This year I’ve made some blog entries about my “guitar experience” due to that fact that I’ve now been playing guitar for 10 years 🙂
In my first entry I wrote about how I feel about art and creativity in general. Why Become An Artist? My Take On The Profession.
In my second entry I wrote about making the decision to pick up the guitar. My reason for playing, why it can be hard sometimes to make the leap and my reasoning for pursuing my passion.
I continued with a 3rd entry where I wrote about my disastrous first audition and 20 practise tips that I believe would be good for any musician to check out.
I went on to a 4th entry, which was meant to be humorous, describing my attempts at putting my First Band together back in high school.
This is my 5th and last entry.
So what now?
Well I left you guys with me sleeping happily in my snug bed in Chicago, dreaming of an arts degree, my guitar laying next to me collecting dust.
That scenery changed relatively quickly.
Because Life is funny sometimes.
It seems to me that you can have all the plans in the world but then *pooof* it’s all gone. Life takes weird turns when you least expect it to.
It is almost as if thought that whenever you think you have control, then life teaches you differently, You don’t really have as much control as you think you have, in fact you have to get used to dealing with chaos and the unpredictable.
Due to some unforeseen events, I found myself back in the Norwegian mountains.
All of my super-awesome plans were blown apart like a house of cards.
I now found myself sitting up there in the picturesque fjord land, unable to return to my home.
Due to the difference in the education systems I found myself at an unpredicted crossroad.
Was I to wait 5 months before I could return to my home, or was I at the age of 17 going to move out into my own apartment, provide for myself and officially move back to the old country to finish my education there, all on my own?
The problem was that I did not want a traditional education and I was only applying to art school since my parents insisted on a college degree. Yet I had always felt that, you don’t need a teacher to teach you how to be creative. They give you the tools, but the three greatest assets when it comes to art is: your eyes, your creativity and how obsessive you are. With music? pretty much the same, just swap the eyes for the ears.
So I decided to go for the great unknown, as usual ,and found myself therefore spending months in the company of my most loyal friend: music.
I tried to jam with the few others who played instruments there, my age….but guess what? There were 4 guitar players and 1 drummer and they didn’t play metal, so I hung out by myself, with the company of horror movies, social media, a trusted guitar that was lent to me and my own creative mind.
Seldom have I been more creative.
I played and I played and I played, until I couldn’t play anymore.
Until my hand was so stiff and so worn I just had to stop.
And then I turned my attention to writing, something I had never done before, simply to keep myself from getting depressed about my in-ability to play guitar.
I wrote short and sweet.
I wrote for my relatives, especially to entertain my grandfather. I had no idea I could write at all, but they were very amused and beyond entertained with my small, sarcastic commentaries about Norwegian society and politics.
They insisted I had to try to get published.
I thought to myself why not? And gave it a go, and lo-and-behold I got published in one of the major news papers straight away! On my first attempt!
Completely incredulous, I wrote a bigger piece, which was more serious and introspective and to my great surprise this was published in another major newspaper. I got a full page spread and a great email from the editorial staff telling me I had to keep it up, I think my entry was “the entry of the week” or something.
This encouragement was surprising, but it made me quite happy and I thought to myself…hmmm…maybe I should try to write some lyrics?
When I came back home to Chicago, I had changed and my attitude had changed to.
I realised that my approach to forming a band had been wrong.
What I had to do was to focus on what I could offer.
What was my greatest asset? My creativity.
All of us have something unique to offer, you just have to find it first, you just have to see it first, embrace it, perfect it, use it.
I figured out that the best thing I could do would be to record demos of the songs I had written, write the lyrics, create the artwork, complete my artistic vision and then see who would be interested in joining my artsy project.
I had to create my signature as an artist and then people would probably come to me.
I applied a lot of what I had learnt from my art teacher, into how I approached my music. Art classes were the best guitar lessons I ever had.
It’s all about the mentality 🙂
Ultimately I wanted my music to speak for me so that I didn’t have to say anything at all.
I went back to the US of A and stayed true to my goal and my plan, I created shit, I created great, ultimately I came up with a concept that was cool.
I took what I had and hooked up with friends that had what I needed in order for me to record my songs. The recording was shit, but at least I was doing my best and taking lots of initiative. I signed up for some art classes so that I could learn animation in order to create my own music videos and I took some private classes with Linda Cohn in order to complete the illustrations for my songs. I wrote as much as I could, creating many alternative sets of lyrics trying to come up with cool titles etc..
In late 2007 my mother got involved. Things got professional and things started to move in the right direction.
She hooked me up with a friend of hers, Paul Richmond, who actually was a producer, a platinum selling Grammy nominated producer, a real one with his own studio. In late 2007 I sat my foot in a proper recording studio for the very first time. My mother using whatever money she could find to pay for a proper demo recording, drove me through the dangerous south-side to get me to Paul’s house. The same year we also discovered my vocal range by chance, and even though I wasn’t very serious in the beginning, my mother started giving me singing lessons.
In 2008 after only 3 years of guitar playing we became a team. My mother as my manager, started promoting what I was doing online. We published a couple of songs, with illustrations made by me for the tracks and an animated video I had made for one of the songs. A video that got me all my first followers. We also published my portfolio, to throw all my ideas out there.
I had too many ideas, technically I had potential and we spent a great deal of time on artist development creating “my sound”in the following years, while still building an online following and gaining underground press. In 2011 we started officially releasing music for sale after having released several demos. This also marked a turning point as the mainstream rock press started picking up on what I was doing 🙂
At the end of the day, how do I feel about music?
Well, my mothers singing teacher always told her ” Music is the only loyal lover”.
I love that quote.
It is true, people come and go, people disappoint you and hurt you.
Things, objects come and go. Attaching yourself too much to possessions will neither give you peace nor happiness. Things can be taken from you. And things only brings you happiness if they enable you to accomplish something or hold emotional value. All other things are clutter.
Nurture your skills because they won’t go away unless you forsake them or become the victim of something unfortunate beyond your control.
I say, cheers to another 10 years of guitar playing. I’m thankful for the 10 years I’ve already had. Playing the guitar has meant so much to me and given me so much emotional relief. Writing music has been my creative outlet and the guitar my tool.
I say cheers to whomever is brave enough to put themselves out there on a stage and share their innermost feelings in their music. Regardless of genre. I salute anyone who dares \m/
Cheers to those who dare to be brave or “foolish” enough to follow their heart wherever it may lead them.
2015 is coming to a close. I hope that I’ll still be doing what I’m doing when 2025 comes knocking. And I hope that I’ll be healthy and happy.
Do what you love.
Don’t let fear fool you.