I have been avoiding this one. Like really avoiding it. I am pretty sure I know why, and I think in reading, it will become clear.
For those of you that weren't at the concert on March 20th.
I recently experienced a massive data loss. I lost years of music files. It is hard to explain exactly what happened (if it's anyone's fault it is mine), so the only thing to really say is that years and years of work is gone. It's just gone.
A little context: Logic pro is the music software I used starting around 2013 and continued using until 2019 when I switched to Ableton Live.
My pieces Humanity, Soy Amparo, Ode, Ark parts I and II were all written in Logic. My plan for them was to eventually get enough money together to hire a producer to make them sound better (better drum sounds, better string sounds, just better sounds), and then hiring an audio engineer to mix and master them.
(A brief explanation of Audio)
I have a really nice pair of speakers at my desk, they are very full sounding, they really let you hear the bass, and all the different frequencies our ears can hear, but the average listener doesn't have these speakers. Some listeners just play stuff through their phone speaker, and if we are lucky they will put it in a bowl to help amplify it a little bit.
Audio engineers do a lot for us, but one of their many jobs is to make things sound good consistently across a variety of devices. This is an impossible task. Some things just won't sound good... You know, when you're at a brewery, and the walls are that tin siding, and the floor is concrete, and music on the radio is really echoey and still very loud, and live music is just overwhelming, and unbearable. Some things just won't sound good.
Side note: Audio engineers are under appreciated superheroes! So when you are at a concert (in the hopefully near future), and you are really enjoying the music, thank the audio engineer (at the sound booth in the middle of the crowd) for making it sound good.
At one point I seriously considered audio engineering as a career path, it is a great career, fun, exciting, problem solving, and they are typically compensated pretty well. As I thought about it, I realized that I could be an audio engineer, but it felt like a step in the wrong direction. I would be on the wrong side of the sound board.
I recently found a producer who was willing and excited to work on my stuff. In our very first session together I tried open a Logic file. It was there, but it was missing everything. I tried another, same thing. Every Logic file was missing all of the data... It was gone. All gone. Bye bye...
Long story short, I tried every single conceivable way I could think of to recover my lost files. I figured out the loss on Friday March 12th, and held out hope until Monday March 15th, when my backup company reached out and said there was nothing they could do.
I stayed in bed most of Monday morning and cried, I really let myself grieve.
And then around 1pm, I got on my bike, went to the office, and wrote.
I think looking back at it, I am somewhat shocked, but not really. As I have hit the 10 year mark from graduating college, my favorite teacher's words still ring true, "any time you spend composing is not wasted, even if you don't use any of it, consider it a kind of practice."
The reality is that I love writing music. I just love it, I love the time I spend with it, and the time it spends with me. The process for me is the great gift of my craft. Something that listeners will never really know.
The good news is my producer friend and I have other songs we are able to work on, and wow... I have some stuff I am so excited to show you all!
Losing my files was a great loss. I don't have any delusion about it.
Through it though, I also feel a sense of freedom. A resilience that refuses to believe despair has the last word.
I am so often astonished by what my craft has to teach me, these experiences help me remember how much of an adventure this whole thing is.