I really enjoy Christmas music but the real reason I wrote this song is because several years ago I was playing drums with a group and we were going to be playing some contemporary music for a Christmas Bazaar. During one of our practices I played a little hard on the double bass drum through one of the songs.
The music stopped everyone looked at me and one of the band members (you know who you are) scolded me and made the statement “You cannot MACHINEGUN during a Christmas song.”
My rebuttal is this song.
They’re not my dreams but the dreams I have seen fade in the faces of people around me. Or at least that’s what I thought to begin with… I work in Social Services. This experience has changed me forever.
Originally this album was about the thoughts and emotions imparted on me by several difficult experiences that I was not adequately prepared for. I was sure I had been damaged beyond repair as a result. All dreams were lost never to be found again.
It has been out of this experience I have come to the realization that dreams are never lost and they can’t die. It is the dreamer that is lost and needs to be found. This knowledge is a great and wonderful burden for those of us who still dream.
Music is a product of a state of mind. . .
My first job after school I worked for a call in tech support line. I was thankful to have a job but I was miserable. I walked to work in the morning before the sun came up to sit in a subterranean office of cubicles where I knew, without fail, I would be at the receiving end of cusses and abuse for problems I had not created. At the end of the day I would walk home in the dark as the sun had already set only to arrive home to my one room apartment. I began to realize I conducted my entire life from the confines of two rooms. -Life in high contrast. The shadows are thick, dark and cruel, the lights are harsh and sterile and both encroach on the blurred colorful life in the middle. To cope I created a new person – a new state of me. One that was indifferent, emotionally impervious and wholly disconnected from the human experience.
I would eventually name this state Mr. Ashe and use the persona as inspiration for this album.
As an update I will add that after writing Mr. Ashe I remembered what I had written about “the journey” from my first album and thus decided to make radical changes to improve my life and pursue things that made me happy. It was shortly after this realization I discovered I didn’t need Mr. Ashe any longer.
I close my eyes and gaze into another world – This music is the story of my travel through this world
“From Gyre to Banmier” is a musical interpretation of a Journey taken by a young man as he travels from the frozen land of Gyre across the world to the mountains of Banmier.
From Gyre to Banmier is the story of a young man, specifically me… The songs in this album are inspired by moments from my childhood, crazy and clumsy friends, masquerade balls, wild college roommates that allowed me the opportunity to spend many a night in the emergency room, and a period in time when I thought it was amusing to dress up as a pirate for accounting 102…
1. On the Frozen Tundra
High school is a harsh and unforgiving place. I started this song when I was in High School and this is my interpretation of the popular culture in school. Growing up I was not part of the popular crowd, I didn’t really have a “crowd” I moved from one clique to the next. I had long hair and made a point not to dress in name brand clothes so if I had to associate myself with a circle of people it would have been the outcast faction of the lunchroom crowd. The High School culture is frozen hard and infertile.
2. Second Sunrise
Second Sunrise was originally inspired by a quote from Benjamin Franklin “Lost time is never found again.” I was thinking, if you were lost, if the world you were in was completely impassable and the end seemed likely what would you think about? What would you dream? What events from your life would you remember? What would be important to you?
This song is based off a much less serious period of my life… I worked for IT on my college campus as a student worker fixing computers. In a meeting my boss said he wanted us to dress up for work. He, of course, meant “dress up nicely” for work. I had an idea and decided I would dress up as a pirate instead. I started collecting outfit pieces for my epic pirate costume. I went to work several days as a pirate and just played it off as if nothing was unusual. Interestingly my boss never said a word to me about it he just stared in disbelief. I was so amused I started going to class as a pirate. I was a Business Administration major so naturally my accounting and economics classes were visited regularly by a friendly and seemingly unaware pirate. It was a lot of fun and I ended up getting pirate themed fan mail. Everyone driving by would honk their horns and people would come up to have their pictures taken with me. Ultimately I had to stop because, long story short, people thought I was a themed stripper.
4. Sleepless Night
The “Sleepless” series was originally a three piece suite I wrote during my fifth attempt at piano lessons after my last piano teacher was locked up for abusing pain meds and having too many cats. I spent some time learning to play the Bach Inventions and I was inspired to attempt writing my own similar pieces. Originally the three part suite was named the Painter Inventions but I felt like this was a little presumptuous. I spent many nights when I should have been studying, writing papers or sleeping working on these songs. Several times the sleep deprivation started getting to my head -I don’t really remember writing some parts -so as a result these songs turned into the “Sleepless Suite.”
5. Green Dress
Ah… how fond I am of the Green Dress. Green happens to be my favorite color but the point of the green dress is I had written an entry in my idea journal about a masquerade ball and a mysterious girl in a green dress. -Being so close to her, dancing, touching, turning and moving with the music but knowing nothing about the girl in the green dress. I would waste the dance away hypnotized by her smile and the beautiful green eyes peering out from behind her costume. Months after writing about this in my journal I had an opportunity to attend a masquerade ball. Much to my surprise there was a beautiful girl in a green dress. We danced a tango and my curiosities were just as they had been described in my journal many months before.
6. Air Ships and the Line of Fire
In college I had a roommate who I often thought of as “The Captain.” He had a short military style haircut, drank expensive whiskey and walked to work every day wearing a trench coat, combat boots and rucksack. My roommate was a site to see, not so much because of his outfit itself but because he also carried a bayonet strapped to his hip. Needless to say no one ever picked him up on the side of the road. For this song I imagined my roommate as the captain of a fleet of zeppelin airships that haul people and cargo across a dangerous body of water peppered with violent strips of active volcanoes.
7. Another Sleepless Night
The second installment of the sleepless series. The inspiration for this song came when I was spending some time with my grandmother. She had not been feeling well and while napping she had a dream where she fell to earth and landed on an island. This island, interestingly enough, was named Painter Island. The island was small and had sparse vegetation. As she wondered about the island she realized the island was slowly growing and rising up out of the ocean. As the island began to rise large pillars emerged from under the ground each supporting a large egg. The island continued to grow and thick, lush vegetation sprang up all about the island. My grandmother then took more notice of the large eggs as they began to crack open and small dinosaurs emerged.
8. Daris Delarris
Daris was an imaginary friend from my childhood. There are some early videos of me talking to and about Daris. As soon as I find them I will post.
9. Music Box 3045
I’ve continued to have a reoccurring dream for many years now about riding towards the east in a wagon with a band of gypsies. One night during the journey I discovered a music box wrapped in cloth. The only visible markings were the numbers 3045 across the top. When I opened the box it emitted more than beautiful music. The playing music box began to change everything around me. The faces of the gypsies distorted and their speech became unrecognizable -they were just faceless dancers in the night. The roof of the wagon burned away and took flight as thousands of fireflies. As the sound reached the sky it danced about, reacting with and illuminating the atmosphere, shooting rays of multicolored light across the cosmos. It was because of this dream I decided to have nebulous clouds as the background sky for the desert scene on the album cover.
10. Zexx Fable
There are few people I respect more than Zexx Fable. Zexx is as brilliant as he is mysterious. No work better embodied this than his epic poem about a gangster peanut farmer. By conquering his own demons Zexx was able to expose and conquer the demons in others making Zexx the definitive schoolyard equalizer – smiting arrogant underclassmen with the fury of his wake and breaking the constitution of overbearing substitute teachers with his paradoxical Juicy Fruit quandary.
Sincere, brilliant, passionate and unbridled – Zexx Fable forever.
11. Sleepless and Daydreaming
The main melody of this piece mirrors the melody of Sleepless Night and was an expansion of the same theme and idea. Most of this song was written during a time when I was experiencing fairly severe sleepwalking episodes. I would wake in the mornings to find new parts of this song composed on my computer. The strangest part about finding mysterious writings on my computer was the fact that most of it seemed to have been written in complete silence because I had assigned all kinds of random sounds to the project -for example the melody was originally written with the snare drum as its assigned instrument. To borrow a description from a friend of mine, “The sound was like that of a donkey chewing gravel.”
12. Ascending the Precipice
When you are unhappy or when you are presented with a problem there are a couple choices: Do nothing and willingly except that which plagues you or you can change it. If you are not able to change what causes your problems then change yourself. Many people have disagreed with me and stubbornly insisted they should not have to ever change themselves. I disagree. We all change for various reasons. I think of this process as climbing a cliff. Exercise, knowledge, love: These are all parts of the climb. Sometimes we miss a handhold and stumble or fall but we continue the climb because we wish for something better and in the process we change ourselves and make ourselves stronger and better prepared for life to come.
13. Starfield Dreams
I imagine the end of the journey as being full of stars. Each one a fond remembrance of that which was – all joining in a chorus joyously illuminating all that is now.