In most things in life, there is more to them than meets the eye. And, like anything, until you experience it for yourself, you usually aren't fully aware of how much is involved, how much work it takes, and all the possible challenges along the way. Music creation is no different.
To varying degrees, I have been active in making music for the past 40 years! The early years mostly entailed writing and singing simple songs. Then I began to share them on cassettes recorded in the most basic live sessions. This continued for a number of years, with slowly evolving equipment and technical knowledge. I learned from friends who assisted with this for some time, and then, as our family grew, and it became more difficult to arrange recording weekends, as well as with changes in technology, that came to an end. I was able to get set-up with our computer and music programs at home, so that I could record intermittently, whenever time and children allowed! It was a huge learning curve for me, as I am not a very techie person, but with help from my brother's studio friend, I was able to learn some basics, and started recording CDs in our home. Step by step and project by project, I have learned and grown in this, but I know I am only still scratching the surface of what these programs can do! But…even with my limited knowledge, it has allowed me to share albums almost every year for the past 25, which I am so thankful for.
Besides the actual recording aspect, over the years I have also faced the challenge of how to share the music with more people than just friends, family and our church family. Once again, that has been a continuing journey of research, trial and error, and gradual expansion. I'll admit that it has been very discouraging at times, and I've struggled with thoughts of “why bother” and “is it worth it” more often than I would like. Alluding back to my initial statement - most people don't realize the amount of time, energy and money it takes to get your creative vision out! As I've heard it expressed, this whole recording thing is an endless money pit! There is always equipment and software upgrades that have to be done, which truly frustrates me. I especially found it hard to have to purchase new interfaces simply because the software could no longer be updated or wasn't compatible with a newer system. And, the whole process of sharing music is continually changing, so you can't just rely on what you may have learned or done in the past. It's an ongoing challenge, BUT, the positive thing is that it causes you to keep developing your skills and knowledge, keeps you humbly seeking God for His help and wisdom, and helps you understand the range of options that keep opening up.
I could never have imagined that simple songs of praise could be shared from my kitchen “studio” with people across the world! It's a relatively small listening audience, but in numerous countries, I've had the privilege of expressing my heart and hearing about how it's had an impact. To God be all the glory! He makes a way when there seems to be none, and I continually pray that He enables me to do what I know I'm called to, and open doors where and when He sees fit, for that to expand. I've told only a few people this before - but I truly feel compelled to share what the Lord has placed in my heart, and it troubles me that there are hundreds of songs sitting in my books that have never been heard. I feel a bit like the servant in the parable of the talents - and I don't want to be guilty of burying what I've been entrusted with, in the ground! I know that not every song is meant to be shared elsewhere - some are just to speak to me in a specific time for a specific need, or for some local situation - but there are others that need to be offered up. Again, it just takes so much time and effort to accomplish this, and so I'm learning to be patient with the process and just listen to the prompting of the Spirit as to what He wants me to do, trusting His perfect timing and resources.
I will share more in a future post here about the challenges of learning to mix the recorded tracks, and how it has been SUCH a blessing (and break!) to be able to work with my producer/arranger, Steve on my first professional recording last year, and now with this new “in-the-works” release.
Stay tuned as I share this journey. God is good, He is faithful, and He provides all we need to do what He asks of us. I am learning that. I have witnessed and experienced that, and I am ever grateful for His loving care and patience with me along the way.
Keep singing His praises, for He alone is worthy!