20 October 2007

New and improved

Yeesh, it's been a while since I updated this blog. A whole crapload of stuff has happened since then. Where to start...

I got promoted to lead tester about two months ago. Pretty cool. High season was kinda busy for everyone (as usual) so my training was postponed a bit, but now that's done too. I haven't actually done much lead testery stuff yet, but I'm sure I will soon.

I also went back to Sweden for two weeks to clean out my apartment. I renewed my contract here for one more year. I had been subletting my apartment in Sweden, but now that I decided to stay here longer, I had to go back and get rid of it. The whole subletting stuff was a mess. Never sublet your apartment to a company. The amount of paperwork they insist on for every single thing is just ridiculous, and if it's a slightly unorganized company, the mess they can create with the paperwork is way, way, way beyond ridiculous. It's amazing how much you can screw things up if two people are in charge of something and they don't talk to eachother.
My parents drove down to Malmö to pick stuff up and help me clean out the place. We gave away most of the furniture to the salvation army store, and packed the rest into a trailer that they drove back home. It was really nice to see them. This was the first time I had been back to Sweden since I came here in June -06.

I've started taking guitar lessons again. I found out that a guy at work was actually a jazz guitar teacher. Feels great to be taking lessons again. I haven't really done that much with music since I graduated from college just before coming to Canada, other than written a bunch of songs. But compared to the more or less total immersion in music that I was used to back home, just writing songs every now and then is nowhere near enough to actually stay in practice. I've barely played the flute at all since I came here, and I haven't even looked at music theory. Now that I've started taking lessons again, I've really noticed just how out of practice I am.

In a way it's kind of depressing, I kind of feel like I'm wasting my talent and education by not playing more. I spent 16 years studying classical music, so not using it kind of makes everything I learned in those 16 years slowly fade away. On the other hand, it's gotten me thinking about it. Taking lessons again is kind of getting me back into the feel with music. Jazz guitar is very much about modes, scales and theory, learning about voicings and chord colorations. It's made me realize just how much I miss working with music.

I stopped playing just before I came here for a good reason, though. I was so fed up with the whole thing. Not because I was sick of the music itself, but because I was exhausted and fed up with the attitude towards music that we were force-fed with in college. There was always so much pressure on constantly achieving enormous loads of things, that I started to feel like I was made to achieve things for someone else's sake, instead of for the sake of improving my own musicianship. I do realize that when you're working as a musician, you're very often working for someone else, playing music that someone else wrote, etc. But it shouldn't be to the point where you start losing track of why you got into music in the first place. And at the same time, you're constantly being bashed with the idea that to play music well, you have to copy someone else who plays it well. If you're always made to hear something a certain way, eventually you start believing it. And I just refused to believe the idea that working with a creative art, it's more about copying others than actually creating something. I really needed to take a break from music, to digest everything and to get music and my own attitude towards music into perspective. And I think I've done that now. I feel like I'm ready to get back into it, and start making music again for the same reason that I got into music in the first place. Because I love it.

I've decided to take up practicing seriously again, and once I get my permanent residency, I'm going to start looking for music jobs. Working as a game tester is fun and all, but it's really not a job I see myself doing for the rest of my life. It's just not creative and challenging enough.

I'm a musician, and I'm going to create my own art.