Dear friends and Adam Cole Watchers, Round about 3 PM they started arriving. Billy Rossbottom with his bass. Alan Connor, Brad Kaegi, Philippe Bout with their guitars, my fellow Feldenkraiser Louise Runyon, old friends Mark and Sylvia Davis, and synagogue companion Gil Grodzinsky with their voices, my daughter's cello teacher Marie Pantina with her cello, fellow elementary music teacher Craig Gendreau with his Djembe and recording equipment, and the formidable William Rossoto with his video gear, capturing the whole thing on film! A couple of them were seasoned musicians, a few were amateur players . Some didn't even consider themselves to be musicians at all, or even musical! They just came to sing the best they could...what bravery!!! Gil, Craig and Marie hadn't even rehearsed last week, but came and dove right in. And so we rehearsed about 30 seconds of each song, took a break for me to get my vocal mike, and then we did it. One take per song. Straight through. It was great. Sure, we made mistakes. Some of the endings are panicked. One of the tunes has a false start. But who cares? Everyone just kept on going, and at the end, there were smiles everywhere! I never could have dreamed we'd pull it off like this. My wife was unbelievable. She organized the cleaning of the house, cooked two pots of soup, watched the baby, and even took these amazing photos!!! I was able to offer her a small thank you by playing a song that I wrote just for her, which the whole band sang. It's on the record. So we did it. And hopefully soon, when Craig and William are finished, you'll be able to see and hear what we did. The best part is that the day belongs to everyone. I think folks were a little surprised at what the experience was like. Everyone was a little subdued at the end, like "Wow. That was interesting!" I can only imagine what it must be like for the folks who don't even feel like they can sing to be able to say to themselves, "I helped record an album today." Last but not least, thanks to those who were our audience, especially David and Andrea, Shonda, Scott, and the several hundred children who were running around our house during the whole thing! I'm going to call the record "The Best of [Both] Worlds," after Billy's thoughtful comment from last blog. Keep checking in. I'll have more news about the record, and other things, soon! Love, Adam
Pretty well!!! We had 3 guitarists, 5 vocalists, 1 bass-player, 1 man from Prague who was a friend of a vocalist taking pictures, and 1 videographer who was another friend of a vocalist videoing everything! All along, we had the children running around playing, making a joyful noise. We learned all ten songs in about an hour and a half, and then we all sat down for some delicious homemade soup, with wine or beer or what-have-you. I'm very excited about next week. It was such a kick to sing my songs with people! I can't wait for you to hear it, and to add your own voices and hands. Adam
Nah, it can't be about me. However well-meaning my good friend David's comments are, he isn't coming from my head. Yes, it's good to be selfish sometimes, but not when your regular outlook is selfish. I don't wake up thinking what I can do for other people. I wake up thinking what I can do for myself. It's my struggle against this notion that makes me capable of doing good things. I take care of myself. But I also tend to think that I need to take care of myself because no one else will. That isn't accurate. It takes events like this one to wake me up to the reality that not everything I do needs to be about me, and that not everything other people do that conflict with my ideas are attacks. I have some major trances going on, and I want to use this event to snap out of it. Oh...look...I'm using the event to take care of myself! It is about me! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Well, maybe that's the first trance to go. Adam
The more people I invite, the more nervous I get! But that just goes to show you. I have a hidden agenda, don't I? Deep down, I want this to be THE ALBUM. That's stupid. It's not about me. It's about us. I was thinking, "What if this generates some real success for me, really fast? What if my life changes, and suddenly I don't have a chance for normal friends or privacy?" Then I thought, "I'm going to attract to myself the kind of people who can fulfill my dream. If my dream is good, and it's about the event, that's the kind of success I'll have. If my dream is selfish, and it's all about me, that's the kind of success I'll have." I really don't want it to be about me. I really do want it to be an incredible experience for everyone, and the album is just a nice record of it. But my insecurity, my greed for personal power, my sadness, anger, fear, they're all getting in the way of my purer motivations. It's hard work remembering what's important! Adam
I had a visit from my first guests for the album event. My old pal David and his friends Steve and Jane showed up at my door this afternoon with a bottle of wine, ready to sing. Unfortunately, the rehearsal is Sunday, not Saturday. AND it's NEXT Sunday, not this Sunday! We had a good laugh, and we drank the wine. I was really happy to see how excited some people are about this. I hope you are too!
It's strange! Some people I never expected to hear from are so excited! Some people I thought would be jumping up and down about this haven't said a thing. That's show biz. I hope you're coming.
Dear friends, In the spirit of true musical mayhem, I have decided to write and record an album in the space of one month. I’d like your help. On Sunday, February 21, at about 3 PM, I’ll begin teaching the songs I’ve been writing since the beginning of the month to whoever comes over. The songs are easy to sing and easy to learn, and fun as all-get-out. If nobody comes, I’ll practice them myself. The next week , at about 3 PM, I’ll make my album. Anyone that shows up gets to be on it. We’ll run through the whole thing, record what we get, and call it a day. I want you to come! The whole point of this is for it to be fun, and to cost nothing. I have no expectations, I’m making no promises. Whatever we get, we get. The album will be whatever happens that day. If you can play an instrument, bring it. Can you sing? Be my backup singer. Like to bang on things? More power to you. Want to record it? Bring your equipment. Want to bring your kids? I don’t care. Let ‘em run around while we sing. It’ll be fun! Bring food, bring drink, bring your video camera. In the end, we’re just going to have a good time. No promises, no expectations. This is just about fun. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: 1) I have no musical talent. Should I come? Sure ya should. Want to try to sing? Go for it. Want to listen and clap? I’d love that. 2) Why are you doing this? It’s that time of my life. Time to open up and let the fear go. Time to stop taking myself so seriously. Time to bring other people into my world to share what they have. This album is the open door. It’s an unrepeatable event. I will never do this again. 3) I can’t make the rehearsal. Can I still come the next week? Sure you can! No expectations, no promises. 4) What are you going to do if nobody comes? I’m going to sit down at 3 PM, turn on a recorder, then play all the songs on the piano by myself. Then I’ll have a drink or something! 5) Are you really going to do this? Yep. Why not join me? It’ll be fun! 6) How do I get to your house? If you don’t know where I live, shoot me an e-mail through my web-site and I’ll give you directions. 7) Can I tell my friends? Yes!
Dear friends, Okay. Notice that I haven't blogged lately? I think the secret to a successful blog is that you write something every day. I don't know if I can manage that. I'm five days away from taking my comprehensive exam for my master's degree in music education. I'm taking a class at night. I'm working full time. I also have these things in my life called kids. So should I bother? Maybe the blog isn't the way to go. Well, you'll also notice that I haven't done what I said I was going to do in the last blog. I noticed. That's why I'm doing this. I now have a slightly stronger voice in the back of my head saying, "Hey. You said you were going to..." So the blog stays, at least for now. And I want to do better.
One of my friends sent me an e-mail about my blog. She suggested that some of the great creators were compelled to create, even biologically, that they couldn't NOT create, that they created freely and without thought to more mundane considerations, and that if I took that attitude towards my work it would undoubtedly open me up to a greater source. First of all, I am biologically unable not to write or compose. I couldn't stop if I wanted to. There's no way I would have written all the garbage I did if there were any logical reason behind it. I spent 17 years writing Myth of Magic. I've taken 18 years to write my woodwind quintet. Other books have taken anywhere from 3 to 8 years. This isn't because I have some noble streak. It's because I simply can't stop until the thing is done. It continues to rattle in my brain like an itch. So I don't need to create like this, because I already do. Okay. So here's my dilemma. Stuff comes out, and I have to write it down. Then I don't know what to do with it. I could self-publish my stuff, but that's very expensive and time-consuming and I may not see any return of that money. I could seek a traditional publisher, but that's like trying to get a helicopter pilot's attention from Times Square on New Year's Eve. I could put it on the web. Costs me nothing, costs the audience nothing, but then I have no notion at all of who is valuing the work. Did ANYONE read it? Did they like it? I can't just create and leave it at that. I'm not just automatic-writing or therapeutically cleansing myself. I'm trying to share, to communicate. I need some kind of return response, either money or words, to connect me to others who understand what I'm saying or to let me know I've missed. So for the time being, I'm prioritizing getting a response from the industry. I suspect I haven't really been motivated sufficiently before. The Blog is my way of committing myself to that. Love Adam
I think I'd better clarify. When I read the first blog I wrote again, I couldn't believe how depressed I sounded. I received several supportive e-mails afterwards, and one important person in my life informed me that they couldn't even deal with what I'd written and had to stop (I quite understand.) The blog isn't a cry for help...not that kind of help. I have been published before...a number of times! I'm not a failure. I simply fail a lot. My score is roughly this: ADAM: 3 published stories, 6 or so published articles, and a few self-published items. OBSCURITY: Over 100 rejection letters in my file. Depending on who you are you'll either think that's a lot of rejections or not very many. I'm in the latter category. I don't think I've submitted nearly enough. I think I need 1000 rejection letters, at least. Most rejections were not because I "suck." Most of them were because I didn't send what they needed when they needed it. Within that equation, part is my ability to write what sells, part is my ability to know who I'm selling to, and part is dumb luck. Publishing means getting better at at least two of those three things. And the only way to get better is to keep submitting and know that "no" is mostly what I'll hear. I know that the best baseball players miss 2 out of every 3 swings. I'm down with that. But it's still really hard to get those letters. Each one is like someone forgetting your birthday. So I started this blog, because the only way I can keep myself submitting is to make public what I'm doing and what I'm not. That way, if I'm not doing anything, I won't be able to hide it! So now for the Ugly..err...the truth: I didn't place in the Creative Loafing Fiction Contest (sob). I wasn't able to interest my friend the Agent in reading the latest draft of my science fiction novel, A Thousand Points of Darkness (been working on it 8 years). And worst of all, Playwrights Horizons sent me a polite rejection for my play because they don't do adaptations. My play is an adaptation. I should've read the submission guidelines more carefully. (See what I mean?) So on to the next swing: I have to get some of these childrens' book manuscripts out there. I want to see if there's a competeition I can enter my play into. And since it's looking like the other agent who is reading (or not) my mystery novel isn't going to ask for more, I'll have to find another place to try it. Keep me honest! Love, Adam

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