Todd Clouser & A Love Electric

Insecurity January 8, 2011

Most musicians I know and play with, and without doubt myself, battle a lot of insecurity. Doubts as to their playing's proficiency, validity, ability to make a living doing so. There is a risk in exposing yourself, something in some folks seems to really feel vindicated by seeing and pointing out the weakness of others. Those arent the type of people to create art with.

But as for insecurity as a musician, I battle loads of it, though over years I have developed the skill of catching myself before I get to the I completely suck level of self-deprication and pity. Its really revealing looking back at some of whats been created and seeing how it actually went off in reality, not in the twisted ego though process. About half the time, my perception of how things went, if the music was any "good" is wrong. There's some aount of doubt that is healthy and fuels motivation, ambition to create more honestly and practice, but the insecurity that leads to negative reactions - towards others, self, acting out with judgement - is only self defeating. 

When we finished A Love Electric, I was pretty convinced it wasnt that good. After about a month, I started to like it, as time went on I found some really great pieces in it. In the end, now, Im really comfortable and satisfied with the record, but getting there mentally, even after all the composition, recording, business, ends, was a process. I dont think it needs to be that way. If we can just leave all expectations aside and focus on creating the music we have to emote, feel, it comes out right. As young musicians we all grow up celebrated and eager to show the world our art, and are often certain the world is waiting, then we are tempered by reality, and some of us never return to the ability to express with an excitement. Things get cynical fast.... and thats all fear, fear of inadequacy, fear we have it all wrong, fear someone will tell us we suck or scoff at our wide-eyed approach to life, tearing at the unique voice and passion we all have.

So tonight, Im going to the gig thinking only of the music we'll play, being prepared but free of expectations, without worry of treactions, and grateful to have the opportunity to play an instrument and create, improvise, say the things Im feeling through the music. Im going to listen and share with my bandmates. Its going to be a wonderful experience. 


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