The Potential for Magic

One of the biggest mistakes ever has certainly got to do with dreams.

We tell people to follow their dreams but that is it, which inevitably has them either fail and think not for me or they actually move forward. The second case is sadly more rare.

But the point here is how are you learning something?

To me the classic has got to be when I was in scouts as a kid. We had to learn knots, as in all the different kind of ways of tying two ropes together (or one in the examples) like the bowline, reef knot and so on. It’s been a while since this all happened. I will also admit it is not super magical but bear with me.

I couldn’t do it at all. I could tie my shoes but even then only just barely. I remembered left over right, right over left, but that’s it. (Or was it the other way around? Anyways)

Years later I wanted to help fix up my dad’s boat and have everything perfect and for some reason I decided to learn the same knots by myself. In one hour I could flip through the same knots, the exact same ones, over and over.

What happened? Well, it’s the same as with music. I did take guitar lessons once as a kid and got bored. Years later I’m studying bass, then guitar, then keyboard and I have an album coming out.

What happened was the way I learned. The person is the same. The material is the same. The difficulty is the same. But now as a Adhd person who deep dives into subjects, my self teaching makes it actually work.

That’s the magic here. It isn’t limited to guitars and reef knots. Our approach to anything including how people learn can be opened up. You can become literally what ever you imagine.

If you have the dream you have what’s in you to succeed.

Cheers,

Tom

The upside of 1%

It is really easy to feel like to have plateaued in what you are doing and creative endeavors are no different for this. I don’t have lots of time as I’m writing this between gigs and I have the release for the single She Lives There literally in under 24 hours but I wanted to pass this along.

Any regular time spent working on something does have a positive effect, in fact anything you focus on regularly will become refined. I’ve noticed this over the month with, of all things, music production.

I don’t consider myself a music producer or engineer by any stretch, but I’ve sort of had to play that role while recording The Goldblacks CD and onwards since I still have the same gear. In doing that there’s little nuances that have improved or approaches I learned in the blur that was the album recording, like how to give myself plenty of virtual tracks of a take to lessen the stress, or my trick of singing backup to a temporary instrument track for guidance.

The point is you may only improve what you’re working on like 1% each day. But truth is that is actually huge because if keep doing that the difference in a year isn’t 365% because you will adding that percent to the day before. Your learning method will also become refined too, like in my recording example. I wasn’t trying to become an engineer, I was trying to make some songs, but the engineering advances came as a by product. Sometimes you can blow through plateaus through consistency, sometimes it comes thanks to an outside source but as long as you keep that focus and show up to the page each day like I said before, you will get there.

Some stuff isn’t easy or fun, but it can lead to more fun if you hold on. I like my new philosophy for being at the gym which works in creativity too. If you’ve shown up and you’re doing it you’ve succeeded. The effort takes you immediately past where you would have been, and anything you actually do is just a bonus.

Enjoy the journey!

Cheers,

Tom

Wrap on Recording The Goldblacks

Why even do a solo CD?

Well first, these two weeks was a whole lot more than just recording. Last night marked not only my last night on vacation which I used for recording my first solo effort, but it was also my first day back on stage with Cookeilidh after almost the same two weeks.

But recording this now was for a mix of reasons. After ages of collaborative things I wanted to prove (mostly to myself) that I could be creative without someone to lean on. I was inspired by the project Low Roar which was essentially started as Ryan Karazija by himself in his kitchen in Reykjavik with a guitar and a laptop. (He’s since gone full time and has way more production going on).

I also had been working with the keyboard and for some reason got into this Instagram habit of a post per day, primarily a song. Some were covers like “Up Where We Belong” but some weren’t and they gave rise to songs like Reason, which this little teaser clip comes from…

I also had a few songs from the past and just this desire to create things that don’t necessarily fit in a Celtic band. It is fun to lead the charge, but of course it’s more demanding so I knew I wanted to give myself some actual time off to do it. I certainly learned a lot over both this recording process and the time building towards it. I’ve decided to give the whole thing some time so I can work out what to do with the project in post. I am busy with Cookeilidh and that’s still moving forward so how do I incorporate this new thing in? Anyways I will be releasing singles before the now May 1st release, starting with She Lives There and Reason.

The process hasn’t always been easy, which is one of the reasons I’m very proud of it, whatever it does. I’ve found myself listening to it regularly, like when I was in Vancouver filming parts of the She Lives There music video. There are parts I’m really proud of, even if they are less straight single material like Precipice, Missed Connections and parts of Secret Star.

Can’t wait to share more of this with you!

Thanks for checking me out!

πŸ™‚

Tom

The Goldblacks recording begins…

Going to be doing most of these kinds of updates in the evenings as the recording heat is from early in the day (like 7 am…sometimes earlier) until well past when I really should have eaten something.

Been not just recording songs but still learning about the entire process, like for instance how to relax and record.

I had been working on the material for months before this week but it’s still easy to be full aware of the recording button that’s just been hit.

Musicians are they’re worst critics but also the more worked up you get the more you can get so allowing for multiple takes and going for walks helps.

Two tracks are mostly done and just need tweaking and two more need more alterations but are essentially done.

You never quite know where it’s going until you start.

I already have unpolished versions of each song that I have been picking apart for a week. And now they are getting updated to pick more.

For bands or soloists I image the social media side of things is kind of the same. Behind the scenes is pretty much me in my corner of the living room fenced in by my music stuff with just enough room to escape if you avoid the Manhasset stand I got…oh, ages ago.

That and an array of drinks. Not booze but, water, coffee and Tulsi Tea which, by way, are King.

I have some CD mock-ups started as well which include this awesome cover art shot by Crystal Freeman…

After all this goes for printing I’ve got some ideas for maybe doing a few shows before the final cd release. I hope to include some other folks on stage too later as well, but I’ll update you on that as things confirm.

For those wondering, I’m still in Cookeilidh and still writing. Not sure about the full involvement of pitch writing at the moment, but I’m still creating and so is Cece.

On the band front, we had a great season just before the new year and lots of shows on for both Robbie Burns and St Patrick’s so I’m already getting that ready too.

The Goldblacks, based on early memories as a kid in the seventies, is more about self expression and doing those songs that wouldn’t fit in a Celtic environment. I’m as proud of it’s scope as I am of my work with the band and how far my stories have made it so far.

The Goldblacks track listing so far is…

She Lives There
Precipice
The Approach
Jubilata
Secret Star
Moonwatcher
Thank you, Blixa
Reason
Take Me Higher
Missed Connections

More to come!

Check me out on Instagram for more clips of early renditions and more at

@tompogsonmusic

Thank you for supporting indie music! ❀️

Cheers,

Tom