Archive for "songwriter"

Sometimes a Musician

One of the things I am most thankful for in playing music for a living is that it was never my intention.  I am an accidental musician, at best, who sort of stumbled uncomfortably onto this journey half-protesting and with great trepidation.  Admittedly, much of my fear was based in the mystery of the unknown and the lack of control of things, much like any graduating college student heading out into the real world, but quite a bit more was based in the fact that I never quite felt “cut out” for this sort of work.  I always felt like a bit of an imposter…like I would some day, inevitably, be “found out” and everyone would realize that all this time I was just pretending to be a songwriter, just posing as an artist.  So many of my counterparts in music seem to live and die by the art they’re creating and, to be honest, I have many times envied the passion with which so many of these artists carry out their calling.  They cling so desperately to the art and creation and delivery of music that I think it quite literally becomes their lifeblood.  It’s as if the act of creating is as vital and involuntary as the act of breathing.  As if without it they would cease to exist, and with it, they have something to really live for. Truthfully, though there have been times that I have tended in that direction, I fear that that sort of singular passion toward what we do, or even who we think we are, can pull us away from our one, truly singular identity in Christ…and Christ alone.

All I know for certain is that music was meant to be part of the story God was choosing to tell for me, whether I planned it or not.  I was just a college kid with a Biology Degree and firm sites set on absolutely nothing apart from medical school.  But I also wrote songs.  My own little “personal therapy sessions,” as I like to call them, were never really intended for use outside of my living room walls.  But thanks to a few close friends who quite literally forced me to face the possibility of “seeing what would happen” with music, here I am today.  A 1-year “experiment” before planning to apply for medical school has turned into a 15-year career of writing and playing songs.  I can say with all honesty that I have no idea how it happened.  People ask me all the time how to “get started” in music and I have to tell them that I quite literally don’t know.  I can say this.  It was not comfortable for me.  It was not my dream.  It was not my life’s ambition.  I was afraid.  I was insecure.  I was not up for the task.  But I believe that God was.  I believe that God saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.  I believe there was a Spirit flowing in a certain direction and I knew only enough to not try to swim against it.  I’m actually excited to see where God takes me when music is done.  I am not nearly naïve enough to think that it will last forever.  And to be honest, I don’t want it to.  Because I know that music is not my life source.  It is not my identity.  Music is not who I am.  I have tried to run from it, even prayed that it would end at times.  What I know to be true is that, for whatever reason, God is for us and He chooses to use us.  And He wants to use us right where we are.  And this is where I am right now:  I am a husband and a father, a friend, a brother, a son, and yes, sometimes a musician.  It has been a beautiful story to watch unfold.

Ocean

For the entirety of my adult life, almost like clockwork, every two years or so I have been given the gift of being “forced” into taking stock. I’ve often told people that I don’t know how to write songs if I’m not writing them out of my life, out of my own personal experience, and so for me I think it’s inevitable that any new group of songs will tell some sort of story about where they have come from. And so for the last 15 years, 8 times to be precise, thanks to the deadlines that the powers that be “impose” I have been given the gift of taking stock, of evaluating where I have come from, what God has been unfolding – to unpack, assess, organize, (more…)

Daybreak

I woke up for the day at 4:30 this morning, certainly not according to plan. I can’t for the life of me think of a rational reason to intentionally wake up at 4:30 in the morning. Ever. The long and short of it is that I tend to not sleep as well in general when I’m in a season of writing…if I stir even slightly in the middle of the night, my brain tends to flip it’s switch and start running away with things.   (more…)