since the beginning of the project. I have learned so much about so many things in the 3 year process of production. And what I learned about the most, is my own playing. Everything might seem peachy keen in the videos. But the process was sometimes painstaking. Things that we normally deal with as musicians like…Deciding what to leave out and many times…Hating what I played on some of the tracks. To top it off, on video you see everything as well as hear! You see every weird face and gesture as well. Technique glitches and whatever else you can imagine. In a project as huge as “Inner Clock 2”, with sooo many hours of video you see everything you do!!! And of course you HEAR everything you do. And then…you hear it again….and again….and then you mix it and hear it again…then you start editing video and again, you hear it again and this goes on for weeks and you are still on one piece! Of course there are many many pieces and weeks and months turn into years. By the time its all done, what you did was you but, maybe one year ago and even 2. Since then the ear has changed. You want to play new stuff. You want to play different music. (Fortunately in the project there are so many genres it keeps you busy) You want to explore different sounds and vocabulary etc etc, Its normal.

OR IS IT?

Maybe not!!! It seems lots of people are content just sounding they way they do for the next 10 years!! Well…that was never my bag and I know many cats of course that need this growth as well. So …what do you do?

The process of reinventing yourself as a musician requires a parallel inner reinvention as well.

Why? Because first of all, this is going to take “Guts”! You will have to be willing to leave your old sound behind. Your old trusted licks behind. And you wont be able to really tell what the end result might be. You also have to be willing to be patient, as the process could take years!! This again takes guts and the whole thing becomes an emotionally cyclic process involving will power, determination, belief in yourself and…trust in the skills that you have built up over the years as a MUSICIAN, PRODUCER. Trust that you will be able to guide your growth and have some control over it. Man…if there is one thing that is exciting and at the same time risky…it’s this!

Controlling urges

There is another aspect involved in this thats important to think about! Being able to control the need to try out new things ON THE JOB before they are ready. This is a huge no no! The stage is where you want to be playing your best. And unless it’s a highly experimental situation or … an environment that allows you to screw up and be musically (career wise) safe. Stay away from the new stuff until its ready!!

This is where I am now. The process is underway whether I like it or not!

It starts way before one becomes aware of it of course. For me now it’s in full swing. Like a locomotive that cant be stopped. Once you gain awareness of it – BOOM – You are in it and nothing can change that. So it must be embraced.

I cant say enough about this part…

Trust in the skills that you have built up over the years as a MUSICIAN, PRODUCER. – And in relation to that, the ability and skill of effective practicing.

This is such a major factor if you are in this stage because the last thing you want to do is waste time! Repeating things that don’t need to be repeated of leaving huge gaps in things that WILL come back to haunt you at the most inappropriate moment. Having a very professional thought out practice system is of utmost importance. And sticking to it just as important! You see why I mention Inner reinvention as well? This whole thing will most definitely change who you are!

This blog was inspired tonight, because of a conversation with some friends who are what most musicians consider to be “Normal people” haha. Meaning people who are far removed from the music industry or the arts in general. Boy their eyes were wide open and I could tell they were anxious! The thought of all this mental and physical upheaval seemed totally foreign to them. And CRAZY! I imagine most people on this planet are like that. Maybe that’s why many things tend to stay the same in this world even though we hate it. ( Staying in jobs, marriages, political systems etc) All in all, as a musician it’s a beautiful place to be because you feel so alive! As if drumming alone was not exciting enough! Right?

Thanks for reading.
Many greetings to all

Phil M.

In India- teaching and playing 2012

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