I am songstress; hear me roar!

3 Jul
So those of you who are friends on Facebook already know that I was recording a demo tonight. 
Yukon Women in Music is organizing a project where Yukon women can submit a song to be considered for a compilation album to be recorded later on this year.  To even the playing field for new artists, they provided an opportunity for musicians to record a demo with half an hour of free studio time (only paying the $15 membership fee).  Since time at a recording studio can be quite pricey, it’s a great opportunity for any woman who is serious (or considering getting serious) about her music.  The demos will all be submitted to a jury, and a selection will be chosen for the compilation album.  Everyone else still gets to walk away with a high-quality demo that can be used for other projects, like applying for funding or getting gigs.
I’m certainly not at a point where I’m looking for gigs, but I have been feeling a certain amount of creative frustration of late, and this project came along at just the right time.  Since one of the project criteria is that the song submitted must be written and performed by a Yukon woman, I went ahead and wrote one.  I’ve written a number of songs over the years, but I’ve never liked them once they were finished.  With many of them, I could actually hear them being ruined even as I was composing them.  So I’ve been surprised that this latest thing I’ve created, well, I actually kinda like it.  And even though I’ve practiced it ad nauseum for the past week, I’m not totally sick of it yet.  And neither is my family.  That must mean something.
I drove out to the Old Crow Recordings studio at 8:00 and met Joel, the recording engineer (I assume that’s his title, anyway).  There were a couple of teenaged girls in the studio finishing off a recording, so I sat and listened and absorbed the atmosphere.  I’ve never been in a studio, but I have been in the sound room at theatres, so things didn’t look totally foreign, which was comforting.
I was ridiculously nervous as I went into the studio.  I knew I would be, because past experiences with recording at home taught me to expect the jitters just by virtue of the fact that there is RECORDING happening.  The studio has a beautiful grand piano in it and a crazy mike (Michael tells me it’s a directional mike, and apparently it isn’t such a big deal, but this was my first experience with a microphone I didn’t practically have to swallow) and I was pleasantly surprised that the distance between music page and keyboard wasn’t throwing me off.  (It can be a challenge, when you get used to playing an electric piano, to suddenly be required to have your eyes travel so far between music and fingers.)
One of my weaknesses as a musician is that I’m not a particularly accurate pianist.  My Opa used to shout when I’d make a mistake and say that the wrong note was, to him, like burning his tongue on hot soup.  (I never really knew what to say because, really, Opa, do you think I’m playing the wrong notes on purpose?)  It’s one of the reasons recording is so difficult for me, especially when I’m trying to hit the right buttons to work the recording machinery myself, as I start the recording, start playing, make a mistake, stop recording, reset, restart…  Anyway, all this is to say that I actually managed a decent rendition of my piece in just two takes, which seems incredible to me.  Either some divine intervention was involved, or all that practicing actually paid off.  The song may not make it onto the YWIM compilation — I have no idea what kind of competition I’m up against — but I’m excited that what I wanted to accomplish went so well.
So I don’t think I’m quite ready to share the lyrics of my song online.  Lyrics to many songs sound pretty inane when you hear them (or read them) without the music, and I’m still basking in my little success, so I don’t really think I want to open myself up to the critiquing that the song might well deserve.  And I really can’t even tell you the title of the piece because I haven’t yet found one that I like.  The working title is "Reckoning", but that kind of makes me shudder, so I don’t think it’ll be the one to stick.
So I may not be quite confident enough to roar just yet, but I do feel somewhat validated as a musician.  I’m so stoked about this whole experience that yesterday I wrote yet another song… and in under an hour.  It’s a sweet and simple little piece that I wrote for a friend of mine who is pregnant, and, goshdarnit, I actually like this one, too. 
Whew, two songs in less than two weeks.  Who knows what I might be capable of?

3 Responses to “I am songstress; hear me roar!”

  1. Nemmy July 4, 2007 at 3:21 am #

    Roar, girlfriend, ROAR!

  2. Peter July 4, 2007 at 10:29 am #

    Way to go!:Phttp://www.peaeater.com

  3. Marian July 4, 2007 at 3:43 pm #

    Hey…..can\’t wait to hear it/them. Great stuff!

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