Waiting For This … Towards Feelings of Self-Actualisation in Love and Music. 

Waiting For This … Towards Feelings of Self-Actualisation in Love and Music. 

It follows on nicely and reinforces the importance in believing in myself, that my last blog was about letting go of the past, and embracing the future without being afraid… and this one looks more at positives that have appeared since then. I try to have new music and themes to focus on every time I blog and this time is no different, this blog ‘Waiting For This’ goes alongside the recent output of ‘Waiting For You’. The blog and the song both focus on encountering new feelings, feelings that I have been waiting for, for a very long time, feelings that put me more at ease with myself. 

For me it has always been easy to write songs that dwell upon the past and any negatives I may be able to attach to it and, by the same token, hard to write positive ones. I have now realised that writing songs, for me anyway, comes from a much deeper place than I thought it did.  By this I mean that I used to think that I just decided what to write songs about and that songs refferimg to dark feeling and difficult relationships were a choice and ‘my style’ but I’m starting to see it differently with new situations and new material. I can now see that the lyrics that come out of me are directly linked to my fundamental feelings and how comfortable and happy I am in myself. I can now feel my happiness with myself improving and without really noticing while writing so are the emotions in my songs and I think ‘Waiting For You’ is a reflection of that.     

As the title of the blog states, I’ve been waiting for this, a time in my life that I can actually look at myself in the mirror and know the person looking back at me, a time when I can be truly happy for other people and a time when I can feel content to watch the world go by and not feel like I must be striving to prove myself in order to feel personally satisfied. I feel that this is reflected in my current attitudes towards my music and weirdly enough that feeling of being satisfied enough to relax and let the world go by at whatever pace it wants, has actually made me more productive and successful. The reason for my new found self-actualisation can be found within the lyrics to my new song. While wandering, aimlessly though the wilderness I met somebody, someone who has awakened something inside me that I didn’t know was there, a desire just to love and be loved and alongside this everything else has just seemed to take care of itself. Partly due to things I have learned about myself and relationships in the past and massively because of how much I adore her, I wake up everyday and make her happiness my number 1 priority and because her priority is the same for me, everything just falls in to place. As well as supporting me, she makes active moves to push me into the unknown, to try new things and to test myself to expand what I thought was possible, this then makes me rise to the challenge and makes me develop at a faster pace while at the same time feeling like I settling down, which is also a new feeling for me. This has also transcended into my relationships with family and friends, I no longer feel like I am being judged anymore which makes me feel more relaxed when around I’m around people and also have noticed I am more able to tell them what they mean to me, how they have helped me and to recognise when I can be helping them or even just wishing them well. 

I would just like to say at this point that this blog is not saying that I have been constantly unhappy up to this point because that is definitely not the case, I have had a brilliant life, a great relationship that I would never want to forget and done some amazing things. It is just that there has always been something within me that has felt un-satisfied and always had to deal with what felt like an inner fight. This made it hard to choose to do the right thing at times which got worse and feeling like this gets harder and harder to live with until you wake up one day and don’t recognise yourself. You then realise that something very fundemental had to change. 

Anyway, back to what it’s all about, the music and my new song…. I posted the new video, that is below, just over a month ago and has turned out to be my best performing release so far with nearly 50 shares and 2100 views on Facebook up to this point. This proved to me that positivity is the way and that my best material can and will be in front of me. I can feel that a lot of my music on the horizon will be using my new muse and maybe a new chapter in the direction of the themes in my music. Or.. maybe it won’t, maybe my style will continue to be quite a somber one albeit with happier lyrics, all I know is that whatever I am doing, I will be happy, feel loved and be content in knowing that wherever it takes me, she will be there. 

Pls check out the video below and pls comment and/or share. 

Thanks for reading. CF. 

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If You’re Not Living, You’re Waiting To Die … Leaving What Has Gone In The Past And Continuing To Create.

If You’re Not Living, You’re Waiting To Die … Leaving What Has Gone In The Past And Continuing To Create.

Since writing my first song ‘A Thousand Happy Days’, I have wrote a lot of others, although this song has always meant a lot to me and been one that I always turn to. It was significant to me as I saw writing it as a very cathartic process, as it dealt with issues that I had kept inside for a long time and needed to share, which I eventually did, in what I now realize is the only way I know how. A fellow songwriter David Gaunt once said to me ‘songs to me are like children, you have to help them to develop and then once they are ready to leave, you must let them go’. This always made me think of this song, which I have been extremely precious about and in that have never properly released, in fear that at that point it will be out in the world, no longer owned by me, will be my past work and will immediately begin to grow old. This goes hand in hand with questions that I believe most artists must constantly have of ‘when will I create my next piece of work?’ or ‘will I ever create anything that I am happy with again?’. These two things combined have meant that I have never had a version of this song that I am very happy with until now and part of me believes that this is because of anxiety caused by knowing that to be able to continue recognizing myself as an artist, I would need to continue to create and ‘start again’.

A Thousand Happy Days is essentially a piece of writing that is wrote as message to someone going through the circumstances set out, yet can also be looked at by me as a letter to my younger self. Although sounding like a somber song the intended message is a positive one, of life getting better after a period of pain and even though outlining a specific situation of domestic violence, can span across all ages and circumstances.

The feeling of wanting to hold onto the past due to fear of a future that is unknown and may not live up to, is also as prominent now as it ever has been in my personal life. My marriage is something that made me happy to have been involved in and gave me experiences I could have only dreamed of, which I am finding hard to release into the constantly disappearing void of the past. As I have said before, with technology and social media being as it is, things get old and are forgotten very quickly and like words from the newspapers, tomorrow no-one cares, which is something that constantly plagues me in my music and my creation of experiences and memories in my personal life. By my nature I am a nostalgic person which makes belief that I will surpass what I have done before and be better than I was very difficult to imagine. Therefore to my anxious mind, the end of a relationship and admission of my music having to be left as ‘old work’ leaves a feeling of my best years being behind me, although when I feel inspired and look at the beauty in life, I know this is not the case and hope that time will prove me wrong.

The other song which I am ready to ‘let go of’ is ‘Sill A Piece Of Me’ which is, as all my songs are, another which means a lot to me in my life and deals sincerely with my own experiences. Although saying this, the subject matter is very different, where A Thousand Happy Days deals with domestic issues arising as a child, Still A Piece of Me deals with my problems in forming and maintaining relationships as an adult, whether the two are linked, nobody knows.

Still A Piece of Me is a song which mirrors my confusion surrounding what is ultimately right or wrong in relationships with others and asks a series of questions which I myself have asked a thousand times and I imagine my former life partner and millions of other people have too. (lyrics below) Whether we have lost someone by choice or they have left or been taken away from us, a question that sticks around is the opening to the song. ‘Is it better to have felt loves rise and fall, than to never have loved at all? even though it leaves me longing for you every day’.

Therefore again, as with my previous blogs, my feelings around and towards my music are mirroring that of my personal life. Experiences and songs can be viewed as your best and it can be hard to admit that they are in the past, yet in order to grow and continue to have any kind of worth as a person or an artist, I must leave them where they can be remembered yet always strive to create new ones.

Thanks for reading, and if you enjoyed it please share it with others Thank You – If you wish to follow me on social media Links to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are on the left. Past Blogs are also there.

CF

STILL A PIECE OF ME

Is it better to have felt loves rise and fall?

Than to never have loved at all?

Even though it leaves me longing for you everyday

And how many times did you say that you loved me?

Even though you had intensions of living without me

Turning hope into something that won’t let me sleep

 

But there’s still a piece of me that the world hasn’t got to yet

There’s still a piece of me that’s forever in your debt

 

But with veins as fractal as the trees

Your love it spreads just like disease

Into every part of my full yet craving body,

And I never realise how much I miss you

The days only turn into weeks of misuse

When they happen again and again and again.

————–

I never thought I would feel this again

But there we were standing in the rain

Saying goodbye to something it’s impossible to leave.

Yesterday walking around in bliss

Never looking behind your kiss

But the truth can only ever be what you believe to be true.

 

But there’s still a piece of me that the world hasn’t got to yet

There’s still a piece of me that’s forever in your debt

 

But with veins as fractal as the trees

Your love it spreads just like disease

Into every part of my full yet craving body,

And I never realise how much I miss you

The days only turn into weeks of misuse

When they happen again and again and again.

They Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday’s Just As Bad)

…. a lot can go down between Monday and Wednesday.

At the start of last week I was looking forward to my first gig at The Grayston Unity bar in Halifax the following day. A small intimate venue on a Tuesday night, should be quite a relaxed affair I thought. ‘Tuesday is quite a nothing day, it’s not Monday and it’s nowhere near the weekend, I’ll just get up go to work and then sing a few songs in the evening’, it did not turn out that way! My drought on writing a new song came to an abrupt end with a piece I am very happy with, Thunder and Lightning came from nowhere drenching and delighting people at the same time and I came face to face with a somewhat darker side of life. The only place I can begin is on Facebook on Monday. Anyone who knows, knows that Paul Adam Lynch’s status’ are always worth reading, whether its to be reminded of, or pointed in the direction of brilliant music; to start spontaneously laughing while quietly reading your phone at work; or just to rejoice in the fact that there are still characters out there who haven’t been taken in by the seriousness of this world, its all there. The status referred to the release of a new Bright Eyes box set of studio recordings between 2000 and 2011 (the mind boggles at how many unbelievable lyrics that must contain or how many times I will think ‘how can someone come up with ideas THIS GOOD?’). Anyway this triggered me listening to them all night and Tuesday morning and got my creative side raring to go, like when you watch a film about a great sporting triumph and plan on going for a run and planning a marathon straight away. I need to say at this point that I had also over the past few weeks felt the strong feelings that come with going into a place I used to live and feeling the present emotions of the person who still lives there even though they were not around (if that makes sense). Going back to Bright Eyes, I settled on the album ‘I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning’ and more specifically the song ‘LUA’, which brought feelings of solitude and the truth that comes with the morning to the forefront of my mind. It made me think of an idea I have always wanted to put into a lyric around the image of an unmade bed and how this can show the personality or emotion of the person who slept in it. A beautiful example is the music video for ‘Love Letter’ by Nick Cave which uses Cinematic Photography to great effect in showing this image and other brilliant images of isolation.

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So driving to work on Tuesday, I came up with the first two lines and quickly wrote them down before I forgot them (as always happens). ‘THE SUN TRIES TO GET THROUGH THE CURTAINS TO FILL UP THE ROOM, AND THE WAY THE BED SHEETS LIE TELL ME THAT YOU’VE BEEN CRYING’. Then, while at work, my body went through the motions but my mind was trying to craft more lines around this to create a verse. the next two lines came ‘YOU’VE LEFT THE HOUSE BUT WITH THE AIR I KNOW IT’S NOT BEEN LONG, BECAUSE THE ATMOSPHERE YOU CREATED IS STILL DYING’, then the chorus… ‘I KNOW JUST LIKE ME YOU FEEL ALONE….. AND I KNOW, IT DOESN’T FEEL MUCH LIKE HOME’. I knew when I had these few lines, that I really wanted to play it that night at the gig, but I would have to wait a few hours for anymore lyrics and more importantly would have to get home from work in order to get my hands on my guitar to see if I could put it to a tune within the hour… Between work and setting off for the gig, I came up with a simple three chord sequence that would carry the lyrics and at the same time brighten them up a little, with this I thought I could play the song even if it is only a short version of it. As I set off for the gig, the sky started to turn black over the horizon and the rain came down in buckets. I won’t describe the storm as most of you will have experienced it. One thing I did notice about the weather was that because of its timing I could not tell at what point it cleared up as the sun must have gone down during the storm and blurred the transition between a black thunderous, daytime sky and the night. In my downtime before the gig I took this photo of the town hall pointing up into the rain from the car park outside Grayston, an exact location that would be revisited later.

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….People came in drenched from the street and it was nearly time to play. I sat down with half an hour to go before I was to play and read through my earlier lyrics and added these in quick succession ‘I SEARCH THROUGH MY MIND TO FIND SOME WORDS TO SAY, SOME THINGS THAT MIGHT ADD UP TO MAKING IT BETTER…..BECAUSE RIGHT NOW I FEEL THAT I’VE KILLED THE BOTH OF US, AND TAKEN AWAY THE MEMORIES OF WHEN WE ARE TOGETHER’. The gig was quiet but went without incident and with good feedback for the latest addition to my repertoire. It is a beautiful room to play in with amazing acoustics and a very respectful clientele.

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Following the gig, whilst having a pint and a debrief, there was a loud noise that sounded like something falling in the back yard. The landlord went out to investigate and upon finding what he found called for help. I followed him out and heard him calling after someone to not run away as they were covered in blood. I saw a horrific sight, a young woman covered from the chest downwards in  blood which it became  apparent was coming from her wrist although the amount of it suggested there it could be something else as well. She fell to the floor and needed treatment in the exact spot where i had taken the photo of the town hall earlier. I was the only person trained in first aid, I will not go into a blow by blow account of her injuries and treatment but I will say that it was quite a memorable experience to see someone who’s life had obviously led them to such a place and something that is definitely going to trigger creative thoughts in an artist. In a eventful 20 minutes or so, I along with others got her stable and she was taken by the ambulance and has made a full recovery. This led me later on, to thoughts of depression and I could not help but make a correlation with the weather of that night. I linked this with the situation I am going through, to my latest song and the fact that the end of summer and the dark night had been well and truly signalled. I wrote the next lines which, up to now remain un-ended, ‘I THINK OF YOU MORE NOW THAT THE DARK NIGHTS ARE CLOSING IN,… AS WE ALL KNOW ITS EASIER TO LIVE IN SUMMER’. I will be finishing the song and recording it and putting it online very soon…

Here is the finished song… hope you enjoy it.

Please Subscribe if you enjoy reading my blog and i’d be forever in your debt if you could give it a share 🙂 …

back soon…

CF

Time Waits For No Man .. Gigs Done and Gigs to Come.

3 weeks since Skipton, 2 Weeks since Revo Records, 2 days until The Gundog and a whole lifetime of changing emotions in-between. No matter what happens in personal life, from the small to the once in a lifetime, time moves on and things that have happened and been said become the past instantly and the world awaits more. To keep things ticking along and not too heavy, information surrounding my music will be in these blogs and my personal life will be in my lyrics only (or personal conversation).

Firstly SKIPTON SOUND BAR was a brilliant place to do my first solo gig. Beautiful setting, very supportive hosts and an attentive audience. I would encourage any musicians among you to play there and everyone to go there at least once, preferably for live music Sunday afternoons at 3:30. I stood up to play and thought … I will now be playing an hour of songs these people have never heard before, most of which refer to intense feeling that I have felt in my personal life and that may bring back negative personal memories for people…. every logical part of me asked ‘WHY?’, to which I did not have a answer that involved words, just a gut feeling that this is where  I should be and this is what I  should be doing. A feeling that was rewarded with the reaction of the audience to my songs… The nodding of heads with understanding looks, encouraging comments on the nature of my music and most importantly the artist within me feeling satisfied, justified and ready for the next steps in sharing my intimate feelings with strangers and even harder to imagine .. my family and friends.

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So.. From Sunday to Friday, From Skipton to my hometown Halifax, From a new audience to familiar surroundings, From record store to record store …. From Skipton Sound Bar to REVO RECORDS.

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Another unforgettable gig, Even more intimate and just as daunting to play for differing reasons. But…. with everything that each gig takes away from me in baring my soul and bleeding me dry, I am given back twice as much in encouragement and appreciation of my music and in particular my lyrics. One person telling me that my words have touched somewhere inside of them kills a thousand negative thoughts and tells me to NEVER stop. Again a very attentive audience and a venue that could not do enough to help which led to a beautiful night. A big thank you to all my close friends and family that made the effort to come and support me in what they know is a very important time for me.

I began with the same set as I had done in Skipton but again changed the second song following the first, as the saying goes ‘No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy’, when your plan meets the real world, the real world wins. Swapping ‘Time to Run’ with ‘Still A Piece’ due to being more confident with the latter and still being in the early stages of the set, helped me get off to a good start and maintain a good pace throughout the gig.

Sound bar and Revo Records set list…

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So this Friday (26th August 2016) I will be playing again in a small space on the first floor of The Gundog in Halifax. A bare, open space for me to arrange as I please. I will be again, as with Revo, able to display my lyrics around the space which is important to me as it is the focus of my music. I will also be able to communicate with my songs and talk around them with an audience that is only there to listen. Hopefully I will get another good attendance and response, but then who knows?

Hope to see you there…..

Thanks CF

Here are some more lyrics….. From another of my songs… (you can find other lyrics on my first blog and by searching ‘Craig Fee’ on Youtube).

THE EXPOSING LIGHT OF THE MOON

 Too much silence means too much time to think about

Whether the things I keep locked away will eventually get out 

In another life I’d do this all better I know

But it’s no use to me here where I can’t look up for what’s below

 

The exposing light of the moon only shows the shadows on my face

And makes me feel I can do the things that take me out of this place

But distraction only pushes back what will eventually come

My turn to choose a barrel from this loaded gun 

 

You are the hesitation when I decide to run 

And pull me back together when come undone

You are the child’s naive words that make us question our lives

And shine a light on the parts of our lives the world has taught us to hide

 

I’m the piece of doubt in a mind that would otherwise thrive

A promise that’s not there as soon as you arrive

A person who rather than fall short would never even try at all

Giving rise to feeling content with only standing half as tall

This has to happen now.. if not, it will never happen

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There is no second blog without a first one, so here is mine, sharing my music; what I am interested in, what I am working on and who is inspiring me. Entering into a world that makes me feel happy, nervous and narcissistic in equal measure. Why would anyone want to read what I write? What can I offer? How else could I share my art and what informs it? A lot of questions to be answered but mostly an overwhelming feeling that this type of relationship is what I want with people who might listen to my music and my words, a personal one.  Anyway I am here now, and the first one is out there so I can now get on with the blogs that deal with the subject matter.

I have always been heavily affected and influenced by words, whether it was my first exposure to the unforgettable work of Simon Armitage at High School or the lyrical yearnings of Richard Hawley, I have always dreamed of being able to write something that could reach and echo within somebody else. The fact that I currently try to do this with the aid of a guitar and my voice is not massively significant to me yet it does serve as a focus and as a performance medium that is relatively comfortable to me. I hope to use this as a place where I can share my lyrics, music and gigs with my audience and go some  way to revealing the how’s, the why’s and the wherefore’s of how they came about.

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My first memory of LISTENING to lyrics and the power of song was playing ‘Brother’s In Arms’ by Dire Straits from an LP that my mum had when I was around 10 (maybe younger). This was following hearing it on a very intense scene, dramatising the suicide of a Falklands survivor on a show called ‘Civvies’, where the mixture of harrowing image and poignant music triggered unknown feelings of empathy. I have always carried these types of feelings and been a very sensitive and emotional person although I did let these feelings take a back seat as I had a musical affair with the image of indie music as a teenager. This was a brilliant time in my life which provided me with some unforgettable experiences, watching some great bands and playing gigs in my own band, yet also one that could never have lasted forever. I broke back into the types of music that moved me internally as I went into my early twenties where I was introduced to Johhny Cash and the emotional intensity of the album ‘American V’ with songs like ‘The Evening Train’ written by Carl Perkins. This song like the others on the album contained lyrics which were easily transferable to Cash’s own life with this song referring to the death of a wife not long after June Carter died. While listening to songs like this I became more and more aware that the only thing that mattered to me was Emotional Sincerity which is the one thing I hang onto in my own songs. He also covered ‘Mercy Seat’ which led me to a passion for Nick Cave, ‘Bird On A Wire’ which led me to Leonhard Cohen and so on and so on. I would like to add at this point that I, by no means think any style of music is ‘better’ than any other, as I believe music is about what the listener takes from it, but I am very passionate about what I like (which can, a lot of the time, sound like the same thing). I also love lyricists like Jarvis Cocker, Ian Curtis, Jeff Buckley, Dylan and Morrissey to name part of a very small percentage whom stayed true to what they believed in and remain sincere and believable.

I am increasingly consumed by existential thoughts that play out in my writing, what does it mean to be human? why do we choose wrong when we know what is right? why do I feel compelled to do things like this when it would be easier and more self preserving not to? Is it to achieve some form of recognition or to feel in some way closer to the people I love to listen to myself? I also like to consider why art is so important and in a life that is ultimately so short? and why it feels so good to hear or see something that re-assures us that someone else knows how we feel.

Anyway thats the first one out of the way, which hopefully provides a little bit of background to what I am hoping to do. I will be releasing music in the coming months, along with videos, written lyrics/poetry and doing some short, intimate gigs that will hopefully be quite interesting in placement and content while also being snappy enough as not to make you endure me for a whole night as time is precious these days.

I wouldn’t want to be all talk and no examples, so below is a selection of lyrics from the first solo song I wrote a long time ago. which was a song I feel was inside me and needed to get out as a sort of cathartic process to release feelings inside me that were brought about by the subject of the song. It will be recorded and released out into the world soon, along with others. Thank you for reading, If you feel it is something you could engage with please subscribe and I will be blogging again soon. CF.

“They come home late and you know this tension like the back of your hand, 

and your body, it cringes with every wrong move your mother makes. 

Because he’s on fire and somebody here is going to get burned, 

and all the happy memories they can muster always seem to show their mistakes.

……and for this night you will live a thousand more happy days…..

As much as your pillow tries its best to stop you hearing all unhappy words,

it succeeds in wrapping a thousand loving arms around you.

and you’ve never seen such beauty as the sun gleaming in through your window,

as it tells you at least the last little hours you’ve slept through.

……and for this night you will live a thousand more happy days…..”