Looking Back and Looking Forward
Friday, December 11, 2015
I feel like like I'm writing a letter to old friends I've been out of touch with for a while. So, let me begin by apologizing for being out of touch. I'd like to say it's because I've been awfully busy - and I have, with 100+ shows this year with Brother Sun (with musical partners Greg Greenway and Joe Jencks). I haven't had much time to sit and think, something I really like doing. But the more honest thing is that I haven't known what to say......so I've said nothing. I've had ideas for newsletters, but none of them felt worthy of your time. And I didn't want to send something just to be sending something. I just had to trust that (most of) you who have expressed interest in my efforts, musical and otherwise, would hang in there until I had something to say.
While I wasn't writing newsletters, I also wasn't writing songs, for the same reason. I think I've turned the corner on this (more on this momentarily), so I'm hoping to return to a more regular newsletter schedule - and a more prolific songwriting output - in 2016.
The song that began to change things for me was "Cee Cee's Climb," which I wrote in mid-2014 as a tribute to my late mother. It's a strange and different kind of song for me, inspired partly by the jazz pianist Bill Evans' composition "Time Remembered," and partly by art songs like Robert Schumann's "Dichterliebe" song cycle. New experiences demand new sounds and new modes of expression. I didn't know if anyone else would like the song, but it was enough for me to have written something I was proud of. I began playing it in the brief solo segments of Brother Sun shows, and Joe and Greg began singing beautiful harmonies to it. With Joe and Greg's support, the song now will be on the forthcoming Brother Sun CD, along with three other songs I've written since then, each with its own somewhat strange and adventurous beauty. We're in the home stretch of recording, and the CD is shaping up to be a project we're all proud of.
I'll be doing more solo and duo shows in the next several weeks, while Brother Sun takes a short pause in our touring (til late March). I'm looking forward to more musical growth, more adventures, writing more songs, and writing more newsletters. Thanks for letting me be out of touch, and for letting me stay in touch too. I wish you and yours the best for the holidays, and for the new year.
Warm regards always,
Bill Evans, "Time Remembered." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SxMdU2iqPc
Robert Schumann, "Dichterliebe" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZLjf_m6j0A
Ears and Eyes: What I've Been Listening to and Reading
Fred McDowell, "Mississippi Blues" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=478MF96BRqc
Two Gallants, "Fly Low Carrion Crow" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXzKsWBzQsE
John D. Caputo, "What Would Jesus Deconstruct?" http://tinyurl.com/oad8oh5
Tony Hoagland, "Donkey Gospel: Poems" http://tinyurl.com/hquzp6b