Archive for the ‘The Meridian of Rhyme’ Category

May
0

One Life is not Enough

My TO-DO list grows faster than I can check things off. When I walk into a Barnes & Noble the wide-eyed excitement I feel inevitably gives way to a bit of desperate apprehension when I realize that I will never be able to read every book that I want to. I hate sleeping. Such a waste of time. I only do it because if I don’t I’ll be able to get even less done the next day. I have so many ideas. Things I want to do, to learn, to teach, to create. But I never have time for it all.

24 hours in a day…
I need about 100

 

I was thinking about good story tellers. My Grandpa comes to mind (doesn’t everyone’s?). I always find myself riveted when he tells stories about he and his brothers who served our country in the Navy in World War II. Such vivid details from an understandably unforgettable experience. I will never have the same experiences he did. I can only live one life – my own. But I like hearing about his.

Probably for the same reason that people love movies so much. You can step into a theater for 2 hours, and if the film is well done you lose yourself and come out feeling like you just lived through what the on-screen characters did. I think good music does the same. It makes us feel something. It can take us somewhere. In fact, the same song can take different people to different places. And if you want to go back, you can just play the song again. And who hasn’t lost themselves in a good book? I didn’t read The Hunger Games, but if I did it would’ve been because I wanted to have the experience of fighting for my life in a post-apocalyptic survival skills tournament.

I’m thankful for music. And for movies. And books. I’m thankful for people that tell me stories and let me live part of a life that I won’t get to live. Because for me at least, one life is not enough.

every minute every second
just submitting to the pressure
sitting here sifting through the wreckage
of another stupid checklist
my burdens provoking me
feels like time is choking me
a rope necklace, so relentless
get up out of bed then off to work
I wish I could stop this clock work
take a rock and smash those hands
make them ticks and tocks hurt
see what power the hour has
after I shatter the hourglass
the sand drops…
I stand and watch

– from “Never Enough” on The Meridian of Rhyme

 

Mar
0

To the Sky – Official Video

The first official video from the new album.

Mar
0

The Human Genome Project

If you are reading this you have computer and you like music, so chances are that you’ve heard of Pandora. If not, it’s a website/app that works like a radio station, only it does a really good job of playing music that you like. You just give it the name of one of your favorite artists and it does the rest, providing a constant stream of music catered to your personal musical tastes.

How does it work? Very meticulously actually, powered by something called the Music Genome Project. A bunch of musically trained people listen to every song accepted into the project and analyze it based on 400 musical characteristics with the goal of identifying specific “genes” that capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song. Pandora matches these genes with other songs with similar genes, and the result is a stream of music that you are pretty much guaranteed to enjoy.

They recently added me as an artist and The Meridian of Rhyme went into the project. So of course I had to create a “Qwiet” station and see what other artists and songs they played alongside mine. There were some surprises and some artists that I’ve never heard of but do have things in common with, but I was happy that some of the artists I really respect came up, like Shad, Braille, and Lupe Fiasco to name a few.

And that got me thinking.

What if our lives were like one big album that we’re making? What if when we die a bunch of people highly trained in such matters analyze our greatest hits (and misses) and create a Pandora-style radio station based on the eternal identity that we’ve forged for ourselves? Which people’s songs would play on your station? Who’s station would you want your songs to be played on?

In other words, where will your life story fit in the Human Genome Project?

Jan
0

Rap to a Film Score?

I always get inspired by the musical scores in movies. One day I thought about what would happen if I tried to rap to one, so I reached out to talented composer Stephen Anderson, who created this loose cinematic interpretation of the hymn “Father in Heaven, We Do Believe” (see if you can pick out the melody if you’re familiar with it). Then I just put my headphones on, closed my eyes, and wrote what the music spoke to me. This is the result:

 

Dec
0

The Meridian of Rhyme – Explained

Okay, many have asked, so an explanation of the album title is in order. Strictly speaking:

Meridian:
a) a point or period of highest development, greatest prosperity, or the like.
b) conveying the thought of a principal division of time or space.
Rhyme:
a) identity in sound of some part, especially the end, of words or lines of verse.

The most significant time in the history of our world was the birth, life, and atonement of our savior Jesus Christ. Because of this and because we chronicle all events in history based on whether they occurred before or after it, true to the above definitions it is sometimes referred to as the Meridian of Time.

I’m pretty sure this album won’t cause the people in charge of deciding such things to redefine our method of delineating time. Nor do I think it’s the highest form of music in any way, and I certainly don’t expect it to bring prosperity. So what is The Meridian of Rhyme?

As you can tell from the artwork, there are obviously elements of division and contrast. Darkness and light. Good and evil. Pleasure and pain. Joy and sorrow. Night and day…

We all experience both sides, and we often find ourselves on the meridian. We can choose good or evil. We can choose gloom or illumination. We can find the bright side of our trials and tribulations or fall into the abyss of self-pity. We can be victims of the night or heroes of sunshine.

The Meridian of Rhyme is about change. Change for the better. Making some choice that from this time forward, I’m going to be better in some way.

Hopefully this music can turn something dark into something light for someone. Hopefully someone finds something beautiful from somewhere unexpected. Maybe from themselves. Hopefully a simple truth is realized. Hopefully someone learns something about the world and their place in it in a moment of reflection. Hopefully The Great Deception of the mainstream media machine is exposed in some way.

Hopefully someone finds a song they can put on to get them through a hard day, or a hard year. Hopefully someone finds a song that brings a smile, and maybe another that brings a tear. Hopefully a head nods. Hopefully someone can relate.

Hopefully someone can see themselves as the bright colors breaking out of the shadows, creating life they never thought possible. Hopefully someone is inspired to try a little harder, or run a little further, or hold on a little longer.

Hopefully it means things I never thought it would mean.

Hopefully it means something.

changing the world is breaking me
but breaking free is changing me
gotta keep moving forward
my people – moving for ’em
let’s see some new horizons… new forms rising

– from “Never Enough”