361 days to be exact. So close enough.
Since the end of 2016, I've been reflecting a lot on the past year that I have had. With my 26th birthday being last week and the one year anniversary of this website being next week, the thought of the past 12 months has continued to be at the forefront of my mind.
But rather than dive into personal events again, I'd like to fill this week's blogpost with reflections on this website, what's been added here, and what it has all meant to me.
It all started out of frustration.
Maybe "desire" is a better word.
It all started out of a desire to discuss creativity, a subject I have yet to find anyone in my circle of peers really interested in. Everyday we find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control and there are a small group of us that respond through being creative. I wanted to explore that so badly. And with no one willing to discuss it with me, I instead made a place where I could do so whenever I wanted to with whoever wanted to listen.
That was the initial idea.
But lately I've found that the broad topic of creativity has become more narrow and more personal. It's become difficult anymore to write about creativity as a big idea and communicate it in terms for a large group of people. Instead, each post has become more about my own personal walk and how meaningful it has been in both my everyday life and my spiritual life.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know. But I do think it "works".
Looking forward, I'd like to continue what I've been doing over the last 12 months. I'm going to continue to try my best to post something every Friday. I'm going to keep making music (keep an eye out for a new EP in the next few weeks). I'm even going to finally get some others to contribute to the blog (contact me if you're interested).
This is a place that's been a great outlet for my own creativity and I hope it has been a place for you to find some sort of inspiration to be creative yourself. The only thing to do now is keep on going.
The last 12 months weren't ideal, they were never perfect, and they contained more valleys than mountains. My life was weird, unexpected, and never predictable. Every creative endeavor here is because of the bizarre, and yet oh so wonderful journey I've been given to live.
To quote Edward Norton from the ending of Fight Club,
"You met me at a very strange time in my life."
And I hope it continues to be.
Music is a funny thing.
I often find that small musical ideas are randomly placed in my head. Things such as melodies, chord progressions, and even song titles seem to pop out of nowhere.
I was on a break from work a few months ago when the title of this piece came about. I didn't know what it meant or if it had any real significance (and i still don't) but I kept the single word in my head and pondered what a piece of music with such a title would sound like.
Four months later, this is what finally came out.
At almost 7 minutes long, it's a piece that definitely requires some patience. It takes its time and I think it works all the better because of it. Once you reach that last minute and a half, everything that came before makes a lot more sense.
I didn't think much of it when it was complete and I listened to it for the first time. However, I've been playing it all week and I've grown to appreciate it more each time I hear it.
There's something about this one, but I can't quite put my finger on it just yet.
I debated whether or not to simply add this onto the end of my most recent album. It would make for a great final track and shares quite a few instrumental similarities with the rest of the music.
I ultimately decided no.
Instead of it being the end of something old, I'd rather this be the beginning of something new.
"Sunflower" can be downloaded for free here. Click "Buy Now" and enter "0".
Thanks for listening.
Nothing to share today save for this quick piece of music.
See you next week.
Gray is an intermediate color between black and white. It is neutral or achromatic, meaning literally that it is a color "without color".
It's been a few months since I've done any substantial video editing and I decided that this week was going to be the one in which I got back into the swing of things.
My only problem was that it mostly rained these past few days.
I wasn't going to let the weather stop me though. In fact, the weather was what I decided to capture.
There's a strange idea out there that's shared amongst most of the people I come in contact with. Sunny days are thought of as happy, joyful, and beautiful. I can't think of anyone who doesn't like a sunny day. Rainy days, on the other hand, are considered sad, dreary, and ugly. I often, but not always, think of them as the opposite.
Rainy days can be beautiful.
There's a nature reserve not too far from where I live. I make an effort to visit it at least once a week, no matter what the weather is like. It's a place I've shot plenty of different film projects, including this one.
For a few short hours, I spent a cold wet afternoon with my camera in hand. To my surprise, I was the only one in the entire reserve. With the exception of my car, the parking lot was empty.
I didn't know what I was going to capture so I walked around a bit before shooting anything. As I guided myself through the muddy trails and hopped over the numerous puddles, I noticed that I couldn't stop staring at what was above me. There was something about the endless gray mass of clouds that quickly moved through the sky. There was beauty to be found over my own head.
The thing I was mesmerized by was devoid of any color and there wasn't a moment in which I was disinterested.
Perhaps that is what was so fascinating to me.
I had a lot of fun putting this short film together. There isn't anything particularly special about it, but I have yet to grow tired of framing shots, linking them together through the magic of editing, and setting it all to obscure instrumental music I love.
Thanks for watching.
I've written a handful of posts about weeks where I've not felt motivated or the times I've lacked inspiration. This week is similar yet different.
To put it bluntly, the circumstances I have found myself in over the last few weeks have been less than desirable. And those circumstances have made me want to give up on a few things. Mainly, things I've been planning on creating.
About two weeks ago, I found myself snowed in at home. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, I decided that my snow day was going to be a day of productivity. All I wanted to do was read, write, listen, and watch.
You know, productive things.
I spent hours upon hours planning out my creative output over the next few months. I mapped out an idea for a fourth EP, I stumbled upon an idea for a new documentary short, I wrote down a handful of new ideas for my book, and I even began to write an article to submit to a website I frequently read. I wanted to have most of these projects done over the next week or two.
Then I got sick; more sick than I had been in years.
I was confined to a bed for three straight days and my enthusiasm for the things I had planned on creating slowly faded away.
Then my sister - who was visiting for the holidays - returned home to California. That put an even bigger damper on things.
A few days later, I was let go from my job due to a slow season.
I wanted to give up, throw in the towel. How in the world could I be productive and enthusiastic about creating art when the things around me seem to constantly fall apart?
I spent more days than I would have liked to in this mindset, but eventually I found comfort. There was comfort to be found in the God who loves us, comfort to be found in the people who have been placed around me who express their concern, and comfort in the pieces of art that I care so much about.
I eventually found myself listening to an old song from the 70s titled "Northern Sky" by a guy named Nick Drake. It's a piece of music I've listened to on an almost daily basis for the last two or three years. I even used it in my Iceland film.
It's very special to me.
The average person isn't familiar with who Nick Drake was but there are a few out there who are and those people have been highly impacted by the short musical career he had. Drake lived a mostly sad and very short life. He suffered from major depression, made little to no money, and eventually died at the young age of 26. He had little success with music during his lifetime and his work wasn't fully appreciated until after he was gone.
It's safe to say that Nick Drake had his fair share of setbacks. Setbacks that aren't even comparable to my own.
Despite his hardships, Drake was someone who did what he loved until the day he died. During the recording session for "Northern Sky" he was described as being chronically shy, withdrawn, and unhappy with the song's initial arrangement. But he recorded it anyway.
Very few listened and appreciated the song during his lifetime.
However, about 45 years later, a young man in South Jersey was sitting in a Starbucks working on a paper for school. He was stressed with college and worried about the future that was ahead of him. As he was typing away on his laptop, an interesting sound immediately caught his ear.
It was a song called "Northern Sky" and eventually, it was a song that grew to have so much meaning for him.
There are always unforeseen circumstances that occur when we are trying to accomplish something. I find that everything going smoothly is a rarity. However, you should never give up on something you're working on.
Doing so would be much too selfish.