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Rick Melanson / Blog

Reflection

It's funny how you can look back at certain things in your life and wonder if it was really you as the main actor. I've had the occasion to do this - to reflect. Simple things like listening to recordings and wondering if that was really you playing those riffs or singing those lyrics; and then less simple things like realizing that what you want today is so nearly the polar opposite of what you thought was what you wanted years ago. Life comes full force as we age and (if lucky) grow a little wiser. Tonight, it's more 'music' that occupies my blog inspiration on this reflection - but in a careful and caring way. Music is my great constant in life; it's done so much for my development as a human being. I believe it taught me not to be like my father. Not so much in the manner of what he played or how he played it, but the narcissism that fuelled it then and into the present. Now I know that for those who don't know me, the 'father' comment seems obtuse or foreign since you don't know me. That's fine - this is what blogs are for, and for the majority of bloggers, their posts go unread.

Music is every emotion for me and not just the end of the means. Some of you know what I mean. In my best and worst days, music has seen me through. Writing, composing and playing is not based on self-love or delusions of grandeur. No, it is emotive and an intangible catharsis that nothing else in this world can replace. It continues to this day. But, and it's a big 'BUT', I know it's not my be-all-end-all. I have love in my life and cares that don't capture the importance they deserved when I was a young man.

I had a conversation tonight with a very special human being who echoed (in a manner of speaking) the same sentiments.

So, without revealing my 'all', let me finish by writing that I'm grateful for 'getting' what my late-blooming mind will 'get'. Life is short and it takes just a little bit of reflection to get that.

Memorable Gifts

As far as I can recollect, my favorite gifts (for all occasions) included: - a Six-Million Dollar Man action figure (the one with the rubber forearm and look-through eye); a Tonka Jeep (you could take the wheels off); a bass guitar (Harmony brand; I was 14); a night to hang with Ron Sexsmith, Colleen Hixenbaugh, Don Kerr, Tim Bovaconti and Jason Mercer; a Gibson ES-339; and every homemade gift that my kids ever made for me.

Those are the tangible ones.

How about you?

Palestine

Though it's not music centric, our government's decision to turn its back on Palestine's successful move in the U.N., made me sick of our "tow the U.S. line foreign policy. I'm a-religious (I know it's not a proper word), which is to say that I don't give a shit about which testament of the bible one subcribes to. I have no beef against Israel, but for f's-sake, 300,000 new homes on Palestinan soil? I think the last count in November's Isreali-Palestinian hostility has put more graves on Palestinian soil. Balfour and his declaration sewed the seeds for this. I'm sorry for those in Gaza and the west bank that Canada has taken the low road on this.

Cost-benefit for a vanity project

I've thought about putting out a professional CD for years. I felt that I had the material and potential to do this, but for mostly cost reasons, I put it off. As an unsigned artist, this constitutes as a vanity project (and many musicians would agree). So I'm taking the plunge; taking my songs to a studio and seeing what can happen; and hopefully not spending a mortgage to get it done. Question 1: Do I hire musicians to record with me in the studio or do I play all the tracks myself? Question 2: Should I keep it 'pure' and record only a single guitar and vocals? Question 3: Is the world ready for me?

How Would You Break it Down? -the story behind the song

A few years ago, I was sat in my basement plunking out a chord pattern, which came to be the progression in 'How Would You Break it Down?'. Having liked where it was going, I then recorded the basic tracks and added a few extra for flavour. At this point, I had no lyric or melody, which is not my usual way of composing. For good or bad, I decided then and there to plug in the mic, press record and see what flowed from my lips. What you're hearing is the first attempt, words on the fly (nothing written down). Only recently (2012) did I actually capture the words on paper. I really like the feel of this song and it remains one of my favorite compositions.

Later in the year, I attempted the same formula and came up with a song called 'Pieces'. I'll post that song here, one of these days.

# One

Here goes. It's been a push and a rush and whim and a hope. But here I am and here I go. Lots of changes that..., are years in the making. I am thankful. I promise not to be so cryptic in subsequent posts.