Sunday, July 9, 2017

An Open Letter to a Dear Friend #5

Sean and I began making music together back in college.  He was the initial drummer for our college band, Growing Oldish.  We smashed John Mayer covers, but we did not name bands so well.

About a year ago, we began producing music together, and yesterday, we produced what I would call our 5th (unreleased) song together.  I would share the name of the piece, but I am rewriting lyrics now to quicken the melodic line through the chorus.  It’s a feel good, summer song somewhere in-between “Staple it Together” by Jack Johnson, and “Star of the Show” by Thomas Rhett, with some vocal lics of the Bobby McFerrin variety.

Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to share many fortuitous collaborations, both in music and in business, and I am grateful for each of them.  It is the key to success.  We need talents and resources beyond our own to develop projects to reach their potential.

With Sean, we unite a dynamic balance of skills, musical influences and work ethics that is beginning to shape into something promising, something we believe in.  

Circa 2009 - Sean still wears that shirt.
In working together, I have learned much about the dynamics of healthy partnerships.  

#1 - Share the workload.  With Sean and I working full time and living in separate cities (Sean is in Chicago -- for now…), we have limited time together.  We share sporadic, weekend-long sessions, where we track, produce and sometimes rewrite an entire composition.  It can be exhausting after a full work week, but we push one another to make the most out of the time allotted to us, and share of equipment setup, clean up, travel, shopping, cooking, etc.  

#2 - Follow and lead.  Songs are made up of components, blended, balanced and linked together. When created correctly, you have a synchronized, harmonious piece that flows seamlessly from one scene to the next, carrying listeners forward.  Each piece relies on the others, and you must know when to ask for the reigns of the ship, and when to pass them to your partner.  

#3 - Demand more.  Sean demands more vocally, melodically and lyrically from me, and I demand more from him rhythmically and symphonically.  We are yet to “complete” a song without a laundry list of edits to complete whenever life finally affords us the time to do so.  And it should be that way.  Compositions in any industry are rarely (if ever) complete in the eyes of those constructing them.

Sean, you are an immense talent, committed music professional and one of my dearest friends.  I continue to learn so much from you.  I am proud of what we make, and dream of serving our family's wants and needs through the music we create, shared on the world's grandest stages.

Full speed ahead, my friend.

$.50 Philosophy