This is the story of the oddest thing, a spiritual experience (or hallucination, depending on your point of view) that happened to me almost a year ago. It’s taken me this long to even consider writing about it. [Read More…]
Finding Sanctuary: Christmas
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A Contemplative Christmas…
Much Christmas music is exuberantly joyful. But for me, the few weeks around the turn of the year offer a time of contemplation, of considering where I’ve been and where I’m going, and of thinking about those things I’ve done right as well as those I wish I could have done differently.
I like to put on a heavy sweater, pour a little whiskey, and settle down with a view of the misty day outside. This is a time to think, dream, plan, regret if necessary, remember those who have passed, and be warmed by the love of those with us still.
That’s the atmosphere I wanted to create in this album, ever since getting started in the hot days of August in Naples, Florida. But I’ve loved it. It’s been a glowing ember that I’ve carried in my heart since the day I began selecting the pieces I would play.
I chose the piano for its beauty, expressiveness, and simplicity. But I also wanted a fullness and a lightness to the arrangements – more than I could do with two hands alone. So I have layered the piano parts on top of one another. In some places there are up to four pianos at work, each with its own voice, it’s own expression, its own part to sing.
I want this collection of songs and carols to be worthy of active listening, and yet gentle enough to abide in the background. It’s not party music. Rather, it’s music for a more solemn, deeply joyful celebration – a celebration of the life and breath we live and breathe every day.
"A beautiful instrumental EP with lush arrangements and finely tuned production, The Clearing is an expertly crafted piece that is both uplifting and at times deceptively melancholy."
"Very listenable with palpable emotion..."
"Calming, peaceful and great to listen to on the way home from work while stuck in traffic..."
The Production Blog
Last week I finished a week of broadcasting live from my studio every night at 9 PM for 7 days. It was intense, scary. Crazy fun.
Here’s what didn’t happen that surprised me: [Read More…]
When you take your pen in hand and press its tip into the paper the ideas begin to flow.
When you open a new document and press the tips of your fingers against the keys to form the first word, the rest of the words begin to come.
When you sit at your instrument with the intent not merely to play but to create, and then touch your fingers against the strings or the keys, the music starts to flow.
Magic is summoned. The dance between the temporal and the eternal, between the human and the divine, begins. But we must always take the first step.
That first step is both internal and external. It is the intent to create and then the act of physically beginning.
Many times our first few steps are clumsy, as we try to lead, but before long we are merely following. The process becomes less about writing and more about taking dictation. We seem to be guided by some unseen force, by some troop of angels that moves us along the path toward greater and greater creativity, moving us along the path toward a more divinely inspired, utterly sublime creation.
And this is why our best work seems not to come from us, but through us.
At other times the dance continues in its awkwardness, as we make our common-sense decisions, fearing the work will turn out to be very commonplace. Only after time has passed do we return to the work to see the touch of the divine.
Creativity is funny. The only wrong way to do it is to not actually do it.
When we begin to do something brave, unseen forces come to our aid. Creation is a brave act, and never is that promise of guidance, of assistance more true than when we truly begin and do so with intent.