award-winning documentarian: radio + music + photography
Since recording DELVE in late September, Dave and I have been focused on the mix. This means layering tracks, bringing in voices, instruments, harmonies, ambient sound designs, and other ways to flesh out the material, fill in the gaps, and illuminate the messages in each song. In our most recent mix session, I was moved to create a sonic reflection of what happens in my brain.
A few years back my mom insisted that I read Norman Doidge, M.D.'s New York Times Bestseller "The Brain That Changes Itself".
Doidge says, "The brain can actually rewire itself, or restructure itself through thought."
When I first started to think about creating DELVE it was so terrifying. It was just a slight whisper that I shared with a couple of close friends, and wrote about in my journal.
Shortly after reading Doidge's brilliantly scientific wisdom on neuroplasticity, I started to notice a change in my life upon understanding how the brain actually works. "Neuro is for neurone the nerve cells in the brain and plasticity means plastic in the sense of changeable. And it's that property of the brain that allows it to change its structure and its function by basically three things. By responding to the world by perceiving the world, by acting in the world and by thinking and imagining. Even by those activities we can change the structure and function of our brains."
This quote leads me to share what happened a few nights ago in the mixing room.
As children, the method of surviving dysfunctional, scary, or unsafe situations is to either fight, fly away or freeze. These experiences are primal. They are universal. They are vulnerable. Our limbic brains still hold the way we perceived the world as young people. When unaware of how, as adults, we identify with the spinning limbic brain, then we loop and repeat patterns that don't serve us and get in the way of our individual and collective human potential. DELVE is an invitation to be curious about this circuitry, and how it has the capacity to change itself.
In the mix room, I recorded myself speaking all of the phrases that live in my limbic brain when activated. Phrases such as "I'm not enough. I don't have enough. I don't save enough. I'm not responsible enough. I'm not smart enough. I can't hold boundaries with my kids well enough. I'm failing." It is really rather intense when my brain gets into that funk, it is also the engine of my creativity and pursuit to heal.
Dave and I recorded four different tracks of me speaking what happens when I'm spinning, then we wove it all together in a cacophony of sound. This sonic montage will be the very first thing heard on DELVE just before the song "Trust Myself". It is so utterly vulnerable to share all of this, yet I know I'm not alone. My gut tells me these voices reflect a universal truth of what it is to be human.
By bringing this montage forward, there is a feeling of levity in my heart. Like a dark unpolished secret lifted, outed and exposed. When we speak truth out loud, even if it is painfully uncomfortable, there can be a release and a re-organization. I hope my music holds others in this release. Perhaps if we are collectively more connected and loving toward our limbic brains, then maybe, just maybe a ripple effect of light can permeate our global nervous system, one heart at a time in the midst of this deeply disturbing era.