I’ve always needed to think aloud in order to know what the hell’s going on inside of me. I don’t mean that I talk to myself as such (although I sometimes do), I mean I bang my ideas on someone else, which sounds like I’m asking for advice, which I’m not. Of course, no one really has the answers I’m looking for. This is my failing, not theirs, because it’s easy for them to believe we’re having an actual conversation. Not that their input isn’t vital, because it is and sometimes I’m not even aware of what I’m doing; even I think we’re having a conversation. I’ve seldom needed—or even wanted—advice. I’ve always been able to come to my own conclusions and find my own solutions, but sometimes I sound like I’m making excuses. The truth is, if no matter what you say is met with a, “Yeah, but…”, it’s a good indication that I’m thinking aloud. But the argument I wage isn’t with you, it’s me weighing your ideas with my own to find a solution. I’m not really arguing with you. I’m arguing with myself. So here I am thinking aloud, which is allowed. Clever pun intended, har har.
I’ve been in a bit of a stalemate recently where my LP is concerned. I admit I’m not happy with the way the tracks sound as they are. The instruments are fine. I like them. It’s my voice that’s bugging me and I haven’t been able to figure out what it is I don’t like. This morning when I gave them a listen again over my morning coffee and it dawned on me that the vocals lack energy. Well, the first issue is that my range has lowered into a monotone kind of place that, frankly, bores me. No highs, no lows, just a smooth, unruffled… medium. Then it hit me. My life, my age, my very existence has settled into that place so no wonder my voice reflects that.
It’s not my fault, you know. I lay that squarely on the shoulders of my invisible friend, Thyroidzilla. Hashimoto’s has stolen my passion by castrating me emotionally and energetically. And when I do give in and allow myself to get excited about something, I pay for it later with chronic fatigue and depression. Damn it! I’m living my life in a constant state of self-enforced mediocrity. Not my style! No, no, no! No wonder my vocals sound boring. I’M boring! And I’m bored! My voice lacks energy because I lack energy!
But, there I go. That tiny blast of passion will come back on me, I’m sure. How to fight this… Can I fight it? And if I do, can I win? Or will recording 11 songs with concentrated, faked passion wipe me out for weeks, or even months? Hell, can I even access that passion anymore, or is it gone forever? Maybe I’m just too old to sing the songs I’ve written. Maybe I need to start singing songs like “Yesterday When I Was Young”, “When I Was Seventeen”, or “I Did It My Way”.
Kill me now.
When I get to this desperate, silly nadir of my despair I begin to pull the reins in and look for real solutions. I quit blaming and start brainstorming. One thing is obvious to me: I can’t change my vocal range back to what it was when I was in my 20s and 30s, so how do I transform this banal range now that I’m older? Do I even need to? Maybe I just need to write songs that utilize that quality and quit fighting it. And here we are, back to my previous post about not pushing the river.
This isn’t the end of my argument with myself. It’ll be going on for a while, until I not only find the final, lasting solution, but start putting it into action.