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A Book, A Blog, A Podcast

First - let me get this out of the way : I fed a squirrel. I saw a bunch of squirrels so I went back to the RV and got some almonds. I put one in my hand and sat around forever, and finally a squirrel came and ate it. It was the cutest thing ever - he put his little front paws on my hand to eat it. Now I'm obsessed with feeding the squirrels, but I haven't had any more success.

Ok, so let me share a few things with you that will keep you entertained for a while.

I read the book, "The Four Hour Workweek"

Preview of my debut album " Seahorses "

On Where Pianos Roam

I wanted to give a little preview of the album and talk about one of the songs in particular. 

Early on in this process, I spent a great deal of time figuring out which songs would appear on this album.  There was one song specifically that I knew belonged on "Seahorses".  It's exactly one of the songs that exemplified all of the ideas and themes behind this album.  Foolishly, I decided to leave it out.  I did this because I could not figure out the best way to present this song.  Of all my songs in my repertoire, this one demands a certain degree of reverence.  It did not feel right to go for something fully produced with a complete band of instruments behind it, and I felt that it would cheapen its intention and its meaning by making it available on a commercial album. 

Well, as it turned out, I changed my mind, and of course, I did it at the worst possible time.  The deal-breaker was that, as the recording sessions were coming to a close, I felt more and more that excluding it would be a mistake, and I would physically beat myself up for this many years down the road.  Furthermore, this actually is not a commercial album.  I would certainly love to sell many copies of it, but if only one was sold to someone who really connected with it, then I would be very happy.  It is, more than anything, a work of art--my art, that is.  It is a series of thoughts, stories, musical compositions, and feelings that I am compelled to share.

On the final night of recording, when the main vocal parts for several of the songs were done, I said, "To hell with it!!  Let's do it!!".  Given our constraints in time (studio time is so not cheap), this last minute inclusion required a certain degree of determination.  I decided to just record it live.  By this, I mean that I was going to just sit at the piano and play while singing into a mike.  This meant that there would be no full band or rhythm section behind it, and unlike all of the other songs, the vocals would not be recorded separately from the music.  So, even though I knew my voice had reached it's limit after already singing so much, I performed it anyway.    Ben, my producer, just hit the "record" button, and I just played. 

It was about 2:00 am (very late!) by the time we did this.  We recorded the song all the way through twice over, and by the time I  heard the second recording, Ben and I knew that I got it right on the first try. In fact, I honestly believe it is one of the best versions of the song I've ever performed.  Perhaps it helped that my voice was tired and that it was so late at night, but the finished recording delivered everything that this song needed to give---every intonation, every lilting cadence being so honest, with every word and every note nestled upon the crest of a tidal wave of emotion.   

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