Monday, November 17, 2008

the big tree


photo by nat hansen

this weekend I took the train from LA to santa barbara. I forgot my camera. you'll just have to believe me. it was awesome. the backsides of buildings, the bent backs of workers, the stretch of the ocean, the smoke of the fires, the drama of the windblown trees. it was awesome. why have I not done this before? I will do this again.

when you get off at santa barbara, you are met by a hundred-and-some-year-old fig tree that will make you ponder the power of patience. this thing is mindblowing in its expanse, its shade, its root system. huge is a word that comes to mind, though there are many others, like incredible, life-affirming, awe inspiring, calming, so on and so forth - as goes the beauty of trees.

anyway, I was in santa barbara, not only to eat entirely too much pork abodabo, but also to mix an album with the as-yet-to-be-named band I play in. let me say this: making music is relatively easy - you close your eyes and you sing or you strum an instrument or you pluck some keys. but making an album - as far as I can tell - is the furthest thing from easy. if it weren't for the persistence and obsession of mr. benjamin pringle, it probably wouldn't have happened. but, it did, and four million tracks later, we found ourselves sitting and listening to the magic of mixing as it transforms all the hard work into beautiful music. it's exciting, getting to this point. polishing the marble structure you've been chipping away at for weeks or months or even years. seeing its shape that you have reveled, stripping away the excess. taking a step back to see what was at one time the stone slab of an idea now having been completely transformed into a work of art.

we sat there holding the shiny disc with our callused finger tips. we put it in the cd player and let our voices fill the car as we drove home. we listened, we smiled - at ourselves and at each other - and when all the songs had played, we sat quietly looking out the windows at the passing night. and then, we started thinking about all the new songs we could write.

5 comments:

Andy said...

When do we get to hear that new cd of yours?

bethany toews said...

soon my friend. soon. stay tuned...
that's what she said!

Ben said...

she said that!

miss clover said...

i need to hear your musical inspiration! my lead singer is moving to london in t minus ten days. i need some motivation to pursue it without her...congrats, beautiful!

kimberly said...

Oh wowza that first paragraph really sent me. You don't need a camera when you can right like that sweet stuff. I hope to receive some songs via the postal service. I can send delighful love right back your way. I know what you like girl!