Out Of Tune

This week, I hit the studio, and we started mixing my new record. Listening back to one of my favorite songs, I cringed.  My vocals were all over the place.  Sometimes I was sharp, sometimes flat, and sometimes I just plain sang the wrong note. 

So I asked my producer if I could sing it again. 

This time, I sang it perfectly.  I nailed everything.  Great vibrato.  Killer high notes. Big belting low notes.  You know: the works.  I felt like a pro again, like a real singer. 

Except listening back, I hated every perfect note of it. 

I missed all the gritty bits.  The scratchy high notes.  The parts I ran out of breath. They were the good stuff.  They sold the story by making it believable.  In the end, that rough pass was the one I nailed. 

And the perfect pass was more cringeworthy than all my mistakes combined.  It sounded fake.

Reader, there's a time to prove we're good, and there's a time to be good at being authentic, at being our flawed selves.  Nobody wants art that's immaculate.  They want art that makes them feel something real.   I don't know if it helps to read, but being pitch perfect in life isn't always something to strive for.  Sometimes it's enough to get up and be the best damned you that you can be. 

With that, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving this week, and I'll see you next Monday. Get out there and be out of tune. -Em

1 comment

  • Reader
    Reader Universe
    "Reader, if you're a fellow artist, take heart in knowing there is no right way to make, during this quarantine, or ever. Listen to what calls you. In honoring that calling, you're honoring your craft." -EH You wrote this early on during the pandemic. It was a very freeing and inspiring idea to take in and I shared it with my students. In the liner notes of an early DT album he says something about there being no wright or wrong way to write a song, which was similarly freeing. The studio is just a canvas in which to create and find those happy accidents on. If writing is rewriting then why can't recording be re-recording? That said, there's certainly something beautiful about the rawness of the moment, which you liken to the first take. If you seek to continue exploring those realms, perhaps you should record that pesky live album one day ;-) You could even record a show a month for a year, then release your favorite magic. Anyhow, cheers to you, your blog, and all endeavors!

    "Reader, if you're a fellow artist, take heart in knowing there is no right way to make, during this quarantine, or ever. Listen to what calls you. In honoring that calling, you're honoring your craft." -EH

    You wrote this early on during the pandemic. It was a very freeing and inspiring idea to take in and I shared it with my students. In the liner notes of an early DT album he says something about there being no wright or wrong way to write a song, which was similarly freeing. The studio is just a canvas in which to create and find those happy accidents on. If writing is rewriting then why can't recording be re-recording? That said, there's certainly something beautiful about the rawness of the moment, which you liken to the first take. If you seek to continue exploring those realms, perhaps you should record that pesky live album one day ;-) You could even record a show a month for a year, then release your favorite magic. Anyhow, cheers to you, your blog, and all endeavors!

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