Everywhere I Go

Synopsis:
Several years ago a piece of this song came to me in a dream. Upon waking I immediately ran to the piano to write it down. I had something like two measures of music. Life happened, and I had almost forgotten about this until rather recently. Now finally I have been able to realize what those two measures could become. This song is about my father. He was a very linear, straight-forward thinker. His philosophy on life was rather simple and he walked with a serenity that I've never seen in another human. I on the other hand am an absolute tornado. After he passed in 2015 I've thought much about the juxtaposed nature of our personalities. The hardest part about losing him was losing the peace and consistency of his presence.

What gives you peace? How do you stay steady through the tumultuous tides of life?

Cello stuff:
The counterpoint did not present itself readily when I was composing this. I am trying to get 14 songs done in one month and this took me a few days to really get the part writing done. I'm still not entirely sure I'm done with it. Anyway, there are three cello parts, with varying degrees of movement. Cello III stays true to the bass note and big beats, giving it a nice traditional sense of grounding. Cello II has the most movement and dances around the higher frequencies of Cello I. I also wanted to really bring out the chromatic walk-down without making it terribly jarring. Cello is so very good at softening the blow of what could otherwise be a rather harsh transition back to tonic.

Lyrics:
Though all your fractions were simplified
In tight tiny boxes behind your eyes
You couldn't hide
Your how's and what's and where's and why's

Even as a boy you were so serene
Placid waters running deep underneath the old oak tree
But disease takes everything
A silent killer no one hears manifested there for forty years

And though your intentions were pure as snow
You drifted away on your sailboat
And there you go
Off into the world unknown

October came to my door
She told me of the wild spore you didn't have an answer for
My mother could hardly speak
Restless research no reprieve, It'd be fifteen months before she would sleep

Wake me up when it's over
Wake me up before he goes
Doing my best to stay sober
Clinging to the last of all I know

Wake me up when it's over
Wake me up before he goes
I feel asleep in foggy grieving stupor
I woke up all alone

Though all my fractions were simplified
In tight tiny boxes behind my eyes
I couldn't find
Your how's and what's and where's and why's

And though my intentions were pure as snow
I've lost all your blueprints and let you fall
I should've known
Disaster's everywhere I go

All the thorns without a rose
Disaster's everywhere I go

Heliotrope

Synopsis:
My wheels started turning as I tried to relate the trials and tribulations of nature to my own life experience. In recent years I've experienced great tragedy, sadness and loss. These things can leave a person with extreme feelings of self doubt and a sense of unworthiness. Living in grief can make us feel as though everything we touch will be poisoned, and that it is in our own vital destiny to be poisonous. Though these things are untrue of myself, and I do in fact create a lot of positivity in the world, the feeling remains. Music and poetry are great places to put dark feelings. Creation is my anti-grief.

What do you do to function through hard times?

Cello stuff:
I composed this on the guitar initially, wanting to create a lovely skeleton to fill in with cello and vocals. There are three main cello parts that mostly just pad the vocal melody during the verse. During the chorus Cello I begins to move more on the big beats of the compound meter, but is still supportive in its role. When the bridge comes in I add a fourth cello in arpeggiated 8th notes. I felt that this was the time to bring lots of movement and energy to the cello section as the vocal melody is more sparse and sustained. Cello III is moving from G to F#, as these tones can remain consistent through the progression, even with employ of the Eb chord. I like it when tones remain the same but change function.

Lyrics:
I'm sorry you mistook me for a heliotrope
Petals extended to the sun
Ultraviolet rays wrapped around my throat
Spreading my stings to everyone

And oh, what a world
A spectator sport for demise
My late blooming beauty came unfurled
It was everyone else's but mine

Born boraginaceous by the farmer
His cow parsnips sing to the bees
I cross-pollinated with an oleander
And poisoned the field with disease

And oh, what a world
A spectator sport for demise
My late blooming beauty came unfurled
It was everyone else's but mine

Forget me not, forget-me-not
Forget me not, forget-me-not

I'm sorry you mistook me for a heliotrope
Petals extended to the sun

Heart Chakra

Synopsis:
This is a part of a larger piece I am in the process of recording and composing. I am writing music for a guided chakra meditation. This particular section focuses on opening the heart chakra - radiating love, compassion and peaceful joy.

Cello stuff:
Each chakra has a corresponding musical tone. In the case of the heart-space, that tone is F. There are two cellos in this selection. Cello II is playing a simple drone on F to maintain the tonality of the chakra. Cello I dances around this tonality, but always returns to the home key. The heart-space represents the connection between ground and space, so I kept this largely in the tenor range, as that is the connection between bass and treble.

Walkabout

Synopsis:
So this piece came to me in a rather unexpected way. I was attempting to write something in C minor, starting with the F, Ab, G figure. It evolved and ran down a rabbit hole to D minor. Then this lovely A minor bit sort of came out of the woodwork and pushed its way into C major by the end. Sometimes tones have a way of speaking to me whether or not I initiated them into conversation. As far as lyrical content is concerned, this song is deeply personal and relates to my lifelong struggle with anxiety. Without going into too much personal detail, I will say that this song is for anyone who ever feels the need to hide themselves from the world. Music comes no differently for me. I love to play and perform, but I fear disappointing people if they desire to chat with me afterward. I do not necessarily know what I think they expect from me, but my brain convinces me that whatever it is, I don’t have it.

What do you hide from the world? What makes it easier for you to come out of your shell and share your shine with others?

Cello stuff:
Again, cello was difficult to put on this. I probably recorded and re-recorded the parts half a dozen times before settling on a soundscape of long tones and lamenting descending scalar figures. I may repost this if I come up with something new. It’s still just not quite there, but I am trying to improve myself. Self improvement sometimes involves diving in without being fully prepared. Finishing tasks can be daunting for me, because I tend to overanalyze what I want. Finishing something is better than finishing nothing at all. So here you go.

Lyrics:
I often find myself in crowded places in the night
I don't know how I got there but I'll stay a little while
And if I seem distracted promise it's not me it's you
Spittin your monotonies you haven't got a clue 

Who you're dealing with, I decry
Hello state of grace gone awry
Descend to madness

The birds they speak to me their melodies fall from the sky
Wandering while wondering just where the hell am I 
I'll sit down and take a rest if it's alright with you
My body's broken bleeding and I haven't got a clue

Who I'm dealing with, I decry 
Hello state of grace gone awry
Descend to madness

Daylight is breaking I'll figure it out 
Falsify my disposition, conceal my walkabout
And get it together and pick myself up
Gather all the broken pieces, sweep them under the rug

Smoke and mirrors
Prescriptions will paralyze our fears

So quit asking questions and stick out your tongue
The awful things that people say when they think they're alone
The unthinkable is palpable it permeates the breath
The crackpots and the non-believers they don't stand a chance

Descend to madness

Daylight is breaking so I'll figure it out
Falsify my disposition, conceal my walkabout
And get it together and pick myself up
Gather all the broken pieces, sweep them under the rug

Fast As You Can

Synopsis:
Currently this is still a bit unfinished. In an effort to remain non-political, I will not dive too deep into the subject matter of this song. Let’s just say that once upon a time in a place I used to live, there was an individual in the local community who used his position to take advantage of others. As a result of this information coming to light, this individual lost his position in the community. The lyrics are a reflection of the criticism one faces when reporting such matters, and the reaction of outsiders to this type of scandalous information. “The problem’s a little more nuanced than that” is the type of phrase that regularly works itself into spectator conversation when prominent members of the community are suddenly defamed by serious allegations. In reality these problems are not that complicated. What is complicated is how community speculation has the ability to distort reality.

How can we as a population attempt to remain more objective?

Cello stuff:
Like I’ve said, this is really still quite incomplete. There are right now two cello parts. Cello II is a bass line, sticking mostly to roots. Cello I dances around the tritones creating a slightly unsettling texture.

Lyrics:
Destroy all the evidence and cover your tracks
Run just as fast as you can
Grease up the wheels of your mom's cadillac
'Cause you'll never work in this town again

When you started you were smokin' and a force to behold
Holdin' over whatever your will 
As meticulous could be but one would slip through the cracks 
Armed like an army, with a look that could kill

I see, and I hear what you say
The problem's a little more nuanced than that 
The grays between the white and the black have you running just as fast as you can

Let's just take a minute and consider the facts
From the voices that are up on the rise
Wash all your priorities and take a step back 
Ring it out, put it up on the line

Yes sir and no sir and thank you please
Full of grace, man what else can I do? 
When the conversation's stale with that old rhetoric
I'll have no part in that turn of the screw 

I see, and I hear what you say
The problem's a little more nuanced than that 
The grays between the white and the black have you running just as fast as you can

Destroy all the evidence and cover your tracks
Run just as fast as you can
Grease up the wheels of your mom's cadillac
'Cause you'll never work in this town again

No you'll never work in this town again
No you'll never work in this town again