Friday, July 25, 2014

I'm releasing an album next week...

Click on the image to access the album page
So, I'm releasing an album next week for my music project Temple Autonomy. It used to be called John Daniel Was Here, but I had grown tired of that name, and I didn't think it fit the kind of music I was writing. My songs are serious to me, and that name didn't quite capture the reflective nature of my music. I am much happier with Temple Autonomy.

The album is called Like a Burning Fire in My Bones and it will be released next Friday, August 1st. You must be thinking, "Dang, he really likes that little phrase!" Well, I do. But it's more than that. Jeremiah's cry to Yahweh that he is like a burning fire in the prophet's bones, too weary to ignore and deny, resonates with my experience so perfectly. It describes quite nicely the struggles in my life thus far, and it is reflected in the songs I write. Because it captures so well the experience which led to the 10 songs I wrote for the album, I just couldn't think of a more fitting title.

The songs that made it on the album span a long period of my life, from late 2010 to this summer. There were several other songs that I wrote in the last couple years which I felt didn't belong on this album, either because I still need to work on them or because I became disenchanted with them.

I started recording in the Fall of last year. When I began, I told myself I would take as long as I needed to make the album everything I wanted it to be. I realized over time that this just wasn't going to happen. It seemed that the harder I tried and the more time I put into perfecting a song, the worse it got. What I found over and over was that the songs were best when I just sat down and recorded them live, with minor changes in the editing process. I found out that I don't like making musically tight songs, edited to perfection. When you listen to the album, I want you to be able to tell that there's a real human on the other end.

The result is an album with some imperfections and mistakes. Not re-recording certain songs or not editing out mistakes was not an act of laziness and a desire to just get the album done already. It is the way it is because I finally got the songs to the point where I could say, "Yes, that's the song I wrote." I wanted to capture the moments in which the songs were conceived, and those weren't moments of musical perfection. They were moments in which whatever I was experiencing finally burst forth into music and a little bit of my soul expressed itself in the form of words and notes.

That's what I wanted to create with this album: a kind of musical journal, each song a window into the most somber and reflective times of my life in the last few years. It doesn't capture everything, but what it does capture I am happy to share with you. I hope you enjoy it.

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