I'm very excited to announce the release my newest album, CALL OF LOVE. I honestly can't tell you how many records I've recorded. But the great thing is that even after years and years and recordings and recordings, I am, at this point in my life and career, more in love with music than ever. Making and recording music is all about the process. Yes, it eventually leads to a tangible outcome, like a CD or score for film. BUT the best part is the process. From having an idea or melody for a song, to flushing it out on the piano; to seeing how it evolves and changes as I work on it and nurture it; to recording it; having other musicians add their support and ideas to the song; mixing the album (often my favorite part); naming and packaging and then finally releasing it and planning some marketing. I love every step. And the interesting thing is that "love" is so much a part of the process that if I don't literally "fall in love" with every song on the album, then that song doesn't make it. For me making music is all about "love".
That's one of the reasons why "Call Of Love" is such an appropriate title for this album. What the title, "Call Of Love", means to me is that every day, every hour, every minute we're making decisions and choices that affect our present, our day, our year and ultimately the rest of our lives. Whether it's choosing what to have for lunch; or how to communicate to a friend or loved one about something important; or how to react to an event or situation that crosses our path unexpectedly . . . choosing "love" is always one of the options for us to choose. Every day we make thousands of decisions that ultimately add up to the overall quality of our life experience. I believe that the more often we choose "love", not only will our experience be better, but our contribution to our family, friends, community and world will be of a greater and more meaningful impact.
Now, this is not always the easiest choice. In fact, it often appears to be the most confronting. But just the awareness of it as the best option IS life-changing in and of itself. The World calls to us from many different perspectives and attitudes. The World has an amazing momentum and pace that is often overwhelming. The World tells us that we need "this", and should work for "that" and what's "better" and "cooler" BUT the World almost NEVER tells us what will bring us the most peace, contentment, joy and love in our lives. That's why it is SO very important to listen so closely for the Call Of Love. The Call that some part of us recognizes as the "true" and "pure" sound. That we recognize comes from a deeper place within our selves. The one that brings us closer to the home, life experience, contentment and the love that we truly desire most, beyond all else. I hope it doesn't sound to "out there" BUT that IS the inspiration for this album. The awareness that we have a choice every second to answer to a deeper call from within.
Now, on a more tangible note . . . let me tell you a little about how this album evolved and let's take a look at each song individually and see what I can tell you about it.
1. Call Of Love - I wrote the main melody for this song for a series of PSA's that Pierce Brosnan was making to "Save The Whales". The International Whaling Commission was considering lifting the "ban on whaling" because of pressure from countries like Japan and Iceland. A combination of efforts from organizations like Greenpeace and individuals like Pierce upheld the ban so that for at least another 15 years or so, the Whales are relatively safe from "legal" whale hunting although they are still under threat by "illegal" whale hunting. Nonetheless, it inspired this song. I really love Paul McCandless's oboe solo in the middle of the song and Jaques playing is always spot on.
2. Breath Of Life - I wrote this song with Dominic Miller in mind. I knew his acoustic guitar would really shine on this song. When Paul McCandless put down his beautiful oboe part it added this sweet longing to the song. And I'm sucker for "sweet longing". Mixing this song was a bit challenging because of all the layered guitar parts a couple minutes into it. The cello adds such an important element as well. The "hook" that happens in two places on the song where it goes from an F major to an F#minor repeatedly gives it this auspicious/otherworldly quality for just a few seconds. That's one of my favorite parts. This could be my favorite song on the album. I'm already planning on recording a solo piano version of it for a future project because the solo piano version is very different and interesting. Much different from this version.
3. Song Of My Heart - This song used to have a minute long mellow intro with just cello and guitar, but I wound up removing it because I thought it was too long to wait before the song "kicked" into it's groove. This is probably the jazziest song on the record, but it's still not really jazz. I actually wrote this song with Jaques in mind, playing the cello melody the 2nd half of the song. Paul's soprano sax added a really nice color and energy.
4. Everlasting Waltz - This is another song that will show up again on a future album probably as a solo piano version. This version is "in time" and sound more structured as a result. But there is a very moody "out of time" version lurking within me and I'm looking forward to playing with that. I think the oboe and cello sound particularly beautiful on this song.
5. Here For You - This, for me, is the "surprise" song on the album and leans the most towards pop instrumental or some unknown category. I've never been easily categorized. The piano does some interesting things with "time" on this track. I often "let my fingers do the walking" and just play what feels good to my hands. This song is perfect example of my hands just having fun. When I recorded Paul playing his soprano sax it took the song to a new place. His equally uncategorizeable style really comes through in this song. Is he playing "pop", "classical" or "jazz"? Answer: none of the above. He's playing his own unique self. Yeah Paul!!! I love what he does in the latter part of the song where he gets more punctuated and "staccato". This song makes me happy cause it's so "me".
6. In Every Life - Funny thing about this song is that when I'm not really paying attention I like it more. If my mind is wandering and this song comes up, I'm like . . . "Oh, that's nice . . . what is that?". But if I'm listening to closely I start thinking "There's really only two sections and I'm just repeating them in different octaves". Well, maybe that's all it needs to be? I've included it on the record in a short form because I really like the melody, it sounds good and it's satisfying to play. Plus it's my album and I can do whatever I want. Right?
7. A Tale To Tell - I kind see this as the "sleeper" song on the album. It's just very sweet and satisfying. A little blue. I find the textures really satisfying. The acoustic guitar especially. This is one of the those melodies that just came out of me completely intact and very specifically. It doesn't have the "build" that is so common in my music. It's stays pretty even throughout. Sometimes that's hard for me to.
8. My Beloved - To me this sounds like an old Celtic love song. The penny whistle really adds to that feeling. I really like that the piano plays a main melody and counter melody at the same time. Definitely sounds like a love song to me, maybe a little bit of unrequited love and a little melancholy, but I like that as well. I also think it sets up the next song very well.
9. Fields Of Gold - I love this song. One of my favorite Sting songs. Dominic played on the original. I thought it was very cool that he was into recording it with me. I think he's only played it with Sting and I (I could be wrong) and that's very cool. I tried adding some penny whistle to it to add to the "old Irish ballad" feel, but it wasn't happening, seemed to distract too much from the heart of the song. I love Dominic's playing, the simplicity, the great tone, the restraint. I've learned a lot from playing with him on and off for the last couple years. Thanks Dominic!
10. Each Moment - This is Jaque's favorite song on the album. I think it's because of the ever evolving chord changes and melody growing over the top. I like it because of the "timelessness" in the playing. Meaning . . . it like moves through honey in some places and slides along in others. Sounds romantic to me.