This is a very special project to me for 2 reasons.
1. This is the first half of a 2 EP project that is inspired by and that I’m dedicating to my beautiful wife Rachel (the latter is still a work in progress). Music is meant to be written from a place of meaning and so when I sat down to brainstorm what the core inspiration for this project would be, it had to be her. Dating, getting engaged, and getting married to her. Yeah. It’s cliche, but they have been crazy transformative experiences for me and so writing about anything else during this period of my journey feels lifeless (in comparison).
2. This is my first attempt at a 100% self produced album (except mastering). I wrote, played, recorded, and mixed everything. This is not meant to be a point of pride or something to say “look at what I can do.” It’s more just that I wanted to grow in my capacity as both an artist and producer and felt like this was a challenge worth accepting.
It’s dangerous for me to just write more without any clear guidelines, so I’m going to continue this self-interview style:
Why “Half Serious”?
Like I mentioned, this article is at it’s core a love song to Rachel, so I wanted to pull from something that closely tied to us. She and I have a lot of sarcastic/playful banter and in the midst of it one of us will often say something that, while ridiculous, borders on that line between seriousness and ridiculousness. So we will end it with “half kidding”… or sometimes “half serious”. I also really liked the idea of using the phrase half serious because it pretty accurately describes the two of us… me being the slightly more serious half, and her being the goofy fun kidding half. Also (it’s fun when things work out like this), it played well into my desire to write a two-part EP. The tone of this EP is relatively serious, and the tone of the coming “Half Kidding” EP will be considerably lighter and more fun.
Why work by yourself?
In some ways, I felt like this is one of my greatest skills. I’m not the most amazing guitarist, singer, drummer, pianist, producer, mixing engineer, or recording engineer. The truth is there are plenty of people better than me at each of those things. But I think it’s a unique skill to be able to try to combine them all into one project on your own. It’s a creative constraint that not everyone has the capacity (or desire) to work with. I’m blessed to have this as an option so I wanted to try it, though I wouldn’t suggest everyone trying it.
How long did you work on this?
I started drafting these songs sometime in April/May, they started taking a more concrete shape and I chose from amongst about 10 different ideas to narrow it down to the current 5, and then I spent hundreds of hours completing it during July/August so that I could pre-release copies at our wedding on August 31st. Each of the guests at our wedding was given a copy as a wedding favor :)
Why so little fanfare?
While I have nothing against big promotional campaigns and think marketing is a core part to the success of any major artist or product, one of my curses is that I mostly just really enjoy making music. I’m a bit of a hermit when it comes to my music and all the extra stuff that comes with the business of it: trying to promote yourself, networking, etc. are things I don’t really enjoy doing. I think it’s super important if commercial success is goal #1. But to be honest, until the day I make something so amazing that people are naturally compelled to share with the world, I just want to keep toiling away at doing what I love most….
To those of you that have listened or will listen to the album. I really really appreciate it! It’s an unfortunate byproduct of the wonderful technology that we surround ourselves with that it is a genuine struggle to sit down and listen through an entire EP let alone a whole ALBUM (i’m no different!). so i thank you so much for lending me your time and your ears and listening to my music. as always, thank you so much for your encouragement and feedback :)
Chris aka “Claudeo”
released October 24, 2014
All songs written, recorded, mixed by Christopher Changchien. Mastered by Kevin Bartley
all rights reserved