Create Over Critique Seeing a project through despite having reasons not to

A couple of days ago I stayed up until 6 am mixing and mastering a new song that Genevieve Artadi had just finished recording. I think I started at 10 or 11 p.m. the night before, so a pretty standard amount of time for a mix/master with this type of song. After finishing the mix and revisions (and sleeping a few hours), I processed the whirlwind of activities and thought about it from a teacher/mentor perspective. There were many cool lessons that I learned from the experience, but the thing I kept thinking about is how Genevieve left no room for fear, self-doubt or negativity through the whole process.

Blood Bath Big

 

Friends, colleagues, former students and students seem to consistently share stories of how they have ideas for a certain project but need one thing or another to happen before they can start/finish. Maybe we feel we need a certain technical setup. Perhaps we want to wait until we get a certain budget. It could be that we feel like they want the finished product to be better than what we are capable of and they procrastinate. Maybe we want to practice things more before starting/finishing.

The list of reasons not to start, continue and/or finish a project is always going to be endless. On this project, it was really interesting to see how Genevieve pushed through so many barriers to make this song and video happen – within less than a week.

She wrote all of the music and lyrics and recorded everything into Garage Band. For those of you who don’t know, Garage Band is a free music program that comes with every Apple computer. After a couple of days she had all the lyrics and music written and recorded the vocals (again, all in Garage Band). Then she invited some friends over to her house and recorded them playing over the track. She wanted to make a video but had issues with her camera. So she ended up just using her built-in laptop camera for the whole video. Once all the tracks were recorded and edited she gave me the individual tracks and I started to mix. She started working on recording herself for the video and then did all the video edits – she didn’t sleep until 10 pm the next night. But when it was all said and done, she made a really honest piece of art that her fans will enjoy for a very long time.

The reason I wanted to document this is because I thought it could really help all of us when we become overly critical of our process or product or gear. Not all things happen as quickly as this song did. I’ve written some songs that take weeks, some that take months and some that take hours – each is different. No matter what the timeline is, the important thing is to not give in to the many reasons not to create and see our visions through. Paint our paintings on pizza boxes, write our poems on napkins, create new music on free programs that come with our computers – it’s all valid as long as the intent, emotion, feel and personality come out in the finished work.

Here is Blood Bath by one of my favorite artists Genevieve Artadi (I have a small cameo. And yes, I realize I need acting classes to hang). It was released today and none of it existed a week ago.

Click here if you can’t see the video.

You can purchase the track by clicking here if you like it and want to support Genevieve.

  • thankyou! This definitely rings true for me, may take some time to process and let the thoughts sink in enough to really make a difference but this is really helpful. Also <3 Genevieve and Knower. Some siiiiiick bass in this track too 🙂

    • Thanks for reading and hope it helps. Yes, a very sick bass part in this one!

  • Stewart

    Awesome video and song. Loved how the bassist’s headphones fell off and it just created a nice space in his solo. Artistic serendipity, no edits!!

    • Thanks Stewart, I agree! I didn’t know his headphones had fallen off until after I finished the mix. I thought it was cool how he left all that space there when mixing. Amazing recovery by Logan!

      • Stewart

        I’ve got to say…the talent level of these kids (kids to me lol) is OFF THE CHARTS. This music is miles ahead of the dross that gets major airplay. We’re so lucky to have Cole, Artadi et al around!

  • Paul Clement

    Great post Michael, and very inspiring. I have WAY too many half finished tracks sitting on my laptop and your writing (and Genevieve) have inspired me to get cracking and just put them out there warts and all. I’m not a professional but it’s still important to FINISH something. Thanks! A friend of mine tells a story about his dad teaching him how to sail, and saying if you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never go…

    • Thanks Paul. I’m glad you found it inspiring. Best of luck on the tracks too!