The project entailed writing, recording, and editing a music album. I wrote and played the music for all guitar on the album and my brother wrote and played all drum parts, while I edited the recordings. The final product is more an EP than album, though meeting the minimum pledged number of tracks with five full songs.
I am typically a perfectionist with my music; a substantial reason why I had not recorded music on this scale before, other than funds, was the fact that I usually, before this project, struggled with being satisfied with what I have written as a final product. I had written many fragments I was happy with as individual parts but could never finish them or combine them into a complete song that I could be satisfied with. While I still feel as though I could have certainly improved the songs recorded on this project, I completed multiple songs for the first time, which is certainly satisfying. During this project I also collaborated with my brother on a music project of this scale for the first time. We worked on developing our music as a team for the first time, discovering what sounds we wanted to work with in our music together.
Perhaps the most influential part in pushing me to finally complete songs for the first time was simply having a deadline. The necessity of completing songs on time demanded that I get over my perfectionism, at least enough to allow myself to loosen the unreasonable expectations I have for my music. This struggle is typically unique to music for me; I have no problem finishing my work in other creative projects, and certainly do not in school or on the job, whereas music is the one mode of expression I feel must be perfect before I consider the product finished.
Admittedly, I still struggled with these same concerns during this project. I wrote, refined, and rewrote my music for the vast majority of project duration. I did not start the recording and editing process until late into the project. As one might expect, this was a mistake, especially since I had no prior music editing or production experience. While the level of quality is certainly acceptable for the STEP program, I feel it is the weak link of my music; I am more satisfied with the music itself than the sound quality I was able to produce. If I could do this project again, I would have pushed myself to finish writing and start recording and editing much earlier.
In the process working together as musicians, my brother and I came to develop and define the sounds we wanted not only as individual musicians, but as a joint artist. In a music group, the result of several musicians contributing their own unique ideas is a combined sound that would otherwise never be created individually. Not only does a musician aim to improve their skills and uncover what they want to express in their own music, but while working with others they aim to develop that unique sound expressed by the group as a whole. This is certainly true for us in this project.
Challenging myself in these ways, in developing the music I want to express and in pushing myself to complete my music, has helped me improve in the mode of expression that is perhaps most important to me. I believe that completing these songs, the first of mine, has set a precedent for me for completing more music in the future. Additionally, the experience I have gained in writing in a group, recording, and editing has certainly taught me many great lessons I can carry over to my future projects and continue to develop.