Little by little, chipping away at my opus

A couple of months ago when I began this project I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was a personal challenge turned cockeyed scheme turned plea for attention turned I don’t know what. Now I’m beginning to understand little by little that this is a lifestyle choice. I’ve come across a few people on the internet who are doing, or have done something similar to this. I came across a fellow calling himself Praying For Greater Portland who started doing it just a month or two before me, and he cited as his inspiration a guy named Into It. Over It. who recorded a new song every week for a year and then put out a big double album. Even Kanye West recently released a new song every friday for several months. I knew none of this when I posted my first song, but it’s a great comfort to me to know that I’m not yet in totally uncharted territory.

I feel a great kinship to these people, coupled with an enormous sense of admiration. There are a few more of them that I’ve come across, but they all have one thing in common that I don’t share with them: an ending. Kanye called it quits and returned to whatever it is he does when he’s not doing this: probably working on his next opus. Into It. Over it. did it for a year, and I can’t wait until I know what he felt like on week 52. I’m sure Praying For Greater Portland will know a singularly beautiful feeling when he hangs up his microphones after a year, and I want to know what that sense of accomplishment feels like. But even more than that, I’m itching to know what it feels like on week 53 and week 54. I’m like Kanye. I’m chipping away at my opus, little by little, but for me this is my opus. I can’t say for sure if I’ll do this forever. I suppose I’ll do it until I’m done doing it. It is my goal for that to be a very very long time from now.

I’m so excited that I’m still at the very beginning of this, because there is so much music that I haven’t written yet.

~Jesse

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It is right to be up at 4am

I started this website because I wanted to know if I had it in me. I was up late one night (like I am tonight) and I had an idea out of nowhere to post a new song every week. The idea seemed simple, then it seemed scary. I thought that maybe I’d let the idea pass, and then I’d go back to doing absolutely nothing with all of the music that I write. That thought was even scarier.

I’m only two weeks into this project and I have no idea how difficult it may become. I don’t know if a week will come when I’m simply dry. I don’t know how that might feel. But right now I’m up at four in the morning working on lyrics. I just had this thought that this might be what every Thursday morning might look like for me, from now until doomsday, and that thought was very comforting. It is right to up at four in the morning on a Thursday putting my pencil to my paper with my headphones on. It is right to make art because I’ve made a public contract with myself that I will. It is right to scare myself into creation. Whether or not anybody listens, this is right.

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The tallest damn thing in the world…

In my bedroom I have a computer, and plugged into my computer are all sorts of wires and instruments and microphones and speakers. They light up and I command them to make sounds. I am a member of a growing class of home recordists and songwriters who all have one thing in common: nobody is listening. Tonight that changes.

I’m still a young man and perhaps that’s why despite many setbacks I still believe in my ability to be a famous musician. Each band I start does slightly better than the last and then implodes. This time I thought I’d start a blog instead — a blog that is a band.

I will blog a new song at 12 noon (e.s.t.) every Monday. The point of this is to make songwriting and recording into a practice and to transform listening into a forum. I write music all of the time, but implementing this structure will force me to make choices and to take chances with ideas and sounds. I will enlist the help of other musicians and artists wherever and whenever I can (most notably Nick Mastors who will be a cornerstone of this initiative whenever he can be). I will create a space where music is a dialogue and creation is constant.

The music will be fast and dirty. It will be a reflection of the immediacy of ideas. Or perhaps it will be fully fleshed out, thoughtful, and meticulous. Whatever it will be, we are soon to find out. To quote a master philosopher, musician, friend, and frequent collaborator,”I don’t really know, because I don’t know.”

In my bedroom I play in a rock blog and I’m hoping that many of you will collaborate, participate, listen, criticize, and contribute. It’s called Mount Everest because that’s the tallest damn thing in the world.

New music launches Monday, November 22nd at high noon.

~Jesse

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