I am often asked about the meaning of… “How music can be used to strip away our fractured lifestyles, and reconnect us to what it means to be human”.
Fractured lifestyles are the result when we are inundated by conflicting messages and/or when we often do one thing, while thinking about something else. These not only impede our conscious thought but more and more result in a disconnecting of our minds from our hearts. This takes us farther away from our instinctive being and nature, and we end up emotionally crippled and starved for humanness.
What it means to be human…
Learning what things are human nature and which are not. Human nature is highly subjective or highly dependent on characteristics which are derived from, and within, our cultures. Although we are born human, we grow up and must learn what it means to be human.
Learning to distinguish between unhealthy thought and wired thought. For example, evolution has wired us to rationalize decisions and unfortunate events. This is a defense mechanism, or an internal way of letting things go and moving on… it has value. However, to rationalize bad behavior would be unhealthy.
Once you identify what it means to be human to you, reconnecting can begin. Once you reconnect, you can work on ways to be better; sharing, being in the moment, being compassionate and living in harmony with our world… what it means to be human!
When we recorded the drums, we had the best room we could find and two great Engineers (Songwerks Studio = Robert Mackey & Greg Warnecke). Then, as we recorded the instruments, we had multiple microphones on each (Songbird had mostly one on each instrument). For the guitars, I added a Taylor 814 and a Gibson SG, that I searched extensively throughout multiple states to find. This greatly enhanced the sound of the guitars on each song.
I found Four great new vocalists…Flannery, Frosty, Cortney and Lori. This allowed me great flexibility to match their voices to the tones that best fit each song.
The rest of the tracks were added and selected, with the great ear of IV Lab’s Mike Sportiello… who sent the tracks over to Brian Zieske (Off Axis Audio). Brian then applied his talents to all these extra tracks, that he did not have when he worked on Songbird.
The result was a superior recording!
First, It starts with the writing. With better angels, I found it took less time to write the lyrics. When I noticed that, I was concerned that I was not giving them the attention that I had given previous material. Now however, I see they actually have as much or more meaning.
Also, In the past, sometimes I would write and purposely change words so that I would leave the meaning more open to interpretation by the listener. I thought this was better than focusing on a particular meaning…maybe it is. Now however, I do not intentionally do that and yet, I find the words to be working on several levels without purposeful intent on my part…I must be improving.
The new Album “Better Angels” is now released! It was over a year in the making and required two different recording studios.
Better rooms, sound wise, were available and more tracks were used to record the instruments. This allowed the sound engineers more flexibility. Listeners should be able to notice the advantages(technically)from previously released material. There is more depth to the recording and more resonance in each of the songs.
There are other reasons why this recording is better…I will cover these in future posts!
I am self taught both musically and lyrically. I studied both, on my own, until what I was writing became my own. When I first started writing, I would write songs that sounded similar to something already out there. For most aspiring writers this is a major stumbling block but really its just part of the process. You have to finish these songs and move on to the next one.