Problem With Letting Go + EP Release
There are two things that hinder me as a musician: fear of failure, and an insecurity of not being perfect. These are why I prefer to be a "behind the scenes" kind of musician, composing and producing rather than performing. I have endless time to make my creation perfect....which is the problem.
Deadlines are very helpful to a person like me, because I HAVE to deliver by a certain time, whether or not the music is fully ready (it never is). What this allows me to do is practice at working quickly and as efficiently as possible, and then learn how to work even quicker and more efficiently. But when I am working on music that does not have a deadline, music that comes out of my soul, my fear of failure and insecurities come back to paralyze me. I can always find something wrong, and I can always compare it to something better. I have been working on this EP for the last year and a half, with delays coming from production and scheduling problems, two moves and jobs, a baby, laziness, fretting over perfection and failure, endless tweaking, starting over countless times, and trying to learn how to be a better producer. I could easily keep working on it, and even re-record it all to try to make it sound better, but I've learned that it is better to let it go, and use the experience to create something even better.
Over the past few months, before and after my son was born, I've thought a lot about what I want to teach my son. More importantly, I've thought about how I want to teach my son.. I do not want him to live with the same insecurities I do, and I want to show him how to be better than me. I do not want him to be afraid of failing, or be afraid he isn't good enough to keep going, which is why I've decided to let the music go.
What Is Above is a musical interpretation of parts of my relationship with God, a questioning of what is up there, what kinds of virtues you would find. My relationship with God feels confused a lot, because I struggle with seeing Christianity as a fact, as something that can be proven, which is how Christianity has been explained to me most of my life. But, when I think about the words used most strongly in my upbringing, I know that Christianity is not supposed to be a fact, but rather a truth. The difference, to me, is that a fact has to be proven, and a truth has to be revealed or shown. Hope, Love, Wonder, Still, and Faith. These five words can sum up my belief in God, the truths I see in the world, even if they seem small compared to the brokenness and suffering. A full explanation of each song title and how it relates to my faith can be found here.
I hope that this music will help you fight your fears and find peace or inspiration. Download at http://noisetrade.com/jeffpaynemusic/what-is-above and keep an eye out for it on your preferred streaming service. And please, if you like it, share it with friends. Tips go towards feeding my child, various bills, and creating more music for your enjoyment.
What Is Above was recorded, mixed, and mastered by myself in various bedrooms and living rooms in Oklahoma and Missouri, with cello being recorded by Jason Miller at Red Barn Studio (go check him out, it's great stuff). Cello: Andie Schenk; Drums: Anthony Castleberry, and Joshua Warren on Still; Violin: Dena Haselwander (Hope and Love); Breana Payne: Voice (Wonder). Cover art by Emily Steward.