One of the challenges of being a musician is finding time to refine, create and produce your own art. Of course creating your own work is rewarding but it’s also time-consuming and requires a healthy dose of courage.
I released Window (Leave ‘Em Where They Lie), our 2016 NPR Tiny Desk Contest entry in late January. I think it’s the finest song, recording and video I’ve ever done. And that, continuing growth and refinement, is a constant goal. Interestingly, I wrote the song in June of 2015 and wasn’t sure when or where it would ever come to fruition. Six months later and I found the right outlet.
I recorded it the day after David Bowie died. It was a task to rise to the occasion. It seemed presumptuous to attempt to create after the passing of a musical giant, a creative bellwether. I was on tour when the Blackstar video was released, a stunning ten minute experience about fame, death and God. I showed it to the whole band. One guy said something like “Yeah, this is great. Very cool to see a 69 year old artist staying contemporary.” My response was essentially, “David Bowie isn’t staying contemporary. He’s showing us what contemporary is. He may well be showing us what the future is.” So, yeah, the day after he died, we tried to make art.
I consider Window a success, a big step forward creatively. What I take away from the experience is that pushing forward in times of uncertainty can be greatly rewarding.