Greetings & Salutations!
So, we didn’t hit the magic number.
But I’m Ok with that.
It was pretty clear to me back in September, when we were only five singles deep into the Baker’s Dozen Project with a scant few months left to go, that the original goal of thirteen wasn’t likely to be reached. It’s easy to blame the delays on the usual life stuff getting in the way, and it’s true enough. But for my own part in this situation, the roots are a little deeper. The truth is, I didn’t absorb the lessons that this whole project was designed to impart — at least not as well as I coulda woulda shoulda.
The purpose of the Baker’s Dozen was for us to expand the way we approach making and distributing music. Content being royalty and all, we thought that focusing on a steady stream of singles rather than epic projects with epic wait times between them would be nothing but helpful: keeping us sharp and active, and keeping listeners aware and interested. One of the many rewards that has come from my experience with Theme Music is a renewed ability to trust my instincts and make decisions more quickly, and to understand that even if something doesn’t work perfectly, there’s another opportunity right around the corner. In short, to let go and not be too precious about the process of creating. Considering my own history of ultra-neurotic control issues, I think I’ve made considerable progress on that front. But for some reason, applying it to SoN has been tougher, and taken its toll on both my motivation and my effectiveness.
The lesson was illustrated best in October, when we produced “The Way Life’s Meant To Be” (not coincidentally, as an assignment from Theme Music) in under a week, and it turned out as well as anything we’d done all year — and, just as importantly, it was received about as well, too. When we started this thing, we drew up a master list of songs we wanted to do, and we had several of them sitting on the back-burner in varying states of progress throughout the year, rather than focusing on one song at a time. This is a way of working that has carried over from the way we have approached album projects in the past, and it does have its advantages in terms of choice and flexibility, but it can also lead to a certain amount of indecision and lack of focus. So when this song, which wasn’t even originally on that list, came together so quickly with about the same quality and impact as, say, “Good Enough” (which we spent the better part of 6 months working on in fits and starts) the writing was most definitely on the wall: this is the working style and attitude we should be adopting. But by then, the holiday season was gearing up and time was scarce. The last two songs of the year that we posted (“Evolution,” a new original, and our cover of the Alan Parsons Project’s “Eye In The Sky”) had been in the works for a long time, held in reserve for just such a situation, and only took a little bit of tweaking to get ready for public consumption.
So here we are at the start of a brand new year, having not accomplished last year’s goal either literally or figuratively, and looking at a whole bunch of partially finished tracks left in the pipeline. Where do we go from here?
We go BIG!
The Baker’s Dozen project, although a reasonably busy its time and place, was in fact the scaled-down version of a much more ambitious idea that I had thought about a few years ago, but kept in reserve because it didn’t seem like the most practical use of time. However, using what we’ve learned over the past year, I can see a different way of bringing this bigger idea to fruition. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for its own sake, and also a great help in moving forward with new material.
Already we’ve produced this little ditty in record time…
…and there’s much more to come!