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New Release – Bisecting a Circumference: Why I Did It

March 22, 2012

There will be people who will doubtless hear the flaws and wonder what I could have been thinking, releasing the material before it was perfected. The simple answer is, it was time.

Time to let go, time to stop obsessing, time to open up, time to receive feedback (positive AND negative), time to accept that the first proper album is going to have flaws. I could sit and tweak and rerecord and perfect those tracks to within an inch of their lives, but it wouldn’t be any fun for me any more, and I’m sure that lack of fun would translate. A ll I can hope for from the process is that my abilities increase enough in the making of the new album (already in progress) that there will be fewer imperfections and more fun will be had.

A funny thing happens when you listen to a flawed track enough times: either you learn to hate the song and refuse to listen to it any more, or you learn to like the flaws and love the song, warts and all. What I learned from this process was to fix tunes that have problems I don’t like, and when I get to the point where the flaws start sounding good to me and the rest sounds great, I stop and move on. It’s the only way I can keep sane.

The important thing for me to accept is that, at this point in my life, I’m not a true professional musician. I’m an impoverished writer, artist and songwriter, and I play a handful of instruments passably. That’s it. I haven’t spent the last thirty-something years of my life honing my musical skills to the peak of human perfection. I’ve been a dilettante, picking up whichever instrument suited me when it suited me, or as is more often the case, when I have a song that needs to be recorded to get it out of my head.

For me, it really, truly has been about getting songs out of my head. Recording is my version of compartmentalizing. It’s therapeutic, really. I believe they’re really good songs, or I’d just keep them to myself, but I can’t allow myself to sit on them the way I have been, as if trying to hatch them. It doesn’t help, and it doesn’t suit my work style, either. I can be amazingly proficient if I just keep working at speed and try not to sweat the things that can be polished up later.

I’m not an Autotune kinda guy, either. I’d rather you hear the flaws than hear artificial perfection. I know we’re all conditioned to expect flawlessness, but when I hear Autotuned notes, I cringe. I can hear it, and most of the time, I don’t like it. Better to cut it out entirely than to leave in this artificial artefact that has no way of properly blending with the rest of the real performance without being conspicuous. It’s like trying to ignore a fake moustache. Once you know it’s there, you can’t NOT look.

So that’s it, really. I just reached the point, after listening to the tracks for two years and change, where I realized I didn’t have enough people clamouring for me to go back and polish up the tracks any further, so I went back and remixed the tracks I couldn’t live with until they sounded palatable , and let the rest do the heavy lifting. It’s a flawed album for flawed times. And I like it.

No, correction. I love it. Just as it is.

Well, except for the gaps between the tracks. I might go back and fix those.




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