I’m coming towards the end of a few projects; one of which is my debut album. It’s taken the best part of 18 months to write, rehearse and record the music and I’m finally at a stage where I can mix and master the tracks. I had a productive session in the studio a few days ago, but realised I was becoming evermore impatient and resentful. To say the least it’s been a long process trying to get everything accomplished. And as I’m both so close to the finish line and keen to have the ‘product’ completed I’m conscious that I’m rushing the final stages.
The issue being that these final hurdles are the most integral for they dictate the standard and quality of the project’s presentation and execution. The eagerness to which I’m trying to conclude the album is at both personal and musical expense. Of course, there’s both time and financial pressure to get it finished, but I’m cutting corners that are enabling further stress and dissatisfaction. I was willing as of the other day to take the initial mix of each tracks and get them mastered at another studio there and then. I recognise it a mindless decision without giving myself the time to churn the mixes over, to gather respective feedback from trustworthy sources and to see whether I’d need to alter elements of the recordings to improve them. I want the project to be the best it can be and to really reflect the work invested over the past months, but with the current direction to which I’m heading the project will, undoubtedly, end in disappointment for me and my comrades.
I gave myself the morning off to evaluate the situation and work out how to best proceed. I’ve concluded that it’s important that I take the time to get it right. Clearly it needs finishing at some point so I can’t diddle-dally over every inconsequential detail otherwise it’d never get done. But to ‘produce the goods’ to the best of my abilities I need to be rest assured that I can invest that extra time and money if needed to ensure that I do the project justice. I want it to be something of which I’m proud in the long and short term. After all, why bother put out something substandard to that which I am fully capable? By taking a more ‘it gets done when it gets done’ mindset (within reason) gives me freedom to deliver without distracting strain and anxiety.
A brief thought in relation to musical projects in general is that we don’t rush them. Be patient, be accepting and if needs be go back to drawing board. For projects to both achieve success and be the best they can be, they need the appropriate time and investment. I’ll revisit this post in a few weeks time to let you know the outcome and how I got on.
Thomas Solomon Gray