As I write this, it’s little more than a week until the release of two new single songs I wrote for piano. I have so much going through my head that I want to say about these two pieces that my thoughts are a bit like a tornado but I’ll start by saying that I debated for a long time whether or not to release these songs under my own name versus releasing them under a pseudonym,. The reason why is they are written for piano and most people know me for didgeridoo. Will these songs be accepted by the people who know me? This is something musicians think about all the time when they strike a new direction or include a part of themselves they haven’t included before. I decided to go ahead and release them under my own name because they are as much a part of me as the didgeridoo music I make. So here is their story.
When the pandemic started in three years ago and everything was shutting down, I had this sense that things would never be the same once we came out of this. There was a definite sense of grief but also a sense of relief that we were standing on the threshold of a moment where we could change things for the better. It wasn’t too long afterword that these songs for piano started coming out. I opened that door and a whole flood of music came at me so fast that it was a challenge to get it all down. Music does this with me sometimes. Actually, a lot of times. I will spend hours at a times for several days at the computer just recording to get it all down. I still have tons of songs from that flood that need to be finished so one of the projects I’m working on is to finish them and get them out. These two songs, Never Be the Same and In Bloom are the first to be released.
Never Be the Same
front of the mirror dressed up in adult clothing pretending to be a character. At least that’s what I see in this part of the song. About five months ago, I pulled the song up on my computer and experimented with the last part of it, slowing down the piano and dropping an octave. From there, this whole other part blossomed like an amazing flower. What came out was this lush wash of sound that expressed the grief I felt about losing a part of the world I knew as the pandemic progressed. People were dying at an alarming rate including a couple of my friends. One of these friends was very close and a huge supporter of the work I do.
The other part of this grief was witnessing the separation starting to happen between friends over ideals and politics. Every day, on social media there was some post of a friend losing friendship over these things and even though it didn’t directly affect me, it really made me wonder if this was all we could do or if there was a way of getting past all of this to find a way to come back together.
A third part of this song was my own personal experience through the first months of the pandemic. I had planned on taking an extended road trip in the van that I had just purchased a few months before but with everything shutting down, there was really nowhere to go. I stayed at my parents’ place for the time being which opened up a whole new can of worms for me about inherited trauma. I didn’t expect this and it’s been incredibly difficult to deal with at times but I’m coming through this time, a stronger (and hopefully more mature and wise) person for it.
As I put the second part of the Never Be the Same together, I wanted to pull a sense of hope along with the grief so it didn’t come off being a downer. For the song, really reflects everything about going through an uncertain time and all of the questions that are raised from that. Am I going to be alright? Are we going to be alright? Where are we going? What’s my purpose here? For me, it was about going back to what I knew as a kid with all of it’s magic and imagination and pulling that out to share with others as if to say “here’s how things CAN be. Life can be magical if you want it.” This is what the very end of this song is about – going back to that simple idea of finding your own brand of magic and sharing with others without worry. It felt like the perfect way to end it by passing the ball along to see w here things go.
This is the perfect segue into this second release, In Bloom.
As I wrote this song, I kept getting this image of a seed being dropped into the soil, witnessing it go through all kinds of storms to take root and grow into this extraordinary flower that brings it temporary beauty to the world. It doesn’t take much to see that the flower is a metaphor for us. The impermanence of life brings a special kind of grief that can’t really be described in a single word but we all feel it. The piano in the beginning are those seeds that are being scattered randomly and from there I think you will likely get the picture of where things go.
I love this song because you can hear all of the elements of the natural world in it. The rain, the sun, the sounds of birds and breeze, it totally reflects my walks through the forests during the pandemic. The witnessing of new growth springing up as so much death was taking place, showed me the cycles of life in real time and fostered a feeling of this odd optimism.
To sum these pieces up, I’m happy and thankful they came through the way they did. I was reminded of my childhood which was at once filled with magic and heartache. When they come out, I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I did writing them. They will appear on Bandcamp and this website for download and Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms on 23 March. On last thing, and I know t his is said a lot but if you truly wish to support more independent music, consider buying a download instead of streaming. This best supports the music and helps me to keep bringing more music and content out.
Thank you so much for reading this and take care All.