New CD on the Way, and Words from Jane Fonda

After nearly a year, I am in the final stages of preparing a new CD for release. It is called “The Ride”, and is by far the work I’m proudest of to date as a songwriter and singer. Working again with producer Soren Young, we have both grown as individuals and in our working relationship. The songs are a bit more “orchestral” and “pop-ish” than most of my previous works, along with concise, catchy melodies and lyrics about life, relationships, loss, joy, and dreams – thus, the “ride” of life. Vocally and musically I pushed myself into new arenas and it has taken my music to a new level.

In the studio recording vocals for the CD, "The Ride"

In the studio recording vocals for the CD, “The Ride”

As I was writing songs for this CD, I found myself writing a lot about the ups and downs of life, in particular, enjoying life along with the pain of having unfulfilled dreams. The second track on the CD is a song titled, “I Lived”. It is one of the most personal songs I’ve written., and the chorus sums it up pretty well – “Things may not turn out just the way that I wanted. But when my life is over, I will say ‘I lived'”. A lot of what I’ve expressed on this CD is my view that life is a journey and an experience, and no matter how it turns out. It’s “the ride” that is your life. Years ago, my first acting teacher, Gordon Phillips, explained to my class that if an actor is only concerned about results – winning the Oscar, making millions, or things like that – he or she will not be a happy actor even if they accomplish any of those things. If the actor loves the process of acting, he or she will be a happy actor no matter what the result. I never forgot that. I think it also applies to life. Results are not what make a life – they are brief moments, seconds out of years. It is the living, the experiences, the joys, the pains – all of which make a life. I’ve certainly had my share of disappointment and loss, especially in the past decade. It has changed my attitude with regard to pain. I see it as part of life, not something to avoid. In fact, I don’t think it is possible to avoid it. It needs to be felt and embraced and moved through. Avoiding it doesn’t make it go away, it only keeps it around and then it comes out in different forms. One has to go through pain not around it. Once I let myself grieve, I reached a point where the pain was bearable. But I needed to go through the pain and feeling of hopelessness in order to get there. Our culture is misguided in that it keeps telling us to avoid pain – which is inevitable at some point. Life would be much easier if we allowed ourselves to experience it and move through it. Nothing lasts forever, not pain or even joy.

I’m trying to find new ways to get my music in the ears of more people. The web is a double edged sword – it has the capacity to reach millions of people, and at the same time, there are now millions of songs on the web. It is a challenge to find ways not to disappear into the mass of songs on the web. One thing I’m going to do differently this time – I intend on releasing several music videos with this CD, including a few animated ones. My past life as a graphic designer has finally come in handy!

In between writing and recording, I’ve been acting in many web series (four since January alone). It has been fun playing so many different characters. I’m asked all the time by people that saw my one-man-show, “Mental Creatures”, if I’m going to do it again. I hope to perform it again at some point, but producing another run is too much for me to take on at the moment.

I’m biting my nails (so to speak) with excitement at the upcoming release of “The Ride”, and will post all details here once they are finalized. I don’t yet have a definite release date (the songs are still being mastered, and the CD artwork is still being created), but it looks like it will be released in the next 3 months or so. As soon as I have the date, I’ll be sure to post it (here, as well as in my Newsletter, on Facebook and Twitter).

I’ll leave you with a quote from the actress, Jane Fonda. I love this quote and it definitely relates to this post:

You don’t learn from successes; you don’t learn from awards; you don’t learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that’s the truth.” – Jane Fonda

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