I had the privilege on being interviewed on the BresnixCast Podcast, a show featuring indie artists of all types.
Over the course of the interview I got to discuss my music, film projects, Christmas, nostalgia, and much more. Give it a listen.
I've been keeping myself busy for the past month with a new piece of music.
The song, as well as an accompanying video, are now available.
Rather than writing a bit about the song like I usually do, I'm just going to let it speak for itself.
A big thanks to my good friend Gabby Millett for providing backup vocals and creating the artwork.
It can be downloaded by clicking on the player above, visiting bandcamp, or by clicking the "Music" link at the top of this page.
The new EP is finally done and its titled "Moving On".
It can be downloaded by clicking on the player below, visiting bandcamp, or by clicking the "Music" link at the top of this page.
For a free download, click "Buy Now" and enter "0".
Five tracks are included.
1. Where We're Going
I crafted this one during the tail end of winter. I was sick with the flu for about a week. As I was just starting to feel better, I wrote the guitar part.
I wanted it to be a piece of music with a bittersweet feeling. The only problem was, the guitar alone wasn't cutting it. So I let the music sit on my computer for about a month until I went through a bittersweet experience. All of a sudden, out came the piano melody.
I wrote about it in detail a while back.
Right now - as I'm writing this - I am listening to it. I still think it captures what I originally wanted it to.
It’s knowing you have to leave when there is a small part of you that would much rather stay.
2. Moving On
A bit of a companion piece to the first track. "Moving On" is all about disappointment.
Not disappointment in the sense that I have been holding on to it, but in the sense of its purpose.
And what the best thing to do about it is.
It's a song that encapsulates a lot of the last few years for me. People, situations, and all kinds of seasons of life come and go.
And in many instances, they go when you least want them to.
3. Quiet Man Go
A happy, quick, upbeat song. One of the shortest I've ever written.
Not much to say about it other than it was fun to make and the name comes from an inside joke from a few of my friends.
I find it to be a fitting title.
4. Everything Else
It's that feeling you get at the end of a good day. Everything you're thankful for. All that has come before.
Everything that has the ability to put a smile on your face.
For the longest time, I had wanted to write a song where the title was a girl's name. During the spring months, I got hooked on songs like Alison, Sophie, Valerie, etc. They all have a certain charm to them.
I wanted to go with a name that was classic sounding and had a certain timelessness to it. I went with Alice.
It's a song I wasn't intending to ever be about someone specific. I don't personally know anyone by that name. Then a funny thing happened. I realized that I in fact crafted a song around someone specific.
I do in fact know "Alice". It's not this person's real name of course, but this song that had started with a broad idea turned out to be about something more specific than originally intended.
As an artist, I am constantly fascinated by what can come out subconsciously. One moment you're writing a song that has very little meaning other than a general idea and before you know it, you have something that can only come from the people you're surrounded by and the experiences you have been given.
Everyone has been there.
You make your plans, you prepare, you plot out the details of the effort you are going to put forth, and then you put it all into action. Your heart, soul, and mind all work together to achieve a goal.
But then something doesn't go quite right.
The payoff you wanted never comes to fruition. Whether it be over a long period of time or in an instant, you don't get to the finish line you had hoped to reach.
You failed and the feeling you are left with is far from hopeful.
Failure can happen in many aspects of life, but you probably already know that. You can fail at your job, relationships or the pursuit of, personal projects, your education, the list goes on and on.
I've found myself taking more risks in life during the latter part of my 20s. When I began to do so, I was under the naive impression that more risks equaled greater success. While that might be true in the long run, the short term effects have been the exact opposite. My increase in risks has merely led to an increase in failure.
And that is exactly how risk taking works.
The true value of failure is something that I only began to grasp at the beginning of this year and I am still in the process of completely understanding. I would argue that failure has more purpose than success does.
It forces us to grow, to accept reality, to be better at who we were created to be. It's the slap in the face telling us to rethink our plan of action or even our intentions. It's the foul tasting medicine that we don't want to take, but need to because it will make us better later on.
It can even provide motivation. A recent failure pushed me to create this blogpost.
Failure is rarely pleasant, but it has become something that I welcome; quick and easy success has become something that I don't. Very little is learned from the latter.
There's a new piece of music that I've been working on the past few weeks that I'm really excited about and I can't wait for others to hear it. I'm taking a few risks with the recording. There are a handful of new instruments and other elements that I've never used in a song. It's definitely a different style than anything else I've ever done and the whole thing could be a big mess in the end when all is said and done.
I don't worry about that though.
Sometimes the only failure is not even trying.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Every once in a while, a specific type of movie comes along.
It's not a movie that thrills, excites, scares, or makes you laugh. The type of movie I'm talking about is one that transports the viewer not by what it depicts, but instead by what it doesn't.
The most recent movie I've seen that does that is 2017's Columbus.
Written and directed by South Korean filmmaker Koganada, Columbus stars John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson.
Jin (Cho) is an American who works in Korea. When his estranged father suddenly falls into a coma, he finds himself stuck in the American town of Columbus, Indiana. There he meets Casey (Richardson), a young woman who works for the local library and feels she must stay in Columbus to care for her mother, a recovering drug addict, instead of pursuing her own goals.
The two eventually cross paths and begin to spend their time exploring the city, a place rich with architectural history. They ponder what the architects had intended for the buildings to mean and they explore what the structures mean to them as individuals.
In one of the film's strongest scenes, Casey introduces Jin to her second favorite building in the city (her first being a specific house). The building is a bank, one of the first modernist style banks in the country. As she begins to explain the architect's intention for its design, Jin interrupts and tells her he isn't interested in hearing the basic facts. Instead, he wants to hear why she likes it. Why it's her second favorite building in the city. Why it moves her.
The best part is, we never directly find out.
As Casey begins to explain, the camera shifts to inside the bank looking out. Behind the large glass windows are our main characters. As she answers the question, we don't hear her words, but what we do see is the expression on her face, her body language, and Jin's reaction. All of this set to a score by the band Hammock (a band which I highly recommend).
It's the type of scene which isn't common in most of today's films. Rather than directly tell us what is going on in a character's mind and heart, it is implied; or rather it isn't necessary to know. What is important is that Casey is moved.
Columbus continuously leaves out certain details you would expect it to have. For example, Jin's hospitalized father is a large part of the plot, but he is never actually shown in the hospital, he is barely onscreen at all. There are elements of romance between the two leads, but they don't even share a single kiss throughout the entire movie.
The film's strengths lie within what it decides to depict and what it doesn't.
There is a theme of presence and absence throughout and most everything in the movie reflects that.
As the film continues to take us to countless incredible landmarks around the city, Casey and Jin continue to converse. They discuss everything from their pasts to goals to smartphones. Eventually, they come around to the problems they are currently struggling with. Casey feels she can't leave Columbus because of her mother and Jin wants nothing more than to leave the city because of his strained relationship with his father.
This is where our characters really make a connection.
All of this and more is depicted through some of the most gorgeous cinematography you will see from any recent film. Shots are composed down to the most minute detail. Huge wide-shots show off the scale of the locations around the city. Many scenes are long takes where the camera doesn't move. In fact, I believe there are only two scenes where the camera actually does. There are even scenes that play out entirely within the reflections of mirrors.
If you like shot composition, then this is a movie for you.
The best thing that can be said about Columbus is that it is a film that transports the viewer. It takes you to a place that most are unfamiliar with. It allows you to get to know not only these two characters but also the setting they exist within.
It may even want to make you visit Columbus yourself.
A place for creativity and inspiration.