In my heart, I have always been a songwriter, musician, producer and performer. It is my deepest inner-calling, yet for most of my life I ignored it. I ignored that inner-voice that we all have and instead listened to the chorus of voices that told me pursing a career in music was not practical. I spent years of my life pursuing the ideas of others. I attempted to complete a college degree and worked in multiple industries doing various jobs over many years; none of which had anything to do with the music that dwelled so deeply within my heart.
After unintentionally settling into a career in private education, getting married and having three beautiful children, my inner-world began to crumble. It was no longer feasible to maintain the illusion that I was happy without pursing my dream of music. As I clung tenaciously to the facade I had created for myself, I became bitter and grouchy. I began to struggle with deep depression. All the while I continued going to a job I had no desire to be at. I suffered. My family suffered. My wife encouraged me on many occasions to take a chance and make the leap into full-time pursuit of music. She is the true hero of this story for without her support, I would have never taken any action in the direction of my dreams.
The day I was laid off from my job was the biggest turning point in my life. It felt as if I had been re-born and given a second chance. I accepted the news with a smile on my face and many of my friends still remark to this day how odd my reaction to being laid off was. My reaction was of great joy because I had been set free. My depression had led me to complete inaction. I was so deeply immobilized by my negative feelings that I was unable to take any steps to better my situation and follow my heart. The layoff was just a kick in the pants from the universe.
From that day on, I have woken up everyday with a hunger to create and spread my music as widely as possible. I have woken each day as the musician I truly am; and that I have always truly been. This brings a deep inner joy I could never adequately articulate with words. Opportunities have continued to arise that I could have never foreseen prior to losing that old day job I never wanted. Being a full-time musician is not easy. The struggle is real, and it is daily. But I am a warrior for my dream now and take great pride and joy in rising to fight each and every day for the rest of my life.
Blessed is he who follows his heart.
Bird's Eye View is a song inspired by the power of nature. For those of you who have known me for some time now, you understand that I have a deep passion and connection to nature. I hope to pass on that same reverence for our planet's beauty to my three children, so we tend to spend a lot of time in the Colorado Rocky Mountains during the warmer months. It is always a joyful and spiritual experience that helps to clear my cluttered mind.
When we came back from our first camping trip to the Rockies this year, I felt very distracted as soon as we walked through the door of our Denver home. As a songwriter, this is something that happens to me quite often. Inspiration hits when I least expect it. I made sure the kids got showers, I unpacked our stuff and took a shower myself. Then I gave in to the pull of what would be the beginning of a new song.
I sat down at the table and began to write with my guitar in my lap. As I strummed out the chords that eventually became the underlying structure for Bird's Eye View, lyrics came to me immediately. Sometimes when I write, I am really reaching for something. I often write and cross out several lines before I have even a portion of a verse. In other cases though, the lyrics spill out onto the page immediately with no editing whatsoever. That is what happened with Bird's Eye View. In less than a minute I wrote the song's first verse:
Hey babe, what do you say?
Do we need a revolutionary way to escape?
'Cause I play, and I'm planning to stay,
and I've got this guitar in my hand and I'll be taking the stage.
'Cause right now, we need something bad
All this fussing and this fighting's gotten mama real mad
Me too if you want to know the truth,
I'm tired of loosing ground and breathing in fumes
Then I sat back in my chair and let out a long, peaceful sigh. It always feels amazing to finish a verse, but I knew the hardest part was still ahead. A well-written verse means nothing if you don't have a chorus! Most of the time, when I come up with a good verse I am unable to come up with a good chorus right away; and vice-versa. For shits and giggles though, I pushed forward and started writing the first thing that came to my mind for a chorus. Again, with no editing I wrote the chorus:
Take me to the mountains where my soul can finally breath,
And cleanse me in the river, so my eyes can clearly see
I played that verse and chorus over and over until my voice became tired. I felt overwhelmed with excitement at this new song that was coming into existence! Feeling full of energy, but with a tired voice and tired fingers, I pushed forward writing the second verse. I labored over the page for nearly an hour, writing crappy line after crappy line. I couldn't come up with anything as good as the first verse and chorus. I had to pack it up for the day. I put my guitar away and closed my notebook.
It was 4 weeks later following our second trip to the mountains in 2016 when I found myself with my guitar in my lap again and my notebook opened to a page that had "Take Me to the Mountains" written at the top. We had just arrived home and I felt energized by the mountains again. I began to write and the second verse spilled out in a matter of seconds just as the first first verse had:
When a bird sings, he's telling the truth,
And we could benefit from a little bit of bird's eye view!
To stop time would be a relief,
But we'd be frozen in the ocean of our hate and deceit.
And right now we need something bad,
All this confusion and illusion's gotten daddy real sad
Me too if you want to know the truth,
I'm tired of losing time and burning their fuel!
I immediately knew I had to call the song Bird's Eye View. It was finished. I recorded it over the next two days and announced on social media I had finished a new song and was going to release it ASAP. The rest is history!
That's the story of how I wrote Bird's Eye View, which will be available through iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and all other music outlets as of August 16th 2016. I hope you enjoyed this. If you did, drop me a message and let me know:)
You can listen to Bird's Eye View for free on YouTube by clicking below.
Our world is escalating towards an inevitable crescendo. Times are tense, frustration is high and horrendous acts against humanity are regular occurrences. We must not let this discourage us. We know that violence begets more violence. Love and compassion are all that can extinguish this fire. We must recognize our world's deep wounds. They have not completely healed. We must treat them. This will take time, and as we engage in tough conversations that simply must be had, let us have compassion for one another. Let's be kind, not right. Love is the answer my friends. It always has been and always will be.
The road is not easy, but it is the right path. We must forge ahead.