Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Vacant Spaces – A song for Trayvon Martin (video tribute)

Hello. After my last post and the continuing protests and discussions about the case, I have been continuing  my reflections on Trayvon’s death.  I was compelled to write a song (as I usually am when I’m feeling something so strongly).  A friend of mine, a poet from Rockford, IL, named Christopher D. Sims, wrote a spoken word piece about it as well and we decided to combine them into one.  I also enlisted the help of my son, whom I mentioned in that last post as well, in the making of a video for the song.  The lyrics are included in the description on Youtube….here it is:

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Trayvon Martin & my son

My heart hurts. In the back of my mind, I somehow always knew George Zimmerman would get off without any punishment, but I had a faint hope that I was wrong. A faint hope that justice just might possibly have a chance. But, sadly, no. And so, I am sad and angry.

But, I am sober. Sober to the fact that I have to prepare my son (who is half-black) to live in a world where, because he has dark skin, someone could want him to be gone –so much so that they would pursue him and kill him. Then, that person could walk away without being arrested and go through a trial where he is declared not guilty. Not guilty.

That is the world I have to prepare my 5 yr. old son to live in. And I ask myself, how do I prepare him for that when I am not prepared myself? I must prepare myself and rethink just what lessons I need to teach him in order to survive. And I must find a way to live with the fact that I brought my son to this place. I’m responsible for having brought him into a world where this stuff happens to people who look like him.

Therefore, it is my duty and my penance to do everything in my power to educate him on the disparity between what is said to be true and what is really true. What is said to be true is that there is justice and equality for all. What is true, as evidenced by court case after court case and the disproportionate distribution of health and wealth, is that we are not there at all… and have never been. My heart hurts because I wish my son could live as carefree as possible, free to walk around in ANY neighborhood without having to watch his back. But, I can’t let him be carefree like that…because his life depends on it. I am sad.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M-Utk_g7y4A&feature=youtube_gdata_player&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DM-Utk_g7y4A%26feature%3Dyoutube_gdata_player

Album Song Preview – Youtube Video for “Birthday”

Helloooo!  So, I have been wanting to share a little more about the album I’m working on, so I decided to do a video preview of one of the last ones that I wrote.  I chose to share this one first because it is one of the more playful, lighter ones and I thought it would be fitting for a summer weekend release:).  Hope you like it!  If you do, leave a little comment to let me know….feedback is always much appreciated.  Thanks!  Have a wonderful weekend!! …and a few more videos to come in the future, so keep checking in!

—Monica

Album Journey – Update #2

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Hellooooo!

It’s time for another album update:). As mentioned in my last post, I’ll be doing a series of mini-updates on the process and progress of my first EVER full length, self-produced album. Here we go:

Title?: Nope, still don’t have it. I keep going back and forth between two basic ideas. I think I have to wait on this just a bit more.

Number of Songs: Still 21 songs, although I believe I’ll be cutting one or two of those if I can’t figure out the best way to present them. I wouldn’t be happy putting them out the way they are right now.

Phase: I’m happy to say that I am on Phase 2 now:). I have finished the experimentation and temp tracks on the last 7 of the 21 songs in regards to instrumentation and arrangement and such. Phew! Now, I begin the process of doing the REAL semi-final recordings and tracking of instruments for each song.

Challenges: The biggest challenge I see right now is getting the recordings down tight and mixing. I’m NOT a professional producer…so really, this is trial and error for me. I want the tracks to sound the best they possibly can, but I’m limited in my ability. However, I made a vow to myself. The vow was that this project was to reflect exactly where I am in terms of my level of ability and my style evolutionary phase and that is in all aspects (singing ability, guitar playing/musicianship, recording, production, etc.). So, although I may be limiting the quality of production, I am only doing so by the limits of my actual current level of skill.

Other challenges? Finding the time and quiet to record. I am using my own makeshift home studio and I have a young son who is always wanting to go on adventures. How can I say no to that face? So when I’m trying to record a background vocal and he says, “Mom, can we go to the park?” I have ask myself what matters most. For me, it will always be him over my music. Always. So, I have to get creative and find times and spaces to record around life – as all artists do.

What’s Next?: Apart from finishing the tracking and recording, I am hoping to invite a few of my friends and fellow artists to do a few features on some of the songs and as part of the interludes and such. I have met sooooo many wonderfullly talented folks and many of them I am happy to call my friends now. So, I am planning on inviting a few of them to do mini-cameos and show their special talents (e.g. a few bars of a rap, some spoken word, etc.). I want to give them an opportunity to share their talents, so I’m looking forward to that VERY much! They always surprise and delight, I promise!

Overall Progress: If I had to give a percentage, I’d say we are at the 40% mark. Not where I want to be, but moving forward and that is key. I would like to do a few, nicely done, videos for some of the songs as well , but that is much much later into the project.

That is all for now. Keep checkin in with me and thank you for taking this journey with me! I would love love love your support in sharing and listening to the album when all is said and done, so please keep checking in on the progress:).

Btw, tomorrow is the 4th of July! Happy 4th to all of you who will be celebrating. I’ll be with family and friends at my most favorite place to be…….THE BEACH:) Hope you enjoy as well!

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