Waters So Deep To A City Made of Stone

This past summer I dove into the recording project called “A City Made of Stone.” I published it in three different parts as I felt that I had accumulated enough material to be considered a “release.” Each publication consisted of the numerous sessions and live recordings I embarked upon while writing the chronicle of the same title. Many of the works recorded here had not be recorded before, however some of the material had been laid down previously. They acted as the soundtrack of that specific time in my life. Looking back on this, I’m filled with mixed emotions of the work.

It was a rocky place in my artistic experience. I came to a placed in my musicianship where my inspirations had become stagnant, and it seemed that my writing was taking a halt. Up until this summer I had only seen myself as a musician, and disregarded any extracurricular artistic experience as side work of the musical material that I was writing at the time. However, I hadn’t written any music, and by the time I came to the end of “A City Made of Stone” there was no new musical material to be accounted for other than the expounding and refinement of the current phase of writing I had been in since late 2008.

As a song-writer approaching your eighth year something like this shoots up a red flag and the sirens begin to go off. I became desperate for inspiration, but that is something that is not easily obtained.

Then, as if to save myself, I turned from my musicianship and began to look at the whole picture of what I had been writing over the past eight years. In order to do this, I had to see myself as artist and not musician alone; musicianship is only a facet of artistry. This is where I find myself today.

Through prayer and conversations with the Father, I have come to find that I’m being led into the more tangible arts. This has always been something that has scared me because I’ve never been quite good with the pencil or brush. As a musician, colors are a more abstract thought process that blend easier than they would ever on paper.

In November I was asked by a friend of mine if I could create a piece for him. I told him that I was no painter, but I had had a lot of experience in paper murals and collages; I showed him some previous work I had done for another person, and he thought it would be a good idea. The project I made for him--which was called “The Monarch”-- became an awesome introduction of the tangible arts for me. I felt within my mind the same creative processes occurring that would whenever I would write music. The only difference to this was that the creation was concrete, so if you did something wrong there was no starting over.

I have also come to find one other difference in the this new art is that there is no evolution. In song-writing when a song is originally composed there is the opportunity of it becoming something else later. Songs are more fluid and viscous rather than hard and tactile.

With this new paradigm change a door of inspiration, challenge, and adventure has been opened up to me by the grace of my Father. It’s an interesting new place I find myself in. Before my medium was the piano and whatever means of recording I was using; now I see a whole new spectrum of paint, plaster, paper, and pastels--a growing favorite.

Looking back on my past, I see the world of music that I was in for some eight years. I spun many circles and wrote many a hook. My life was music for so long, and I intended it to be that solely for the rest of my life. Now everything is unexpectedly different, and I’m excited to see what I am to experience down the road.

I’ve opened this new phase of understanding with masks made of plaster. Though I do not understand this project completely--and probably won’t until toward the end or after completion--I’m beginning to see the relationship between this art and the music. I’m happy to see that they are getting along nicely. My hope is that in the future the creation that is materialized will turn around music in the same fashion that the music has inspired the tangible thus far, however I fear that putting expectation in the water will hinder the artistic process. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see :)

To close, I would like to announce the publishing of the last installment of “A City Made of Stone” subtitled “From the Hive.” The songs here are more concentrated studies of concepts that were featured on my YouTube channel during the time that “A City Made of Stone” was being created and released. The tracks are very short--under a minute--and they remind me of things that you would find on the B-side of a single released in the mainstream: hints the name. I’ve put the songs up for downloadFree in celebration of my new artistic drive and the end result of a project that I’ve come to be very satisfied with. I hope it is enjoyed.

vole’ t