I recall several distinct moments in my life, as they revolved around music. It’s interesting what memories surface in random tangents to what may be on the mind at any given moment . . .
When I was younger, we lived in a house that had a full, separate garage behind it, and my dad had at some point built a little music room (well, it became a music room) in the back of it, where I was able to set up my drums. We had a family band that played for the Croatian club for years, and we’d practice in this tiny room. But my favorite times were, as usual, when I was alone.
During some of these jam sessions, I discovered my singing, albeit drowned out by the chaos of live drums. It required I sing at the top of my lungs, unabashedly and without the need for volume control. When I didn’t have to think about who was listening, I could close my eyes, find a rhythm, and completely lose myself in it. Any artist will tell you, this is why we exist: we exist to transcend the moment, suspend time, and disappear into our medium of choice. If we’re creating something, we hope that when the dust settles, maybe something of it will remain that we can share with the world.
At that moment, I had a mishmash drum kit, something Ludwig with a few bits of other somethings . . . I could care less about brands, specific tuning, or even matching drumsticks because I can make music with anything. My voice, it would turn out, is still one of my favorite instruments.
I can remember the smells and some spider webs. My dad had some old gear, there were some wine bottles and winemaking equipment, old shag carpet on the floor, and plain drywall all around — some of it adorned with overspray from a juice fermenting demijohn that just couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. Acoustically, it must have been horrid. But it was a haven for an intensely introverted soul who desperately needed places to release creative energy and disappear the world from around him.
I think it’s important we make time and space for our true selves. Life can wrap us up and busy us down, and most of it is totally unnecessary bullshit. The living fragments we collect, they happen when we aren’t thinking and we’re just nakedly being. That’s the magic that no selfie could ever capture.
Some years later, when I was working in a studio, I had the opportunity to dive into recording my first albums. Most memorable, were the days when I would watch the sun go down, and then watch it come up again, still working through some mixes or ideas. I’d forget entirely that occasionally it was good to sleep a little.
Life can pull us away from this magic, time and again. That’s not to say that every breath we breathe isn’t a universe in and of itself, but we don’t often choose to live so consciously, because our world demands of us something different right now.
So, when we can, we must recapture some magic, and lose ourselves in it.
Love your life