So, at the end of my last post, I mentioned that I was going to share about one of the ways that I have already epically failed this year and I would like to honor that by taking some time to do just that–
I can’t say that it’s a terribly interesting story, but it is pretty funny to reflect on and I hope that I can look back at it and smile (with some impactful creative accomplishments under my belt) someday.
A few weeks ago, my friend Laurel and I (check out our shared blog at www.thelifecreativityproject.blogspot.com) decided to finish up one of our many creative projects. With varying degrees of effort, we’ve had the idea for this specific project in the works for a little more than a year. It was a mash-up of many different songs to which Laurel played the piano and we both sang. It was a really exciting project for us seeing that we love music and creating things, we both have lower voices and we found some songs that we could both sing and that we generally enjoy. Each song hinted at this seemingly bittersweet theme that we loved and we were really looking forward to sharing it with people.
So when Laurel came over we decided to spontaenously pick up our project again we worked long and hard. We rearranged the music, discussed ideas, and practiced, practiced, practiced. The most time consuming part of producing this mash-up we created was the recording. We decided to record every section of the song (just the piano first) in indiviual parts and then combine them using Garage Band. We didn’t have any fancy microphones or anything like that but we did have lots of determination.
We started working around about 4:30 pm or so on this lovely Saturday evening and we didn’t finish until about 2 am. By the time we finished recording the piano (about 1:30am) we were delirious and exhausted but we were incredibly proud of our ability to accomplish something. Not only did we accomplish something, but we felt like we accomplished something that we were extremely proud of. We had great collaboration, focus, creativity, and work ethic. That’s what matters, right?
Wrong. It was around 1 or 2 am when we decided to add a rough cut of our singing to the recording of the piano music. We knew it wasn’t completely done, but we thought that’d be good enough until the next day when we could pick it back up to add the finishing touches. Still, we had pride and excitement over our project as we lived in the world of accomplishment, creativity, and endless possibility…
Then we listened to the recording.
Seriously, it was terrible. Everything about it was just horrible. I have no idea how it took us until 2 am to recognize that we had been going wrong from the beginning, but let me tell you people, we had been going wrong from the beginning!
There were scratching noises in the background, it was WAY too long, we added a few songs that earnestly just didn’t fit, and the piece as a whole literally made no sense. This was the kind of thing you would show to your friends and family before auditioning for American Idol and then they would lie to your face, telling you that it was awesome. Then you would go off to your audition, only to hear Simon Cowell tell you that you should probably give up on anything that involves music.
Granted, we aren’t bad musicians or artists. We do have good ideas. We failed, but we certainly are not failures. And I think these are the important things to recognize and remember as we go forward in life. I’m just thankful we didn’t post or send it anywhere to face the wrath of the lying friends and family or the Simon Cowell’s of the world.
I will say, failing with a friend is way more fun than failing alone. We were able to laugh about it– a lot. Not to mention, I have since gone back and listened to it to laugh many times since then. We learned a lot about the software that we were using and as crazy as it is to recognize as I look back, in our moment of revelation about how terrible we were, we were actually able to see a lot of the major things that we did wrong and fix them to create a better plan right away.
So have no fear world! We didn’t give up and we will still make this song come to life some day– we’ll just know that we had a lot of practicing, 8 straight hours of producing, and a year or so in the making to help make this one dream a reality. Hopefully the next time we record it will go a little better 😉
Here’s to all the experiences that go into (eventually) successful art.
Live, Learn, Love, & Leave a Legacy,