Music and Myth – a Happy Birthday article!

Photo by Andrei Cherascu

I like to believe that all noble and noteworthy efforts start with an epiphany. Mine was “screw it!” It came about upon realization that I was at that time finding myself in a cubicle, answering phone-calls fixing computers and generally waiting for the clock to strike 17:00. I had no idea how I had gotten there and was sort of passively thinking about that as I did my mind-numbing work.

Now, a man’s deep analysis of his life, its purpose and direction does not necessarily have to exceed the 24 hour mark, sometimes all of those thoughts can manifest themselves within a fraction of a second, which in my case lead to the aforementioned “screw it!”

Ok, I might be exaggerating a little bit because I had been thinking a lot up to that point about what exactly I was doing in a cubicle (I wasn’t actually in a cubicle, it’s more of a metaphor) in the first place and why I had gotten it in my head that there was no way in hell I could make a living doing what I actually love. Who is to say I can’t become a writer, write…I mean, right? Usually that thought process was interrupted by having to tend to daily business or just having to leave for work again.  Alright, I just made a short story long; the basic idea is I decided I want to start writing again, which I hadn’t done in about six years (with the exception of writing a script to this really great graphic novel that never ended up happening).

I didn’t just straight up decide to quit my job then and there via middle finger to the boss, though I agree that would have been considerably more entertaining. Nope, I started planning for the future, for a day when I could make a living by being a stay-home writer. I was planning on writing a novel, you see, but there was the little problem that I had never written one before and I was sure I will be experiencing severe keyboard-rust after such a long time. I needed to train, just generally write so that I can get back in “shape”. You see where this is going, right?

I was planning on writing but I just didn’t know what to write about. I could have attempted to put together some short stories but there was always the risk that they would end up sucking and would completely discourage me from ever attempting to put the proverbial pen to paper again. So I needed to write about something that would be fail-proof and the only topic I felt I was passionate enough about and which could at the same time be intrinsically interesting (I doubt many people would enjoyed my weekly articles on pro-wrestling) was music. It made sense: I absolutely love music, I know enough about it and I could talk (or in this case write) about it for hours. I decided to create “The Music and Myth” as a place where I can write about the music I love and also help promote it in any way I can. My readers have surely noticed that this is not so much a place where I review any record I come across as it is a place where I write about and try to spread the word about what I consider to be the absolutely best music I encounter with my life.  On the first ever entry, I wrote:

I thought I might write about records and bands that I love, hoping to spark an interest in their music or at least help promote their “myth”.  […]The “genres” will vary, the styles will vary and so will the instruments and the occasional voices but the one constant will be the esthetic value of the music brought forth by these gifted artists, each outstanding in his or her own way.

In the one year (tomorrow!) since I started “The Music and Myth” I have written about artists as diverse as Florence + The Machine, Alexi Murdoch, Jason Domnarski, Paul Kogut, The Banat Philharmonic Orchestra, Marc Ribot, Nils Peter Molvaer, Gavin Bryars, Anouar Brahem, David Darling, Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin, Michael Galasso, Jan Garbarek, Hiromi Uehara, Patricia Barber and, of course the incomparable Tom Waits (more on him a bit later). The mere existence of “The Music and Myth” has sparked inside me an even greater interest in music than I’ve had before and has led me to discovering new artists and works that are absolutely breathtaking.

On top of that it has offered me a place where I can just write freely, exercise my craft and do it on a topic I love so much. Now, one year later, I have escaped that mental cubicle as well as the physical job attached to it and am now a full-time writer. In the meantime, I’ve published articles in various magazines; have written music reviews for Blinded By Sound and managed to reach my goal of publishing a humor piece in Cracked. I’ve also written a crime noir novel I am now trying to sell and I am currently working on my second novel which, like I have always dreamed of, will be sci-fi. Throughout this eventful year “The Music and Myth” has not only remained the one constant in my writing, my interest in it and my love for it are increasing every day. That being said, I want to say in advance Happy Birthday to my first baby!

As a special gift to my readers I’ve prepared an article about the many facets of music and the many ways in which we can experience this wonderful art-form. The article will be published tomorrow, on the blog’s birthday, and I do hope you will take the time to read it.

The setting is Paris and the main characters are musicians Rebecca Cavanaugh, Jason Domnarski, Florence and The Machine, Spector, Tom Waits, Presteej and the whole gang at Park Slope Rock School. The following will be a short story about music and myth!

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