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That’s what I saw when I sat on my new couch in my newly rented condo, 2 stories with a loft, still smelling of fresh paint, night time sounds of downtown Burbank traffic below coming in from the open balcony door.  That new couch was one of the few pieces of furniture I had in this huge room and its giant cathedral ceiling.  I had just moved into this place and my child and her mother were 5 minutes away in the house we had bought.

Also oddly empty was my work schedule.  The television series that I had successfully composed the music for had ended and I was available for the next job, whatever that was.  Since childhood I had fought through the forces of small mindedness and conformity to chisel out a life as a working artist. Though I had long ago developed the faith necessary for any freelancer that things would somehow work out, I sometimes had to force myself to ignore the voice inside whispering that my time had come and gone.  Through persistence, hard work and luck I had found myself working at a high level but I wondered if I had truly gained admission to the club of insiders who always seemed to work. Any success I had seemed to be in spite of the gatekeepers rather than because of them. I also had become aware of how fleeting was my satisfaction with career achievements before some next goal occupied me.

On a practical level what this all meant is that after years of having every moment of my life spoken for, both by a demanding job whose deadlines couldn’t care about whether I felt creatively inspired and by dealing with whatever crisis was going on at home, I now had space. But I had spent years taking care of everyone’s needs but my own and I also felt depleted. While there was a hint of the excitement of a new beginning, I mostly just felt empty and I ached over my child who didn’t understand what was happening. She just wanted her daddy.

One night in that giant empty room I saw a television program profiling a filmmaker renown for his creative single minded passion.  I imagined a scenario where I befriended this artist.  When he asked me to show him my most personal honest art I had nothing to show.  I had lots of examples of music crafted to the best of my ability for the scenes I was scoring but those weren’t my stories.  I realized that my life of telling other people’s stories with music for film and television meant that I had told none of my own.  That night a quest was born.

From that moment on I would create using the tools gained from a life devoted to music.  No longer half hidden behind images on a screen this music would be exposed and vulnerable.  Unconcerned with current trends, the goal of this music is not to be popular but rather to be true.

I would share the stories of my life.  Isolation and loneliness, abuse and shame, addiction and recovery, love, love’s loss and despair, aging and impermanence, hope and the search for meaning, and never giving up.

Like the bird singing in the morning, “my love I survived the night!  Here I am!  Did you make it too?” The slave singing in the field trying to get through the day.  Early man painting his stories on the cave wall.

I say here I am.  This is what it’s like for me.  Do you feel this way too?