J’ai Fame

Everyone assumed I was meant to do extraordinary things. But it seemed like I was the only one who could see the human inside of me. I faced my own mortality recently and it made me draw up a deadline and what I needed to achieve. As I had said before in an earlier article, a flawed piece of work left as a legacy is sometimes more potent than a perfect idea in the creator’s head. And that’s exactly what putting out art is all about. It’s this weird compromise between an idea and what eventually comes out. Especially because artists, I mean good artists, are very hard on themselves.

Weirdly, nowadays nobody speaks of the art itself. Or the content of the art to be more precise. All I ever got asked about was the stuff I had no idea of. Recording studios, sound engineers, mixing, videos, mastering, labels, tours, just to name a few. Honestly it was all so overwhelming because I’m the guy who walks in to a gig, checks 5 to 10 patches, checks amplifier levels and I’m good to go. I can take care of the music aspect. Now I have to be the musician, the composer, the producer, the director, the arranger and the marketing head, all in one. And I don’t know anything about these things. It doesn’t matter whether you can play 3 chord substitutions when you can’t figure out rehearsals with your band mates.

Suddenly it feels like a daunting task. To convince the guys who’re working with you that this music means something. That the world needs to hear it because it may change their lives. Just getting people to believe. It takes so much.

My teacher always used to walk in to class and say, “Anurag, you’re not curing cancer. You’re just playing the piano. Just make one sound, hear and make the next and keep following that thought.”

Philippe Lebaraillec, what a mentor. But for the first time I must disagree with him. When someone asked me what I thought about my album. I thought hard and said. I played what I felt at that moment. And there were these sequence of moments. I can sit now and disagree with all those moments. Now, 5 minutes later or 5 years later. But at that moment that sound was what I heard and I played it. And yes we’re not curing cancer with music. But if these sequences of moments makes someone believe. They are of consequence. And yes the world cares about this. Just like I did when I first heard Bill Evans. What he left for me changed my life. And hopefully my sequence of moments changes someone else’s. That’s all we need from music, from an album. A sequence of moments that inspires another’s.

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