Midwinter Brewing

Goodness, I've been away for too long. There have been many, many changes -- both personal and professional -- and the better part of the past six months have been spent figuring them all out. A few highlights:

1) I've got a new day job, and it is the kind of day job that, if I was told I could work there forever but would have to give up any hopes of making a career as a performing musician, I would seriously consider it. It is fulfilling and hilarious, and the people are so nice that for my first few weeks, I was suspicious there was some sort of ulterior motive behind their day-to-day interactions with me. But nope, they're just kind people who are sincerely passionate about what they do. What a novel idea.

2) I can now officially say I've been on the radio! In October, I recorded a baker's dozen of songs with George Graham at WVIA-Scranton, and the majority of those songs were broadcast in an hour-long show as part of WVIA's Homegrown Music series. Seven of those songs can be heard here. It's still such a trip that it happened, and that it was so much fun to boot.

3) Inspired by Raptitude, 2014 has been designated as a year of personal "experiments" designed to shake off some bad habits and replace them with good ones. I'm currently in the midst of a 30-day period in which I get up at the time my alarm was set the night before -- no snoozing. It's interesting so far, and I'll be thinking and writing more about that when the period is up.

4) Perhaps most pertinent to this site, I've been feeling particularly antsy about my own music recently. Maybe it's because there haven't been any new songs since 2012, after a pretty consistent run for the ten years prior. Whatever the cause, I'd been worried that maybe the songwriting stage of my life was over. A week ago or so, I found

myself -- for the first time in years -- not being able to sleep because a melody was running through my

head. Afraid to upset the delicate thing, I reached for my phone and hummed the melody into the

recorder. Lyrics soon followed, written into what is now known as my "New Album" Evernote notebook (an aside: any songwriters reading this, use Evernote as a depository for song ideas. It's magical).

I started getting jazzed about the idea of writing music again, still with some reservations that there wouldn't be enough to say for a full record, or -- really -- that what I had to say was dumb and derivative. Tonight, though, I sat down at the piano and just started playing until a motif coalesced, at which point the trusty Voice Memo app came out to document the moment.

I've never experienced anything like it. There are now 10 song ideas hanging out in the notebook, ranging from 20-second verse snippets to 3 or 4 almost fully-fleshed-out songs. The lyrics are all mumbled gibberish, and some of these new creatures are more lovable than others, but there are a few that I want to listen to non stop because I'm so excited about what's started. This hasn't happened in years, and it's pretty galvanizing; if nothing else, it means that I'm officially in the writing process for Album #2. It's looking to be a little bit quieter than Dissonance, but we're still in early days, so anything could happen.

All I know is it is good to be back in the saddle.

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