Hello readers of this strange and eclectic thread. I’m checking in to share a little about why this blog has fallen silent of late. Rest assured, there is no crisis responsible, nothing untoward has taken place. Although the headlines we read are consistently negative, in my life at least, things are feeling alright.
Perhaps this “alright” feeling is responsible for my decline in blog writing of late. As I am fond of saying, these blogs have largely been created for me. They have served as a way of organizing thoughts and perspectives cohesively while trying to make sense of a sudden and unexpected perspective shift which occurred in my life a few years ago. In this way, blogging has acted as a kind of integration tool for me. Although I will ceaselessly evolve as I live out my days, some of my more recent blogs represent the crossing of an important boundary for me, an arrival of sorts, a coming home (or at least a good start).
In one of my most recent blogs, I share the story of a personal epiphany that took place in my life not too long ago. It is no coincidence that my writing slowed soon afterwards, as the event was something of a watershed moment for me. Following this occurrence, I have noticed a steadily growing feeling of freedom. This hard-won liberation has brought with it a sense of normalcy, as if returning to my old self, albeit as a greatly changed person.
As my father has said to me on more than one occasion, there are are some things you can fix on a car while the engine is running, and there are things that require you to shut it down and open the hood. The analogy fits well with last few years of my life, a time in which I sought much needed answers and began learning to create peace within myself. It is a work in progress, but I have found that peace lives in every moment, if one is willing to find it there. This is easier said than done, yet, it is a way of life that becomes more natural with practice. Now, having closed the hood and once again fired up the engine, I find that my hunger for searching has abated, and I am once again being drawn towards music.
These days I am spending much more time with guitar in hand, working through songs, and joyfully losing myself in the process, as I have done throughout so much of my life. It is a welcome and familiar feeling to be sure, and although I am glad to be finding my way back to music, I am aware that the work I’ve done in the last few years was wholly necessary to sustaining myself as I move forward. Standing here, with my feet on reasonably solid ground, I notice I am not looking quite as deeply these days, not seeking so feverishly. I judge this to be a good thing, and frankly, I needed the rest.
Besides, there is work to be done. I have officially begun work on my third studio record, tentatively titled The Lonesome Side Of Town. While it is true that the last few years found me inwardly focused and withdrawn, songs still managed to show up here and there. It’s funny, I don’t even remember how many of them came to be written, but they did.
In direct contrast to my last record, these new songs arrived well ahead of their time, as complete mysteries. I found myself writing tunes I judged to be good, but with no energy or motivation to play them, as if they were under-ripened somehow. The truth of the matter is that I was the under-ripened one. My intuition on the matter was to “write them and put them ‘in the can’”, so that’s what I did.
Every once in a while I'd pick up my guitar and I’d try to play some of the new stuff, but things always felt off, as if I didn’t have the right voice for these new songs. So, time and again, I stepped back from them and reminded myself that this music arrived in my life, and that such things are not accidental. Although I could not yet fathom or perform much of the new material, I knew that someday I would, and that it could not be rushed. It would simply happen with time and growth. I suppose this could have be experienced as a source of frustration, but to me, it kind of took the pressure off.
When I’d ruminate on the new songs and my troubles with them, my strong sense was that they required an ingredient that could not be faked: joy. Admittedly, I lost the joy of music in recent years - an all too familiar story among musicians. However, I had a growing sense that once I reclaimed this feeling in my life, the new songs would begin to take wing.
Now, having begun to find my way back to music and it’s innate bliss, I am learning to understand and embrace many of these new songs, and the time to create a “record” of their performance is quickly approaching. In some ways, this feels a chore. Although it is nice to make my exit from darkness and isolation, I understand that these songs tell the story of that period in my life - my time I spent on “the lonesome side of town.” It seems that for me to understand these new songs, I first had to emerge from the darkness and begin to understand its purpose in my life as well.
This being the case, it is something of a labor to see these songs through - to continue to “hold space” for that which is a product of a time in my life that I am ready to put behind me. Still, this is how the process works, at least in my experience. I’ve found this to be the most magical and mysterious aspect of art. One pours their feelings into a creation, and then releases that creation into the world, and in doing so frees oneself from the feelings that gave rise the creation in the first place. It is indeed magical, a kind of alchemy.
Although making a record represents an incredible effort, I will not be alone in the process. I will be working with a gifted producer and talented players, and doing things a little differently than they have been done on my previous releases. It will be an interesting journey watching these songs take shape. I know they have a number of surprises still in store for me, things they have yet to reveal.
Regardless of the daunting nature of the task ahead, I feel ready to move on to what comes next for me, and therefore ready to release those things I’ve carried for far too long in this life. This being the case, straight ahead is the only direction in which to travel. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it's that there’s no use going in reverse or trying to take the long way around a thing, the way forward leads right down the middle … straight through the heart. Till next time.
Americana Singer Songwriter Ed Dupas’ lived-in melodies unwind with reflective lyrics that speak to the current state of the human condition. Soothing where possible, agitating where necessary, and calling for change where appropriate. Ed Dupas creates and shares well worn wide awake music.
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