Testimonies

Principle Editor’s Note On Daily Meds

Music has always been a big part of my life. My earliest memories of being at home with my family revolve around music: it seemed like someone always had something on – whether it was my Mom’s Patsy Cline, Dad’s John Denver and CCR, or my sister’s Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey tapes. Music was always on, and when it wasn’t, my Mom would always be singing or my Dad would play guitar. I suppose that through osmosis, music has always been as much of a part of me as the feet I stand on.

It can get pretty bad.  When I day dream, it’s often in musical ideas. If I can’t fall asleep, I’ll make up riffs and grooves in my head and continue to layer them until I do. I even dream in music. Although I have stacks of tapes and hard drives full of thousands of riffs and musical ideas that I’ve been creating since I was 11, I could probably count the number of fully ‘finished’ songs on my two hands.

For the longest time, I’ve always wondered why I didn’t take that extra step. That leap of faith. I had the passion and the work ethic – why the hell didn’t I just write some damn songs? Why didn’t I do what I seemed to be born able to do?

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to help edit the work you now hold in your hands. It’s amazing to me that you now hold a big piece of Dave’s musical wisdom and knowledge that can be digested, felt, and understood by anyone who holds it that gives it a chance. All of his years of blood, sweat, and tears of living a creative life has been compressed and condensed into ink on paper. Call me gullible, but that’s pretty damn amazing.

What was so powerful for me is that this book helped me see myself from a new perspective. More specifically – it helped me re-evaluate my relationship with my own creativity. Or rather, my own fear of doing what I love to do – and that has always been to create. Creating has always been so natural for me. Finishing a song or idea however…

This book helped me look beyond the fear of not meeting my own expectations, of letting go of pre-conceived notions, and letting what I create be whatever it needs to be without judgment. For the first time ever, I feel liberated in being able to finish the overflowing ideas I have in my head so that someone else can finally hear them too.

For the first time ever, I feel brave about hitting record. My hope is that you will too.

Don R., December 2014

Second Editor’s Note: On The Daily Dose And Daily Action Sections.

The daily dose and daily action meditations and exercises were written as an emotional and spiritual guide for individuals traveling in music career. It is anticipated that the true depth of what appears at first to be naïve or overly simplistic truths will take on more complex and even radically different meanings throughout the development and cultivation of an individual. Therefore, it is recommended these meditations be read and re-read as the years, difficulties and triumphs unfold.

Spirituality is largely ignored in modern music, and we refer to music culture far too often and unconsciously as an ‘industry’, rather than a path or a calling. Hence, there is a terrific need for works like this, which address the less superficial, less monetary, less frivolous side of musical creation and performance. With respect to musical cultivation, divine creative spirit or higher consciousness, every effort was made to avoid religious or dogmatic overtones, including the omission of words like God, which were substituted with less narrow or culturally homogenous words. Language fails to adequately describe what higher creative awareness is, not to mention god, divine inspiration, happiness, transcendence and so on. The reader is encouraged to extrapolate the meaning of these various terms throughout their career and development. Just as music can be an intensely personal and intimate experience and highly subjective with ever changing meaning and interpretation, so are these daily meditations.

This is a collection of thoughts with no ulterior motive. It does not propose to have all the answers. It is the experience and wisdom derived from one man’s commitment to a life of music. It would do any aspiring musician well to adopt these meditations and take them to heart, as they will undoubtedly enrich and fortify ones spirit in the tough and great times that lie ahead. Written with empathy and a genuine concern for the happiness, success, self-actualization and spiritual fulfilment of musicians alike, it has been of enormous benefit and delight to be part of the process.

B.T. De Laire – April, 2014

6 thoughts on “Testimonies

  1. Personally , I liked majority of the course. I was really glad we got to do the marketing part, because I really want to go into marketing as a career choice. The only thing I did not like was the Daily Meds. I just hated having to them every day, especially when I was really busy. It might of been better if it was like 3 or 4 times a week. Overall though, the course was pretty good because it gave you a sense of reality and the real world, and what the expectations are. Taking this course in grade 10 really opened my eyes as in what to expect later on in my schooling career.

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  2. It’s a bittersweet moment right now for me. It’s 2:30 in the morning and I’ve been working all day on my EP. The weirdest thing is that I feel good. I feel good about what I created, what I learned, how I was able to see, how I shifted as a person. I’m excited to move on after high school and break out of the place that holds so many painful memories and good ones too. But I’m also going to miss all this self exploration. Therefore I will not stop. I’ll continue to challenge myself to dream and act on those dreams to make them a reality. As Shia labeouf would say, I will “JUST DO IT!!!!!” It’s really not that hard to take action, and what’s the point of living if we don’t do something with what we have. There aren’t ‘special people’ in the world that get all the glory because they’re lucky, everyone has a chance to make their own glory. So i’m gonna work my ass off and get myself to where I want to be. My journeys only beginning and my musical/performer lifestyle will obviously be hell sometimes. But maybe in those times I’ll think back to this moment, this class, these days and take a look at those daily meds and revaluate my situation. Really these musical meds are a way of seeing you as a person for your full potential. I loved it because I’m very into that kind of stuff.
    In high school, when we write essays or personal opinions and such, people tend to call it… “bullshitting,” I did. Whenever things got deep, that’s your excuse. But why the hell do we need an excuse to care about things, or ourselves. These opinions and things we discover and write must have truth to it, they had to come from somewhere. Maybe people just don’t wanna be deemed as a spiritual hippie or something but I find truly intelligent people take life and discover themselves through it, by thinking. I love this stuff. If I didn’t meet my group of friends who encouraged my to take native studies (which is a super self discovery course) I probably wouldn’t have this outlook. I’d still call it bullshitting and I wouldn’t take the time to understand myself. But I probably would not be alive right now if I didn’t adapt to that way of thinking last year. And I will never stop, because when things get hard, you have to take a look at yourself and understand yourself. If you don’t you’ll be lost.
    So basically I noticed, the girl’s in our class loved the daily meds, I did too. I just had a hard time keeping up with them but even when I wasn’t writing, I was using the tools I read about and doing those actions and it was amazing. To me it wasn’t about, how many can I get done, it was about, what can I learn from this. And I learned a lot.
    Anyways, the girls loved em and the guys hated them. Now i’ve always been told that girls mature faster then boys, so that probably comes into play. Also, most of the boys were in grade 10 or 11. Where most of the girls were in grade 12. The boys said they, bullshitted it and hated how they had to do it every night. Maybe it’s about how guys are taught to portray that manly, “hey, I’m tough, not sensitive” crap. But the thing is one day they will get hit with something hard in their lives and then the daily meds will have the answers that they need.
    I read an excerpt from one of my daily dose sections to some of my friends, 2 guys and another girl. The girl listened but had not much of a response. The two guys were very inspired by it and so began a long conversation about the excerpt I read. The thing that I believe it is, is that. The people I hang out with all have their own shit, and have each had a very rough experience and somehow that’s how we’ve all been brought together. We’ve got each others backs and we all have our own crap to deal with but everyone understands. Now, to get out of our situations, we’ve all done some soul searching and we have a lot of discussions about that kind of stuff. My point is that, maybe the guys that call inspiration bullshit, have just lived a very sheltered life, or they’re hiding their problems cuz of the people they are surrounded by won’t accept them. Maybe it’s the fact that almost all of my guy friends took that native studies course (yet there are a lot of guys that take it and pull nothing from it).
    I believe that once a person faces a very hard experiences in their lives, they need to look within themselves to be happy and understand the situation. Everyone will have to do that at one point in their lives, and once they do they will no longer call self exploration “bullshitting.”
    Lastly, I just gotta say, I needed this course. At first I didn’t like it because I wanted to stick to the usual, here this is how its done, now you do it. Then I understood that not all adults always have the better solution and the answer is usually within yourself. With my song for example, I was ready to learn how the pros record and mix and stuff. But in the end it was about, what do I like, and I was back in my old ways of using no mic and using a lot of reverb… I really like reverb. That’s what made me happy, that was something I wanted to listen to. When I jumped track with my songwriting process from the slow, unsatisfying technique of actually writing full out to the, let’s just make what I like and make it full, and harmonized and deep. It works with the short attention span of society right now 🙂
    I could write forever, but let me just say thank you Dave, This course saved my ass, and if you hoped that you would inspire people with your work, and your life. You defiantly inspired me, thank you.

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  3. Alright so where do I start? Besides the obvious i really enjoyed it, really loved it, and loved that it gave me stuff about art in general to talk about.

    I really enjoyed these daily meds- it forces you to be creative and take your ideas and make them real. I learned not only a lot about myself but about little things I can do to help me when I either don’t have any ideas or sometimes motivation. This class not only forced me to do what I love but apply simple lessons to everything in my life; music, writing, film basically everything important to me. It was that push to force me to do something and grow as an artist and a person (well, i think so anyway) I can’t really complain about any of it because I enjoyed all of it- Well i mean meeting the expectation of it being daily was tough, but you feel good when its done plus it gets you to think about things your interested in. I’ll probably go back to this workbook a few times over the summer just cause i don’t think i want to give it up yet. The exercises help to get you focused on daily mini projects, and help plan future ones or even give you ideas to solve problems you have with current projects. I know for me there were a few times i used the exercises to answer my own problems with writing, or it was simply to show off a great tune i made. This class – or workbook- can be used for anything and anyone so to anyone who needs to gather inspiration or looking for a way to get ideas for music, this is for you. Or just something to do, because the workbook was fun honestly. I loved it because i felt like i had a voice for once sharing opinions and thinking about things i never did before. A great way to express myself and share my ideas with other people.

    Thanks Dave for that push, it was a good excuse to sit there and just mess around with music for a few hours. plus it gave me and my fellow classmates to discuss. I’m gonna miss the class, but the things i learned will definitely stay with me for a long time.

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  4. I was with Dave during his Tuesday evening classes throughout June and July. There were four other classmates that took the course same time as I did as well as a few musicians that popped in for us to work with and have for projects to work on. I really enjoyed the aspect of bringing musicians together, whatever their direction is, to collaborate, teach and mentor one another and to spend time with in a creative environment.

    I originally signed up for the course last year (2014 or maybe 2013) when Bob Egan was supposed to be leading it. I will never know what I missed out with Bob, but I’m glad when the time came for the class to end up happening, it was Dave who lead it.

    I originally took the course because I was starting to get really demotivated with my day to day job and felt like I needed a change. Most of the cool people I had been working with at my job ended up getting transfers and I was starting to feel alone. Getting out of my tuesday shift from work and being able to spend time in a creative space with creative people has really gotten me out of the “rut” I was starting to fall into.

    Dave is one of the most incredibly knowledgeable, motivating, and straight to the point teacher’s I’ve ever had. I had a math teacher in grade 10 and a different math teacher in grade 11 that are on the same level as Dave.

    I really enjoyed the course (as today is the last day) and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new spice in their creative/musical life.

    All the best in your future development. I know there are countless individuals around the corner waiting for your influence.

    ~Malcolm

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  5. These exercises require both the discipline to do them every day and then need the creativity to complete the exercises. Many things in life involve one or the other but few things require both on this level. On the other hand this is what it takes to be successful: the creativity to be original and find our own voice with the persistence to do it every day. It can be hard to find the time and the focus to do them, but this is what it takes any of us to do our own thing successfully.

    The exercises challenged my own status quo and made me reach further and changed the way I thought about things. The push to do this has definitely challenged how I approach things.

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  6. This course has been excellent and inspiring, and Dave’s vast amount of knowledge is truly astounding. The best way to learn anything is to just do it, and we had plenty of opportunities to set up and record very talented musicians, and work with different DAWs after capturing the recording. There is a ton of very cool things to learn in this course – even for someone like myself who has been involved in music professionally for the past 25 years. From learning about various aspects of gear (from mice, to pre-amps, to consoles and then some), to learning about different mic techniques and various ways to capture audio (the Zoom H6 is a brilliant “new” way for me), and how to transfer the audio to a DAW and add effects/mix, and upload to the internet, there are so many practical and important to know things that are making my musical creation life much easier. The Daily Meds were the key to ensuring daily exposure to creating an audio track, and trying different ways of enhancing or kickstarting creativity. We only learn well through repetition, and this daily repetition ensured that i became proficient at things that i had previously struggled with technically (ie. with certain aspects of transferring and manipulating audio on a computer in a Digital Audio Workstation). Dave has an insane amount of knowledge and breadth of experience, and Conestoga College is exceptionally lucky to have Dave as an “Instructor”, but he really is far more than that. Dave brings to the “classroom” a very unique way of teaching which gives us students a refreshing way of learning thanks to his overall life experience ie. road experience (working as a drummer/percussionist with different high level groups over the years), technical experience (as an engineer and producer in LA and various North American cities), and overall musical experience. I hope to enrol for more courses, and look forward to Dave being my instructor yet again. Fantastic course!

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