Am I Really Every Version of Myself I've Made? (feat. my dad)
What a challenging and interesting prompt!
First, the borrowed line is “I’m every version of myself I made.” (Memoir V by Rodolfo Avelar)
Second, I was home for a few days, so I got my dad who likes to write his own poetry and occasionally music to help me out with this one. He’s a mindfulness teacher and a very philosophical man, so he loved the chance to take this line about the “self” and had no trouble composing the poem you hear on this track. Thanks, dad! While I was home we also worked together on the melody for the acapella moment and recorded him singing it.
Beyond that, I got home today and had a few hours to figure out the music to accompany this thing.
At first, I was uninspired, but with persistence a few things started to emerge (ahh the magic of deadlines and accountability to help push you past writer’s block!)
Using one minor chord and different variations presented itself as the only real harmonic movement I wanted. Then came embellishments with other guitar parts, and ultimately the bass on my wall saying, “You haven’t played me in a while,” led me to add some melodic bass moments as well.
However, I feel most of the interesting stuff happened in the mix. I started to have this image of this being like a lost recording from a 60s/70s vinyl from a Buddhist poet and his collective, and that led me to make some strange decisions I typically wouldn’t. I had to tell my audiophile self to step aside and let me make this track dirtier, grittier, less “good sounding” then I’m comfortable with, and that was an interesting challenge. However, I hope it meant I was successful in giving it the chance to match the creative vision I ended up having for it.
Am I really every version of myself I’ve made?
Am I really the story that I tell myself?
Who am I? And who am I not?
I tell myself that I’m every version of myself I made.
I tell the story of my wounds,
I tell the story of my victories,
always craving affection, always craving admiration.
I’m every version of myself I’ve made, and I’m none of that.
I’m just a mental construct,
an edifice of my imagination,
a story that I have created and keep retelling.
Time to stop and look deeply.
Time to stop and ask the questions:
Am I really every version of myself that I’ve made?
Who am I when I am not who I think I am?
And what remains after all that I think I am is gone?
Looking for feedback on
Did I achieve the desired effect with the mix to make it feel like a lost vinyl recording from decades past? Could I have pushed it even further? Are there any guitar or bass melodic moments that worked and/or didn't work for you?