Listening to an interesting discussion on ABC local radio the other day (quiet now, I did just turn 39, I'm allowed to) they were talking about how we remember things.
Many people will attest I have a shocking memory and it's getting worse, my wallet goes into hiding with frustrating regularity and if I didn't have a calendar, most of my social appointments would go by the wayside.
I doubt I'm alone in relying on Facebook to remind me when birthdays are (sorry if yours was in the past 100 days, I've been away from the evil thumb treadmill recently) and I haven't committed a phone number to memory in 15 years. Any scrap of a thought that has lyric potential goes into my phone, any quarter decent riff becomes a voice memo.
But where does that road end up? I was going through some boxes in the shed the other day and found a bunch of casettes labelled "demos" - who knows when they're from but I'm guessing that it's pre-2000, add to that they were probably made on a four-track so my chances of ever hearing their contents is slim. At present I have 48 unnamed voice memos, most are likely chord progressions but at least I can go back and listen to them if I'm so inclined but these tapes... they could possibly contain that one idea that would have meant that I never had to work again, unlikely, but you never know how the world can turn sometimes... I guess if I really thought that I could buy a machine to play the tapes back but it just seems like too much hard work really... or too much money to spend on insanity at least...
I read once in an interview with some musician I was following at the time they (name escapes me, ironically enough) never recorded an idea, never wrote a lyric note, with the belief that if they couldn't remember their own songs then why would anyone else? Maybe there is something to this, with so much music out there - it's said that there are millions of songs on Spotify without a single play, so not even the person who put it there has streamed it, which is a little sad when you think about it... all those lonely ideas with no love.
I've discovered that I'm much more successful at songwriting when I just finish what I start but I still fall back on scratched notes and voice memos worried that I'll forget the best song I ever wrote. This is the paranoia of a person trying to create... and it gets me all worked up until I remember that Daniel Johns had half the follow-up to Neon Ballroom before he one day decided to delete the tracks and start again and, in my opinion, he created one of the greatest Australian albums from that restart.
So maybe I'm better off harnessing my forgetfulness and using it as a collander for the best ideas. I'll let you be the judge when the music finally comes out.
PS I've been talking about more music creation on the page for all my other musical endeavours - check out clintonhoy.com if you're inclined... and keep an eye on those inboxes... music, soon, I swear.