After about 45 minutes of jamming 'Violet', we had to face it. It wasn't working. We took a break at that point and somehow all felt, without openly acknowledging it, that we were forcing an arrangement that absolutely wouldn't click. Like we had reached a brick wall at the end of what had, just a week ago, been a promising and exciting fork in the road.
And just like that, our spectacular creative momentum from the last session evaporated like it never existed, my brilliant calculations notwithstanding. It turns out, my crude physics, however ground-breaking, could not long bear the brunt of the cosmic forces of the ultimate universal axiom long acknowledged by man since he first crushed his big toe after inventing the stone wheel: shit happens.
I've learned it many times over through painful experience that what might initially seem like a wildly exciting idea can quickly become pallid, wither, and die, after a time.
Often, it is good practice to drop a project midway and, after a time, come back to attack it with a cleared head. Sans the rush of the initial excitement of creative breakthrough, one usually sees the project in a different light. Many times, one will be surprised one came up with such lousy crap. Which was what we had come to realize last night, albeit slowly. What were we thinking?
It would have been a total waste though if we had given up right there and then. But we stuck it out and decided to keep trying.
In desperation, we went back and reviewed the original ‘acoustic’ arrangement for the song. Back to the basics. We played it in its barest arrangement to get a feel for the song, which we may have somehow lost in the long, tiring process.
At one point, we were tempted to quit and just play our other songs if only to shed the bad vibes we had accumulated being stuck in a nasty rut. But we still kept to it. Just when we had just about run out of time, a flash of inspiration came to me. A Eureka moment. “Why not play it like this,” and I proceeded to strum the bass strings of my guitar repeatedly and in continuous rhythm, a complete departure from the original arrangement that had the basic rhythm in an unusual stroke pattern of two-two-one.
Keeping to the original chords, the new slower but more consistent guitar attack made for a more sensible sound that lent well to improvisational play. It was a definite improvement. Heavier. Easier groove. Definitely packing more power.
Finally, ‘Violet’ was emerging. Or is it, finally? Come Thursday, we'll know.
I cannot go against the truth of the axiom “shit happens”. Too potent to ignore or debate. I will try to soften the bluntness of its reality by offering another: “Though shit does happen, in time, it dries up, turns to dust and is blown away”.