One Love, One Year

IMG_2495_490.jpg

ONE LOVE, ONE YEAR

In 2011, I took on the ambitious adventure of writing, recording and posting one new demo song a week for a year. Thematically I mined the heart to explore the many different facets of human love. I took each week to focus a microscope on 52 different angles - passion, romance, boredom, lust, brokenness, dysfunction... and quickly found myself in interesting and diverse waters.

WHY DID I DO THIS?

Because I'm crazy? Maybe. But because I wanted to explore these themes and see what emerged. Because it's always been the job of the artist to look at these things and tell the world what he sees. Because part what you hear are the sounds of therapy, the music of someone searching for meaning beneath it all. Having gone through a divorce, the cultural, psychological and spiritual concepts/realities of love are something I had been thinking a lot about. And because I know you can relate; you experience these things too. Just don't take a listen if you can't stand to have blood on your hands... some of this got a little messy.

Through One Love, One Year I share what I uncovered in this reconnaissance mission into the heart.

What you see below is in reverse order from Week 52 all the way back through Week 1. Enjoy! 

 

Reflections on One Love, One Year

“A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”
― Joseph Campbell
One year ago I was standing at the foothills of a mountain. What was before me looked unscalable but for many reasons I knew I had to start my climb. A song a week was a daunting task indeed. I remember being asked early on if I thought I would make it and to be honest I wasn't quite sure. I often joked that "by around March" there was a chance I would be "licking the walls."

To my surprise, with inspiration around every corner and fueled by my love for writing and producing, after hundreds of hours stuck inside while my friends were out enjoying life, mentally taking the challenge one week at a time, I reached my goal. One love song a week, 52 in total, written and produced - for an entire year.

I learned a lot about love, a lot about myself, a lot about songwriting. I learned that even when you think the well is dry - if you push through - there is often something beautiful just on the other side of your resistance.

Many people have asked "What now?" First, over the next couple of months I am going to be reorganizing this site and while "One Love, One Year" will be a part of it, it will also include new music, in-depth reflections on my songs and songwriting and much more. I hope you'll stay with me for the next leg of this journey. I will be also doing some regional touring in the southeast, producing and writing for other artists and exploring several professional options.

Many thanks to all of you who have made this trek with me. I literally couldn't have done it without your support and feedback. I sincerely hope you've connected emotionally with these songs and maybe even worked through some of your own "stuff" because of them. Or... at the very least you've been entertained.

So now after a long and often difficult climb, here I stand at the top of the mountain. It is not the end of the hike, however. I've not written my final song; this is only the beginning. Here on this cliff I only have two options - retreat and be satisfied with my accomplishments... or jump. I don't know exactly where I'll land - how the future is going to unfold or where this music will lead - but I'll be damned if I've come this far to stop now. It's time to jump.

3... 2... 1...

Song #52: I Will

sunset.jpg
"Omnia vincit Amor" [Virgil]

Here we are: week 52, the sunset, the finish line, the final song. Next week I'll be back with a recap on

One Love, One Year

but this week I'm going to refrain from saying too much and let this song speak for itself. I believe these lyrics, in their almost elementary simplicity, say enough.

LYRICS:

In your youth, dear, while you are able-

young and dancing upon the tables

I will be here

I will love you

I will

 

While you serve your purpose and live your passions

And share your love light with all the masses

I'll support you

I will love you

I will

 

When you need a challenge and a firm hand

or would rather be held, let me hold your head

I will lead you

I will love you

I will

 

When you can't do it and you need some help

When our bodies slow down with ailing health

I will be there

and I will love you

I will

 

And when we're old, dear, and it all fades

And you can no longer dance upon this stage

I will carry you

I will carry you

I will

Song #51: La Pele

tango.jpg

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." [Victor Hugo]

Having covered a wide spectrum of genres and textures in "One Love, One Year," as I begin to bring it to a close I find there are still infinite ways that music can speak to us about love. Sometimes - maybe many times - raw, composed, instrumental music can express depths that lyrics and sung words cannot quite reach.

This week I dusted off a classical piano piece that I spent many, many hours composing years ago and finished it up to incorporate into this project. As with anything of this nature, it is open to a variety of interpretations, but to me this piece speaks to love as a sort of violent, yet sweetly playful tussle -- often oscillating between order and chaos, majesty and misery, clarity and confusion.

"The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being..." [Oliver Sacks]

PLAY:

Song #50: Deranged

452382_82604610.jpg
"Thou art to me a delicious torment." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most people think of love as full of light, joy and positivity. But there is a darker side, that of obsession, craving, intense desire and even torment. Not that those are "bad" things; they are in fact quite delicious... a "burning, yearning devotion" that is felt very deeply.

I don't know whether my mind was subconsciously picking up on all the spooky vibes this time of year or whether it's a cool coincidence, but the fact that Halloween is this week makes this song's lyrics and musical vibe timely and appropriate. Happy Halloween, y'all. I don't have any candy but here's a song for you...

PLAY:

LYRICS:

i am affected, call it wrecked, kid

i am obsessively, madly out of my he-ead

i'm goin' crazy, the way she slays me

i'd make u jealous if I told you how she plays me

it keeps building and building and building up,

and now the volcano's about to erupt

bewitching; she's got me wishing

for an end to all the love spells that she's dishing

 

what sort of cosmic commotion did i make to deserve this

(that) even when she's gone i am haunted by her ghost?

a boon to give my life back; resurrect my heart

she's a goddess or a demon and either way i'm toast

 

i'm not superstitious but the jist is

she is enchanting and magically delicious

where did she come from? man I don't know

maybe above... maybe below...

i'm unhinged, unzipped, unbalanced, unglued,

she drives a brother batty and I think that I'm screwed

but i like it, i'll take the pain,

even if i end up quite deranged

Song #48: Take Everything

hands.jpg

The essence of "Take Everything" is the offering of oneself as a gift to a partner. This could be seen as a purely sexual song, but my intentions were far wider. This type of offering isn't of the self-effacing variety that is born out of weakness - where one is depleting him/herself as a way to solicit approval. Rather it is an invitation from strength, where no matter how much is taken, one's fullness remains. That takes art and mastery, but I believe it is possible.

as deep as deep as deep as deep as you want to go

it goes down deeper, come on in, seeker

it's free, it's free, it's free, it's free, for just you alone

drink all you want to, i know that you want to

take all that you need

here lies the banquet feast

only when you're full can you leave

 

i want you to have it all

take anything

take everything

push until you've hit your wall

and see that i

have lost nothing

 

i pour and pour and pour and pour

'till you get your fill

but that doesn't phase me, it's all for your taking

so take and take and take and take

'til you can't take more

i promise you baby, won't stop 'till you're shaking

Song #47: More

closekiss.jpg
"Believe you deserve everything you dream about." -Anon

This track is yet another change in pace - a sensual, haunting downtempo piece about receiving more than you can ask or imagine.

PLAY:

LYRICS:

is it too bold to say

my life has been changed

all from the way

that you have made me believe?

it makes no sense to pray

when something so great

something I can't explain

is more than this mind could conceive

 

is there more?

pick me off the floor

could I take any more?

i can't wait to see

 

what i see you see

when i breathe you breathe

when i take the lead

you melt right into me

could you tell me again

where i end, where you begin

and i can't believe

it's happening

 

is there more?

pick me off the floor

could I take any more?

i can't wait to see