New Heights and Everything In Between
So I launched my website.........then I cried, and cried, and cried......for a full two days........the reality hit hard.....because of what I am asking of myself, and what I am asking of others.......then I fell.......hard........smack dab into the center of my EGO........and wow it f$%#ing hurt bad........Truth is I am scared @$%#less......once I pressed launch......all of this reality came tumbling in through a large imaginative hole that was fashioned perfectly right above my head......and BLAM!!!!!! ON THE GROUND!!!! What the EFF was I thinking?? To drop everything that was comfortable and right......for this.....uneasy.....messy....messy
Now the dust has settled, I am sufficiently shaken up and I am ready to go back to work. I thought the hard parts were already over.....baaahhhaahahahahah......I was wrong.....soooooo wrong......now the work is just beginning......
Ever since I was little music has followed me in some form or another. Even when I tried to quit it so many times. I would just end up back in it's luscious warm arms, rolling around in its magic. I didn't understand until now how it has shaped my life and slowly guided me to this moment. This moment when I get to call out a name, or one of the many incarnations of a name. Arley....Singer Songwriter.
Declaring this (Singer Songwriter) is a new feeling for me and looking at it and reading it over, and over again brings my heart into my throat and shakes up everything in my body (obviously still). I have been writing music for the last 15 years and I have finally teased up the courage to step into this incarnation fully and with a deep knowing. I don't actually think I have a choice in the matter. So then, here I am to share stories, to sing from my soul, and to spread some love into this world the best way I know how.
2016 was an interesting work year for me. In January I took a month off of my teaching studio to write. I wanted to get some new material going, I had no particular goal in mind, I just wanted to play and let the music seep in. A month of writing gifted me with a full album of songs. I believe I wrote 12 new pieces to add to my growing list of originals. The rest of the year I spent working the new material and singing in performances here and there to share them with the public. I was teaching my studio still with 60 students and singing in my band Loose Cannon.....I was happy....
I realized that my songs were asking more of me than I had time to give them. I decided to scrunch my studio teaching into three intense days a week, but I would have to cut down my student list. It was my thought that I could still do it all and come out the other end with a huge chunk of time to work my craft. I was actually really wrong about this. By late October (after playing my first house concert for Meg Sheepways Dog Paw Pottery Studio) the decision was final and I decided to strip my entire life away by shutting down my studio and quitting the band.
Two very hard things to do. I loved my students.....and I loved my band......but there was something else calling out to my creative soul.....and if I didn't do it now......when??
"This decision led to many long hard talks with my husband and several other people (students and bandmates). I was on my way to slowly peeling off the cloak of my regular life"
This decision led to many long hard talks with my husband and several other people (students and bandmates). I was on my way to slowly peeling off the cloak of my regular life......stepping into the unknown. Knowing that with this decision would come sacrifice financially and emotionally in my life, as we have gone from a two income house to one. Knowing also that quitting the band would seriously change the way I express myself and my approach to music and performance. Knowing that I would be stepping into the arena to come face to face with all of the critics. For about three weeks I was scared shitless......and the negative internal dialogue started its well known and very old script of dubious apprehension. Who Do You Think You Are??? What If You Fail??? You Don't Even Know What You Are Doing!!! No One Is Going to Like It!.......and on and on it circled.
There were tears......There was bad communication.......There was fear.......There was scarcity thinking.......There was the thought of saying it was all a bad joke and wanting to go back to regular life........."pfffttt hahhaaaa hey guys!! it was all a joke....oh god.....like seriously what was I thinking......JOKING!!!!!! LOLZZZZZZ"
It all went though my head over and over again on the rolodex of fear. Doubtful questions aiming their harsh words directly at my artist heart. After a few weeks of rolling around in the dirt of my own critical mind, a light found its way though the darkness. What if I simply just try? What if my intention is to share my music with an open heart? What if all of the outcomes are none of my business? What if I don't treat this like my baby? (this idea taken from the book BIG MAJIC written by Elizabeth Gilbert) What if I don't try to protect my work with my fragile artist soul? What if I just see what happens? What if I do this because its is in my heart to share in this particular way? What if I TRUST?? By allowing the light to shine through serendipitous things started to happen. I started to meet the people who would help me with each next step. Slowly the vision came to life and I was able to see it all coming together, bit by bit.
I took off the dark cloak and listened super hard to the small soft voice within that was calling me to come back to my center of knowing. To Come Back In.........Come Back In.......... Every time the old script tried to distract me, I was reminded to Come Back In. It was a simple invitation to slow down and center in my own heart........relying on the wisdom that has occupied the space there since the beginning of time.
"it's all going to be ok" "everything is going to be ok"
As I practiced the mindfulness of centering my body back into my heart and my breath.... it was powerful and calming. The knowing started to emerge and become more compelling than the negative self talk. The breath became easier and lighter. I remember in moments of conversation with my husband, when we were both in fear of the unknown my favorite phrases were "it's all going to be ok" "everything is going to be ok" the power of those two phrases surprised me. Even as I uttered them and the words fell out onto my lips.....there in the unknowingness...in the fear....they made things luminous......syrupy.....softer.....
It has been with my husbands undying support emotionally, spiritually and monetarily, that I was able to put this project on the ground with a firm foundation. He has been my biggest supporter, rock, and the shining light of encouragement that has allowed this project to take flight and find its home somewhere out in the musical ether.
Also with much thanks to Ian Mcleod of Backlanes Audio. who was a friend of mine during my days at the Music Department at Lakehead University. I had, over the years, lost touch with him and somehow crossed paths with him recently at a local pub. I told him what I was up to and he offered to be my guide and help me to record the project. Ian has been the most integral part of the contouring, and colouring of this Album by guiding me through the recording process ease fully and helping me shape my artistic ear and feel. Making what I originally brought in even more magical and sublime. Not only did I gain a recording technician that I fully trust....I gained back.....a dear old friend. Ian has used his musical ear and ability to play on several of the tracks which helped me fill them out and and give them more life than I could have dreamed possible. If you are looking to record a new project Ian is your man!
What is the Project???
I will be launching my debut album called "Parts of Me" within the next month and I am really excited to set it free. I'm excited to see where it goes and how it changes and morphs. I am excited to share it with anyone who will listen. I am still a little scared.....trying not to be.....learning about how NOT to attach myself to my art, and fully let it go. Let it go so that I can continue to write, record and share my original sound and story with others.
I will be holding it with light hands over the next few months as I also embark on another adventure. I plan on taking my one woman band on the road and will be heading out west performing house concerts along the way. This is also way out of my comfort zone......Thunder Bay to Edmonton....Maybe out to Vancouver.....I will be traveling for about two months and will be hitting up some incredible towns and cities along the way.
It is my hope that I can rely on the sweetness of Friends, and Friends of Friends, and the Canadian people that I know and have yet to meet that their kindness and heartfelt welcomes will show me the way back home safely and with scads more writing and stories to tell. I am excited for this adventure.
Yet another adventure I will be undertaking is the actual Launch of my album! It will be happening Saturday May 6th at the Branch 5 Legion at 8:00 pm. I hope to see some supportive faces out to help cheer this local gal on! Tickets are 5$ and I will post more information on where they will be available.
So feel free to take a look around the new Website!! Sign up for my e-mail list and I will keep you posted on all of the new and exciting things that will be happening in the upcoming months!
So now the real work begins......
With all the love in my heart