It's hard to put into language an idea that has mostly existed inside of my brain for the better part of five years. Historically, it's easy for me to get lost inside my own head, thinking big thoughts, having big dreams. But that's where I usually stop. The head part. So for me, the culmination of some of those Big Thoughts into this, into Chroma, is the fulfillment of something I thought might be too big to be realized; something too big, certainly, to have done on my own.
It all started with a feeling.
When I first started seriously recording music (essentially out of simple necessity to get my own music into tangible form), I knew pretty quickly that this... whatever it was that I was feeling- about art, about the process, about everything I was doing- wouldn't be just for me. I started thinking about my actual beginning. I had done some recording for people in high school. My dad had a Windows98 computer running Cool Edit Pro, and somehow I was able to interface with it. We had one SM58, and I think that's it. I'm still not sure how I thought I could record a whole drum set with that one mic, but I guess I did. There are some surviving MP3's to prove it. But those times with my friends, making music with no stakes or pressure, using the limited tools and knowledge we had available, teaching ourselves as we went, daisy chaining mic cables long enough to run from my bedroom to the TV speakers so we could get a sound clip of American Movie to use in a track... Something about those times infected the way I thought about making art, and deep down, I wanted to find a way to recapture some of that innocent magic and inject it in to the oftentimes too self-serious nature of our DIY music scene; get away from the pressure. Get away from the competition. Just focus on the love of the thing you're making, and the people you're making it with. Nothing else matters.
For me, starting this new chapter is about coming back to that innocence. It's about disregarding all of the noise each of us has to deal with- internal and external- that tells us that what we're doing isn't enough, that we'll never be good enough, and that our value and the value of what we make is tied like a noose to how many likes or shares or downloads we get. Chroma, for me, is a step to push past the bullshit and hold on to what is true and real: what you make is valuable, and who you are is valuable. Full stop.
I know that all sounds a little bit vague right now. That's OK. If I'm going to be completely honest with you, we're still figuring out where all of this is going to take us. But this is our first step. So I invite you to join us as we take that first step. Come alongside of us in a journey toward honest, vulnerable art based in a community with those same values.
We are the Chroma Artist Collective