Today's Think Kit prompt is, and I quote, "What did you make this year? Whether something personal, like a song or some art, or a work project, share your process, the end result about your creation."
That helped me remember. I made some music this year. In fact I did more than usual. Prior to the past year I'd been in hibernation mode with music. Sure, I would play here and there but mostly my guitars sat unloved and unplayed. I guess I felt with my focus on a growing business and family I didn't have the time. But I also knew I missed it pretty badly. Fortunately I was able to turn things around over the last year and a half.
It started with regular Sunday night jam sessions with Matt Hunckler and Kevin Bailey. We call ourselves The Startups because we think that's hilarious and we write silly songs about the start up scene. And since we are all marketers we have started writing persona soundtracks as well. Here's one for a persona named "Joey". He lives in Brooklyn, works as a barista, struggling artist, etc. You get the picture. We think there's a whole business writing persona soundtracks but that's an idea that must wait for another post.
So it's been great to play regularly and really deepen my friendship with these two guys. They are both awesome and it's been a real highlight of my year to get to spend regular time with them. Our conversations range widely from technology to science to cities to the future, space, etc. And sometimes we play music too.
The other big music project I undertook this year was an EP In A Weekend project with two of my oldest friends- Finn Swingley and Simon Hanstad. We did a little planning and entered Queensize studios in April to knock out 6 songs in 3 days. Andy Fry manned the boards (with help from Vess Ruhtenberg on the tape machine) and Devon Ashley (the best drummer in town, no joke) on drums. We worked hard and fast and I'm really proud of the results which you can hear below. (I wrote tracks 3 and 6, Finn wrote 2 and 5, Simon, 1 and 4. It just says "Jeb Banner" on all of them because it's my Soundcloud account)
Recording and mixing 6 pieces of music in one weekend is no small feat and it reminded me of how important time management is. There are times in our lives when we can, and should, ignore the clock, just let things happen and try to exist outside of time. That's very freeing when you can pull it off. But I think to have kind of freedom you need to be very intentional about your usage of time, the rest of the time. This weekend was all about being intentional. We called the EP "Commit To It" because the time constraints required us to make quick decisions. The success of the project was due to this commitment. It reminded me of how important it is to have a shared vision that can create clarity and alignment. I continue to take that lesson back to my work. There are few forces in the world that can stop a committed team of people who share a clear vision.
Oh, and why did we call this project the "Pink Eagles"? It stems from a comment Vess Ruhtenberg made when we were listening to playback "this sounds like Pink Floyd being played by the Eagles" which we thought was awesome and hence the "Pink Eagles".