Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 22

Chris C. D. Littlefield

Producer, Bandleader, Composer,

Educator, National Touring Artist

Chris shares his observations of Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Techniques

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Music As History

Looking into the past, encountering person, place and timeline; these things help me to develop a better understanding of where I have come from, present circumstances, my future destination.

History impels me to consider matters which reveal the challenges of great artists, their successes and flat out grit. Their narrative helps me grasp influences which have contributed to who they are. This will help answer questions I may have and expedite personal trials.

I hope to understand my place in music culture by observing those who have come before me, giving serious consideration to their learned experience. There is credence to these view points because I seek multi-dimensional understanding and appreciation, inclining to know the how and why.

One of the things I hope to avoid, as much as possible, is western ethnocentricity. My challenge has been to seek out musical context from multinational sources. So much of today’s international music is influenced by western ideals and process; there in lies the challenge. Hats off to Bollywood for embracing almost 20 percent of the world’s musical heritage, and yet…

A lot of my search is biographical in nature. The references I seek and embrace are racial, societal and gender related; including technical and theoretical view points. Observing and denoting these personal accounts allows me to strip down my misunderstandings of perspective. I have carried many prejudices and misconceptions since the arrival of life’s first flames of musical passion.

Alternatives are limitless in today’s choices of influence.

All music has roots representing different aspects of geography, religion, ethnicity, and civics. What truly amazes me is how much diversity constitutes different styles in contrasting cultural regions.

Yet there remain similarities.

Much of that is attributed to basic fundamentals of melody and rhythm. Our individual nature extends in to the deepest levels of human psyche and therefore we can’t help but be influenced by primary attributes. Cultures and societies might embrace their music as indigenous to their shared experience when in fact those influences have been absorbed from cross pollination of varying narratives.

What are possible variables of musical influence? As aforementioned, technical ability, religious influences, access to technology, corporate belief systems, climate and geography. The emotions and ideas that music expresses, the situations in which music is played and listened to, a culture’s attitude toward musicians, vary between regions and periods.

Music must have been present in every society from the foundations of human existence. I believe the first music was created in Africa, or where ever we can trace the origin of our species.

Thoughts on this include the origin of instrumentation.

Simply picking up a couple of large rocks and smacking them together rhythmically (the original Rock Music), or beating on a fallen log. It probably didn’t take long to develop a desire for melody. In the end, melody is far more fascinating than pounding out a percussive structure of twos and threes. Yet those twos and threes are foundational of harmony.

Amazing that it can all be traced back to the simplest forms of structure.

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Brewing Is Art

Video Interview with Award Winning Brewer, Dan Haff

Dan Haff shares his insight into Brewing, Ownership and

The Experience of Craft Brewing

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Success

Seven Considerations of Success, Maybe More

Do we say to ourselves, “I’m gonna bust ass and make it to the top?” If we love what we’re doing, if we’re passionate, does it matter how far we go? Sometimes, just getting that one cut which you have been struggling with will make your day and build confidence.

Success can have many different interpretations. There are all sorts of aspirations: from hanging with friends, doing some jamming, drinking and smoking, to the highest levels of accomplishment.

The world, especially here in the United States, defines success in financial terms. Can it have a broader definition? I have heard that financial acquisition just alleviates worry about money. What’s left is everything else.

Here are some challenges I have encountered.

Complacency – Often it lies in tandem with being content where we are. Is the concept of accomplishment thrilling and exciting? Is there passion in the cause? Does it fire you up to see what’s next and what further progress lies in your future?

Fearfulness – There are lots of great ideas out there. I know, because I think of them all the time. Putting that great idea into action is another game altogether. What if this objective takes me away from my comfort zone?

Uncertainty – The reality is summed up readily: what if I don’t triumph in my efforts? Well, you might not end up at the place you had envisioned. There may be that gnawing feeling that you aren’t capable enough or even deserving the reward. Perseverance is everything. I have heard it said over and over, again and again, this is not sprint but a marathon. Is it a matter of how fast we run 42 kilometers, or is it the accomplishment of just crossing the finish line? That, by itself, is a huge deal.

Inactivity – To make that great idea come to fruition requires massive effort. Isn’t it easier to watch a flat screen, observing others achieving destiny, than to act upon it one’s self.

Diversion – Friends, family and social life; these are tenets of our societal contract. Yet attainment is usually done in isolation. Great sculpture usually isn’t created watching a football game with our buddies and beer. It’s a challenge to provoke yourself to action, knowing full well that associations need to be limited.

Connectivity – Are you around people who are an inspiration? Who are you hanging with? Do you have a coach, a mentor, a person who has gone before you who knows the ropes? Like minded people who are on a path similar to yours can be found almost anywhere. God made the internet; use it.

Hyperbole – It’s everywhere. Fake it till you make it, a premise of many network marketing concepts of which I have been involved. Self aggrandizement is prevalent on tons of social media. Deception often has a way of coming back around to haunt you. Keeping promises to others and yourself is super important; say what you do, do what you say. A great teacher once said, “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no…”

Ungratefulness – Do you remember from where you have come? Who helped you along the way? What gifts were you given? What events have brought you to this point? Who is on your team? Who loves you? What circumstances have made today a good day? Is it good to just breathe? What compulsions influenced your venture into the foray? These are some examples which deserve thankfulness.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21

Featuring Ed Maloney

Club Owner, Music Promoter and Producer

Ed Maloney

Former Owner of the

Seattle Landmark Highway 99 Blues Club

Ed shares his music business insight

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Vision

Working for the man, I hear terms like mission statements, objectives, purpose, values and vision. What do I get when I utilize search engines for a definition of vision? A bunch of corporate speak on the how, why and variations on said subject. Seems to me it’s a parroting of various courses offered by universities.

Does this define my consideration of vision?

Practicing vision gives me the chance to close my eyes and see the fulfillment of my dreams and aspirations. If I were where I wanted to be, how would that appear? It’s been said a person should visualize the end point of the journey and work backwards; what contributed to the trek and how did it look?

I’m not talking about visualizing world peace, eliminating hunger, solving homelessness or any of humanities nobler goals. I recognize vision for these virtuous ends as super important, but it seems like a crazy hallucination. There is so much I can not change.

My Vision Is Personalized

Any of my two to five year plans didn’t work; did they for you? Besides, if you are like me you change your mind a lot. It doesn’t mean a person is a flake or indecisive. Particulars and circumstances are not static; perhaps therein lies a bit of wisdom in rearranging my thought process.

The most important vision I can actualize is for myself and for my family.

In the past I have floundered along with out being able to see my destination. At most times my line of sight was directed towards what others thought I should be looking for. Family, corporation, church, girl friends, chums…Funny thing, there are a whole lot of people out there who are willing to tell me what my vision should be, but who are actualizing their line of sight as if it were mine.

And They Wonder How Come I’m Not Smarter

Always, in the front and back of my mind, I have had to be involved in music. I can’t, nor do I want to, leave it behind. Put music down, sell all my gear and after season I would be right back at it.

There are tons of people more qualified and far more successful, so why pursue it? The thing is, I can’t comprehend giving up.

Over the years what I have seen in my future changes. From the heady days of spending month after month on the road, quietly playing in weekend club bands, working in original acts, writing music, to putting together my own recording studio. The vision I had at twenty two is not the vision I have today.

Vision ties in with things I’m passionate about. When there was no line of sight, or when I lived in the expectations of others, there was no real excitement, no anticipation, just mindless wandering. I am now able to see past the garbage and work towards that which does not yet exist. What I imagine is an out come tied to my understanding of myself, my thoughts, my situation.

Those who have thought and conceptualized their vision for me also have directed me on a path of fulfillment. “Do this and that,” they say, “and you will realize the other thing. Listen to my words and do as so-and-so did and blah, blah, blah…”

We are not often told how much a person needs to put aside to realize their dreams. I am not willing to sacrifice for someone else’s vision. What once delighted me as far as social expectations and responsibilities are now sidelined with not a single regret.

I’m sure that those who have gone before us did not walk down a perfectly straight line; they did not hit every road marker that identified their highway, did not celebrate every little victory and achievement, their plotted course wasn’t always true north. But what they could do was communicate eloquently where they saw themselves headed and deal with challenges in the way. They fought, and continue to fight, the good fight.

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In Process

I consider my ego a tool, as opposed as to reflection of who I am. The sweet spot of my self confidence is strongly correlated within the function of my belief that I can do more than facts suggest. I’m waiting to see how this all turns out.

Of course this applies to music, the studio and related various projects.

Am I putting up a facade and hoping you buy it? Maybe. Inflating a version of my true self allows me to relax and play the style of my projected character.

I got that going for me, which is nice.

Does this make me a lot like you?

In the Wizard of Oz, did you notice the only person who knew the wizard was bluffing was Toto?

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Because of his projection of confidence and power, all of Oz thought he was more than he was.

We are all deeply flawed. Pretending that it is otherwise would be silly. How many times have I been wrong in a situation where I thought I was dead to rights in my beliefs?

I’m really bad at predicting the future. That’s why we have experts and they, also, are usually wrong.

I have found asking a lot of questions lends to the appearance of having control of a situation. In this process, I think of things I’m good at, which is a reminder of my determination and abilities.

I truly enjoy people and their successes. The way I look at it, if you succeed in an endeavor, I win, because I can look at you and take notes.

Getting back to ego…as an artist it is super hard to separate myself from the implications of my craft. I want to hear that all my ideas are amazing, when they probably aren’t. I certainly don’t want my ego making decisions for me. That’s not practicable.

So I will continue this practice of dialing my ego up and down as the situation warrants. Sometimes people want to hear how good I think I am, but most times not. They want me to hear how good they think they are.

Blaze on warrior, and I’ll follow. Maybe you will have the giant’s shoulders I’ll stand upon.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20

Featuring Darnell Scott

Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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The Genius Factor

Genius is an absolutely important component of creativity; not necessarily an Einsteinian genius. Most of us are not revolutionizing scientific theory.

How about actionable design which translates to a ton of effort and process.

Some folks are great song writers. I realize that the process can be perfected by constantly composing. I have one friend who can throw together lyrics, chord progression, melody and arrangement in such a brief time it will make your head spin. I mean, ready for production, done. Wow, prolific would be an under statement.

I have another friend who says you can’t teach good song writing. A person can be guided on a path, but time always reveals whether the direction holds true. Analogous to a person with good character: a child can be taught good examples, but it takes living life to see whether those traits hold true.

And yet another friend who says most song writers can’t write their way out of a paper bag. God, truth hurts.

The fact of the matter, I have many, many friends and associates in music who are indeed genius. Intelligence seems to to be the dominate characteristic of all art forms.

Truly, the concept is mind blowing. I can’t think of a single musician I know, regardless of skill level, who, at the very least, is not an amazingly insightful and deeply thoughtful human being. It’s almost scary stuff.

In art, intellect of some form or degree is the most important trait. Maybe that is a blanket statement; nothing I have experienced would disprove my belief.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 19

Featuring Danny Godinez

Guitarist, Songwriter, Producer

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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These Boots Were Made For Walking

We were doing some gigs as a jazz quintet. We had only been together for a couple of months, still trying to feel one another out. As we went along, the realization came: Harry, our lead singer, liked to imbibe; a lot.

Harry didn’t play an instrument, but had an amazing ability to stay in tune regardless of how much alcohol he consumed. Quantities could be copious; every solo, Harry was at the bar slamming another round.

A Saturday night at the club, and Harry had his game on. For some strange reason, as usual, intoxicated, he decided that he would shut down Robert, our guitar player. He spent the first two sets completely ignoring Robert, showing complete disdain. During the break between set two and three, with out a word, Bob broke down his gear and split. We finished the night as a four piece, and, after getting paid, the bass player and I quit. The keyboard player and Larry only lasted a couple of more gigs.

In another band, Melissa, the lead singer and guitarist, thought pretty highly of herself. We had been together almost five years. The band was an original act, with horn section, and we had three rehearsals a week. Gigs were few and far in between but the act seemed to have a ton of potential.

Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into this one. Half the band had to drive 30 to 40 miles each way for rehearsals, so there was an incredible time spent driving to and from. Melissa offered no reciprocation for those of us who had to commute two hour transit times on urban freeways.

One day, after years of being prepared and accountable, I missed returning a phone call in regards to some sort of band business. Two days later Melissa read me the riot act. After years of dedication, this is the reciprocation I receive? Besides being furious, I walked out of that one.

At this level, there is no such thing as circumstances not being personal. It’s all personal, every single bit of it. We spend hours, day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out…

Bob and I took these situations as an affront to our persons, character and effort.

I work way too hard to have my ethic called in to question. Sure, I make mistakes, but those who know me well would never even think of such recourse.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18

Steve Smith, Percussionist, Music Professional, Engineer, Producer and Author, Shares his Musical Expertise

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Thank You for reading. We appreciate comments and suggestions. You know where to find us.

Perspective Is A Super Power

What if I could just go back and do it over? The age old concept of being smarter at a younger age.

I guess that brings up being regretful for previous actions and decisions. Some of the undertakings and determinations I have made require contriteness. Feelings of guilt and self recrimination have literally haunted my thoughts for years, affecting self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes there have been fears of an imagined confrontation from those I have wronged.

Instead of continuing this cycle of mild paranoia, I have decided to embrace the concept of Pronoia. What is Pronoia, you may ask? It is the delusional belief that people are plotting my well being and saying nice things about me behind my back. It might be my own little world but at least they know me there.

So what have I learned?

To not be concerned with how I am perceived by others.

Understanding that speaking insulting words or practicing actions of even casual malice are things that usually can not be taken back.

Clear and defined convictions give me dividing lines and direction that keep me focused on goals.

Can we help you in any way?

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 17

Featuring Daniel Haff

Award Winning Brewer and Owner of Crooked Label Brewing Company

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

Can we help you in any way?

Thank You for reading. We appreciate comments and suggestions. You know where to find us.

This Tool Ain’t Getting Any Sharper

I have serious management potential. I believe I care enough to actually affect change.

Yep, Sharp as a marble.

A few bricks shy of a load.

Not the brightest spoon in the drawer nor sharpest tool in the shed.

I have spent a life time pursuing my dreams. Of course there have been interruptions and distractions: Love, financial attainment, work commitments, family, you know. A long life’s path are many decisions, good and bad.

I have made a daily habit of searching for new ideas. This been an extremely interesting process. First rule: there is no such thing as a good or bad idea. It’s just an idea. The most important thing is to get the idea out.

I have read that turning over ideas and writing them down actually increases brain strength; approach the brain as a muscle that needs to be exercised. Idea crunches? I don’t know.

Like I said, there are no bad ideas, they are just ideas. I started by just throwing cocepts out there. Example: Go back to school, great thought, right? But is it practicable? For me, no; for some one else, maybe. Ideas are just ideas – be a garbage man, start a deli, walk pets, be a bicycle mechanic, drive an ice cream truck, buy a dry cleaner, work as a grocery clerk…

Here’s the kicker…for me, only one in a thousand ideas is even worth acting upon. So, ten ideas a day times 365 days = 3,650 ideas. If I am lucky, that’s 3 ideas a year that are worthy of follow up. Actually, I think my average is lower.

For an idea to be worth acting upon, it needs to meet criterion, like, is it feasible? Also, is it simple? Does the idea actually resonate with my inner core values? It has to be something that is in line with my passions and goals; if it’s not, I’m not going to be very interested in follow through. Consistency and persistency is the concept I embrace in everything.

I’m not yet a dazzling financial success, but I have embraced the process of growth. I’m blessed in that I have my health and a good, solid foundation in many areas of my life. Everyday I fire my endorphins with different areas of achievement, constantly improving some small area of my life, which will show exponentially at the end of a years practice.

Is there any way we can help you?

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 16

Featuring Adam Puchalski

of Wind Studios

Deciding Instrumentation and Voicings

in Recording Projects

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

Can we help you in any way?

We appreciate comments and suggestions. Thank You for reading. You know where to find us.

How To Herd Cats

This Is A Bit Of A Stretch…

Definition Of A Cat:

Evidently Cab Calloway coined the term in the 30’s. Back in 1938, he published Cab Calloway’s Cat-ologue: A “Hepster’s” Dictionary. Wikipedia has a great page on the origins of Jive; vastly entertaining.

A “Cat” could have been a jazz musician in a New Orleans whore house. Or simply the demeanor of players as they strutted on to stage or into their solos; stretching it out, like a cat.

So, yeah, I’m sort of using a double entendre here. Herding cats is a metaphor which emphasizes herding that which is incapable of being herded. Cats, i.e., musicians.

I have utmost respect for my friends who have been capable of keeping their bands together year in and year out with super low turn over of personnel.

My experience is contrary. I have run bands, with mediocre outcomes. I have experienced lack of interest, motivation and dedication coupled with politicizing. Let’s not forget about flat out prima donnas.

The same challenge has risen its head in the studio. Trying to keep folks focused, even on their own projects, can become totally frustrating. Scheduled day of recording, not even a phone call to cancel. Sure hope you ain’t hurt or in trouble. A text takes, what, 10 seconds, max?

How about all the times I have been asked to attend meetings in various projects in which I’m involved . Sometimes not even the person who called the meeting shows up.

The flip side; I’m trying to help others hook up with people who might be able to support and help. Ah, the beautiful Seattle passive / aggressive. “Yes, I will be there.” Not even a peep when the person doesn’t show.

My favorite: “Would you be interested in an interview?”

“Sure, how much you paying me?”

Only time will tell if you are that great.

Will a carrot and a stick work? How about a day timer and a whip? I suppose that’s not too practicable.

Last thought – A good friend offered me the chance to record my podcasts at his world class studio.

Instant scheduling nightmare.

Don’t you know, “I float like a butterfly and sting like bee.” I’m stealing quotes from Mohammad Ali.

May we help you?

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 15

https://sarahpinzon.com

Sarah Pinzon, L.A. Recording and Session Artist, Lead Singer of Hell’s Belles

Think you got what it takes to make it in the L.A. studio scene? Sarah Pinzon works as a session player and artist. Check out Mackncheeze Podcast # 15 and find out if you have the grit to do likewise.

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

Can we help in any way?

We appreciate comments and suggestions. Thanks for reading. You know where to find us.

Motivation

Still True…And Don’t Forget the Vocalist

Actually, that was my entire reason for getting involved in music, oh, and besides the fact that music constantly runs through my head. I think I was hoping for side benefits. Those benefits did materialize, whether that is a good thing was decided later.

Defining success: confidence, proficiency, articulation, enjoyment. Those are nnderlying factors in the journey of motivation.

I have been on fire for music many times in my life. Usually, the passion for it rekindles after the dissolution of the last failed romantic relationship. It took long years to understand, for me, music and relationships do not intermix. As much commitment and effort that goes in to sustaining a successful relationship, there is always a part of my brain nagging me to not put down my passion. The two just never have mixed. Is it the music that is the adulterous, or the woman in my life?

Maybe I’m extremely selfish?

Throwing the amalgam of all my side projects into play, the goal is clear and succinct. I just want to record and play music. It is the engine that drives the machine.

Is there anyway we can help you?

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M.O.B. Studios’ Evan Kolpak

Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 14

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Seven Examples Of Counting The Cost

What are you willing to give up to chase your dreams? If we want it badly, we have got to sacrifice.

Obsession, it’s what we do regardless what is happening. First thing in the morning pounding it out. Last thing at night, getting the final two cents in.

Priorities:

Woody Allen: “80 percent of the game is showing up.”

Warren Buffett: “Really Successful People Say No To Almost Everything”

I have read that I should think like my prey; it’s an old concept. Not that I’m trying to sell anybody anything, or eat anyone, except that there might be a possibility we could help one another.

That’s what my podcasts are all about. As well as my You Tube Channel.

Life is a big process of negotiation, ask any parent. I’m not a parent, but I know lots of parents.

Toxic relationships will not facilitate progress, inspiration or direction.

Health is an underlying factor, if I am not well, how am I going to able to move forward.

A band I was in, years ago, was a dedicated bunch. Three rehearsals a week, staging, PA, light show and a big semi-trailer to haul it. It was all about the show.

We would do gigs in 24 hour stints. Load in at 5:30 am, hit the road for two to four hours, load out, play the gig, load the truck, drive home, unload by 6 am the next morning. That’s commitment, a shared devotion to a cause, each person involved having reason for being there, from the musicians to the road crew.

I’m not afraid to work and collaborate, as long as my vision crosses path with someone else’s, consider me in.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast #13: Sean Farchild

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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We appreciate comments and suggestions. Thanks for reading. You know where to find us.

Freedom

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Or so the song goes.

I chose to define freedom as this: I personally make more decisions for myself than my boss , my family, my government and my friends.

Henry Thoreau said, A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to say “no” to.

Junior once said, “Free your mind and your ass will follow .”- Oliver Stone

If you have not read Humble The Poet , I highly suggest you do. He says, “True freedom only exists in discipline.”

If it’s discipline that will drive me to have more freedom of choices, then bring it on. Nose to the grind stone! What more can I do? Prioritize!

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Mackncheeze Podcast # 12

Interview with Todd Ainsworth AKA Murl Hartwood of Seattle Country Band, Hartwood

Hartwood’s ‘Enumclaw’ available on Amazon and CD Baby

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple Stupid

I first learned of the K.I.S.S. concept in college jazz lab band. The professor, a horn player by the name of Bart, introduced the notion to soloists. I loved Bart; he was awesome.

Evidently there are two ways to interpret K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid, or, Keep It Simple, Stupid. I always considered the latter as proper interpretation. Evidently, the U.S. Navy, who by the way, coined the acronym, identifies with the former. Just keeping things stupid simple, or simple stupid, alleviates greater frequency of errors.

I’ve always thought in terms of, “Hey Stupid, keep it simple.” But that’s me and my sarcastic mind set.

I think it is a perfect way to interpret a mix, especially when starting with a foundation. Simplify, keeping the concept stupid simple, identify your substructure: drums, vocals, melody, rhythm tracks, use your own judgment, then base your mix on that.

I constantly cross reference mixes from the big boys, using compromised sound sources ( iPhone speakers, bluetooth speakers, crappy head phones, extremely low volume near-field play back, listening from another room, car stereos while driving…)

For me, the ultimate foundational K.I.S.S. mixing technique: Isolate the kick and the lead vocals. Make those two voices as musical as possible, then move on. That’s what I do. E.Q. and compress the kick drum and vocals and blend them the best I am able; everything else follows.

K.I.S.S. can also be applied to personal rehearsal. Being a drummer, I imagine the concept is much less complex. I break down rhythmic passages into 2’s and 3’s and slow the metronome to excrutiatingly slow BPM, requiring painful concentration, actually making my brain hurt.

When practicing like this, I can actually feel new neural paths carving different channels through my brain. I have told this can delay Alzheimer’s but does nothing to alleviate Some Timers or Delayed Intelligence.

In all my endeavors, I try to start with as basic as an idea as possible. It’s overthinking that complicates matters.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast 11

An Interview with Knuckles Front Man Dan Manier and Guitarist Sean Hudson

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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We appreciate comments and suggestions. You know where to find us. Thanks for listening.

Fat Fingers

Chubby digits, that’s what I got. What I mean is – I make a lot of mistakes. I blame my mistakes on my five thumbs which are attached to both of my hands. Generally, fat fingers applies to any editing program I might be working with: photo, video, audio, text… all of them.

The wrong command is pressed, Fat Fingers. Forgot to save the project, Fat Fingers. Turn off the lap top by accident, fat fingers.

It’s important to remember to concentrate on the moment. I find myself so easily distracted, bouncing around from concept to concept, action to action, in a huge hurry to get to my next destination. My chubby digits hit the wrong command, and bam, there I go again, off to another error.

That’s one of the reasons I avoid flat screen control devices. I don’t know how many times I have been mixing with an iPad app, and one careless brush of my little finger, kapow, I turn off an entire sub mix. Makes for very interesting performances.

Chubby digits, that’s what I got.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 10:

Adam Puchalski and Bryan Discuss EQ and Panning For Application In Home Studios

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Comments and suggestions welcome. You know where to find us. Thank You for reading. Please follow us on Face Book at Mackncheeze Music.

Learning To Listen

When I was in Junior High school band, our music instructor hammered in a basic musical concept over and over and over. He always said, “Listen to what is going on around you.” I think that is a basic fundamental of performance.

If one of the members of the band plays louder than everyone else, it is probably because they aren’t even bothering to listen. It’s especially important in dynamics.

One of the basics I had to learn to master was how to lead the band in to the next section of a tune. That was a struggle; learning how to play underneath the vocalist, allowing them to hear themselves, coming down at the beginning of solos, all the while not losing intensity in my performance.

How many times have I played with a guitar player or bass player who are always too loud, drowning out other players. I haven’t got time for it; I do not have a six hundred watt Class D amp driving my drum kit.

Not every stage has a monitor system. Lower decibels equates to a greater ability to hear one another.

I also believe that folks who are struggling with tempo haven’t learned to really hear what is being articulated from other performances. I used to be so concerned about which note was coming next and concentrating on the moment, I would lose focus of overall context. A big no, no.

I have a bass player friend, who, whenever we gig together, we lock in to one another and work dynamics for each song. It is totally compelling, working as a team, supporting the other band members. Everyone has got to be on board with this. It doesn’t help if the rhythm section is working its butt off and some guitarist or trumpet player, or who ever, is obliviously playing, ignoring dynamics.

Is music a conversation? Listen. Is there a melodic question? Listen. Do you want to answer? Listen. Do you want to make a statement? Listen. Do you want to help others sound better? Listen

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Mackncheeze Podcast # 9

Eric Ritts Shares Insights On Marco Bass Guitars

marcobassguitars.com

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Getting The Mix

Getting a great mix can be very tough. Recording well requires quality inputs, correct performance, and extreme listening skills. The adage, “It’s not the gear, it’s the ear” holds a lot of truth. Better listening begets qualitative judgement, which enhances desire for equipment that can satisfy ever expanding qualitative judgement, which creates gear sluts, people who always need some better gear. That’s me.

Of course subjectivity is involved, but its more satisfying to be objectively subjective (oxymoron, maybe) when proper equipment is utilized.

My first real studio experience was when I was 19. We had no idea our band was terrible. Spending three hours recording four cover tunes on traditional two inch tape and some big console, excitement and expectations were huge. The engineers mixed it out for us in about a half hour. Those big old JBL studio monitors sounded great at full tilt; you know, loud is best. We were presented a cassette tape of our session which promptly went on to the car stereo.

Feeling like rock stars, disappointment was huge when we compared our three hour session to cassettes produced by big labels. We had no understanding that those projects could take weeks and months of ten to twelve hour days before release. And that’s before mastering. Mastering?

We understood nothing. Sometimes it still feels that way.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 8

How To Sustain Your Bands Longevity

MICHAEL CLUNE: SONGWRITER, ALL ROUND MUSICIAN, BAND LEADER

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Finding My Core Values

I have been on a path of discovery. Since I have started blogging I have had to do a lot of inner searching. I understand that I need to be who I am and not try to fake my way through this process. Friends who read my blog have told me that that they can actually hear my voice when they read it.

That is good news. I really desire that I focus on others and get their stories out. The way I see it, we are all in this together, and if we can have our paths converge on different parts of our journeys, more power to all of us.

I’ll scratch your back and you can scratch mine, so to speak.

It seems almost all my projects require collaboration with others. If I had a budget and I could afford to hire musicians out, I would. But funds are limited, knowledge is limited and I can use all the help I can get. I’m not a one person show, nor do I want to be.

I thrive on social interaction. What better way to be sociable than to work and share my passion for music and creativity.

In the midst of trying to achieving these things, what is really needed is a fundamental change in my attitude toward life. I have to learn who I am and that it does not really matter what my expectations may be, but rather what life expects from me. In that, I desire to help as many others as I am able.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 7

What To Do With That Extra Gear

Adam Puchalski and Bryan Chat About Old Gear

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Inspiration

I choose to hang with folks who are smarter, more talented and more driven than myself.

Daily, I take time to read and garner other peoples ideas, checking to see if their concepts and practices are adaptable to my circumstance. I think I have applied maybe 1 out of 1000 suggestions. You might think it takes a lot of time to do this. I ain’t going to lie, it does. This habit is actually an extension of personal rehearsal and reading habits. I understand the results of constantly applying myself, seeing no immediate return on my efforts. It’s a cumulative effect; more fuel creates a bigger flame.

As you can imagine, 1 out of 1000 ideas acted upon isn’t a huge return. Face it, most concepts I look at aren’t that great and most are just flat out stupid. That’s okay, I can live with it.

The biggest result is increase of process. My process is far greater now than when I first started churning out ideas. I spent the first months of idea gathering just thinking of anything and writing it down. Any concept is worth writing down, no matter how dumb or inaccessible.

Still, the biggest purveyor of new ideas acted upon is personal rehearsal. Music is a limitless world of possibilities. Virtuosity is achievable in so many different genres, it is truly mind blowing. I believe that music has direct connection to elements of the universe; I see and understand this more and more.

Back to my first statement: I can’t over emphasize how important friends are for inspirational growth. Because they are who they are, just being around them is a form of collaboration. For me, innocuous collusion is cool. It is truly awesome to sit in front of the console and flat screen, together, piecing out arrangements, parts and voicings.

In my world, friendship is everything.

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Mackncheeze Music Podcast 6

Finding High Quality Guitars On A Budget

We are podcasting on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Overcast and Radio Public. Just key in Bryan at Mackncheeze, or click the link below.

Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield Bryan At Mackncheeze

Chris Littlefield, Trumpet Player, Bandleader, Composer, National Touring Artist.   Chris shares insight into Seattle Music History, Influences and Recording Technique.   Chris Littlefield Chris Littlefield Sound Cloud Mackncheeze Music Blog Mackncheeze Music
  1. Mackncheeze Music Podcast# 22: Featuring Chris Littlefield
  2. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 21: Featuring Ed Maloney, Music Promoter, Producer and Former Owner of Seattle's Highway 99 Blues Club
  3. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 20: Featuring Blues Artist, Darnell Scott
  4. Mackncheeze Podcast # 19: Featuring Danny Godinez
  5. Mackncheeze Music Podcast # 18: Steve Smith of the Seattle Drum School

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Seven Considerations For Working With A Band

Is there respect? Am I receiving the accreditation I deserve?

Is there reciprocation?

Level of commitment? What are the goals? Is the band a social club, which is fine, if that’s the definition of the band. Does it match my expectations?

Environment. Do you feel comfortable? Are you welcome or are you a door mat?

Politics. Is there an underlying power struggle going within the group? Finding it hard to work with folks? Is flow happening?

Would I spend my free time with the band members? If I am in it for the long haul, I am going to hang in there, thick or thin.

Trust. Would I want my Mother to know these people? Would she except them, enjoy them, love them?

These are things I consider and priorities I set when working with others.

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Goals

My absolute, top priority is to become a better player. Honestly, I believe I require practice four hours per day to actually achieve needed results. I know this is true; when I can consistently commit time day in, day out, week in, week out, I rise above plateaus and keep pressing on.

I have spent years reading self help books, sometimes so formulaic I feel like I’m just absorbing drivel. The usual recipe: write down my goals, visualize, journal, associate with people smarter than me, identify what I want, consistency, persistency, embrace passion. Yep all that.

The biggest take away from all of it? There is no guarantee of outcome. Life is fragile and so much of our journey depends upon good relationships, health, both physical and mental, willingness to work with others and to be able to give of ourselves.

Having done this, maybe I haven’t done enough. What I have learned is that my success is the process; I have not become who I am today without it. Any of my abilities has been developed through patience and humble recognition that there is always more to be done. I can see where I want to go, what I want to do, be it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Since I can’t control the outcome, all I can do is control the process.

I have come to a place of acceptance and gratitude. I know, no matter what, I would be driven to improve musically. I have walked away from pursuing music for extended periods of years and perspective has shown me I was immensely unsettled, discontent, facing turmoil, confused and seeking after things which I was not made for.

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