On Tuesday, April 30th, I will be releasing a new single, "Migration Patterns." This song was written as a response to the feelings I experienced when God called me into ministry. Going from a comfortable life in the military to starting over with my wife was not something I had welcomed with open arms at first. I dealt with denial, which is reflected in the first part of the song. The next part is my doubtfulness that I would be able to do what God was calling me to. The climax in the middle of the song is a reflection of when I finally let go of what I wanted and gave everything over to God and His plan for my life. The song finishes with the feelings of being humbled at where God has started to lead me now that I have abandoned my desires, and giving my heart to serving the Church, and ultimately the Lord. I hope you are able to enjoy and reflect along with this song.
So the album is set to release in just over a month! It has been such an exciting journey to see where God has taken this. As I look back over the last 2 years (which is when this album started) I noticed a theme that I may have felt subconsciously at the time... my life was in a state of repair. As I've spent this last week going back over the tracks for "A Strange, Settling Calm," I never realized just how deep my regret and shame had been. Nearly every track has the feeling of just a mellow and slow burn. But what I've also realized is that in some of the music, there's an element of hope... of renewal. I spent a lot of time in uncharted waters and I lost sight of the man God wanted me to be. And when I finally came through to the other side, where I thought God wanted me was actually nowhere near where He really wanted to take me.
The first track, "Hold Fast to Our Memories" is a dedication to the many dear friends who made such an amazing impact on my life during the journey this album covers. The rest of the tracks deal with my personal battles with songs such as "We Came As Dust" which deals with the realization of our creation and how pale and miniscule our lives are in comparison to our Creator. It also deals with my reawakening with "Sunrise" and closes out with "Rest," which signified the end of the first leg of this new journey.
I have already been working on new music that represents where God is taking me and the experiences I have been having and I can't wait to bring the next chapter to you! For now, I hope you all enjoy "A Strange, Settling Calm" and I hope you feel my passion through these songs. May God bless you and may this music be an encouragement to you!
Well it's been a little over two months since the last album update. In that time, I moved back home to Pennsylvania, got situated in my home and with school, took some time to relax, finished up the indiegogo campaign, got a new guitar, and began working on the album! It has been going great, and I just thank God for all of the blessings He has poured on me during this time. The indiegogo campaign did not quite reach the goal, but it was anything but a failure! I was honored to have so many people contribute and help me achieve a dream, and for them to want to be a part of sharing in that dream!
I currently have one song that is OFFICIALLY done for the album. It's an updated version of "Sunrise" and you can download for FREE right here on my ReverbNation profile! I also have three other songs in the works, two more with ideas, and three that I have yet to begin. I get more and more excited for this album and I can't wait to share it with everyone! The expected finish up and release date is March 26, 2013, as I'm sure once school begins my time to put into the album will be severly cut.
For now, take a listen to "Sunrise" and I pray it is a blessing to you. And hopefully next time there won't be such a large gap in updates! God bless!
For the last few weeks, I have been starting work on a my debut album for (the autumn). It's been a slow, but steady pace so far with the writing and creative thinking, largely due to the fact that all of my music and recording equipment is packed away in boxes until October. Basically, all I'm working with right now is my notebook, my mandolin, and my iPhone. One thing I learned a little while ago is that whenever an idea or rhythm or chord progression pops in my head, I need to do whatever I can to get that idea put down on paper or on a recording. You never know when a random idea will turn into the foundation for a song.
So here I am, anxiously waiting to move and get everything set back up. Besides writing, I have been able to launch a campaign on the crowd-funding site indiegogo to fund this album. For those of you that know, I am leaving the military at the end of this month and moving back to Pennsylvania with my wife to begin persuing college for Worship and Performing Arts. So basically for the next 4 and a half years I will not have a whole lot of income. Producing an album can get a bit expensive, and then to be able to distribute it takes more money. So the purpose of the indiegogo campaign is to raise the funds for that purpose, as well as get my music more noticed. The more people I can reach, the more people can hear the message that God has laid on my heart! Another cool thing with the campaign is the perks! It's a great way to donate to the project and get something back in return. So far, I have created a special t-shirt for this project, as well as a sticker, vinyl record, opprotunity for a digital download of the album 2 weeks prior to the release date, some autographed merch, and a mandolin! You can see the t-shirt design and the mandolin on the campaign page.
I have no doubt this is what I am going to be doing the rest of my life and this is the first step in a new and exciting direction with that! My mission and my service is to use music to minister to those around me. With all of the different outlets we have now and all the technology, that reach can spread so much further than we could ever imagine!
And now I look forward to October, when the recording can begin again! In the meantime, check out my indiegogo project! Donate if you feel led to, or pass it on to your friends and family! Either way, be blessed and check back soon for another update!
Indiegogo Campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/theautumn
So I have been spending the last few months just praying and thinking about what kind of album I really wanted to write. I also spent a fair amount of time listening to bands like Hillsong, David Crowder *Band, Gungor, The Brilliance, and The Digital Age (The Post-DC*B Band). After all of this, it just felt so clear to me that a worship album is what I wanted to do. I feel like, in the realm of worship music, things have been a little stale lately. A lot of it feels the same, and though the message contained is so good, the music plays a big part in how I am able to worship with a particular song. I hope to deliver an album that is beyond the cookie-cutter worship that we see. I hope that not only are the lyrics able to reflect the Holy Spirit in me, but the music as well. I am excited to see where God takes me on this journey and how it will all play out, and I hope you all will be able to share in this with me as well! Hopefully I will be diligent enough to keep updating you all along the way!
Today I had the idea that I would fast, go to the beach, and spend my time one-on-one with God. When I got there, I learned quickly that I was pretty ill-prepared for the weather and gnats. So I decided that instead, I would head back on base and go to the marina and spend my time there. Although that's still the plan, God interjected along the way. On my way back, I saw a guy with a huge camping backpack standing on the side of the road trying to hitch a ride. I felt immediately that I should pull over and help him, but I fought it for a couple of minutes. The question came to me "What am I doing right now that is so important that I can't help him?". So I turned around and drove back and sure enough he was still there.
His name was Luis, and he said he was trying to go 50 miles to a town east of where we were. Being in a government loaned vehicle, I wasn't able to drive that far, but being as we were 15 miles from the closest town, I was able to give him a ride there. On our drive, he told me how he had been in the U.S. four years ago in Ohio as a Japanese exchange student. He came back recently to get away from Japan and see what another part of the world had to offer. He spent the last couple months in New York City, but didn't really have any direction or someone to help him out. Someone he had made close friends with when he was in Ohio four years earlier now lived in Apalachicola, Florida, so he wanted to go there. Over the last week, he has hitch-hiked his way all but 50 miles to his destination. He told me about his trip through the states, different people he met, places he's had to sleep, and now he is almost there.
I was then given the opprotunity to tell him about myself and where I am going. It was so exciting to share with someone I have never met before what God is doing in my life and what I am going to be used for! We talked about music and church and missions until we had arrived at our destination. As he grabbed his backpack, a water bottle fell out that was empty. I remembered that I had packed water in my backpack for my time at the beach and handed it to him. We shook hands, wished each other well, and went our separate ways.
It was such a humbling opprotunity that God used to help someone out, and share what He is doing in my life!
The title of the next song I'm working on is called "The Coma & The Cure." It's a song about being stuck in a spiritual sleep and how complete surrender can wake us up to God's awesome glory. As I go about writing this song, I can't help but reflect on the years I spent in a spiritual coma and just how lost and meaningless my life felt. So empty. I had direction, but it was my own and had nothing to do with God. The music I had been writing was all about saying "Look, I wrote this" and not trying to put my music out there are a ministry tool. Yes, I am still very excited when I finish a song, but I want to use that excitement to spread music that glorifies God. And even purely instrumental music can be worship music! It's about the intent and purpose of the music and the musicians. And for me, my intent and purpose has done a 180, and I write my music now to worship my Creator!
So I recently finished my first song for the new album. It's called "Sunrise" and I hope it gives the listener a musical sense of the song's namesake and how awesome our God's hands are to create such a beautiful thing. I have been conflicted lately with what direction I want to take this album in. I am so in love with the idea of instrumental worship right now. Lyrically, I feel as though I have a writer's block, but I believe, in time, that will pass. However, I really enjoyed creating "Sunrise" and I was able to put all of my passion into it. I don't know if this is the direction God is leading my music in right now, but I love it anyways! Sometimes I feel like so much worship and passion can be felt through music that sometimes words just can't match. And obviously, lyrical worship is an amazing thing too! I mean, I do want to be a worship leader!! But I spend so much time playing other people's music and singing at church, that maybe I just feel burnt out from it, and maybe I am just able to put myself out there and worship God better through music right now. Whatever it is, it's a journey I am enjoying, and one that I am excited to share with everyone!