Playing out your dreams
What better way to get your thoughts and ideas out to the world than through writing songs and music? I am one of the many aspiring teenage musicians in Hong Kong who has long dreamed of this, and this is how I set out to turn my dream into reality.
Last summer, I decided to set myself a goal; it was to bring four teenagers (including myself) together from Hong Kong and England, and to successfully write and record a full-length music CD, and all within 6 1/2 months. We call ourselves Scratched Audio.
The objective was to achieve this using our own skills and initiative but it was not always easy. But we were prepared to do whatever was necessary to get the most from the experience.
When writing songs, I start by trying to create a guitar riff which I think will catch the listener's ear, and then expand on it.
Once I'm happy with the riff, I think of some tunes to match, and then discuss them with the rest of the band before developing the song further.
The next step is to think up the lyrics, which I try to write when I'm feeling emotional, like when I'm feeling happy or sad. I often find that when I'm feeling emotional I get inspiration for my lyrics.
I also look at my surroundings for ideas. Doing this has made me realise that there is such a vast richness to life and that the sources of inspiration are infinite.
One can get inspiration from anything, whether it is what someone says or even objects in the street.
After finishing a song, the band uses an eight-track recording machine to record each instrument and the vocal melodies.
This machine was definitely one of the greatest assets we had in making our demo CD, because without it, we would have had to rent a recording studio, which costs thousands of dollars a day.
During the recording process, we tried to think up the best ways to bring our music to the public. We decided there were several ways to do this.
The first and most obvious way was to play as many gigs as possible to gain recognition. This strategy proved to be very successful and diverse crowds of people all ages came to our shows.
Another helpful tool that we used during the recording process was the internet.
As soon as we finished recording a song, we uploaded it onto our website so that fans and potential listeners could hear it in their own time, rather than having to wait until our shows.
This is a definite win-win situation for any musician because both musicians and listeners can sign up for the service for free. The perfect way to gain more exposure and to lure more potential listeners.
I have gained so much from all the work its taken for us to record our own CD. I have especially learned that if you want to achieve something you have to be enthusiastic and work hard for it. No pain, no gain!
As an aspiring musician, I feel the work we have done in completing the CD has built a solid foundation on which can continue to grow and record. The experience also showed me that if I set my mind on something, I can achieve it as long as I stay confident and pursue my goal with enthusiasm.
All I need to keep in mind is to:
keep trying now,
even when you feel like you're six feet under.
These are the lyrics from Keep Going Now, one of the songs on our CD.
We really want our music to have an impact on listeners. We want to inspire them to do things they never thought they could, and to manifest their dreams just like we have.
You can listen to Scratched Audio's music on the internet by logging into www.purevolume.com/scratchedaudio