Robert C. Fullerton / Blog
I SELDOM DREAM...
or, at least, so it seems. Supposedly everyone dreams. Some remember that they've dreamed, but don't remember the content of their dreams. I, however, generally don't even recall that I've had any dreams. My head hits the pillow; I sleep; I awake (with the exception of those occasional bouts with insomnia).
At least not that kind of dreams. I dream when I'm awake (daydreams???). Yes, I guess they are daydreams. However, I also do my best to make those dreams reality - believe in them, work toward them, put my time and energy into them.
Someone even recently mentioned the fact that I'm almost always humming, always tapping on the steering wheel as I drive (even if there's no music playing - well, it IS always playing inside my head). People used to tell me that they always knew when I was headed their direction; they could hear me humming. It's deep inside people.
Although the music is there, chasing the dream isn't always easy, but that's what I've been doing with my music. It's what I HAVE TO DO. Performing, recording, writing, arranging: these are the easier parts. Being my own PR and booking manager, not so easy. However, I am determined. As I once introduced myself to the owner of a new restaurant, "I'm Robert C. Fullerton; you WILL remember my name." :-)
Dream it; live it.
It all began last November (2012) - this album project, that is. Sure, the idea was earlier, but it was definitely last November that I began to compile songs and actually head into the studio to record. However, it has (1) taken longer than I originally anticipated, and (2) taken an entirely different shape than originally envisioned.
At first, I went in with two (I think) original songs and a handful of my regular cover tunes. I actually put them all down in a basic form, and still have those files. Seemingly out of the blue, songs began to flow. There were four... then six... The album now contains NO cover tunes, just nine original songs: * Universal Hamster * Can't Seem To Find Her * Phantom * I Saw An Angel * Both Ways * Relentlessly Persistent * Hard To Be Gone * The Trees Have Started Walking * Unsung Lullaby
The time in the studio last night was spent mastering, and playing with a proposed album order (the order in which you see them above). It's been about a half a year, but IT IS GETTING SO CLOSE!!! * I will be pre-releasing an different edit of "Both Ways" before the whole album (a "45" edition, for those who remember that, slightly different from the album version).
So, HERE'S WHAT I NEED FROM YOU: The project is yet unnamed. I would like your input. Should I use one of the song titles as the album title (if so, which one)? Just my name? Some other phrase?
Talk to me. Respond here, or to email@example.com I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Relentless Pursuit of...
"I'll be relentlessly persistent; I'll do anything I need to do. Like an arrow to its mark, I'm aiming for your heart. Woman, don't you know that I love you? I'll be relentlessly persistent; I'll do everything I need to do. Like an arrow, straight and true, I'm pointed right at you. I'll never quit until you say you love me too." © 2011 RCFullerton
These lyrics (yet another song from my upcoming project - NOT on any of the samplers) are based on a true story - the story of a man determined to win a certain woman's heart. This man set out on a path of old-school "wooing". He sent cards, notes, and pictures. He bought her gifts, made dinners with candles and the works. He wrote poems (the chorus is actually based on a poem that he wrote for her) and songs for her. Why? He was in love, and made up his mind to give this a wholehearted effort. He had a dream, set a goal, then set out to make it happen. All of his energy, time and resources were poured into that mission.
My understanding is, that it wasn't always an easy road. Perhaps it was a slow, and, at times, discouraging road. Yet, he continued on his course to win this woman's affection - to get her to fall in love with him.
This is where I find myself in my musical venture. The past few years have been spent, honing my craft, networking, getting my face and name known (don't forget the "C"). Now, I've ventured deeper into the world of songwriting than ever before. Although I've recorded with/for other people many times in the past, I'm now working on my own solo recording (will be done soon, I promise). It has not always been easy. Trust me, it has been discouraging at times. Yet, I plug on...like an arrow to its mark...like an arrow straight and true.
Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me along the way. It means much, and has made a difference.
Ask me sometime, perhaps I'll sing the song for you. Ask me about the rest of the story...maybe I'll fill you in.
I stopped by DD this morning for coffee - not an unusual event - actually, a pretty crucial one. As I stepped to the counter I greeted by a smiling, and quite exuberant, young man. Before he took my order, "How are you today? Are you living the Dream, or is the Dream living you?" Now, having not yet been infused with caffeine, it took a moment for his question to fully register. I Looked at him and responded, "I'm making the Dream happen."
***Not to worry; somewhere in the middle of this interchange he did take, and fill my order***
I reached into my shirt pocket, pulled out a business card (for those of you trying to make the Dream happen, get into this habit - thank you, Elwood P. Dowd), and handed it to him. "Now you'll know, even more, what I mean", I said to him. He looked at the picture of me with my guitar, and said, "Oh, cool. You do get it!"
I have no idea this young man's identity, nor how serving coffee at DD fits into his own particular Dream... Nor do I know it was in the cards for me to encounter him this morning. However, I do know one thing: One way or another, I am doing all I can to make that Dream happen.
That was supposed to be an echo. Do you remember the first time you encountered a place where you could make your voice echo? It really is an interesting phenomenon - one that can keep us intrigued and entertained for a long time. Even in music production, the use of either analog or digital delay can be a great device. Interesting thing, though, I don't think any of us are ever stumped trying to determine which is the real voice (especially when it's your own echo).
I had mentioned in a previous blog the necessity of "finding one's own voice". "Tribute" bands are a big thing now. Don't get me wrong; I greatly admire their talent, discipline, and devotion to accurately reproducing another band's sound - some of them, remarkably so! However, that's not for me. I do cover other people's music, simply because there is such a library of tremendous songs out there - but, when I do, I "add my own voice" to its legacy. Sometimes that's something as simple as varying the tempo, or just changing the key. In my mind, you need to connect emotionally with a song. Feel it. Taste it. Let it ooze out of your pores, your heart, your soul, not just pass through your vocal cords. Hence, "...as heard through blue eyes."
That's me. I sing songs my way. The integrity of the song is still intact: the melody, the rhythms, the lyrics... Sometimes I may change the supporting chords, the groove, or the tempo. Sometimes it may just be the inflections of my voice. I just know that I feel it when I sing it - and hope that those who hear it do too.
You see it in all of the creative arts. People have their "signature" sound, paint stroke, vocabulary, choice of topics, tone, timbre... I have found my voice.
Now, I just need to find people who want to hear it...
Just Can't Seem To Find...oh, wait
At times, I'm one of those scatter-brained people who walks around looking for their keys, while holding them in their hands...who lives in a very small apartment, yet, still finds ways to lose things... Sometimes, things can't be found due to such issues. Other times, well, it's still due to "issues".
My song, "Can't Seem To Find Her" describes the struggles of trying to find the "ideal" woman. As a person who likes grammar (yeah, weird, I know), coming up with a simile for each situation was quite fun: "Trying to find a woman who will suit my mood is like looking for corners in an oval room", and so on.
A couple weeks ago I posted a poll on my Facebook page. Snippets of seven of my songs were posted, and I asked people to choose which I should pre-release (the album project is still a few weeks from completion). "Can't Seem To Find Her" won overwhelmingly. Most thought it to be a very catchy song.
Decide for yourself. The song is now available on itunes, Spotify, Amazon and several other places. Download it, listen, and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it.
Oh, and ladies, feel free to change the gender references and sing out your frustrations about men ;)
Tryin' to find a woman is like...
...looking for corners in an oval room ...searching for roses in a field of weeds ...buying groceries at a hardware store ...drying dishes in the pouring rain ...trying to help a bald man comb his hair
These are the similes that make up my song "Can't Seem To Find Her" - which, by the way, was just uploaded, AND will soon be available on iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, GooglePlay, and a few other places. Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled!
HANGING IN THE BALANCE
There seems to always be that struggle for balance: * Should one approach music as an art, or a business? As in most cases, the answer probably lies somewhere betwixt and between. How do you (or, do you?) keep the masses happy? or the industry happy? should you just worry about keeping yourself happy? How much do you flex in order to eat? :-)
Breaking it down to essentials, I do believe that I am more of an "artist" than a businessperson (really doubt that I will get much argument on that from those who know me well). So. for me, it seems come down to two preliminary steps: 1) Find YOUR voice. 2) Find who wants to, needs to hear your voice.
I want to take a couple posts here to discuss this a bit. So, stay close, and feel free to chime in.
Meanwhile, please take this song poll that I've posted on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/questions/445134302230680/
The Trees Have Started Walking.
In most cases, for me, writing a song starts with a riff, or a chord progression. Sometimes, I’ll have a line, a phrase, or a concept that, in some way, connects to that tune (please don’t ask me to explain…I’m often an enigma to my own self). Such was the case with this song.
The progression came quickly and really flowed. The melody seemed to come as a natural outcome of what I played on the guitar. However, I was quite baffled as I found myself mouthing the phrase, “the trees have started walking.” It did somehow seem to fit, but…trees walking?
I had a recording session that night, so I played the groove for David Swanson before getting down to work. He picked up a guitar and started to play along (he liked it -good sign). Afterward, I said, “The only thing is, the only phrase I have is kind of weird: ‘the trees have started walking’.” He just smiled and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “So, what’s wrong with that?” Perhaps something a bit cryptic, apocryphal was in order…
So, I sat down to write, and, in writing, so I wrote. RCF
The trees have started walking They’re sneaking up from behind The trees have started walking now
The skies are growing darker It troubles my feeble mind The skies are growing darker
The planet is spinning backwards Going back to yesterday The planet it’s spinning backwards now The sun is glowing purple To see it, you have to pay The sun is glowing purple now
She said, “It’s consequential.” I said, “It must be more.” She told me not to worry; She’ll close the door.
The tigers are playing checkers One of them starts to yawn The tigers are playing checkers now
The coffee table is ringing It’s kept me up since dawn The coffee table is ringing now
She said, “It’s providential.” I said, “It’s rather odd.” She told me she’ll cook breakfast, But just for God.
The Moon has left the building She has to be home by ten The moon has left the building now
The trees are getting closer They’re trying hard to win The trees are getting closer now.
RCF © 2013 RCFullerton
Haunted by the moon...
Did anyone notice the full moon a couple nights ago (1/27/2013)? Amazingly beautiful, yet... She entices us, Teases us. Draws us. Perplexes us. Entrances us. Draws lovers together, then taunts and haunts them while they're apart. Jimmy Webb called her a "harsh mistress"...aptly so.
One of my new songs, "Phantom", speaks of a love lost. The moon is one thing that triggers the memories.
"When the moon shines bright, I dream you're with me. In the silent night, I still feel your touch. When the stars come out, they're the twinkle in your eyes. That is when I miss you, oh, so much."
Look up at the moon - dream, love, long, remember...if you dare.
Listen to "Phantom" http://www.jango.com/music/Robert+C+Fullerton?l=0
© 2012 RCFullerton