Thursday, December 11, 2008

tie me kangaroo down, sport

i wonder if writing a blog entry is conducive to completing a composition. it takes a lot of coffee to get myself motivated to do anything, and it's a shame i have such a hard time doing what i want to do, which is compose music.

at the beginning of 2008 i promised myself that i would complete 50 minutes of music this year.

i fell short. by a lot. it's sad and ironic. i eat, sleep, and bleed music. so why don't i have the proper discipline to organize my ideas logically? the relentless touring could be an excuse, but look at frank zappa. he could write a satisfying and compelling piece for orchestra in his sleep.

the real reason is that i have the attention span of a small puppy. i've been told that it's a dopamine deficiency. one thing that helps is practicing an intense kind of yoga called bikram. when i can find the time to do it, my focus is sharp and my stress disappears. if i could begin every day with that kind of disciplinary activity, then i could probably use more of my brain.

the brain is my favorite muscle. if i could flex it more, i would. on this current tour (australia) i've been having roughly two drinks a night. not good for my brain - but good for sleep. when i am home, i will be a good boy again. i don't like drinking. it makes me ugly and stupid.

so who can help me complete 50 minutes of music by the end of 2008? can anyone crack the proverbial whip and snap me out of my fear and laziness? or is it up to my own freewill? will i stop asking myself questions? will eric begin speaking in the third person?

4 comments:

davidly said...

First: Congrats on what sounds like another successful tour-leg.

Perspective: Whatever and however you spend your time, you are on your way. That's a big plus.

Advice: One shouldn't compare oneself to others, least/most of all Zappa. If I were to compare myself to you, my being twice your age, I'd be too depressed to go on.

Motivation: I'll bet an early morning rise with meditation, and a day in your practice room/studio (everybody has one now, no?) would give you a nifty fifty in no time. If Nike hadn't stolen the slogan, I'd say that to you now. But you're smart, you know the deal.

Motivation 2.0: Count a BIG plus that you think drinking sucks. I sometimes don't go see the ones I love at parties and such because I know it'll just be a drunkfest. Sometimes, however, I find myself at such a place and soberly watch people slowly inebriate themselves, and then get the hell home and apply the fresh ideas immediately.

Practicalities: Maybe better'd be an all-nighter, instead of an early start all-dayer.

Question: Do you love it? If 'yes' is your answer, then you've got no problem at all.

Respect.

davidlyours

Norman said...

Hey Eric, lookin foreward to seeing you in April!

In response to your writing troubles I may have some useful input. I'm a bass player, and among the people I know am regarded as very good. Everyone always asks me why I don't write music, and my case is much like yours. Recently I've been getting together with a drummer buddy of mine and simply jamming out. Now here's my advice...

When we Jam I've been using this nice little hand held condensor device to record, so that we can remember what we played later on. Then I throw the jam on my iPod and over the next week or so listen to it every day in the car or while I'm working. Slowly I begin to pick things out that I particularly enjoyed, and the next time we jam I try to incorperate the things I liked and build from there. Slowly it builds and builds into a song. I got a few good things in the works based of that, I'm not sure how it would work for you as a drummer.

I hope my two cents can bring you to a dollar. See you in April!

Steve said...

Hey Eric,
I am a fifty-two year old drummer that saw you on your first trip to the Santa Fe Brewing Company along with my wife. I am a full-time student so economics forced me to miss the second trip, but couldn't have enjoyed the show more.
Anyway, considering your insane working schedule it is not surprising you find it hard to compose. davidly is correct to not compare yourself to others, especially in the company of the incredibly prolific Adrian Belew. You may have to content yourself with considering this part of your career as a "playing" time and wait until you can catch your breath to start composing. You have time. The breadth of your experience needs a little time to settle in before you can actually formulate all the music you have been playing and synthesize it into your own notions.
Enjoy what you're doing, keep your eyes and ears open and be ready when the muse taps you on the shoulder. You are doing better than anyone your age could expect.
Best,
Steve

Tickledrop said...

Hi Eric!

Practice bikram. Have no regrets.

Happy Holidays!