Hey there – I just got back from some travel and I wanted to give a quick update on my Christmas album.
I was at the High Point Furniture Market with my interior designer wife, and I’ve seen more furniture than any man should see in a 3-day period. I have to say, though, I’m surprised at the level of sophistication that my taste in furniture and accessories is attaining. Of course, any level of sophistication is something of a surprise.
But now it’s over, I’m back home, and the time has come to finish up Finding Sanctuary: Christmas.
A Contemplative Christmas…
Much Christmas music is exuberantly joyful. But my holidays rarely feel like that. 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.
If you know me, you know I’m putting on a heavy sweater, pouring a little whiskey, and settling 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. And it’s been my challenge to go there, starting in the hot glaring days of August in Naples. 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. At a few points, there are 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.
The next steps
So this week I’ll be putting the finishing touches on the nine pieces. There are a few wrong notes to re-record. There’s a few phrases that need to be brought forward.
I also have to wrap up the album art and the liner notes, and wrap the whole package up and send it off to have the CDs made.
This is my first full-length album. This is also my first work to be issued on CD. It’s also my first commissioned work. I’m really excited about all of these firsts.
The album will be available for pre-order on my music site on November 8th. When you pre-order, you will have instant access to the songs from BandCamp.
This is also my birthday, and putting this work out there is like a seriously artistically joyous birthday gift to myself.
On Monday November 21 the CDs will be shipping, and the album should be available on iTunes, Spotify, and most other music services.
I think you’re going to like Finding Sanctuary: Christmas. I know that I’ve loved making it.
- Truth be told, even Christmas is rarely cool enough in Naples to warrant a heavy sweater. We’re lucky if we can open the house up and turn off the air conditioning by Thanksgiving. And mist on the water is a poor substitute for falling snow, but I’ll take it. ↩