Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Upside of Down

"The Upside of Down" 5"x 7" oil on gessobord, ©2014 Tina M Welter, my first album of songs.
"The Upside of Down" 5"x 7" oil on gessobord, ©2014
Today I want to share with you my scariest goal ever.  Boy, I hope I don't regret this.

I had an experience that really spoke to my heart when I was about nine.  I was a big fan of Karen Carpenter and loved to hear her music on the radio.  I was alone in the kitchen one summer evening listening to "On Top of the World" (1973) it made me so happy, I just had to go outside and sing. I used to make up songs all the time when I was a kid and I decided right then that the best thing in the world I could ever do was to sing my songs on the radio and make people feel happy.

I never completely forgot this dream, but as I got older I could see it wasn't that simple to do.  Add to that being super shy and doubting my ability, I didn't tell anyone what I wanted.  I would make up songs on the piano, but I didn't know how to write them down properly.   I was taking piano lessons, but not composition. I didn't really believe that I could learn to do such a thing. 

I mentioned in a recent post that both my parents passed away within a year of each other, my Dad in 2012 and my Mom in 2013. They weren't just my parents, I felt they were two of my dearest friends. They were people I felt really safe with and whom I knew would always love me.  I dreaded the day they would die. When that day finally came, it was just as bad as I imagined it. Worse.  I didn't know the emotional pain would be so intense and last so long.  I didn't know I would wake up in the middle of the night for months with that pain of missing them. 

Experiencing Grief is hard for anyone and it has been a long process for me. I discovered that when I was having a really hard time, writing music seemed to help, either take me out of the pain or help me process by clarifying what I was feeling into words. 

Last year, January 2014, I made a promise to myself, I was going to complete those songs for each stage of grief I had experienced and dedicate the album to my parents.  It was a huge goal.  I had just finished two on-line courses, one on song lyric writing and the other on how to use a DAW (digital audio workstation) to record and mix music. Years later, technology was finally made up for my limitations in music making!

The question is, should I ever share this album?  

I went round and round in my mind about this decision, and I found three reasons to share.

1-I want to show that I am not just telling people to face their inner 'fraidy cat, that I am actually willing to do it myself. I have improved on facing the fear of sharing my artwork, but sharing my music terrifies me to the core. I feel like I am such a beginner and I know I am so far from knowing what I am doing. Since it is such a personal project, being open to possible criticism feels extra risky!

2-Reading about other people's experiences with grief on the facebook page "Second Chances" has been helpful to me, so I thought perhaps I could do the same for other people in my own way.

3-I have also discovered that as I am beginning to feel better, it is easy to run out of steam on a big project like this and by telling other people, it helps me be more accountable to finish it.

It's been a year since I set my goal and how am I doing?   I have completed the painting for the the album cover and I have the title, "The Upside of Down." I have about three songs close to being finished, three more roughed out and number seven, the last step, isn't written at all.  I'm not sure I've really experienced that step long enough yet so that I can write about it.

If there is interest, I will commit to sharing the songs as I complete them with those who have subscribed to my "Confessions of a 'Fraidy Cat newsletter.  Baby steps, right?  Let me know if you are interested in hearing them by signing up, or by commenting here or on facebook.

Facing the fear...
>^-^<  Tina  


Dean said...

Yes! Please!

Bless you for sticking with it!


Tina Welter said...

Thanks so much Shaura and Dean, that means a lot to me. You two are the best!

Yvonne said...

Tina, I would absolutely love to hear these songs! I think the album name and picture are perfect. What a wonderfully healing project. I am so proud of you for doing this. Thanks for sharing.