Why I Make Music…

I make music because of the place that it comes from.  The state I am in when I am making it.  That place where time disappears and everything else dissolves.  The place where fierce joy rises up, unbidden, like golden light filling a well.

That is why I make music.

I believe that this state is communicable thru music.  And that the communication of this state is something as vital and important to us as food, or air, or love.

For me, that is the value of great art.

I am still recording every night; from around midnight till maybe 5 in the morning.

This is my favourite part of the day.  It doesn’t feel like I have a deadline; it feels almost indecently pleasurable, like rolling in ice cream.  The music is a distillation of all the greatest moments from this practice.  It is concentrated joy in a bottle.  It is captured lightning.  It is my love.  By the end of this week I should have a useable draft of the album in all it’s crazy, light filled, lo-fi glory.

I did some math and worked out that I have spent well over 1000 hours this year solely working on the record.  It will be the distillation of over 1000 hours, into 1 hour of sound.  My most truthful sketches, the most inspired moments captured with a butterfly net and poured over a hard drive, like honey on your tongue.

There is still work to be done; I know this because I still have time.  I will work on this record up until the day I release it.  I don’t have any days off scheduled in the next 6 weeks.  It is going to be the very best it can be.  I can’t wait to give it to you.

It isn’t going to sound like a super produced pop record.  It is going to sound real; like somebody playing and singing their heart out sometime after midnight.  It is going to sound bare bones, lo fi and gorgeous.  A record made in my home studio, using equipment held together with love and duct tape.  Beautiful,  honest and vulnerable.

It is as close to the truth as I can get.  Soon, soon, soon. 😉

Did you like this?

If you enjoyed this you may also like: my post about how my blog gained more than 15’000 followers in less than 3 years, my essay concerning the greatest book of advice ever written, or the post which reveals the real (and Taboo) secret behind my success.


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112 Comments

  1. Hi James, I listened to a few tracks and immediately became excited. My son just started publishing some of his music. Some of it is very “interesting”, lol. I enjoy it, but some just don’t get it. He just started on Bandcamp as well. His name is Anthony Bannach. ( Anthonybannach.com ) I am going to refer him to your music as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi James
    I appreciate your interest in my blog..many thanks for your visit. Your music is beautiful and rich….my son, Finn Le Marinel (also a musician working in Scotland) introduced it to me some time ago. it is good then to ‘meet’ you.
    Jac

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there,
      You are most welcome, really good work.
      Thanks for your kind words about the music, really glad you like it – stay tuned, there is more coming very soon and it surpasses all I have done before.
      It is very good to ‘meet’ you too 😉
      Have a good one, and thanks again,
      – J

      Like

  3. Finally, someone who understands. I try to convey this as well to my students as something to strive for. Most piano teachers teach their students how to read the notes exactly as they are written exactly how it was taught to them but they never learned how to play the music inside them. They end up teaching the creativity right out of them with the fear of hitting a “wrong” note. Many years of piano lessons as a child turns them into an adult who never plays anymore because they can only play the written notes.

    When I play – and I record when I play, because I have no idea what I’m going to play and I couldn’t repeat it. I don’t even listen back, often for days, and I have no remembrance. It’s a great feeling to let go and just let my fingers play how I feel, crawling inside my piano. I recently played one back for an older student ( 71 ). She said “That sounds like leaves falling.” She didn’t know the title was ” The Fallen”

    Now that I have a better understanding of your relationship to your music I’m ready to go listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is really beautiful, thankyou.
      Having read your comment, I would recommend beginning with ‘Invocation’. It is a piece that I recorded, pretty much as you describe, using only acoustic cello, voice, and a loop pedal.
      Have a great day,
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I listened to all three of your pieces. I hope to hear more. It is easy to see the time you have put into it. It feels so good to make music. Sometimes I don’t play something back for days and listen to it as a listener would. I played one back to day and I didn’t remember playing it. That was strange.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So very inspirational! You gave me back my very soul! I used to feel the exact same way about my writing. I now go off in search of the same wonder! I hope to be the very same kind of independent artist as you. Real and vulnerable, with an oozy rawness that comes from direct sense experience. Thank you! Thank you! So many times, thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Beautiful and very inspiring. Your descriptions about your way to perceive and pursue your creations, and the whole process, your dedication to your Art is beautifully expressed! It is very motivational for others, and I am agree that this should be your Artist’s statement Congratulations for all your great work!

    Like

      1. Thanks you are giving me a smile too, and yes my day is going great! Just you know I am going to post a Meet and Greet post in a few it’s not up yet but it will soon I would love for you to post a link to your wonderful blog please…

        Like

  6. I like reading about the process you go through to create music, and can relate to much of it. (Perhaps not the hours. But the feelings, yes.) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your music. All the best.

    Like

  7. And this is passion. One of the characteristics I like about humans. Having passion for what you do, whatever it is. It does inspire others, at least me.

    By the way, from midnight to 5 a.m recording, you´re neighbour probably an old lady is probably about to jump out the window……

    Like

  8. Music feeds the soul. The soul is worthless without it. I hail from a family who is into music.My mother is a lyricist,composer and a singer as well. My husband is a singer as well as a keyboardist and my 8yr old daughter is a singer as well.
    I can relate to your passion towards music and the knack towards it. Please keep the up the good work of making music and writing as well. I shall definitely buy your music 🙂
    And if any day you would want to experiment with Indian music and get some infos as well than you know where to hit 🙂 . Shall be more than happy to help you with it 🙂

    Peace and Love ~
    Dipti

    Like

    1. Hey Dipti,

      It’s nice to meet you. Thanks for taking the time to reach out – it means a lot to me. 😉
      Let me know what you think of the music, I would love to hear your thoughts on it, and I will for sure bear you in mind if I should venture towards Indian sounds. 😉
      Kisses,
      – J

      Like

    1. Thankyou in return. I really appreciate your words.
      I think I’d be lost without music too. Life would definitely be… less colorful, no? 😉
      And Thankyou for taking the time to send across your thoughts,
      Have a great day,
      – J

      Like

  9. Hey James! Sounds like you make music because you have to, because it’s a part of your very soul. I know that feeling, only for me it’s not music, it’s writing stories and poetry. I couldn’t stop writing even if I wanted to.
    Thanks for liking my poem 😀

    Like

  10. You had me at ‘indecently pleasurable, like rolling in ice cream’ 🙂

    I totally get the ‘staying up all night, lost in time’ effect of making music (or any soul expression). One upon a lifetime ago, I was making music too.. I Loved the songwriting process, I disliked performance, a lot. It never felt natural to me… I still write and I’m creating in much the same fog as I was then, only I feel more aligned with what I’m doing now. I’ve always said, you’ll never be alone if you nurture creativity… that gives me so much comfort. Congratulations on your album James 🙂

    Like

    1. Hey there,
      Thankyou so much. I know exactly what you are saying and I agree COMPLETELY. 😉
      That feeling of being aligned with whatever it is that you are doing is priceless.
      Thankyou so much for dropping by and for taking the time to write to me.
      Hope your day is awesome,
      – J

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the way you’re describing your love for what you do.
    you know when words convey feelings as if the person is standing in front of you with sparkling eyes, telling you all about their love for a particular thing? That’s how I felt when reading the post.
    Wishing you all the best!

    Like

  12. Thank you so much James for coming over to my work. God Bless you! I remember you many years ago on TV and I don’t want to boost that ego too much but you were amazing. I too like to work from 12-5am it is my favourite time too. I don’t own a TV any more but I saw how genuine you are and I feel it through your words. Take care x

    Like

  13. This is an excellent post James, and one I can really relate to!

    I remember when I was younger and starting out in stand up/acting, when people would tell me how lucky I am that I know what I want to do with my life. I never fully appreciated that at the time, as I was so focused on writing/performing and pushing forward with everything. I’ve learned how important it is to stop and realise how lucky I (and you, and all of us who are creative and able to have an outlet for it) am/are, as we get to do something that we love and that other people can appreciate and enjoy too.

    Congratulations on the album too James, it’s a real achievement and I’ll definitely be buying a copy!

    🙂

    Like

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks so much for this, it really made me smile 😉
      You are totally right of course. It seems to be a rare thing at the moment, for someone to both: know what they really want to do, and to be doing it. Without a doubt, it is one of the greatest gifts.
      When you get the album, please let me know what you think of it, I’d be really interested.
      Have a great day, and thanks again for getting in touch and making me smile,
      – J

      Like

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    I Ԁo not know who you aгe but ceгtainly yοu’re ցoing to a famous blogger if you arеn’t
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    Like

  15. Hi James,

    I really believe I can understand when you say that.

    “I make music because……of the place that it comes from. The state I am in when I am making it. That place where time disappears and everything else dissolves. The place where fierce joy rises up, unbidden, like golden light filling a well.”

    I’m really glad for you, man. \º/
    Make your dream become real!!
    Congrats,

    Like

    1. Thanks a lot my friend, really appreciate it. 😉

      To be honest, my dream HAS become real. I live well as an independent musician, I get to make music and write all day everyday and connect with people who are into it. That’s pretty much all I’ve every wanted.
      So, thanks for the kudos, I am going to send that wish right back at you.
      Hope your dreams come true as well, whatever they may be. 😉
      Be well, thanks for stopping by,
      – J

      Like

  16. “The place where fierce joy rises up, unbidden, like golden light filling a well.” Beautiful sentence capturing so accurately the experience. Thanks for this, James. Listening to your album and I hear in tone and rhythm what you said here in words. Keep it up.

    Like

  17. Reblogged this and commented:
    Hi James, I enjoyed your blog very much and I am going to reblog some of your content because I find you are truly an example that defines an indie artist. I look forward to reading and sharing more content.

    Like

  18. I so believe in what you are saying. I have always been on to say that music can enrage the beast, but another form could make it turn into a cuddly teddy bear. I know nothing about writing or singing to the masses. Very nerve racking. I listened to your trailer. You have a very unique vibe. I like it! Keep playing you pr heart out

    Like

    1. Hey there,
      thanks very much, it means a lot to me.
      Music can do a lot of things, it can put you to sleep, or make you want to go to war – it runs the entire gamut of human emotion. I really love it, but I think that you get that from the article. 😉
      Glad to speak to you,
      – J

      Like

    1. First, sorry for the late reply, I am just back from some time away.
      Second – I have not heard of an ‘official artist statement’ before, but am really happy that you (presumably) liked a thing that I wrote enough to think that it could be it. (That is a very oddly put together sentence).
      Thanks for connecting, it is really good to meet you,
      I wish you well,
      – J

      Like

  19. If I could have one gift, it would be the ability to make music. It’s great to hear of someone who appreciates and makes the most of that gift. I wish you well with it, and the new album.

    Like

  20. Hi James – Thanks for visiting my blog and “liking” my poem. I read somewhere that the only art more beautiful than poetry is music. Your dedication to your art is admirable and so inspiring. I hope to get the chance to listen to your music.

    Like

    1. Ahh, thankyou so much, you are very sweet. 😉
      I love poetry, just really really do.
      You should totally listen to my music! It is badass! 😉 You can get it thru my store page.
      You have brightened my day, have a good one,
      – J

      Like

  21. I do miss doing the very same thing quite a bit, but my hand just doesn’t seem to work the same as it used after a work related injury. I quit for so long, and so much has changed in my life that I just don’t know where to start anymore.

    Like

    1. I am sorry to hear that my friend. music or any kind of art can be a true, vital pleasure in our lives.
      I hope that you find something that fulfils the same need, and I hope that you continue to heal well.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      – J

      Like

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