I do not give these posts titles.  If I were for this one, it would be “Tin Music Falls upon Tin Ears”

It was today ten years ago that I declare when The Spangle Maker was started.  I believe the rationale behind it was that it had to do with the Craigslist posting asking for a female vocalist.  The original intent was to start a dream pop group in the tradition of Cocteau Twins (hence the name).  It was after I had finally figured out a vehicle for channeling the music I had made for myself at the time and whilst in college.  However, it did not take long – and this was a consequence of allowing me the time and the space to think things through – for it veer away from any dream pop sound and to be all-embracing of any and all styles that interested me.  And it also became clear that this would start and end with me.

For about three years or so, my focus on mostly on The Spangle Maker on top of trying to make it on my own: moving out on my own, serving as a choir director at an Orthodox parish, and even being engaged … and then breaking it, and moving to a completely new location.  The end result was two EPs that were conceptual, an LP that was anthological and a collection of other songs that would have been either their own experiment or anticipated other future releases.

And now ten years later …

As evident by the infrequent updates here – and only then to divulge a little bit more about what this was all about – there is not much now.  The project has basically been on hiatus since 2011 and, unless there is a huge demand for it, it will probably remain that way.  There are times when I am at a loss of what to say about this.  Mostly because there is a lot to say and I am not sure where to start and how to distill it into something digestible and understandable.  But I will make the attempt all the same.

The last time I spoke, I revealed a few of those reasons: depression struggles due to the move (further compounded by various past events post-college and post-relocation), equipment mishaps/workflow disruptions, day-job struggles (and now consumption), lack of return and motivation to continue, greater pull in film.  Those still remain as the reasons for a lack of musical output.  I would add also my own perfection and high ambitions.  This is not just some desire to fulfill some vision in my head about how something should sound.  This is also this realization that I would never measure up to the music I loved for so long.  To me, my music sounds merely like a second-rate imitation of the music I have heard and I have no idea if I could surpass my musical masters, so to speak.  (Interestingly, I don’t feel like that with my film projects.  Then again, I have yet to realize any of them also.)

The reason I feel conflicted by this because I had spent a fair chunk of my life convinced that music was going to be my main creative outlet and my life’s ambition.  I had also managed to convince others this was going to be the case.  To me, this situation feels like total failure and it is even more so because I still have yet to achieve what I have in mind.  Then again, I understand having high ambitions can often be a setup for eventual disappointment.  There is a part of me that knows I shouldn’t as life is full of various twists and turns.  And there are plenty of people who started out thinking one thing but end up somewhere else … and you could even argue they even achieved what they set out to achieve.  But I have yet to reach a point where I can settle life accounts so to speak and assess the profit and the loss.

To wrap up, I started this project more than a year after I had completed my studies at the College of William and Mary.  If you were to tell me even at that time (during Commencement) that I would start a music project, I may have thought of it plausible but difficult for me to envision.  When I embarked on it, I had in mind a few more LPs and several more EPs that would have expressed a wider range of musical, thematic and emotional ideas.  But if I couldn’t imagine what would happen in a year, how could I know ten?  And so, I should say: here’s to another ten … whatever those may be.  I hope I can make the most of it, no matter what it is.

All the best, DP

~ by djproject on 17 May 2016.

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