one of the greatest joys for me when working on music is when things start to come together. unlike those who play only one instrument or handle one aspect of a musical production, i get to have the over-arcing vision.
the painful part of this is when it lies there in a seemingly irredeemable mess, and those around me question my sanity and motivation. i can only babble the poor english translation of the images, sounds, and concepts that made sense in my head when i didn't have to articulate them. this is a sort of trial by fire (the fire being the burning attention given by musical peers or friends). either my explanation falls apart so badly that i realize my idea should be abandoned, i decide i have to find a solution that expresses it better, or their argument only strengthens my resolve.
at this point, or if i'm lucky, before it, i hopefully have an "epiphany session" in which my intent flows easily out of my fingers, charging the machinery with the correct outcome. those moments are like finding the auto-lock on a target. the song plays from the speakers simultaneously with the version in my head and they are a match, forming perfect quadrophonic sound.
it's fun building up an instrument at a time, being a player with my hands and a whip-cracking producer with my brain. then later, giving each sound its own definition and space, and hearing how they relate to one another. if i can't wait to sing along, or start moving without thinking, i know it's right.
things are coming together in a broader sense too. ideas about the album's running order and flow are making more sense. booklet art is being fiddled with, and logistics of special packaging are being investigated. the more these elements come into focus, the less they seem like an impossible patchwork of insanity and more like a complex but cohesive work.