With this EP I have ventured into a new way of songwriting that actually explores the music from a far more conceptual angle. I gave myself literal assignments of subject matter that is haunting me on a daily level; environmental crisis, oil spills, the longing of the heart, the desperate need that many of us encounter to have things make more sense in a world that is so dislocated. On some levels these things are certainly timeless. On others, they are more painfully relevant than they have ever been. With the assignments that I gave myself I ventured into these topics while still allowing for creative inspiration to build the blankets around these cast iron beds of structured angles. ‘Korea’ speaks of the absence of a dear friend and how, despite the proximity that can be felt due to technological advancements, a relationship formed around words, as opposed to touch, leaves tremendous vacancy. ‘Glacier’ delves into what is occurring with global warming and how our planet will sustain itself even without human presence. ‘Skeleton Key’ also speaks of our planet and how I personally, find myself searching for that force that will open all doors and bring me closer to a less dislocated unity. I wrote ‘I Hold’ prior to going through brain surgery. This recording has the addition of musical parts added by Ken Rosser, Jemal, Stephanie, Dan Walters with ambient space by Oz Fritz, but is based around my demo recording of me harmonizing with myself and playing the piano. I wrote ‘Hunger’ on the Shahi Baaja, which is an exciting new stringed instrument with keys. It is a fabulous way for someone who is used to playing piano to cheat and be able to work with strings. Jemal and I fleshed it out with the other musicians. It’s chorus lyrics are “I’ve toiled and I’ve buried the hunger we all share. But uncover and shovel ‘till the hunger is not there”. I think this explains the basis of the song…I am bringing forward the fact that we so often burry the longing we are dealt but it is only when we uncover it and truly see it that the longing will be fulfilled.
With all of these songs I created some musical basis and then spent a great deal of time working with the lyrics. For ‘Skeleton Key’ I had actually written almost all of the lyrics before Jemal and I started working on the music together. This is new and exciting terrain for me considering, prior to now, I have always written lyrics and music at the same time.