For the day that’s in it.

The more frustrated I get, the more stress I feel. The more stressed I am, the more anxious I become. As my anxiety levels rise, the less confidence I have in myself, and my self-confidence is very low at the best of times. The less confident I become, the more depressed I become, the ridiculous any idea of self-worth becomes.
You can see how I’ve discovered a genuine perpetual motion machine here.

I don’t know where to start.

On top of that I compound these problems with several horrible mechanisms:

  • I want instant results.
  • I prevaricate (so many things need done, where to start, start nothing).
  • I reach an initial goal then abandon.

Baby steps.
One thing at a time.
– Break down each task to subtasks and handle all prep first and in the right order.
– Study, practice & take measured risks to assess progress *
– Reflection before & after action is important *
– “make time” rather than “find time” *

So how can I improve? Where do I start?

  • I can make time for all the things I want to do.
  • I can get up earlier to be at the gym for 8:30am.
  • I can enable this by getting to bed and ready to sleep by midnight.
  • When I can I will cycle to work.
  • I can set aside that hour after dinner to study for work.
  • I can practice my instrument for 15 mins a day, after studying.
  • On the weekends I can do study music.
  • I can aim to be studying for work 3x a week.

And that’s a simple plan.

And now, three weeks into the New Year, I’ve stuck to the 3x a week gym attendance regime for a 6 weeks. Getting up at 7am is an established thing now, preparing breakfast and lunch in the evening is bedding in. It’s going to be OK.

*some strong advice perfectly summed-up by BJC. Thank you Barry.

How to be successful (however you quantify that).

  1. Stop always being distracted. Focus on what’s in front of you.
  2. Stop only talking the talk. Don’t discuss goals, discuss steps already taken.
  3. Stop spending time with the wrong people. Create a supportive network.
  4. Stop always focusing on the negative. You can be realistically positive.
  5. Stop procrastinating. Do it now: only do it later if you will do it better later.
  6. Stop not listening to others. Ask, listen, care, repeat.
  7. Stop giving in to laziness. Get off your arse. Go out. Have new experiences.
  8. Stop not being curious. Ask questions, learn more.
  9. Stop not being nice.
  10. Stop giving up. You may only need to try once more.

A final chapter for the year of song.

So here it is, the final installment. The closing chapter of a year-long work. This album is the fourth phase, the Autumn section, from August to October 2016.
 
I’m quite satisfied with this collection; I came up with some songs that are amongst the strongest I’ve written but there’re also some experimental tracks that may not be easy listening.
Of the four albums in this cycle, this one has perhaps the fewest unsuccessful pieces and includes the project’s finale song Trenton, New Jersey, of which I’m very proud. Guest vocals on that track from Martin Byrne.

Bonus tracks galore!!

The 2018 re-record, remix & remaster of The Grunderhunter!!
Experimental soundworlds The Skittering and Handmade Arpeggio!
And from WeeklyBeats2016, the Lovecraft inspired They Return to Claim What is Theirs and instrumental guitar piece Loaded Dice!

Album number TWO!

Well friends I’ve finished compiling all the details and here it is, the second part of my Year of Songs project. This album covers the period from the 31st of January until the 24th of April 2016. It has some successes, like Blind (Instrumental) and Quenelles, a Trio (this is possibly my favourite from the whole year), but also has the first couple of proper failures where I was reaching for something that I genuinely could not achieve at the time. Still – it was a learning experience!

It’s available to buy or to stream for free over on Bandcamp!
SAWFAY II – Spring

Happy listening and have a great weekend!

That’s the Message

My current project, a Song A Week For A Year number 24 – ‘That’s the Message’ on #SoundCloud

This piece started off inspired by Black Heart Procession, but then traveled through Gravenhurst and latter day Nick Cave.
Once again, it’s a bit dark. I started work on the lyrics before I’d completed all the instrumental parts and for once I had the time to come up with a text I’m happy with. The downside of this being that I ran out of time to work on the drum programming. Swings and roundabouts!
Becca Allen joined in on backing vocals and autoharp.

Here is the continuing playlist for the project so far:

Portents and Auspices

Rob Brezsny has this to say, directly to me:

A bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc wine from 1947 sold for $304,000. Three bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1869 went for $233,000 apiece. The mystique about aged wine provokes crazy behavior like that. But here’s a more mundane fact: Most wine deteriorates with age, and should be sold within a few years of being bottled. I’m thinking about these things as I meditate on your long-term future, Sagittarius. My guess is that your current labor of love will reach full maturity in the next 18 to 20 months. This will be a time to bring all your concentration and ingenuity to bear on making it as good as it can be. By September of 2017, you will have ripened it as much as it can be ripened.

And frankly, I like this. That I’ve finally begun writing music again seems to frame the above rather neatly.