An Intimate Look at the Artistic Process for The New Album
Hi guys and gals!
I’m so excited to be closing in on this project completion! I know these updates have not been flowing into your inboxes and I do apologize for that but I hope you’ve all been keeping track of the album updates on Instagram and Facebook (If you’re not on any of those, you can find me @coriandthemusic). As you can tell, this is not going to be your typical newsletter! This one is extraordinarily special and I hope you’ll take time to enjoy reading this when you’ve got a nice quiet corner, maybe a hot tea or a glass (slash bottle- no judgment) of wine, and some beautiful autumn weather wherever you may be in the country.
I’ve been getting a lot of curiousity about what this album is all about and what it even means to be doing a project of this size from fans old and new. So today I wanted to let you all in on a glimpse of the artistic process for the album and make sure you all know you’ll be getting exclusive info soon on the release and great items that will be available to you for the holidays!
As the producer, the musicians and myself truck ahead on finishing our end of the music and production, I have been giving some deep thought to the project as a whole. In it’s entirety, this project has very much been about painting a complete picture…it’s certainly an identity piece. Arriving at this concrete artistic concept was much more difficult than maybe it should have been. In the music industry (and I suppose with many other things), people like you to fit into certain categories. They like you to be able to describe yourself succinctly, for their benefit as fans/buyers/promoters and so forth. And I’ve always struggled with this. Very much so. And this project was no different- at first.
In my past releases I’ve worked very hard to make the overall collection of songs seem like they made sense together. I wanted it to flow together easily, wanted the listener to feel like they were following a story that was symmetrical and linear without feeling jarred. It felt like struggling with a weird musically-based form of OCD…”why is there a red M&M in this green pile?!” (I don’t have OCD in the traditional sense by the way- anyone who has seen my house/life can confirm).
The bottom line is that trying to fit into those interpreted required standards by the music industry has always made me feel neurotic about how my songs and images fit together and honestly, stopped me from writing many other genres and songs that I probably could have experimented with and grown further by doing. And, so, maybe it was the added maturity, or maybe it was just being old enough or wise enough or busy enough to not care so much about what I “should” be doing this time around. But luckily what I had figured out by the time I started this album was that I had evolved and accepted much more of who I wanted to be or was and learned to be whoever the hell I wanted to be by my own set of standards. I wasn’t doing things I didn’t want to do; I wasn’t dressing in any way I didn’t want to dress because someone’s dress code told me so; I wasn’t being quiet or apologetic when it came to topics of importance to me for the sake of social decorum; I wasn’t listening to the “shoulds” and the fearful advice that well-meaning neighbors may want to impart that I had so nervously taken to heart in my earlier years.
I think everyone goes through that growth spurt at different times in their lives. You may be going through it right now as you read this. Sometimes we’ve all packaged ourselves so nicely by the time we’re 24 or 30 or 45 or 60 that we just forget what it means to live without the box and the paper and the string that we’ve tied ourselves together with. And honestly, I meet a lot of people who maybe aren’t horribly depressed but suffer from chronic unfulfilled-ness. And more than that, incompleteness. There’s a sadness, a wishfulness, a fearfulness or a regrettable quality that wisps off those people. And it makes me sad or scared for them and humanity. Sometimes we all have to live within certain parameters that we have created for ourselves, but there is something about needing to assign our whole identity, and not just our lifestyle, to be this ONE thing that makes me the most uncomfortable. And that is something I no longer compromise on because the most joyous, worthy parts of life are the times we get to figure ourselves out and become new things or hug old things. It’s awkward and it’s messy and it’s ludicrous and it usually makes NO SENSE. But that’s what being human is all about. It’s much less linear and logical than we’d like our stories to be, but it’s what a complete and full story and person looks like.
This evolution, these growing pains we all experience on the way to a more complete story, are tales old as time..(true as it can be…bonus points if you’ve read this far and can tell me that song reference and/or start singing it wherever you are RIGHT NOW). In essence I’m talking about the human experience- something in this tunnel-visioned day and age we seem to forget about in the context of the big picture. We all share stories and personality traits that link us all together and inspire us throughout the decades. Our own heated cocktail of these big and small moments and traits make us each totally unique while not necessarily being alone in our experience.
So with all of this in my mind as I considered how to tie this album together and give it completeness, I realized this project as an identity piece was about the right for each of us to find completeness. It’s about the right to be many things because we’re all more comfortable when we have that freedom; the right to have a variety of personality facets, experiences, opinions and stories that make us who we each are; and the right to not be pigeon-holed into one version of ourselves. As I looked at the 9 new pieces I had written for this project and struggled to unify them through genre or sound or this standard system, I realized what unified them was a story, a life, multiple lives that interwove, and my willingness and desire to be all these different things to myself and to the people around me. My love of the extremely eclectic story I have patched together as my own and my genuine appreciation for how often our own individuality and stories are mirrored or accompanied by those of others brought me here to this question that I share with all of you: Who Am I?
I’m hoping this album makes each of you think about the entire story you’ve created for yourself and where you’ve pulled from and what you’ve done to create you. “Who Am I?” is not a question that should be answered in a few words. It should challenge you and should always continue to do so. Even if you’re confident in parts of your answer.
I knew early on I wanted this to be a complete piece of art- meaning every component of this album creation was important to me and not to be cheated of my time or attention. The physical album is being developed as an integral part of the storytelling using artists who specialize in photography and visual design. Each song has a portrait that was done of me in honor of a particular story line or part of my identity I felt the song was really inspired by. I got to be the bit of my mother in one of my favorite photos of her. I got to celebrate the stories and personalities of my grandparents, of the men- good and bad- throughout my life, of my sister, my brother, my closest friends, the sick and the hurtful and the happy and the sassy people, and of some of the artists that have shaped me. It truly was quite a complete experience for me. My hope is the album art will read like walking through someone’s home and seeing the pictures on their walls or flipping through their family’s old photo album and learning a brief history of that person.
I hope this bit of overview of the artistic process has gotten you all as excited as I am to hear and see and experience the final release. I have a few more exciting pieces of news to come regarding your backer rewards and the release so I hope you’ll all stay tuned and with baited breath. So until then, I hope you all go into the coming hours asking of yourself, “Who Am I?” and looking forward to hearing the songs and stories to come.
All the best,