The past couple of months have been a really busy time; starting a new job, the wife getting a new job, rehearsing for next weekend’s Supernal Endgame show, working on the “El Negocio” score, plus a 17-month-old in the house. It has been quite an effort to get much original music listened to let alone written. I tend to write best when I have a couple or more uninterrupted hours to noodle around and record snippets or develop a longer phrase. Generally that’s always been found in the late evening hours when everyone else has gone to bed. But I’m still working a lot of midday to evening shifts and by the time I get home, besides being exhausted, the clock is ticking until the baby gets up at 7am…every morning…meaning mommy and daddy do, too. So nights have become rather unproductive times musically. Although on the instrumental side I’m already pretty far along as I look towards a second album. I have about a dozen tunes completed or nearly completed and waiting for lyrics and the final tweaks before recording. The lyrics tend to live in their own world as they develop, however. I can sit much more easily and plink around to find interesting ideas on the piano even if the events of the day are occupying most of my attention, and, in fact, playing can help clear my mind…at least until I stop. But writing words requires much more focus and less distraction internally and externally. Because it’s primarily a thinking game the louder shouting of worries, plans, and “don’t forget to’s” can easily sidetrack and drown out the quieter and more subtle creative ruminations before they can get from pen to paper. It has been next to impossible to find that truly quiet time to wax poetic amid the din of mid-life responsibilities. I suppose this is one of the reasons young people are the ones who normally embark on a music career, besides youth’s willingness to immerse itself totally and recklessly in something it loves. The load of duties and tasks is not yet that great. Perhaps it’s also why many non-pro bands with more “seasoned” members take years to release an album…they’re fighting through all the distractions. Ah, me! The tragic tale of the middle-aged-amateur-musician-with-the-professional-aspirations! While I joke about it here this can be pretty depressing. The market is flooded with material, labels are too scared to take any chances, and the listener is numbed by the steady bombardment of advertising. Oh, and I don’t have a band to play shows…somehow I think that might be the biggest drawback. But building a band is much easier said than done, especially one made of older musicians trudging along with the load I described earlier, since I just don’t see myself working with 20 year-olds anymore. Plenty of energy but at a very different level of life experience. I have often thought there must be others in my position in an off-the-beaten-track musical genre, possessing a willingness to really try to make a go of music as a career, and beyond the conventionally accepted age to turn pro. Unfortunately the list of requirements does not end there. You also need people with compatible musical taste, personal stability, equal work ethic, and the skill to bring the songs to life, creatively and technically. Even as I write that it seems like an impossibly tall order! Considered in those terms it really helps one appreciate what the great and long lasting bands accomplished. Their music was only a part of their story…perhaps not even the biggest part of their story. Well, viewed that way my position is thoroughly depressing. But perhaps I will one day meet my musical soulmate(s) and the magnificent flower of our creativity will blossom. So if you know any musicians as desperate as me please send them my way.