Most songwriters, at some point, get asked about their process in writing music, and most of the answers are infuriatingly vague. That is, until you have to try and answer the same question yourself, and you realize that there is almost no way to verbally articulate the experience of having new music spawn in your brain. Well, on the exact day that summer changed to fall, I found my own mind swirling with new musical motifs. That's cool. The only problem was that it didn't really sound much like Zak Claxton music.
What does "Zak Claxton music" sound like? Well, for one thing, it's song-based music that can be performed as a solo artist on acoustic guitar. Those of you who've heard me perform my original songs at shows in Second Life, or have heard my album, know what I mean. The songs are intentionally simple in structure and arrangement. I'm proud of my music and I like my stuff, and I certainly will keep working on a new Zak Claxton album soon enough. But that sound was not what I started hearing in my head recently. A brief side note to this side note: I've written and recorded many, many kinds of music over the years. Techno? Yes. Country? Yes. Jazz? Uh-huh. Hip hop? Indeed. Classical? You betcha. So, the music that most of you know as mine really only represents one slice of the pie.
All this having be said, I should probably get to the point: I'm going to be building a new batch of songs, very quickly, and recording them equally quickly. But this music will be put out not as "Zak Claxton", as I won't be doing it by myself. Instead, I'm going to work with my great and talented friend Bunny Knutson as well as my lovely lady Kat in an entirely new project. I can't tell you more yet; some of it should stay quiet for now, and even more of it I don't know yet. But the goal is to record a batch of 10-12 new songs that will be very different from the music you've heard from me thus far, and have the whole thing done by Thanksgiving. It may seem crazy, but I really think we can do this. And I think you'll really like what comes out of it.
Meanwhile, back in SL, I'm still rocking away. Photo by Triana; top photo by Kat.
My "Songs for Autumn" set came together nicely. Photo by Kat.
Enough on that. Last night, I did my usual Tuesday night slot at the Whisky in SL, and the show went very well. I think my focus on these new songs is what bled through to my selection of the theme "Songs for Autumn", and the set list came together nicely. All the songs I played were those that gave me some feel of the fall months.
Whisky Set List...
Harvest Moon (Neil Young)
Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie)
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
Across the Universe (Beatles)
Save Me (Aimee Mann)
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Any Major Dude (Steely Dan)
Furry Sings the Blues (Joni Mitchell)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Tea in the Sahara (The Police)
Kimmie Rayna, Absinthe Seurat, Rusty Seisenbacher, Triana Caldera, TheaDee, Kat Claxton, Cicadetta Stillwater, my manager Maali Beck, Whisky host Dmitri Polonsky, and owner Cameron Trenchcoat!