The seeds of my weirdness were sown as a young boy, growing up in the church, who loved rock music. As I learned how to play the guitar, I wanted to use that instrument to express my growing faith. I learned that I had to set it aside for a while to serve the Lord directly by going on a mission. When I picked it up again, I was more converted and dedicated than ever before.
My first recordings were released in 1993, in cassette form. I only printed 100 copies, because that was all I could afford. I still have one or two. Most of them were given away, but a few were actually sold.
I kept on recording songs, and releasing them one at a time on the 'net.
Then, in the 2000's, I put out two CD's, and I'm currently working on a third. Over the years, I've recorded over 60 songs, and literally more than 20,000 copies of my tunes have been downloaded, pretty much all for free. Those are just the downloads that I've been able to track.
So, I thought it would be kinda cool to share some of that experience with some out there who might be interested in making LDS music. I'm going to start a series of blog posts on that topic. They might be just short, disjointed ideas, but over time, my plan is that they'll coalesce into something useful, and hopefully something inspirational.
They might not come out in any sensible order, but I'll keep coming back to this page, and installing links to help you, the reader, sort them out. I'm thinking I'm going to organize them into four basic categories (I might add more later if I see the need):
- My Personal History of LDS Music - Part 1 - The Seventies
These articles will all be about me and you, as the creator of the LDS music. I'll talk about the spiritual roots of creating music, and how to keep yourself in tune. Keep in mind that, as any advice-giver, I might not always take my own advice. We're all trying to become perfect, after all, right?
- Getting in Tune - 3/31/10
- The Freedom of Obscurity - 4/1/10
- Some Scriptures About Motive - 4/5/10
- You Don't Have to Be Great - 4/11/10
- Comfort and Affliction: The Message - 6/10/10
These will be thoughts on the actual act, process, and craft of creating and writing a good song. That's really the core, isn't it?
Here I'll share my experience at the mixing console, talking about the art and craft of realizing a recorded work of musical art. It's tricky, and I don't have all the answers, but I can share the ideas that I've learned.
- My Squidoo lens: Miking an Acoustic Guitar - Archive
- An LDSMusicians.com posting: Mixing - Archive
- Recording Vocals - 5/12/10
- Choosing the Order of Songs on an Album - 10/13/10
Ultimately, if you never share your music with an audience, what's the point? You're like the tree that falls in the forest. If there's no one there to hear it fall, did it make a difference? I'll share insights into performing and connecting with an audience, and also about using tools like the internet to share your LDS music with an interested audience.
So, from time to time, check back here, and I'll hope to have more and more thoughts and feelings on "How to Make LDS Music!"
Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.