It's been a while since I've released any music. Honestly, it's been a while since I've created much of anything at all. One might wonder why, if I'm a creative human being, is there ever a point in time where there exists little or no desire to create. For those of you who read my last blog post you might have at least a grasp of where my head has been for the last two years or so. The feeling of obligation to Identity, the feeling of a lesser ability to live up to that obligation. In that frame of mind even just the thought of sitting down and creating another piece of music felt like pulling teeth. And yet out of that space came this new E.P., one that I consider to be a snapshot of one of my most vulnerable states.
I'm generally a fairly private person, I don't like to air my dirty laundry out on public platforms, and I certainly don't like to inform anyone's interpretation of what my music means. That belongs to you, the listener. However, I feel inclined to give you a glimpse of the state of mind I was in when this album came about, if only to provide a deeper well for you to draw upon as you listen.
The last year or two had been a bit of a whirlwind, a challenge to say the least. My last E.P. "End Reticence" seemed like a step in a strange direction for me, an attempt to try and emulate what I perceived people to expect. In hindsight I remember during the writing process having difficulty truly connecting to what it was that I had to say, how I wanted to say it, or if I actually had anything to say at all. But at the same time I felt it was my duty to put something out that coincided with what I was beginning to embody in my live show. The recording process was a fun experiment but ultimately I walked away with something that seemed somewhat superficial and inauthentic to who I was.
As time went on I seemed to slip further down into that rabbit hole, basing my perception of my own worth as an artist on the approval of others, doing things to seek a type of validation that I could only find within myself. But I was too caught up in the race to look inward and this mentality began to seep it's way into other aspects of my life. Everything I did was in search of acceptance from elements outside of myself, and ultimately it left the door open to inevitable disappointment. Through failed relationships, collaborations, and projects, my confidence in my ability to accomplish anything on my own began to dwindle until I was left feeling terrified to try anything, believing that if I didn't make any moves at all perhaps I wouldn't experience any more disappointment.
Fast forward to one month or so ago, I'm sitting in my house in Nashville, Tennessee, surrounded by a bunch of recording equipment that represented an over complication of something that had once been so simple, feeling more claustrophobic and paralyzed creatively than perhaps I ever had before. Something in me knew that I had to make a change, make a move, even though the mere thought of that scared the living daylights out of me. The more drastic the better. In an instant I decided to sell most of the equipment I didn't need and reinvest that money into instruments, hoping that I could "get back to basics." I bought a 1973 Rhodes MKI electric piano that weighed 120lbs and lugged it up the stairs to my little studio. Somehow it made the room breathe better. In my mind I fantasized about sitting down at the keys with a cup of coffee and plunking out songs note by note, a legal pad and pen resting atop the keyboard to record any thoughts or lyrics that might occur. However, it wasn't until two weeks later when I received an email from my landlord saying that my roommate and I had to be out of the house that the pressure was on. I figured I only had a couple more weeks to really enjoy this new instrument of mine so I might as well sit down and try and write at least one thing.
Before I move on I want you to think for a moment about coal. Someone once said to me that coal, buried deep within the earth, is subject to elements that exert upon it an enormous amount of pressure. In that situation the coal will do one of two things: it will succumb to the pressure and crack or it will harden and become a diamond. I had dug myself into a hole so deep that the pressure felt immense, so much so that I had reached the point of wanting to walk away from music for a while. Cracking. I was convinced that it was my desire for "success" within the music industry that had driven me down the road I'd traveled and I decided I would shift my focus from obtaining a successful music career to simply living the happiest and most expressive life that I could. As soon as I made the choice to release any and all expectation of outcome I sat down at the Rhodes electric piano and that pressure loosed the cork on my creative bottle. Suddenly I had the words and the melodies to express that which had felt inexpressible for so long. All of my questions, my fears, my worries, came pouring out uninhibited and uninfluenced by the limitation of expectation. I was creating as I had when I was younger, I was creating without boundaries. A week later, after 7 days in the pressure cooker forgetting to eat or sleep, I had in my hands a diamond. I had spent much of the last two years believing that I had lost the ability to create freely and without expectation and yet here in my hands I held what felt like the most free and vulnerable piece of music I had ever created.
Axiom: a self-evident truth that requires no proof.
This is my self evident truth (for now). I'm a firm believer that once I release music it no longer belongs to me, it belongs to the listener and his or her interpretation. And now as I traverse the country in search of a deeper understanding I release this part of myself to you. Hopefully within it you can find a piece of your own truth. I've decided to let you name your price. If you want to download it for free it's yours, if you find value in it that translates to a dollar amount any donation is welcome, being on the road every little bit
helps. I hope you find as much solace in this as I found in making it.
Peace, Love, and Light,