We all have moments in our lives of dramatic impact. Violent disturbances to our personal atmosphere can come in and threaten the very essence of what we know, who we are, and what we think. Just when we thought we were most resilient, winds can change and we can find ourselves caught fighting to keep our greatest hopes, dreams and wishes alive.
As a determined musician, there were moments growing up that felt like living in a fairytale. The high that you reach when you finally learn to play a difficult piece, write a new great song or reach mile markers that were often so far away, you never really thought you'd actually see them is indescribable. I've found that even after growing up, the nature of following your dreams still feels very much the same. The problem with trying to follow a dream, is the very nature of dreams is against many rules of reality. It requires a lot of work along with the seemingly impossible alignment of situational circumstances to even get close to having a dream materialize.
There have been many moments along the way that I've had questions...I have wondered if the amount of work, sacrifice and devotion were worth the slim chance at playing live with a symphony orchestra and hearing my own music come together with live musicians in powerful concert venues. Thoughts of risk, fear and failure enter everyone's mind, it's how we know we're human. The hope of being able to achieve something great many times feels naive. It's easy to wonder if your bar is set too high, if maybe you should lower it to something more attainable. Many people would have you think that you're crazy for even thinking or hoping you can achieve something so far out of reach. I have learned from experience that it is only through being naive that I have reached some of my goals. Believing you can do something, even if you can't, will always get you farther than saying it's impossible and giving up.
Why all the introspection? Because it is these very thoughts, commonalities and feelings that urged me to write the last piece of music on this album. It was summer of 2005. I was outside looking up at a tall mountainous skyline. The melody hit me like a train. I'll never forget that instantaneous, full blown orchestral procession when I heard the song materialize for the first time. Fortunately, one of my friends (who also happened to be quite a skilled drummer) was visiting. I hummed the melody and he immediately started pounding out drum rhythms on anything he could get his hands on. A few thousand notes and a couple of hours later, we knew we had something special.
The first recording of this song was done entirely on a single, partial sized keyboard. I spent 2 weeks working out orchestrations and doing overlays of the drums played by my friend. It was during these sessions that I realized just how complex and difficult this song really is. The problem was, I had only started learning how to record and mix music a year previous and didn't have the equipment I needed to fully do the song justice. It wasn't long after that I filed the song into my archive knowing that one day, when the time was right I would record and release it with the instrumentation, recording and sound quality it deserved.
Now, 7 years later, after 2 months of recording with lengthy rehearsals, recording sessions and over 60 hours of post-production, this song is a monster. It's a symphonic firework show with a full orchestra, drums and a piano. It was even a workout for our amazing drummer Joel, who ended up breaking a pair of sticks during the takes.
This past week was spent in the studio, editing drum takes from our last recording session. The final mixes will be completed over the next 2 weeks, marking the end to a long 14 months of recording and welcoming in the final phase of album creation - post production & replication. The end is very close...it won't be long now.