award-winning documentarian: radio + music + photography
Happy New Year! 2014 is going to be a powerful one.
The final mix for the album is underway. We will be ready to get the album mastered in two weeks and once the mix is 100% set, then time for CD duplication. In parallel with mixing, I've been working closely with the very talented Philip Wood on the DELVE CD design.
This process has been cathartic and frightening, yet, overall, the ease of creative flow has been on my side. Time constraints, boundaries and goals, I find, allow for creativity to move forward, sort of like the imminence of giving birth. There is a power that takes over when we catalyze something so much bigger than us. A light bursts through the dark, guiding our way through the hidden forest within where everything is as it is.
That said, I had a moment when Izzy, my 8 year-old son, was listening to the sound montage leading into the song Trust Myself. I was curious to see his response and noticed he was shocked by it. Then, I felt nervous. "Do I want this out there? It is SO raw. Perhaps too raw." I asked him what he thought. "Mom, is that what happens inside of your head?" I responded, "Sometimes, yes, when I feel afraid, but then I write about my feelings or share them with the people I love, or make art or move them through yoga or dance." Izzy said, "When I feel afraid I just tell you or Daddy and then it goes away." "Yes, love, hard experiences happen to all of us and if they don't get talked about and moved then those feelings can get stuck inside of us, sometimes for our whole lives." He heard me although I don't think he completely understood. Then I thought to myself, "Do I keep it in? Do I edit? Shit! What if my great-grandchildren listen to this and think their great-grandma was insane?"
These voices are real, honest and taboo. These are not just my voices. They are voices that reflect a broken culture in the midst of transforming itself through us, the people who create it. And even if these particular words of "I'm not smart enough. I'm too much. I'm not enough. I'll never have enough money. I'm not responsible enough" are not everyone's words, we all have our own voices. They might be "I'm suffocating or I'm not lovable." They might be "I have to do everything myself or everything will fall apart or I'm alone and disconnected." Whatever the voices are, they can overtake us humans when we feel afraid or threatened. So, this montage is intended to normalize that which is taboo in the culture. "Don't show your weakness" and "Never let them see you sweat" are the marketing mantras I remember from childhood, not to mention the inheritance of the perfect 1950's narrative.
I find that we are living in times of transparency, authenticity and in search for meaning and true connection. Fascinating that these trends come at a time when technology and editing who we are and what we have to say gets projected out unlike any other time in human history.
So, with that, during my solo hike up in the Berkeley hills last week, I came upon this striking visual moment to welcome in 2014. It inspired me to write in my journal: "When we are open, new doors show up. When we are willing to be vulnerable and brave, we have the courage to step through these doors into the wide unknown. The ripple effect of this movement lasts for generations to come, but for now, it is written in a white funky font right here."
And, my wish for DELVE in 2014 is to generate seeds of connection, empathy, and healing so that we have the vision and courage to co-create a better place to live for us, our children, our grandchildren and many generations to come.
For all of us, may 2014 be filled with courageous acts of kindness, both for ourselves, for the people around us, and, hence, for our global village.
DELVE is almost complete. Dave and I have finished the rough mix for all but one and a half songs which need more complex sound design work. We are on schedule and will be done by mid January.
Yesterday I had a photo shoot with Andrea Scher of Superhero Life. Her tagline is "No Capes, Just Courage". I do love that line and I love her. She is such a great woman in my life. In 2011, Andrea was one of the first friends with whom I shared the seed for DELVE.
I think this image she captured just might be the album cover.
Someone recently asked me what I think it means to delve, why I chose this title for my album, and what is my plan once it is done. These mighty, essential questions have been marinating in my brain, my heart, my soul.
To delve is the determination to become the best version of ourselves in this tiny little blip of life. Can we dare to feel the pain and discomfort of our own human brokenness to eventually realize there is nothing to fix? From there, I'm finding, creative force lives. DELVE is for those of us who choose to sit in that unknown and face that which scares us. It is an invitation to examine how we might hold and transform trauma that lives in our cells, inherited from our families and ancestors. Essentially, it is an invitation to craft our own living, breathing story in real time and trust that we humans are ultimately here to love. We are social animals designed to connect. From the moment each of us were born, our hearts were wide open to receive contact from a warm, loving presence. That basic need never ends, even if it hides deep beneath a shattered heart. As the great poet and musician Leonard Cohen so wisely wrote, "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
As a mother, I am learning to give to myself in the way I have given to my kids. With this, there is a re-wiring, a re-learning to trust myself, trust in this epic mysterious phenomenon of which we are all a part, and trust that mystical dance between myopic fortitude and graceful surrender.
This album is both an expression of what I have learned in the trenches of motherhood as well as a reflection of what is possible when we get out of our own way to explore that which our soul longs to uncover. I've come to realize that on the other side of paralyzing fear is liberation. That said, from this vantage point there are new levels and layers of change here and ahead.
Just deciding to make this album was a tremendous hurdle. Once I crossed that threshold, it began to flow. Then it was the Kickstarter campaign, then recording at Fantasy, then mixing....one hurdle after the next. It has sort of been like climbing a steep mountain, not knowing how on earth I'll reach the top, afraid I might not get there. Then I do. One step at a time. One day at a time. There is an uncanny thrill of being afraid and going toward that fear only to find stellar views overlooking the vast mountain range of lush forest and deep blue ocean. I turn my head to realize yet another climb is ahead.
Now, my next hurdle is bringing DELVE to the world. There are a myriad of possible directions to pursue and I am taking the time to be curiously uncomfortable with this unknown. I need to remember that I had no idea what songs were going to come through but I set a goal to write 10 of them between Feb 2012 - Feb 2013. The path forward is making itself clearer each day.
Then, last night I stayed up crazy late and inspired reading a Fast Company article about Matt Pincus, an outlier in the music business. I sense his fascinating, underdog approach is informing my next steps. Percolation continues.