In December our daughter was born. Her name is Alice. It has been amazing and eye-opening, and also exhausting and confounding in all the ways that you might imagine or know yourself. So we are deep in the work of wrangling an infant and introducing her to the world. I’m not getting much work done these days, but that’s as it should be. I can sometimes play some chords and sing a bit for Alice while I try and convince her to sleep. The goal of settling a helpless person right in front of me lends my guitar meandering some renewed purpose and I’m glad for that.
Though it happens in fits and starts, I am working towards an album even if it often doesn’t feel that way. There’s a backlog of half-finished songs from the last few years that are continually being replaced with a new set of half-finished songs, and that exchange feels like it could continue on indefinitely with no coherent endpoint. I am in a place I never thought I’d be when I was in my mid twenties, when making songs felt much more inevitable and integral to day-to-day existence. I guess I no longer define myself by what I make, and after many years writing songs that mostly lived in the background of someone else’s story, I naturally gravitated towards a search for value in life outside music. I’m ok with that and largely I think it’s been healthy. Still, I am working towards something, and I feel that at least for my own peace of mind I have to finish it.
All the music I am working on right now is based in classical guitar, 12 string, horns and harmony. These are the resources I have on hand, but I’m happy to be restricted to a mainly acoustic setup like the early days. Keeping the format simple means that I have no choice but to hone in on essential elements. I’d like to avoid the trap of production as a fix for substantial failures in performance and writing. And somehow, absurd though it may sound in 2019, I still feel that there is more to explore on acoustic instruments. I hear potential there beyond nostalgic imitation, and I know I’ve done a fair amount of nostalgic imitation in the past even if that has never been my goal. There’s still a big gap between the music I’ve had a hand in releasing up to now and the music I want to hear, which is the best motivation I can find to keep recording when I can.
Clearly this is an irrelevant line to follow in the current pop-centric speed scrolling music world, but I am comfortable with the fact that the aesthetic track I’ve been exploring since I was a kid only briefly lined up with what was fashionable or marketable. All I want at this point is to finish something that captures what obsessed me about music when I was young— the way the right chord movement can seem to flip switches in the brain, the way great music goes beyond mirroring experience or just telling you what to feel, and can seem to expand awareness as you hear it. the intuitive exchange between your mind and body and your instrument. I think there’s still something there to be found.
Failing that I’d at least get something down that feels true. Hopefully all of it.
I’ll try and update this site as I get closer to something real, which will hopefully be within the year.