Wednesday, July 17, 2013
As most of you know, Cindy and I relocated to southern Indiana. That’s an area that is known as The Heartland. This is John Mellencamp territory; in fact, he was born on Seymour, about 20 miles from where we live.
My wife (aka: friend/muse) suggested that I do an album with a “rural” theme. The actual word she used was Agricultural, but I decided to broaden it a bit. So, I started to look around the area to see what there was in the way of inspiration.
In my universe, if you go looking for inspiration, you WILL find. It’s there; you just have to spot it and be open to it. There was the wind farm right around Lafayette; there’s the Muscatatuck River which runs less than 2 miles from our house; there’s the Blue River and the Wabash, both of which have historical connections. Of course, the green fields of corn and soy abound and stretch for miles and miles. There was a lot of beauty, a lot of heritage to draw from.
Then came the writing. With the help of a lot of photos and video footage, I was able to capture, not only the essence but the motion of many of these places and things. Working instrumentally meant that I could use a wide variety of musical colors from the sonic palette; it also gave me an opportunity to incorporate my two steel string guitars: a 1971 Martin 12-string with the “high” strings removed, and a 1950 Harmony Archtop that I got at an auction just before we left New York State.
When the recording was done, I sent the mixes to my good friend, and former recording partner, Scott B. Adams to be mastered. The result is a lovely sounding tonal picture of the amazing variety of the landscape of Middle America.
Should you be interested in sampling (or purchasing) any of this new music, check out CDBaby .
And to watch the video of “Wind Farm” go to Windfarm .
It’s almost like a ballet with wind mills.
One more thing: there is a new opportunity for anyone who feels led to support me as an independent musician. Patreon.com is best described as a Kickstarter-style campaign, but it’s ongoing. For more information on how it works, go toPatreon .
Monday, March 11, 2013
While the economy continues to stumble along, and our brilliant legislators can’t quite seem to agree on a common definition of the word “compromise”, let us pause and reflect.
OK, that’s enough of that. The point is that life goes on. And on.
During this time of “on and on” I continue to write music, and Cindy continues to create her farm, and we continue to enjoy ourselves. And every day is a gift.
For instance, just this week we pulled some fence posts out of the ground to be used for the upcoming goat shed. Cindy dug a few more rows in her strawberry bed; I wrote and recorded (at least) two new songs. Then on Fridays we sit down to watch a video while eating homemade pizza. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Sometimes we turn on the radio to find out who is pointing fingers at who, and who is fighting a war against who, and who is generally making noise with their mouth without really saying anything useful. And then Cindy goes out and checks for eggs, while I get on the phone and talk with a friend who gets me laughing really hard.
So, are we that unconcerned about what’s going on in the world around us? Are we purposely ignoring events on a global scale?
No and no.
Frankly, there are two ways one can look at the world: you could see it as a constant downhill skid that started with a certain couple in a garden a long time ago or one could simply see it, as Mr. Spock said in Star Trek VI, as the universe unfolding as it should. The former can be very depressing; while with the latter one likes to think that there are always possibilities,as Captain Kirk said in Star Trek II.
Is anyone noticing a definite pattern?
OK, Tom, so is there a point to all this? No. Or maybe I should say maybe. Someone said that the problem with life is that it is so Daily. If that is so, then bring on the day!
Or put differently:
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Fa who foraze, whatever that means. Welcome, welcome New Year’s Day.
2012 was an amazing year for us. As most of you are aware, we moved. After 25 years in beautiful Chenango County, New York, we relocated to beautiful Washington County in southern Indiana in mid-July. We moved away from the tiny town of McDonough, to the equally tiny town of Vallonia.
Musically, 2012 saw the issue of my “Back in the Window” instrumental CD and the “God Bless the World” vocal CD. And I wrote 22 new pieces of music, including some anthems, some songs, and a few really unique pieces that will see the light of day later this year.
Since arriving in Indiana, I have become the choir director of First Christian Church in Salem. That’s a Disciples of Christ church, which has a lot of similarities to the United Church of Christ, where I spent the last 8 years.
On the farm, Cindy and I built the first of a series of sheds; this one being the chicken coop, wherein she maintains 3 chickens. We also have one cat that patrols the grounds: rodent control. We’ve spent a lot of time building inside too. We completely re-did the kitchen, and most of the office. The front room closet-extension is next.
This move has been really exciting, but it has its down side. We’re a lot further away from all our family and friends in NY now, however we are a lot closer to our daughter and her family, which includes our two grandchildren. We’ve already visited them near Chicago 3 times and they’ve been down here several times also.
2013: from a personal perspective, I am planning on a really fun, really productive year. From a larger POV, the world can be such a difficult place; no need to go into detail- just listen to what passes for news anymore. Despite the way things seem, I am still just enough of a 60s person to think that we could possibly make even a little step closer to Peace on Earth. I like to think that the music that I create will have its own small effect towards that lofty goal.
Happy 2013 to all my friends, fans, & family.