August 12, 2022
Three years ago, almost to the day, I wrote Enjoyment / Nine of Pentacles. It swooped in with ease and clarity on August 11, 2019, becoming the 6th song written in The Music Tarot collection. I knew it needed a single vocal track, and the instrumentals did not require a click. The song had to move in a flexible time signature. There would be no percussion.
The lyric, "The path was there to find, I uncovered mine," described my present, and it also predicted my future. I thought I knew where I was headed in my first year of writing. But I was only partially aware; I only had demo mixes. In time, the road became clearer. I found my producer and began the ascent to professional-sounding music.
Enjoyment / Nine of Pentacles called for real instruments, rather than digital or MIDI, so I recorded the piano tracks over Christmas break on the baby grand Yamaha acoustic at my producer Brian Daly's studio, DNA Music Labs, in Madison, WI. I recorded the vocals in my home studio. Brian's initial mix didn't grab me - the single vocal track stuck out to me like a sore thumb. I couldn't hide my voice under layers of instrumentals. I gave Brian my feedback and asked for suggestions. He spent more time with it and added some new guitar parts that gave the song a fuller landscape. As usual, Brian's instinct was spot on. Those extra melodies fulfilled my labyrinthian tendencies and the song was ready for release.
The Nine of Pentacles speaks to sitting back and enjoying the fruits of one's labor. For me, writing songs is just not enough. To fully revel in my artistic soul's pursuits, the songs must be produced and shared. And when my producer and I see listeners join our musical party and stream what we've worked so hard to create, that's when the fruits become ripened.