Todd Durrant’s Random Thoughts
Follow the efforts of a creative, crazed entrepreneur.

The Guts to Be Good

It looks like the digital download edition of my next Saudade release is now available from Amazon.com

The Guts to Be Good

Though this is a big moment for me because I am expressing myself creatively in a way that I find very satisfying, maybe it isn’t the huge, jump-up-and-down kind of excitement I’ve felt at other times.    For example, when I first held my book, “Trigger” in my hands, it felt like a huge moment.  It was something I’d worked on for three years, and it was a new experience entirely to see my name on a book.   With my music, it is something I do all the time now– I often sit and write new songs, record ideas, and have many songs in different levels of completion.   Plus, I’ve worked in the music business for so many years now that it doesn’t seem to be such a huge accomplishment to finally slap my own name on something and put it out there.

For those who don’t know me very well, maybe I should explain a couple of things about this project, SAUDADE.

Just over  a year ago, I decided that the music business was going to drive me crazy if I didn’t spend a little more time being creative.  I’d written songs nonstop as a teenager and even into my early college years, and had recorded dozens of cassette tapes with those rough musical ideas.  But I’d given it up to promote the music of other artists, since I didn’t think my own music was very good.  Maybe it was “creative”, but not necessarily “commercial” even in an underground sense.    After so many years, I felt like I was losing my creative touch.  Though I’d made remixes for other artists (some of them quite poor, and others pretty good), and I had also helped to write lyrics for several bands, I hadn’t used my own voice.    Oh, by the way, you can find a few of my remixes collected on this CD:

A DIFFERENT MIX Volume 6

Anyway, as my stress levels were rising, I decided to use the very basic software and keyboard in my office to work on music from time to time.  At first, I tried recreating a few of my old songs from my childhood.   I released some of those songs on two digital / CD singles:

Bad Dreams

Like You

Those two releases feature extra songs too, like “Her Way”, “Lost Diamonds”, and “Money and Happiness” which are also flash-backs to my younger years.

But hey, I have new things to say, so I started recording new songs.   Back in my youth, my songs were a sort of diary or journal where I could share what I was feeling at the time, or I could write about the experiences of somebody else as seen through my eyes.  It is quite therapeutic.   As I’ve started recording music again, I feel that same passion that I used to experience, where I have something that’s burning in my mind, so I find a way to let it out.   Sometimes the only thing burning in my mind is a cool beat and a catchy tune,  so I whip out something more fun and less meaningful (the song “Mocking” is an example of one of those).

I am NOT a perfectionist.   I do not expect my songs to sound perfect before I move on.  I am actually a very impatient artist.  I throw what I have in mind together in a recording.  I do what I feel is best at the moment, then I move on to the next song.   Usually, I move on so fast that I leave the previous song incomplete and have to go back later to finish it.   So, as you listen to my music, particularly on “The Guts to Be Good”, keep that factor in mind, that you are not listening to a polished, well-produced pop artist.  You’re listening to my moods as they go up and down, and I actually become fond of the little flaws.   I start to feel like the flaws, the places where my voice cracks, or where I played something by accident, etc. are part of what makes my music unique.  Those quirks become a part of the song, and I hesitate to remove them.

Now…what do I expect from this?  Fame?  Fortune?  NO way!  I know well enough that my music is still too raw and underground for any kind of success.   But I’m not going to hide anymore when it comes to creative expression.  I’ll put it out there for people to love or hate…or most likely, ignore.  But I can say “I’ve done it!”

Take a look at my Saudade profile on Jango.com (a very good streaming radio station builder, where you can decide the artists and songs you want to hear):

SAUDADE on Jango

If you scroll down, you should see listener comments.  About half of them are positive.  The others are quite negative, like begging to please not hear my songs anymore (though they can easily click the “thumbs down” on the player and their station will never play me again).   One that actually made me say “ouch” was where the listener said I sounded like a bad spoof of the band Dead or Alive.  Since I’m not a Dead or Alive fan, that was particularly harsh.   Oh well.  Actually, I’m not bothered.  I don’t expect many people to like my music.  It’s for me…and for the few people who DO like it.   It’s personal.

I’ll also mention that I don’t look at my releases as traditional “singles” and “albums”.  They are more like independent collections of songs.  I don’t plan on putting many songs from “singles” onto any later “albums”.   I want each release to be its own little entity– it’s own little piece of the discography.   If a song appears on one, and then on another, it will be in a different version rather than a repeat.  In fact, I don’t really consider “The Guts to Be Good” an ALBUM, except that it is longer than the first two.  The next release (“Restricted”) will be shorter.

Well, I’ve probably said more than anybody cares to hear about my strange music project.   I’ll continue doing it as much as I can.  It has also been fun to use Saudade as source material for the music videos that my son Dylan and I make in out Double-D Productions line of “no-budget” Youtube videos.   You’ve seen plenty of those here, and you will undoubtedly see more in the future.

Thanks for reading!

-Todd

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