My name is Joe. I’m a regular guy. I have an amazing wife, two dogs, a job. I have car trouble, watch football games, sleep too late, forget to take the garbage out. The usual.
I also write songs. This February I participated in a songwriting challenge in which I wrote and recorded 14 songs in one month. Here are the songs:
Thanks for listening, you can read more at my About page, or check out the blog posts on individual songs.
On our way home from the repair shop… Can’t wait to turn it up loud and see how it sounds!
That’s me. And that’s Jon Patton backing me up. I did a four song set:
Grounded, Can’t Go Straight, Against the Mountain, Give it Up
Thanks to Matt Manning for the picture, and also this Vine video:
My friend Matt Manning wrote about my experience with FAWM this year. It’s an interesting article, it reveals something honest about what I accomplished, what anyone who attempts FAWM is feeling. You should read the whole article, but here are some interesting quotes, and my reactions:
“It is right about here that I should start talking about the magic that happened in the room that day, or about the way that there’s more to him than meets the eye. But this is not a fantasy story.” – FAWM is not about magic… it’s about work.
“Somewhere between Joe’s brain and the record button is a mile of self-doubt and neuroses… This is not the contrived tension of the “tortured artist” that I am so used to yawning at. It’s real, and it comes from a place that I don’t understand… He has respect for the process. He yields to it…” – I appreciate this. And I try to get out of the way of what is happening.
“We’re so accustomed to the sprawling Rolling Stones editorials that we have come to expect musicians to create absurd rationalizations for their musical choices. We neglect the more reliable experience of our own subjective creative process…” -nuf said.
“Joseph Scala wanted to write an album – and he wrote one.” -yup did.
“It’s all about the music Joe. This is your moment.” -It is, honestly. This is probably the height of satisfaction, the reward, I will get for the work I did. I will enjoy playing some of these songs once in a while. If and when I get an album printed there may be another resurgence of that feeling, but even then it will not be the same.
‘Til next time.
I played and sang all of my songs, acoustic, for Katie. After that experience, I’ve picked these songs as candidates for American Prisons:
- Bring it On
- Grounded (this was her favorite)
- Can’t Go Straight (she really liked this one)
- Take a Photograph
- Against the Mountains
- Brilliance of the Moment
These are questionable:
- Must Be You
- Come Back Down
- When it all Goes Down
Also up in the air is whether I include a few of my more recent songs, not FAWM related:
A six song disc is perfectly acceptable to me, and it reduces the stress of having to revise, edit, produce 10 or 12 songs. I would be satisfied with five or more for a release.
I am in a graphic design course, so I’m in the habit of designing things. When I got the name of the new album I couldn’t help but throw this together. Just a draft…
I think it needs to be ‘sharper.’ Darker blue, darker red, some angles on the bars.
The stars might be too much. Anyway, it was fun.
I gave my friend Matt Manning the assignment of naming the ‘album’ I wrote this Feb. He came up with:
I like it. A lot.
I didn’t do anything with the stuff I wrote last year. I’d like to be able to create a finished product from this year’s stuff. I could select a subset of songs, edit them, re-record, etc. I think the heart of this work is strong enough to do that. I don’t want to let it drag out either – keep the momentum going. I could print some copies; it would be nice to have something to offer at showcases, etc.
The prospect of this excites me. To have a bunch of mp3s on a SoundCloud page is one thing. To have a physical disc of songs is quite another. I haven’t had one in 10(!) years.
My songwriting improved this month. There is much room for improvement. I am not intimidated by this.
My greatest fear is that I have nothing more to say. After this project, I know I have more to say.
I should think bigger, both at the individual song level and with my music as a whole.
The process consumes me. Finding the right level of self-critique is brutally difficult. I don’t know if it must be that way.
Collaboration is essential for growth.
My instincts can be trusted.
I need support, encouragement and feedback.
I love to do this.
Coursera Songwriting course
So, I forgot I signed up for this. It starts today. Not sure that I am up for it now (I’m sure my wife isn’t), but I’ll give it a go and see what happens.