Sweet Dreams

Dreams are beautiful and in my opinion, meaningful. Most people disregard their dreams as “nothing” or “unknowable”, however, I want to inspire people to evaluate their dreams. This is because my experiences, as well as reading such things as “Man and His Symbols”, by C.G. Jung, have increased my awareness of the importance of this phenomenon. Jung is a great resource for the symbolic significance of dreams and information gleaned from unconscious states. He’s not a “well, your teeth are falling out because—“ kind of guy. Instead, he’s a “humans have been doing this for way too long for it to be taken so lightly, so figure out what your mind is showing you” kind of dude, among many other things.

“So, I have an idea…”

If you have ever worked on a project with me, you will recognize that phrase. It is the start to something either terrible or profound. For the past six years, I’ve been working on film and video  in the areas of writing, directing, camera operating, editing, sound design, and acting. Recently, I have shifted my focus to the sonic aspect of film. This has lead to more music (scoring) evaluation and experimentation. Of course, it helps when your husband is a musical genius (he might cringe at this description, but I will always believe it). Pasithea is one of our most recent pieces, and it has an interesting story that makes this project so special to me.

A little over a year ago I was asked to make a video to the song A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay for an event. I love music videos because they are short, you can get away with almost anything, and they are SO much fun to do. I went to iParty and Walmart for props, took some mirrors from my parent’s house, and asked my friends to put on some freaky DIY costumes. We ran around in a field dodging snakes, cows, blinding sun rays and a storm at the same time (Florida, you rock!). I’m not kidding, we waited until the clouds blocked the sun enough and filmed as much as we could before everything got blown out again. Even the built in ND filters in the Canon C-100 couldn’t help. I’m obsessed with behind the scenes footage of major films so I appreciate the sometimes painstaking process of “getting the shot”. It’s why I do what I do.

The event came and went so we uploaded the music video to Youtube. Three months of waiting for approval led to us being denied (yay copyright laws). It basically disappeared off our radar after that. Recently, Ryan and I have been brainstorming new creative projects. We remembered this video and how it was never given a chance to be great. I love the story, imagery, and imagination of it all; I felt that it needed to become ours to truly come to life. We spent a few hours watching it over and over again on mute, describing each emotional change and how the music could pair with it. I didn’t want a typical sounding pop song, so we went for a slightly more cinematic feeling. I love the imagery and soundtrack from 300 so we kept that in mind for the beginning.  This is the second song that I’ve had the honor of writing lyrics and performing (Birds In A Cage is the first) and I am so in awe of Ryan’s ability to create what I would call seemingly transcendental music in record time. Through the editing process, I usually watch my videos so much that the magic seems to wear off, so I go corner my friends and family for feedback. Pasithea is one that I can’t seem to get sick of and trust me I’ve probably watched it 100 times.

Our brains are wonderful, inconceivably complex organs. The more you allow your mind to expand to new ways of living and thinking, the richer your life may become. Dreams very well could be a key to that, and so is art and expression. So go, don’t let anything hold you back from allowing the creative juices (gross) to flow, but especially, create art that has meaning, even if it only means something to you.

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Behind the scenes on Pasithea shoot

Ode to an Olde Guitar

My first acoustic guitar I bought was a beat-to-hell Epiphone from an old pawn shop in Sarasota. The man that sold it to me had a thick eastern European accident and swore that Willy Nelson had come in and sold that small sunburst guitar. My reluctancy of his story did not keep me from buying this POS though. In fact, I think deep down his pitch worked. I wanted to be a part of the story of this guitar.

A few years later, I walked into Guitar Center and saw a buddy that ran the guitar department. As I was shitting the shoot with him, I realized that there was a beautiful old Gretsch anniversary model sitting behind the counter that was pretty beat up. Ironically, I explained to my buddy that I had come in to order a Gretsch anniversary, which no stores carried at the time. I was elated with the fact there seemed to be a used one right behind the counter. Especially since I have a very difficult time waiting for anything that has to do with instruments or gear.

When I asked him about the guitar he explained that although it was an anniversary model, it was a 1961 50th anniversary and he had just taken it in on trade. I could walk away with it for $900 which is almost $1000 less than a new anniversary model would cost.

DR DR 1 300x210 - Ode to an Olde GuitarI played the hell out of that guitar. It was hard to call it mine, because I had no idea who had played it before. The thought that this guitar has been hitting the hands of players since 1961 gave me a funny feeling that I had now jumped into a part of it’s story. A friend of mine, who I used to play in church with, started using it a lot as I began to play less often. It was used for over 5 years and never hit the floor.

Until last week when I brought it home for the first time in years…

I was so excited to have this little piece of history back with me, and I realized as soon as the guitar slid from it’s propped position on the side of my Fender Rhodes, I should have gotten a guitar stand. The sound of this old Gretsch hitting the concrete floor was almost like hearing every note that was ever played on this guitar happening simultaneously. I instantly threw up all over everything. Well, I didn’t, but I could have. As I looked in horror at the body of my fallen friend, I was happy to find that the tuner peg had snapped. Happy because that was all that snapped. And fortunately, the story of the guitar lives on to tell another day to bring resonance with a warm dry tone, that only an old guitar can give.

Maybe something is off in the wiring of my brain, or maybe it’s the fact that my wife and I don’t have any kids (yet?), but I want that guitar to live on. I want it to give the same feeling to another mid 20’s dumbass that is spending all of his money on small functional pieces of unknown history. And more than anything, I want the story to keep going.

Make Things Great

Monday morning I woke up and my mind was blank. Before I can even rationalize it to myself and conjugate my very first morning thought, I find myself trying desperately to stay in the space between awake and asleep. It is in this space that I feel together, as if I am being perfectly supported by a structure of solid symmetrical empty space in my own mind. It is peaceful, no doubt, but equally temporal and never seems to find it’s way back to me until my waking state the next morning.  After I leave this blissful state, my thoughts are absorbed with many ideas. I can get stuck in loops inside of my own head about the most trivial matters, but one thing that seems to constantly plague my mind is making things.

I was told when I was younger that I was obsessive. And I was. Cleaning and re-organizing all of my prized baseball cards, action figures or unique trinkets was a favorite pastime of mine as a kid. This soon turned to making back-yard business deals with neighboring friends and eventually buying and selling cars, motorcycles and whatever else I was interested in at the time.FullSizeRender e1500908343981 227x300 - Make Things Great

I studied, asked questions and listened closely, trying to learn as much as I could about whatever I was into during any given period. It wasn’t too long after this that I discovered writing and playing music. I was obsessed. Between the sonic stimuli crafted by beautifully designed gear, and the incomparable energy that came about from playing, I knew that I had found something I could sink my teeth into. So, I started obsessing.

When I first started developing products for musicians, this question always came into my own mind, as I am sure it did in many quietly inquisitive others: “Why”. The answer to this has taken me some great time to decipher for myself, and I don’t think it can be truly boiled down to just one answer. However, in an attempt to extract such an answer from a group of more specific answers, I have found this to be an accurate response to the question of why: “To make things great”.

What I had discovered from music was that I got it, and it got me. Not only that, but I could produce it, and in many ways, it started to produce me. I became obsessed, once again, with something. However, this time my obsession was broader. It was an obsession with making things. I started to see how an idea could become a real, material thing. But more than that, each real material thing I created was intrinsically linked to me in a way that is, even now, hard to put into words. One thing I knew for sure was that if I were the creator of anything, I wanted to look at it and not just see it as good, but great.

Unfortunately, one of the things I had to learn along the way is that nothing is really born great. Nor are things ever really great on their own. Things in general start off good at best, but it is what is done with good things that determines their greatness.

I will admit, I want my creations to be regarded as great, but at the end of the day, it is up to the artist, creator, writer or performer to take a good product, and make great things from it. I want to see the prolific creators engaged and immersed in their instruments/gear and we at Tapestry would love to be a part of that. So today, go create professional sound, and make things great.