Archive for January, 2010

The Balancing Act: Part One

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

With Robert Urban

What can I say? It’s something that can never escape me. No matter how many distractions, stress inducing moments and work-life balancing acts I endure, I can’t escape the desire, the passion to write music. I’ve come to the understanding that if I don’t release it, it will haunt me forever like a living hell. Scary, isn’t it?

The older I get, the more busy life gets. I am referring to the rat race of urban living. A few years ago, I found myself at a point of being haunted by the thoughts of wanting to create but not finding the space to do so. The more I moved away from the gift, the emptier I felt. And then the painful reminders sink in: aching bones and joints, weight gain and stress.

I realized that I could never totally disconnect because my dreams still presented me with creative pearls of musical ideas; little nuggets that I could store on my hard drive and I did just that. It could be 3am in the morning. It could be a melody, a lyric but usually some kind of melody that I felt compelled to jot down in my groggy, early morning state. And so I did just that over and over again. The closer I was to dream state, the easier it was to truly capture the essence of the gift that was bestowed to me at the waking point. I have a good sense of memory for dream details: smells, places, colors, people (living and dead) and sounds.

For example, I can recall being in a dream listening to a song on the radio, but realizing in the wake state that I never heard of it before. The same thing happened when I was watching a concert on the TV in my dream or the glowing lady in white who taught me an old song in a foreign language. There’s more on that next time.

I still struggle with the work-life balancing act, but realize I’m not alone in that process and that there are other artists doing the same thing in different ways. In that work-life balance is the guilt associated with not having moved forward and feeling helpless in the Matrix of life. Even as a clumsy kid in gym class, I always hated the balancing beam. Remember that?

I think I like creating music more than performing it. It’s always a good feeling when I can accurately share the soundtrack of my mind and when I can capture the moment. It’s a beautiful feeling. I do like performing, but I stress out from all the little details. However, when I am on stage it all pulls together and I am totally in the moment. It’s the before stuff that drives me crazy.

About a year ago, I felt the need to record again. It’s been nearly 10 years and thus began the search. I am very happy to be working with the very talented Robert Urban of Urban Productions. He is my George Martin, the genius that he is. We’ve been working together for a few months and here’s a taste of what’s to come from our hard work. It’s called Sign Post. I hope you enjoy it.

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lyrics & music by Martina Downey
(c) 2010

Martina Downey – vocal
Robert Urban – guitars, percussion, piano, orchestral sounds
Steven Sullivan – bass

arranged, produced, recorded & mixed by R. Urban