I want to tell you my story as an artist.
When I was 14 I discovered music. The stuff on the radio. It was 1986 and the bands had names like Noise works, INXS, Jimmy Barnes. Icehouse, Crowded House. John Farnham had just released Your the voice. I cut my musical teeth on all of these. Add a little Eagles and The Beatles for flavouring.
Every Sunday we would go on family drives. Long, boring ones (to a 14 year old mind). They laid down seeds for travel and exploration. I found myself on those roads, learning about music through headphones.
On one of those trips, somewhere on a bend near Windsor in NSW, a spark went off in my mind and the first song lyric that I could truly say was my own found life. I still remember it. It was called "the point of no return". I could sing it for you if you like- just one little line. Of course, like an old school photograph you see of yourself- it becomes awkward and embarrassing.
I've come to see and appreciate the significance of beginnings. The places and times where things we do, the passions that define us are part of our identity. I am a song writer- I hear melodies and my fingers still search for them. It is intrinsic to who I am.
I honestly thought after making my last album “Falling Awake” that I was finished making music as an artist and that maybe I was too old or not interesting enough. It is easy to respond with "you're not old". Yet comparison- that loveless enemy of the mind- preaches to you through media with its subtle message that youth equals beauty. I had fallen into the trap that creating music is only for the young.
Yet great artists of an era before commercialization of music and art, were forged over decades. The comparison thing is just a sneaky cover for insecurity. It robs us of our potential. Comparison is a lie that says that our story is not vital to the world...that no one can benefit from our stories. That's because our stories are the one thing that make us unique and special. You and I and our stories are vital art works and someone needs to hear them.
So I entered into a journey and returned to the place I started. It is my story. I believe it is beauty and that makes it an art form. I went back to playing and writing music with just my acoustic guitar and loved it. Not only that, I found something new. A new song. And it was liberating.
I want my story to encourage people that their story is also beautiful. Tell your story, follow your dreams and change the world. And listen for each other’s without judgment or bias. It is a beautiful thing to be moved by someone’s story. I have returned to the place I started only to find that it is completely a new place, much like the sentiment expressed by TS Eliot: “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to return where we started, and to know that place for the first time”
I hope you enjoy what happened when I got there.
This is one of the best recording experiences I have ever had. Jake Nauta produced my record in a studio I wanted to go back to since my early recording days as a session vocalist for a leading children's church program. Here are some pics of the sessions taken during tracking in May and June 2014.#queensroadstudio
John Newsome: singer + songwriter, teacher, explorer/ dreamer.