I posted Windhaven’s new song, “Ten Feet Tall” last night. I’m really excited about the song. It’s a great “toe-tapper” (Victoria thinks it’s sort of Rockabilly), and should definitely be something we can use to build some momentum for Windhaven.
I was a little apprehensive this morning when I got up. It’s always frustrating to work for weeks on a song you’re justifiably very proud of, only to have it land with a dull thud among the disinterested feet of your friends and relatives. It’s depressing to work that hard only to discover that no one gives a damn. Sometimes you just want to shake people and ask, “How can you not even bother to listen to this?”
But, of course, that’s not what it’s all about, in the end. I’m not so desperate for attention that I’m going to lose sleep over being ignored by people I barely know. Besides, they’ll know us well enough when they’re hearing our tunes on the radio or we’re accepting Grammy awards. Or, more likely, when we’re just out there in the local clubs making some noise, and they can all tell their friends about these eclectic musicians they know.
None of that matters to me. The music, as always, is what really matters. Our plan, meaning Victoria and I, is to record a great CD and use it to get the ball rolling for Windhaven. We’re not out to grovel for the attention of the disinterested. I see too many musicians do that daily on Facebook, and it saddens me. Have some pride! No, what matters to me is that we’re making some great music. I have to believe that at some point our efforts will bear fruit. I cannot believe that it’s possible for us to make great music without getting any traction whatsoever.
What matters is that we do the work. If we’re true to our vision and it’s created with heart and soul, we will find our audience. Most importantly, we will find our way. Whatever Windhaven is going to be, I have no doubt that it will be worth remembering, whether or not the market-driven masses ever hear of it. That is the true goal of the artist, to see his or her vision made real and tangible. These ideas and rhythms and images have to be taken out of our heads and be birthed into reality and the living world.
At my age, I no longer dream of riches or fame. That ship has sailed. All that matters to me now is bringing these works into being. Victoria has her girls to leave behind as a legacy. Some part of her will live on through them, and through their children. For me, I just have the work. That’s all I have to prove to the world that it mattered that I was here, that I was not a waste of oxygen and protein.
At this point, that remains to be seen. But when I think of all the musicians I have known these many years, who were almost universally obsessed with getting laid or seeing their names in lights or feeling the rush of applause, I realize that I’ve spent much of my many decades looking at these people as if from the far side of some vast gulf. I’ve tried to find our commonality, but have always felt as if we spoke different languages.
I know now why I have encountered such frustration with my musical experiences in Tampa Bay. I didn’t know it at the time, but I didn’t speak their language. No matter how I tried, I could not understand those people, any more than they could understand me. It’s only now, with life being breathed into Windhaven, that it all begins to make sense. It’s only now, with the sudden, unexpected and joyous birth of “Ten Feet Tall” that I finally feel like I’m on the right path. It’s only with Victoria that I finally feel I’ve found someone with whom I share a language. I don’t know what Windhaven will be, or if anyone will notice “Ten Feet Tall” or any of the songs that will follow. Honestly, I don’t care.
Windhaven will be what it’s meant to be. If the material is sound, the music will find its way. If we are true to our vision and honest with our execution, I can rest easy in the knowledge that we have done our best and have made some damned fine music. That’s not a bad legacy to leave behind.