This card, a gift I have treasured for years from a close friend, symbolizes a new track for me — renewed commitment to making music.
I’ve written a lot of songs since Love Is Hard came out in 2010, some of which are posted on this blog. What I don’t have right now are three things: polished, instrumentally complex recorded versions of these songs, many available venues to perform because of the pandemic, and money.
Why money? I was blessed to have Connecticut friends with a home studio produce my 2010 CD, friends who would accept nothing in return for their labors, save a party, which I threw to honor and thank them for their support of my work. Now living in Vermont, I have connected with musicians here who want to work with me and have the means to record me in a studio with all the professional trappings. This, of course, costs money.
It doesn’t help that the pandemic has cost me a new calling, and I am trolling the region looking for work in my field to pay the regular bills, never mind an investment to support the songs.
It is, of course, all about the songs. One, about a friend’s depression. A couple others, about betrayal in love. Yet another early one my life partner loves that has evolved into a rocking ballad I perform better today — a song one fan at an open mic referenced when she said, “You should do more of those!”
On my birthday on Nov. 8, before I lost my latest job to economic pressures from the pandemic, I pledged to myself to recommit to music by producing a CD or EP of my mostly unpublished new songs. Not out of a sense of vanity, but because the songs deserve it. And because an EP could help give me a path to securing my own gigs.
My life changed for the better when I embraced my identity as a lesbian and a songwriter. Friendships flourished. Risks transformed my performances. I found meaning in writing about love lost, love found and people’s complexities. And my heart opened.
Fellow musicians in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts are all struggling in this pandemic, but finding ways to thrive by writing about the challenges, sharing demos on Facebook and performing online to keep the spirit alive.
So maybe Kickstarter of GoFundMe is a path I take, as well as securing new employment so I can pay my own way. I also plan to feature more fellow artists whose work demands an outlet here, on this blog. And I am now practicing to a metronome, learning to play guitar tracks without singing, and preparing to come into my own again as a songwriter by making my best songs even better vocally, instrumentally and lyrically.
What I would love is your encouragement along the way. As the lyric says in “Come Back,” the song Lee loves:
“Go where you have to go/Take off like you know/Where you’re meant to be/Then come back to me.”