This week, we'll be starting the book of Deuteronomy, the final book of the world's longest running rerun known as the Torah. This is the part where the Israelites are camped on the edge of the Promised Land and Moses reflects on everything that's happened so far.
It's a reminder that after any journey, you gotta stop and look back, take stock of where you started and where you ended, and then prepare yourself to take the first step of the next journey. Releasing Restless Heart back in March felt like the end of a journey, but really it was just the high point along the way. Like the moment of revelation at Mt Sinai, it was a hugely important and defining moment, but it wasn’t anywhere near the end. The album came out, and then came the release concert, promotions, looking for gigs, and tracking listener data. All of which were critical tasks to get done, carried on the momentum of putting a part of my soul out into the world and onto the air waves. (Or, you know, Spotify.)
And now that we’re mostly done with that phase, it’s time to reflect. I learned a lot in the last year, sometimes shattering assumptions I’d made and sometimes reminding me of lessons I’d thought I learned:
I thought releasing In Pursuit was the beginning of my recording career, but actually that was just the first dipping of my toe in the water. Looking back, I was basically flailing around in the dark, knowing very little about how I wanted to record or what I wanted to do with the music once it was done. Now that Restless Heart is out, I feel like I’ve actually gotten into the water.
The most important skill to have in the studio is to be able to articulate your vision — and then refuse to settle for less. Sometimes that's hard because you’re on a tight budget, or you know what you want in theory but don’t have the words for it. But you gotta try!
There are a million decisions to be made in any endeavor. Surround yourself with people who are committed to your vision, who love and respect the work you do, and aren't afraid to tell you when they think you're wrong. And then listen to them!
Patience. Patience patience patience patience patience patience patience patience.
When we reach the end of Deuteronomy in a few months, we’re gonna rewind the whole thing and start over from the beginning. But it’s not exactly starting over — we’ve changed in the year since we last “started over.” We've grown, we’ve fought, we’ve lost, we’ve triumphed. We go into the new year a little more self-aware, a little wiser, knowing down to our bones that we’ve got more to learn but having more sense of the journey ahead of us. And then we take the first step.