A little over two years ago I started on a creative journey. I hadn’t scored a film or television project in over ten years. I’d moved on to creating several ambitious original projects, two musicals for the screen and a theatrical musical. The musicals sat on the shelf while I came to the realization that I was pretty good at creating things and not very good at getting them produced.
Around the time I realized this, I decided to try my hand at something more tangible( though still quite risky). During my “retirement” from film scoring, I learned to surf. I loved it! Being out in the ocean with the dolphins was such a great change for a guy who had spent most of his adult life shut up in studios. Since I’d been lucky enough to spend most of my life so far earning a living doing something I loved, and I needed to find a new income stream, I decided to build a surf retreat/hotel on the pacific coast of Mexico as a new way to earn a living that was connected to my love of surfing.
Since the architect I was interested in had a 2 year waiting list, and since I’d been fascinated by architecture since I was a kid, I decided to design it myself. I taught myself to use Google Sketchup, a simple auto cad program. The process of designing and getting “ La Chuparosa de Saladita” built is a novel in itself. Anyway, that project took a few years, had it’s challenges and adventures, and when it was completed and running pretty smoothly, I found myself in a slump. Pretty depressed actually.
A musician friend asked me how long it had been since I’d played and sang any of my songs. The answer was” too long”. I committed to do 30 minutes of singing every morning as a kind of meditation, hoping just the breathing and using my voice again would get my juices flowing. As I did this, I started remembering songs I’d written over the years that I’d forgotten about. I re-arranged songs I’d written for my musicals in a way that worked for solo voice and piano.
Around the same time, I started to explore the internet in a way I hadn’t yet. Checking out facebook, Wikipedia, IMDB and other sights. I confess, I googled myself to see what came up. I ran into a few interchanges between fans of film music that concerned my “ disappearance”.
“ What ever happened to Brad Fiedel?” These occasionally contained some misconstrued theories of why I had “left the business”.
What struck me first was the fact that people I’d never met actually seemed to care and be curious about what had happened. This was surprising to me. Then I realized that in living my life day to day through all the changes, I had never really stopped or looked back to gain some understanding of what had happened. The how and why of this big transition that ended a twenty-five year career as a film composer was still really a mystery to me.