I am an overachiever.
In 2001 I found myself debating whether or not I should join the Blogathon. Sure, staying up all day (and all night) to raise money for charity sounded fun, but it seemed almost pedestrian. I blogged all the time already; what would keep me occupied? What would i talk about?
My solution was overkill; i would step into the Drexel Recording Studio, record twenty-five new songs, and post one every hour for the length of the ‘thon. I dutifully made it in once, recording a fifth of the songs i had due, but i was shocked to find that the studio was CLOSED for renovations the following week. I wound up recording at home, and to compensate for the low quality i increased the output — i released a virtual record every hour on the hour, complete with an A-side and a B-side. Fun was had, money was raised, sleep was averted.
Last year I dutifully signed up and started recording, but I found myself simply retreading the same ground as the year before, only with new songs. I certainly wasn’t interested in standing in front of my computer, belting out twenty-five songs into my tiny built in microphone. How could i make things more interesting? My solution was blowing an entire stipend check on recording equipment. I came home with two microphones, a cornucopia of quarter inch wires, and an eight-track mixing board. I’ve been listening to the results for an entire year; songs whose nuances had never been captured before suddenly leapt to life as crisp digital files. And, for the first time, i recorded with other people – not just Gina, who had grown accustomed to my low quality recording technique, but Lindsay, Kate, Elise, Jack, & Dante – a veritable band!
The challenge this year? It’s twofold, actually. First, I’m on-staff with the ‘Thon itself, helping to develop a rudimentary PR identity which i plan to flesh out as a part of my Communications Senior Thesis. Second is, of course, the songs. However, at this point it’s not just me challenging myself, it’s the songs challenging me.
My challenge this year is to make the songs i’ve chosen, both originals and covers, more than they are on paper. My challenge is to hone my voice, solidify my guitar playing, fine-tune my mixing. I am too often content to settle for an unexpected ad-lib, a slightly out-of-tune string, or barely audible vocals. My challenge this year is to be happy with my product before i’ve heard it played back a dozen time. My challenge this year is to compel listeners to come back for more after they’ve checked out a familiar tune.
My challenge is to challenge you. Request. Inspire. Listen. Comment. And, maybe Donate – i put a lot of thought into choosing World Education as my charity, but you’ll have to wait until the ‘Thon itself to hear my full rationale. In short – literacy is what has allowed you and i to have this wonderful relationship of author and reader; I think we can all afford $6 towards giving that gift to someone else.
July 26th, 9AM to 9AM. Tune In, Stay Up, Make A Difference.