The last full album I recorded under my own name was in 2013. Since then I’ve done plenty of gigs, produced an album for someone else, written a lot of blog and social media posts…
What I haven’t done is release any new music. Which is odd, considering I consider myself primarily a recording artist.
So why not? Well, paying the bills, to be honest. And it takes so long to organise all the other stuff that I tend to try to get it out of the way first, and then do the fun part (recording music) when I have time.
Well, I realised quite a while ago that, realistically, I’ll never have time. Not unless I make time.
So, in order to force myself to actually make time for producing new music, my plan has been to start serialising it: to release a new modern track and a new traditional track every month. And this month, I’m putting this plan into action.
Even though… technically… I’ve sort of been doing this for a few months already. But this is different, because this is under my own name.
That said (ahem) it’s not exactly new. I’m starting with the 3 EPs and 1 LP that I’ve released, and I’m going to be re-releasing them track by track. Each track has been remixed and remastered, for your listening pleasure.
Why go to the trouble of remixing/remastering old stuff? Why not focus on something new?
Well, as each month goes by I get more and more organised with my James Bell Central duties. I find more ways I can be efficient, be focused, cut out on wasted time. But that said, I do still have to pay the bills, and it is much much easier to tidy old stuff than create new stuff.
Remixing and remastering these albums is also what I want to be doing at the moment, because I’m focusing a lot more on the technique of recording and I want to basically sharpen up my skill-set.
But it’s really to buy me a bit more time to actually start writing. I find that my music needs a long time to gestate. If I hurry it, it’s never as good as it should be. So I will work on one track for a bit, and then move onto another for a bit, and then another, and then come back to the first one, to make sure I keep coming back to it fresh.
That’s a luxury not many people have, because most people are working to tight deadlines. Deadlines can be the thing that makes you delivery something half-baked. But no deadlines can mean you don’t ever quite get around to delivering anything at all.
So, new year, new commitment: time to start writing some stuff. Fingers crossed, life won’t throw a spanner at me, and relatively soon I should start releasing new albums track by track, every month, until the money runs out.