I am not a machine!
Lilly and I are currently in San Diego!
Over the next two weeks, we plan to get most of the music DONE, which is very exciting. We’re putting in fourteen hour days recording in Nate Vaughn’s beautiful new studio, GrossRecordings. You can learn more about the studio here. We highly recommend this spot for musicians on a budget geared towards synth sounds who are looking to record with a high quality sound engineer. AKA Nate and his studio are dope AF.
I wanted to take a few minutes to blog about what this process has been like so far. I wake up every day humbled with gratitude that I have the opportunity to dedicate myself to my art in this way, financially supported by a kickstarter funded by those who love Lilly and I and believe in our art. It is truly overwhelming to feel this support in concrete form each day I’m here. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU ‘22, A MILLION’ TIMES OVER!!!
In addition to this immense gratitude, if you’ve recorded in studio before, you might understand the pressure that comes with putting a song into permanent form, a pressure that’s quite different than that which comes with live performance (which has its own host of anxieties). My perfectionist self is really getting a chance to shine these weeks.
Finding that balance between getting something ‘just right’ and recognizing ‘I’m not a machine’ is a continuous inner dialogue.
HOLY CRAP PLAYING TO A CLICK TRACK IS SO HARD. I knew this, I aimed to be prepared for it, and it’s still quite frustrating. As much as I like for my own emotional state to hold the rhythm of the song, playing to a click is mad important when you’re working with studio musicians in other cities who will only have 8-10 hours to put their parts down. So, trying to be a little more robotic over here (thank you to Nate for lotsa help in this regard) while maintaining human compassion for the fact I will never be a robot, is a daily journey.
Other than the click struggles, I’ve been so stoked hearing these songs come to new life with the help of various collaborators (a collaboration post to come soon), and of course, with the help of Nate. This album truly manifests the interdependence NOA hopes to convey, with so many perspectives and ears coming together to create something unified for our listeners. I continue to work on balancing my own need for control over my vision, with allowing space for new perspectives to emerge from my very talented and aesthetically aligned collaborators.
Working with Lilly so closely this year has helped me a lot in this regard, as I’ve seen how trust in the right people really does make art better, and the process infinitely more fun and nourishing. And so, trusting so many folks with my vision, with my baby, to care for it, enhance it, and elaborate on it in the magical ways they inevitably will, is a process for me. I can sometimes be a teeny bit controlling **blushes**, and these feels can bring some self-shame. But I’M LEARNING how to trust deeper in others with these very deep parts of myself. And I couldn’t ask for better people to aid in my healing in this regard, to learn these very important life lessons from. I am truly thankful that so many amazing talented musicians are dedicating their time and aesthetic sensibility to my album. Everything is sounding INCREDIBLE and I.CANNOT.WAIT. to share this album with the world, with you!!!
Finally, I am checking in with myself a lot re: how my truth interacts with my desire to express and to be seen, as so much about the music industry has to do with visibility and public image these days (esp in a social media saturated culture). The desire to get things perfect on my end can be motivated both by my truth (artistic vision), and also by the desire to be seen in a particular way.
I’m learning how to distinguish my ego motivations from my deep self-motivations, aiming to let the latter lead, but embracing both with kindness and humility so that I might better be able to see and care for other human egos and truths.
Thanks for reading, for being a part of our journey, and for hopefully letting us be a part of yours.
With love and gratitude,