News: 7/17/2008  

Journal of a Record #6

That is that is that.  My work is done for now and it’s time to rest.  On Tuesday I sang the last couple songs, shook a tambourine, hit some bells, and broke a wine glass to finish up the last of my checklists.  We’re done tracking and have mixed two songs so far, which requires little involvement by me.  I’ve done everything in my power and it feels really good to know that whether I like it or not, what’s there is there and it’s going to stay.  I have never pushed so hard for so long on a single project and I feel like every last drop of blood that I have made it into it.  I’m delightfully exhausted.

I am discovering more and more that art is a breathing in and a breathing out.  We absorb things all day and then we create or rearrange to process or acknowledge what we’ve experienced.  But there’s often a tension in my body and I am just now realizing that it generates from either breathing in or breathing out for too long at one time.  Ideally it’s a constant flow in and out but rarely does it happen that way, I generally get either too caught up in other tasks to have time to create new things or I put so much pressure on myself to make things that wind up without any fuel for it.  Right now I feel like both my lungs and eyes sting from breathing one huge breath out for so long that I almost fell to the floor.  The last couple days of tracking were really a fight and I felt like I was barely hanging in there to make it happen.

Video by Wes Scheler

Now I’m finished and I’m inhaling deeply in again the way you do when you come up from a dive to the bottom of the pool.  I came home and read East of Eden for a while and then listened to a handful of LPs.  I’m extra sensitive to art and music right now; it’s a feast after a long day of hard work.  Steinbeck’s words and Cohen’s string arrangements are decadence to me.  There's mixing, mastering, artwork, replication, and vinyl pressing (that's right) to finish but I'm taking a break for a bit.  I have friends in town and I’m getting to finally enjoy Portland and the Northwestern wilderness as a means of breathing again.  And in the spirit of resting from my work, I will leave it at that and point to the rest of the journals I made in the process of putting this record together:
Dust Jacket

Tags: music, joel p west, Recording, Portland

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